Marking Knives

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jsjwilson

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Hi All.
I struggle with knife marking. I have been using the Narex double sided knife for the last couple if years and I find it jumps out alot when I keep the blade quite flat, or if I lift the blade it gets blunt against my rule. This difficulty is particularly on the awkward side for my handedness. Obviously I'm probably lacking technique! And a bad workman shouldn't blame his tools, but I wondered what others use and their experience. I notice Paul sellers uses some kind of pen knife.
Is it just me? If so any tips on improving?
Thanks,
Jamie
 
Paul Sellars uses one of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stanley-Folding-Pocket-Knife-598/dp/B0001IWDBU
I've been using them since I was in my late teens (30+ years) and had a few. When I started woodworking a few years ago I bought the 50 pack of blades, I've probably got 40 of them left. So for 30 quid you could have a knife and spare blades that lasts years.
In woodworking I've found them to be very accurate - though some will argue the double bevel is inaccurate, and really easy to use. Also a quick sharpen on a #1200 grit stone and strop also brings the blades back to life when they dull
 
Hi All.
I struggle with knife marking. I have been using the Narex double sided knife for the last couple if years and I find it jumps out alot when I keep the blade quite flat, or if I lift the blade it gets blunt against my rule. This difficulty is particularly on the awkward side for my handedness. Obviously I'm probably lacking technique! And a bad workman shouldn't blame his tools, but I wondered what others use and their experience. I notice Paul sellers uses some kind of pen knife.
Is it just me? If so any tips on improving?
Thanks,
Jamie
I wouldn't bother with marking knives at all. I think they are useful for when you really need a cut line, which is not that often, but a penknife or a chisel will probably do just as well.
Sharp 2H pencil for most things.
Marking knives are a big fashion item in some circles!
 
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You might find it easier to use the single bevel type, like the Crown one. The one I use is the small single bevel Japanese type. I don't find any need to use them with joinery, where most of the work fits together straight off the machines.
If your interest is in cabinet making, then there is nothing better than a nicely knifed shoulder on a joint to work to. Making long stopped housings for shelves - pre machine routers, used to involve well knifed lines to each side of the joint
 
I used an old, but good, ¾" chisel blade (after it snapped off in hardwood mortising) ground to the slanted edge as per the last entry/photo. I got around it trimming slivers off my nice expensive square (etc) by minutely back-bevelling the flat surface immediately behind the cutting edge. A D.C. "cunning wheeze", I think. For woodworking purposes, the slight disparity in percieved line and actual line was minute in comparison to the overall dimension of even the smallest stock.
Then, I moved house and some sticky-fingered removal person never delivered it to my new workshop. He also has my wife's Christmas door wreath. Curious juxtaposition of needs....
 
Here's a set of top of the range marking knives made from premium materials (sic), i.e., hacksaw blade (worked a bit), pieces of scrap mahogany, and string soaked in PVA glue prior to wrapping and knotting it around the mahogany. One's a marking knife, another is a bird's beak knife for marking the pins around the sawn dovetails, and one's an overly expensive, well, maybe not, all metal job by Stanley; I might have bought the Stanley knife in the 1970s or 80s for perhaps a couple of pounds, and whenever the blade of any of them become dull they get a sharpen on a bench stone and/or an oilstone slip. The spare blades I have for the Stanley may actually be the same ones I purchased along with the knife all those years ago. Slainte.

Marking Knives-700px.jpg
 
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Thanks everyone. Lots of good ideas here. Have access to old hacksaw blades, planer thicknesses blades and even some defunct chisels. I'm going to have a play. I like the idea of back bevelling to save the square too. Been using a Stanley over the last few days, like in Sgian's picture and this is working better. The Narex is going away!
 
Mines one of these. You can do the classic knife-wall cut with one stroke and take out the v fillet with the next, blade turned onto the bevel, for a clean shoulder saw cut. We were taught this at school but more likely because it would produce a better result than our clumsy saw handling would without it.
I don't use it much.


Screenshot 2023-10-12 at 19.35.38.png
 
The swann morton scalpels make excellent marking knives
+1 for the SM scalpel. I have had several marking knives including a Blue Spruce, but have founf them all very clumsy compared with a scalpel. Blades are cheap but also simple to sharpen on your sharpening system of choice.

Jim
 
Mine is an old chisel that was a bit on the short side. Ground a bevel at an angle and made a handle.
Single bevel as I don't get along too well marking with a double bevel.
Regards
John


P1010016 (2).JPG
 
From my earliest days as a church organ builder apprentice I was always taught to use a marking knife before cutting anything cross grained as we always used hand saws. The knife mark as a cutting reference also reduced both wastage and general damage to the timber through breakout. We'd also knife mark a line all around when we planed end grain timber either in a vice or on a shooting board. It was just something one did.

