Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 31

Thread: Marking knives for joinery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    7,531

    Marking knives for joinery

    These are some the knives I have collected over the years and use for laying out joinery. Obviously not all at the same time


    Three popular knives - these ones get a lot of use. From the top down ... Swann-Morton fixed blade, Stanley swivel blade, and a Swann-Morton craft knife which was my grandfather's. This one is about 60 years old (except for the screw). They all use disposable blades (which are easy to resharpen, which I do) ...





    These ones are a little more up market. All made by Chris Vesper. The top two are heavy duty knives, one in Tasmanian Blackwood and the other in 10000 year-old Black Red Gum. The lower two are dovetail knives, designed (by myself) for marking dovetails. The lower one has an extra thin blade for the slimmest dovetails. These knives are the ones I tend to use when dovetailing ...





    The last three here are Japanese kiridashi. The top is one I handled. The middle one is the one I prefer and use mostly. The lower one is used for reaching into small areas. The advantage of the unhandled kiridashi is that they can more easily register on the backs of the blades ...





    Regards from Perth


    Derek

  2. #2
    Nice knives! I stopped using knives and went back to pencils, when I realized that a larger pencil line I could see was more useful than a more accurate knife line I couldn't

  3. #3
    And then at the completely opposite end of the spectrum, I present the humble steak knife turned marking knife....
    marking knife.jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    20,587
    Thanks for that Derek. It is good to see how other folks gravitate to the knives that feel best for certain tasks. My heavy knife is the old Utilitas that Lee Valley used to sell (maybe they still do). My general use marking knife is a FlexCut "Detail Knife". I find it odd that I reach for this one so often as it is a double beveled affair. Others are in the same slotted drawer and come out for their tasks. Ones that have fallen out of favor end up in a drawer across the shop waiting for me to find them a new or better home.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    22,112
    Blog Entries
    1
    My knives are a bit more humble in origin. My first marking knife was a box cutter until a group of plane blades and other things were purchased that had a piece of a broken knife included. That became my first shop made marking knife:

    Fini Knvs.jpg

    It is the one on top. The one on the bottom was made from an old plane blade. It eventually had wood scales added for comfort.

    Another knife was made from a piece of saw blade:

    Saw Blade Marking Knife.jpg

    It is good for getting into tight places. The handle is a piece of rosewood turned on my lathe. The ferrule is from a tubing connector.

    My last knife is my most used knife. It was made from what was left of the old plane blade. Here are my knives in a group photo:

    Shop Made Knives.jpg

    The build thread of the one with an ebony handle is here > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?229968 < The rounded area in the blade for the cap screw head actually makes a comfortable finger rest when used right handed.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    I mostly use Japanese single bevel knives and violin knives. A luthier friend uses violin knives and had made a case for each of his knives that can be used to protect the edge or to hold the knife while he's using it (by reversing the knife in the case).

    This inspired me so I made cases for my knives. The problem is that the Japanese knives are not "regular". That is, each one is a different thickness and the thickness varies along the length of the knife. I had to fit each knife to it's case. Then I had to mark the knife and case so that I put the right one back into the right case, otherwise they wouldn't fit. I only use them out of the cases, unlike my luthier friend who sometimes uses them with the knife in the case.

    The violin knives are regular and precise so any knife fits any case. In case you would like to get a violin knife, you can purchase them from Southwest Strings. They come in different widths but are all double bevel. They're a good bit less expensive than Japanese knives.

    Mike


    knives-001.jpg knives-002.jpg
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 05-23-2020 at 12:20 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    7,531
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    My knives are a bit more humble in origin. My first marking knife was a box cutter until a group of plane blades and other things were purchased that had a piece of a broken knife included. That became my first shop made marking knife:
    Jim, you are very modest. I suspect that many of us have done just this. This was one of the first ones I made ...




    I made so many dovetail knives, some were some and most were gifts ...



    About 5 or so years ago, Chris Vesper asked if he could use my design. He is a good friend, and so he has been making them since (I have no financial part of this).

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    DuBois, PA
    Posts
    1,854
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Jim, you are very modest. I suspect that many of us have done just this. This was one of the first ones I made ...




    I made so many dovetail knives, some were some and most were gifts ...



    About 5 or so years ago, Chris Vesper asked if he could use my design. He is a good friend, and so he has been making them since (I have no financial part of this).

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Nice grouping of knives and I'm also the proud owner and user of a "Cohen knife"!

    T
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    Nice knives! I stopped using knives and went back to pencils, when I realized that a larger pencil line I could see was more useful than a more accurate knife line I couldn't
    Mostly, I can no longer see a fine knife line either so I use a few tricks.

    * - Derek's blue tape trick is very useful for defining where the line is
    * - Knife the line and before you remove the tape, rule, or square follow up with a 0.5 mm pencil
    * - When I need to hit a specific measure that I cannot gauge, I lay the square across a flat tape and then pencil, knife, or both

    High contrast is the key

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coastal Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,046
    I recently setup a R. Murphy knife from the venerable Massachusetts company. The hefty "barrel" and positive fitting for the blade makes it easy to manipulate, even with creaky joints.

    More delicate knives always gave me fits.

    The steel in the blade is nothing special, although it us tempered.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    22,112
    Blog Entries
    1
    Seeing a knifed line can be difficult even for young eyes.

    A carpenters pencil with the flat edge cut to a chisel point on fine sandpaper can follow a knifed line quite well. Makes it a lot easier to see and it stays accurate.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    463
    Jim, Derek, others: I use Ron Hock's wider (3/4") spear point marking knife. What are your tips for sharpening it? I don't have a Tormek jig it will fit on, nor a honing guide for a skew setting. I know that Veritas guide can hold it. I owned one 15 years ago, but I tossed it when I took up using the Eclipse. But now this spear point knife...

    Ideas for me that don't involved another $100 just now? I feel a "hand-held honing" recommendation coming on.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Lubbock, Tx
    Posts
    1,072
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Jones 5443 View Post
    Jim, Derek, others: I use Ron Hock's wider (3/4") spear point marking knife. What are your tips for sharpening it? I don't have a Tormek jig it will fit on, nor a honing guide for a skew setting. I know that Veritas guide can hold it. I owned one 15 years ago, but I tossed it when I took up using the Eclipse. But now this spear point knife...

    Ideas for me that don't involved another $100 just now? I feel a "hand-held honing" recommendation coming on.
    without spending too much money, I think handheld is the way to go. Shouldnít be too hard either, just ride the flat bevels on all three sides (back last) and make sure the point stays pretty much in the middle (and Iím not sure thatís even that critical). Other option would be to carefully create some wooden inserts for the eclipse jig to keep it in the right position for each face.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coastal Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,046
    A jeweler's ring clamp is handy for holding things like this. I use one for sharpening plow plane blades.

    They're about $10.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    7,531
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Jones 5443 View Post
    Jim, Derek, others: I use Ron Hock's wider (3/4") spear point marking knife. What are your tips for sharpening it? I don't have a Tormek jig it will fit on, nor a honing guide for a skew setting. I know that Veritas guide can hold it. I owned one 15 years ago, but I tossed it when I took up using the Eclipse. But now this spear point knife...

    Ideas for me that don't involved another $100 just now? I feel a "hand-held honing" recommendation coming on.
    Bob, there are two ways you can hone there small bevels. The first is to build a jig (out of wood) to hold the blade at the angle and skew you want. The example here uses a honing guide, however you can use blocks of wood, etc ..



    Here is a block of wood guide ...




    The other way is to freehand a rounded bevel - similar method as used by Paul Sellers. That is easier than trying to keep the tiny bevel flat.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •