DIY file guide?

Daniel Macina

Well-Known Member
i also figgered somthin ' out. The apparent confusion is that (my being entirely tool-challenged and somewhat intellectually challenged as well !) I am talking about guiding a file while y'all are talking about guiding a knife against a grinder. On which case, this becomes one of those discussions where we both are correct . I apologize if I ruffled any feathers.
Didn’t ruffle my feathers I was just confused on what you meant but I understand now.


"The Montana Bladesmith"
I'll second what John copy/paste above.

I will also add that even though you can build one our of harden steel, I can tell you from experience that it won't more then one knife's worth of cutting the shoulders on a hidden tang. I know because I did it.... with 5160, 01, 1095, and even tried some Cruforge V once. All of them were wrecked before I got the shoulders completed on a single hidden tang blade.

Now I actually have several different carbide file guides for various purposes in the shop. My favorite is one of Bruce Bump's, and others that have the carbide dovetailed in place. I also have a couple that have the carbide "glued" on, and have found that they tend to get "off" depending on temp.... which I suspect is the glue expanding/contracting with temps.
I have different ones for different uses. In my experience, the wider the carbide "slips", and the closer they set to a blade clamped in the fixture, the easier is is to get a flat, true cut with a file. As the carbide gets more narrow, and further from the blade clamped in the fixture, the easier it is to get a convex cut due to file flex, that most don't realize they are doing....until they try to fit a guard and see hairline gaps all about a given should.

I spotted it somewhere else in this thread.....and totally agree with it. For the cost of a modest knife, you can buy a good carbide file guide. It's more then worth it!

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
I've made a couple. Best one was from some super tough A6 steel. I left it fully hardened and no temper, files won't hardly touch it. I keep one side "perfect" as a reference, the other is the "working" side. Every few knives, I put the reference side down on the surface grinder and just give it a kiss to clean it up again. I also made another one a little extra wide for use in the vise on the milling machine. It's great to clamp the knife in the guide, then clamp the guide in the vise. You can flip side to side and get near perfect repeatability cutting shoulders.