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Making a marking knife

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Making a marking knife

Postby sunnybob » 06 Jun 2021, 19:18

I'm thinking of making my own marking knife from some steel left over from my giant Bowie, but have never actually seen one.
I've seen pictures of the general shape but if anyone has one I would like to know the width of the double sided one and the thickness of the steel, and if anyone has an idea how long the steel inside the handle is?
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Woodster » 06 Jun 2021, 20:45

The only type I’ve used is this type.

https://www.axminstertools.com/crown-11 ... fe-ax21839

It says in the description it’s 6 inches long so maybe you can work out the others?
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby AndyT » 06 Jun 2021, 21:01

Bob, I think there are so many designs of marking knife it's too hard to work out what sort you are thinking of.

Some you hold like a pen, some you hold in your fist. Some have a tiny thin blade like a scalpel, others could carve stone.

Do you have a picture of one you like?
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Trevanion » 06 Jun 2021, 21:04

It depends on how elaborate you want to be. You could do it the Japanese way and literally just have a lump of steel with a couple of angles ground on the end (the site says this is 15mm wide, FYI):

Image

Like Woodster's example, you can pin a couple of handles to it if you so desire.

Or you could go for something more elegant, such as this:

Image

It's all really what you fancy really, there are so many variations!

(edit: Andy beat me to it!)
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Cabinetman » 06 Jun 2021, 23:54

Woodster wrote:The only type I’ve used is this type.

https://www.axminstertools.com/crown-11 ... fe-ax21839

It says in the description it’s 6 inches long so maybe you can work out the others?

Funnily enough, I bought one of these when I was making up a basic kit in the states in the summer of 2019 and it cost me near enough £7 – well it would’ve done had I been in England, so it’s gone up quite a bit in percentage terms but still a reasonable price for a good bit of kit.
But it was surprising I got a whole load of tools from Axminster posted out for about £25 postage — superefficient. It’s what I’ve always said, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good basic set of woodworking tools, excluding a Nr 4 plane and some chisels the total was £140 inc P and P.
The knife itself is all you would want from a marking knife for a right-handed person. Ian
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Woodster » 07 Jun 2021, 00:31

I like your tool tidy. It’s reminiscent of the commercial ones you can buy. ;)

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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby sunnybob » 07 Jun 2021, 05:20

Trevanions double edged stiletto is what I'm after. I spent a half hour on axminsters site last night and couldnt find a one of them.
My normal stream of visitors bearing gifts and bribes has dried up this past 2 years, so I'm having to resort to alternative methods.
There is one specialist tool shop in Nicosia that might have one, but he doesnt speak english the way I dont speak greek, so it will have to wait till I go there to find out.

I have the steel at 6 mm thick, so I can play around with that a bit.

I have loads of offcuts of exotic wood. I can slice and insert the steel and reglue to hide the shank. I cant think of a source of the brass ferrules though. Although if I epoxy the steel in I wont actually need one.
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby AndyT » 07 Jun 2021, 07:45

Derek Cohen has made loads of knives like that and has a detailed write-up on his website:

https://inthewoodshop.com/ShopMadeTools ... tails.html
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Lurker » 07 Jun 2021, 08:13

Blunt jigsaw blades make good marking knives if you are planning to make a handle.
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Sheffield Tony » 07 Jun 2021, 09:14

It all rather depends what you make. I've got 3, one of the double edged sort I made from 1/2" x 1/16" tool steel with a turned handle, one very traditional Crown one, and a stout one made of something like 20mmx3mm steel with wood scales on a full-length tang made by RXH ( :text-thankyouyellow: ) I use them all, depending on the job. The first is good for dovetails, the last is better for heavy cuts to register a chisel in.
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Woodster » 07 Jun 2021, 10:57

I’m wondering why anyone would specifically want a “double” edged one like those pictured? I assumed it was just manufactured like that so it could be used by both right or left handed users. Is there another reason though? This type seems to have a much keener edge and would be easier to sharpen?

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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Doug » 07 Jun 2021, 11:23

Woodster wrote:I’m wondering why anyone would specifically want a “double” edged one like those pictured?


For marking into blind corners such as when your marking up dovetails.
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby sunnybob » 07 Jun 2021, 11:39

I just like the look of it. Isnt that reason enough? :lol: :lol:

The flat steel type would get lost within days.

A nice bubinga handle shaped on the bobbin sander would stand out on the workbench.
I have bits of 86/70 chrome steel. Its a bit overkill as its 5 mm thick, but its here, and its free, the perfect combination. 8-)
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Sheffield Tony » 07 Jun 2021, 11:59

sunnybob wrote: I have bits of 86/70 chrome steel. Its a bit overkill as its 5 mm thick, but its here, and its free, the perfect combination. 8-)


Not if you are marking out lapped dovetails with skinny pins though. This is where a slender double sided one works - you can flip it over for the left/right sides when transferring tails onto the pin board.
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Mike Jordan » 07 Jun 2021, 12:08

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Bought in versions on the left and home made on the right.
Worn out machine hacksaw blades are ideal, just epoxy them into a handle.
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby spb » 07 Jun 2021, 12:11

Sheffield Tony wrote:Not if you are marking out lapped dovetails with skinny pins though. This is where a slender double sided one works - you can flip it over for the left/right sides when transferring tails onto the pin board.

Lapped dovetails generally mean hand tool work, though - probably not something Bob's worried about.
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Mike Jordan » 07 Jun 2021, 12:20

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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby Woodster » 07 Jun 2021, 14:42

sunnybob wrote:I just like the look of it. Isnt that reason enough? :lol: :lol:


Absolutely but I can’t help thinking for most jobs the one I pictured might be nicer to use?
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby sunnybob » 07 Jun 2021, 15:22

Tony, listen to SPB......
I've only just gotten around to mortise and tenon, ANY kind of dovetail is not in my future :lol: :lol:

You know what? This thread has only just reminded me I have a hooked lino knife that was my dad's. I never got on with the thing, this might be the perfect opportunity to "upcycle" it :eusa-clap:
It has to be at least 70 years old, should be a nice bit of steel. 8-)
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Re: Making a marking knife

Postby sunnybob » 08 Jun 2021, 17:10

OOPS, went searching for that lino knife. Couldnt find it.
Then I remembered I moved it on a couple years ago with a bunch of unwanted tools. :oops:
Back to the drawing board. :eusa-whistle:
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