|Other File Patterns and Tips
The filework page was getting lengthy, so I
decided to add another page on it.
I file in virtually an unlimited number of
patterns, so it would be impossible to show
them all, but by showing some basics, you
can get the idea.
On virtually any knife I plan on doing
filework on, I mark it with different colored
markers. Each represents a start line for a
different file. The color codes don't matter
so much as you remembering which is
which. This also gives you a reference
point to match sides when starting. (picture
In the picture, the blue marks are the small
chainsaw file (shown right), the purple are
the small half round jewelers file (see right),
and the red are the triangle shaped file.
Note that the red and purple alternate as this
pattern is a swept forward pattern. I will
show some more detailed pictures when it's
back from heat treat.
If you want your pattern to sweep forward,
then on each side, you will angle the file
almost flat with the cut starting and
Right is what I call my radiant pattern. It's
relatively simple to achieve.
You simply start off with 3 files, the round
chainsaw file which will make the long cuts,
the triangle file, and the smaller round
You make the long cut starting at the front
with the chainsaw file angled almost flat, but
slightly inward and slightly up. Once you
have the first 2 of those even and cut, you
take the triangle file and use the same angle
and forward sweep to make smaller indented
cuts (see photo above). Then you go back
to the chainsaw file and make 2 more long
cuts, followed by the small round jeweler's
file. You alternate the triangle and the round
So you have 3 actual cuts.
You should end up with something like this.
Next is a pattern, not for the faint of heart.
Expect to spend some time on this one. I
call it the cosmic swirl.
This one is really tough to get even. You
start with a slightly angled cut with the
chainsaw file (see the first cut towards the
front). You will cut this straight across at an
even depth. Once you do that, you will start
to turn the file back to your left (if the blade
is facing as shown in the vise). This will
turn the cut and broaden one side of it.
I mark all of those cuts off prior to starting
and I do those first. They should be about 1
Then, about half way in between your cuts
that you've already made, you will make an
additional straight cut but with a slight angle,
with the chainsaw file. These will stay
straight, but you will alternate angle
directions for each (one up one down). This
should give you a nice flattened triangle
between each of the cuts you've made.
In the broad portion of the triangle, you will
take the chainsaw file and run a cut (semi
deep, and about half way through to the
It should end up looking somewhat like the
pictures to the right.
Once I've got all the cuts made, I go back
and randomly take off a little here and there
to make it look more swirled. There's no
absolute method to this, I just pick spots that
look too square to me and I round them off.