I always try to forge as close to the final shape
of the blade as possible, but I also need to grind the forged steel
to take it to the exact final shape.
In order to shape the blade into form, and mostly on the flat parts,
I use a bench stone grinder and a disk grinder (Pictures 1 and
If you prefer, instead of a bench stone grinder, you can also use
a belt grinder (Picture 3)
I work the knives free hand, I don't have any guides for angles
or anything like that (Pictures 4 and 5)
As final stage and to accomplish excellent flat surfaces, correcting
the small imperfections the machines might have left, I use a very
simple device, made with a rectangular pipe section (2x1")
and a piece of sand paper secured on the interior of the pipe (Picture
This way, I have a fixed flat sanding surface, and once it's placed
on the vise, I have both hands to move the blade and control every
simple aspect of the last grind, making sure the final result will
be a perfectly flat surface. (Pictures 7 and 8)
You can also use this device to work on the curved sides, moving
the blade accordingly. This way you'll get a really smooth finish
on every single part of the blade.
Working by hand will obviously take more time than using a machine,
but since I have more control over the exact form of the blade,
I prefer it this way.