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Knife leaving scratch in wood

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  • Knife leaving scratch in wood

    Hello! I have been carving for about a year, been lurking on this forum for a few months and am finally stumped and need to ask a question that I couldn't find in a search. I appreciate any advice anyone is able to share.

    I got a brand new knife in the mail today (1 1/2 inch Mike Shipley carving knife by OCCT). I was super excited and it slices through my basswood blocks like butter. There's just one problem - when I cut, it leaves a scratch in the wood. I can can't see any kind of bump or snag on the edge or side of the knife and I've stropped the heck out of it over and over again, but the scratch is still there in the cuts (I'd say I stropped it well over 100 strokes per side). Clearly there is something causing it, but I don't know what to do next. Whatever it is, it must be small because I can't see or feel any kind of flaw on the knife.

    So what's my next step? Do I just keep stropping and eventually it will go away? Is it possible to strop too much? I haven't done anything but strop any of my other knives and the only other sharpening stones I have are diamond stones I've used on some old gouges I was trying to sharpen. I suppose I could contact the seller or manufacturer, but I'd really prefer to learn how to address this myself.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    This might be a lot of grief to fix. What's the return/exchange policy?
    Sorry to read it was right out of the box.

    You need a really bright light, any 9-11W LED house light will work.
    You need a 10X magnifier to see the edge. Don't nick your nose, OK?

    From what you write, I'll guess that there's an actual chip out of the blade edge, not just a folded/crumpled bit.
    This is where my judgement would come into play,
    whether I start on 600 grit or 800 grit to grind the edge back of the chip.
    Paint the edge with black felt marker and keep looking at the edge with the magnifier and the light.

    Another method is to totally square off the edge and redo the entire bevel. Tedious at best.
    Brian T


    • #3
      First, welcome and glad you are here. Someone might have an answer but I don't. Maybe use a magnifier of some type to explore it closer? If it is a new knife, you could be able to exchange it. BTW, I have several OCC knives and they are my "go to" knives for my carving. Nice knives.

      Again, Welcome!
      Living among knives and fire.


      • #4
        This is surely a little micro nick in the edge. Run the edge along the end of your fingernail very lightly, and you will probably be able to feel it. On a new knife with a very fine edge, a little sideways scrape with your blade can cause this, like when trying to get a chip cut loose. With some compound on your strop, you should be able to get rid of this. A little white compound on a buffing wheel could possibly do the trick also..

        Good luck, and carve safe, Tom
        If I took the time to fix all my mistakes, I wouldn,t have time to make new ones.


        • #5
          All the above are good suggestions, but before trying any of them I would get ahold of
          "I got a brand new knife in the mail today (1 1/2 inch Mike Shipley carving knife by OCCT)" and see what they would suggest since it is a new knife.
          . . .JoeB


          • #6
            There is definitely a very tiny nick in the edge of your blade. I would first see if I could exchange it for another one. A reputable company like OCC should have no problem doing that for you. Beyond that, stropping is your answer.
            Keep On Carvin'
            Bob K.

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            • #7
              This is helpful, thanks to each of you. What I am hearing is if I can't get it out by stroppong my next step is to follow up with the seller or manufacturer. I have several other occt tools and love them all so my purpose in sharing that detail was simply to say that it was a good quality knife. And it seems to me that between shipping to a reseller and then shipping to me it may very well not be the manufacturers fault at all.


              • #8
                You can pick up a fairly inexpensive pack of 1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper at Lowes. Try stopping your knife with it. If the nick is still there, go to an 800 grit. Then once it's gone finish it off with the 1500 and then your leather strop. Whether there's a problem when you first purchase the blade or one develops later after hitting a knot or hard place in the wood, it's a fairly easy fix.


                • #9
                  If you can not return the knife you could trie this. Make a shallow full blade cut in a scrap of basswood. Then lay your blade on top the cut and mark the location on the blade were the nick is appears on the wood.This will give you the location on the blade to look for the nick these micro nicks can be hard to see.You may need magnification. Stropping may not take of enough steel to take it out. You can also have a very slite area or indention on your blade or strop that could mean the area of the nick is just getting partially stropped. Eddy's suggestion may be your best option. If you mark the edge of your blade with a magic marker on both sides then strop using the sand paper you will see quickly if there are high or low spots along the blades edge and it may make the nick stand out.
                  Last edited by Randy; 01-17-2020, 10:52 AM.


                  • #10
                    These nicks are going to happen. You can return your knife, but down the road, it will get another nick. I wouldn't think twice about it. For years I used a 2 x 2 about 18-20 inches long with sandpaper, emery cloth probably 240 grit glued to one side and a piece of leather glued to the other side with rouge applied to the leather. It won't take much on the sandpaper side, I lay my knives flat, then strop it and you should be rid of the streaks. My first step up was to make about 5" wooden wheel, leather covering the top and circumference of it with a 3/8 bolt in it and spun with a 3/8 drill. I found it handy to use a reversible drill and could strop both directions. But I am sorry your new knife came with a nick, those OCC knives are my favorite. I use 3 different sizes of them and never a problem with them, (except those occasional nicks). It's just all part of the learning to sharpen.


                    • #11
                      Having an issue with this. Has anyone ever had a knife make a scratch in the wood from a chip in the blade?...because I have yet to see this one. And I got some chip up knives do to sand and other stuff in the found wood???? I have had the knife not push through the wood, and I have had it splinter the wood....but make a scratch just never have seen this issue. Just wondering????


                      • #12
                        I've seen it. Glossy brown surface in western red cedar. Right in the middle of every cut = a white scratch.
                        Must have hit something. Sure enough, a litle piece of edge folded over.
                        Brian T


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Brian T View Post
                          I've seen it. Glossy brown surface in western red cedar. Right in the middle of every cut = a white scratch.
                          Must have hit something. Sure enough, a litle piece of edge folded over.
                          thanks ...I am wondering at this point if I do not pay attention to such details since I do sand my work, or I am having a brain fart moment. LOL


                          • #14
                            I learned the hard way, grinding forever to recover the bevel on the gouge.

                            The quick method, when you're ready for it, is to square off the edge beyond the damage.
                            Then you begin with an 80 grit carborundum axe stone and rebuild the entire bevel.
                            Work up through the grits to 1500 then hone.

                            Pretty good ways to exercise your vocabulary of profanities.

                            I believe that the scratches are a lot easier to see in dark wood like western red cedar, walnut, etc.
                            I don't think that I would notice as easily in yellow cedar, bass wood, aspen and others.
                            Brian T


                            • #15
                              Another option is to check and see if there is a carving club close to your location. Most old experienced club members would be glad to fix it for you. Also check to see if you have any local knife makers. If you find someone local that has experience with knife making it would be an easy fix and probably wouldn't cost much. Good luck.