As with many traditional trades, some of the tools we used were usually specialised and many were made by ourselves. We made our own marking knives from dowel, strong tracker thread, animal glue and hacksaw blades ground at a shallow angle to a very sharp point. The knives as well as being used for marking were also used for delicate leather work used in organ air tight components etc so they had to be kept razor sharp on oil stones and they fitted the bill exactly.

We never really used the traditional marking knife as they were too numb and clumsy for the work we did. I've had a traditional marking knife since my school days and I don't think I've ever used it, It's still pretty much as new but I've made a few hacksaw blade knives over the years. Easy to handle and sharpen like a razor.
 
From my earliest days as a church organ builder apprentice I was always taught to use a marking knife before cutting anything cross grained as we always used hand saws. The knife mark as a cutting reference also reduced both wastage and general damage to the timber through breakout. We'd also knife mark a line all around when we planed end grain timber either in a vice or on a shooting board. It was just something one did.

As with many traditional trades, some of the tools we used were usually specialised and many were made by ourselves. We made our own marking knives from dowel, strong tracker thread, animal glue and hacksaw blades ground at a shallow angle to a very sharp point. The knives as well as being used for marking were also used for delicate leather work used in organ air tight components etc so they had to be kept razor sharp on oil stones and they fitted the bill exactly.

We never really used the traditional marking knife as they were too numb and clumsy for the work we did. I've had a traditional marking knife since my school days and I don't think I've ever used it, It's still pretty much as new but I've made a few hacksaw blade knives over the years. Easy to handle and sharpen like a razor.
When I was at sea a lot of the deckhands had knives made from industrial hacksaw blades as they stayed sharp longer than any knife you could buy. Cutting rope blunts blades fast.
As to marking knives I take it the blade is slotted in the handle and then glued and wrapped?
Regards
John
 
When I was at sea a lot of the deckhands had knives made from industrial hacksaw blades as they stayed sharp longer than any knife you could buy. Cutting rope blunts blades fast.
As to marking knives I take it the blade is slotted in the handle and then glued and wrapped?
Regards
John
Yes we would take a piece of hardwood dowel, slot it to accept the piece of hacksaw blade and then bind it into the slot with the strong tracker thread we used and then finish off the binding with light coating of animal glue to keep it tightly held. Better than anything you could buy. You could make them as small as you liked too by grinding the blade down and making the knife small and similar in size to a fountain pen but the standard hacksaw blade was ideal for general purpose marking knives.

We could get them razor sharp and I mean that literally. We had to be able to chamfer soft chamois leather ready for gluing the leather to create the wood and leather pallets so they had to have a really good edge and hacksaw blade knives were perfect.
 
From my earliest days as a church organ builder apprentice I was always taught to use a marking knife before cutting anything cross grained as we always used hand saws. The knife mark as a cutting reference also reduced both wastage and general damage to the timber through breakout. We'd also knife mark a line all around when we planed end grain timber either in a vice or on a shooting board. It was just something one did.

As with many traditional trades, some of the tools we used were usually specialised and many were made by ourselves. We made our own marking knives from dowel, strong tracker thread, animal glue and hacksaw blades ground at a shallow angle to a very sharp point. The knives as well as being used for marking were also used for delicate leather work used in organ air tight components etc so they had to be kept razor sharp on oil stones and they fitted the bill exactly.

We never really used the traditional marking knife as they were too numb and clumsy for the work we did. I've had a traditional marking knife since my school days and I don't think I've ever used it, It's still pretty much as new but I've made a few hacksaw blade knives over the years. Easy to handle and sharpen like a razor.
Really interesting Tony. I dont suppose you have a picture of your hacksaw knives? What kind of shape did you cut the hacksaw to make a blade? And when you say shallow angle, single side?

As an aside, are you still organ building? And if so I'd be curious who you work for. Brother is an organist. And my other brother is an architect who has just been involved in a new organ installation in Eton, of all places!
 
Here's a set of top of the range marking knives made from premium materials (sic), i.e., hacksaw blade (worked a bit), pieces of scrap mahogany, and string soaked in PVA glue prior to wrapping and knotting it around the mahogany. One's a marking knife, another is a bird's beak knife for marking the pins around the sawn dovetails, and one's an overly expensive, well, maybe not, all metal job by Stanley; I might have bought the Stanley knife in the 1970s or 80s for perhaps a couple of pounds, and whenever the blade of any of them become dull they get a sharpen on a bench stone and/or an oilstone slip. The spare blades I have for the Stanley may actually be the same ones I purchased along with the knife all those years ago. Slainte.


I'll take you on, Richard :)

2-BB35-FA6-8-A71-47-BD-9-DDC-C276-CC91-B166.jpg


A bit too fancy? :cool:

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

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