FILE GUIDE and how to use it

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
As you may know we make file guides and sell them. Some folks havent used one before and other folks never will. I have made many knives without the use of a file guide but since it became so important to do the best work I possibly could I use one on every blade now. I've worn out several quickly made mild steel guides and discovered that carbide strips epoxied to them will make the guide last for years. Most all the belts and files we use will not do more than just polish the carbide inserts.

I developed my own line of these and my friend and apprentise Bill Dirk made several but he moved away and left me and my Son Michael to continue. There isnt allot of profit in these as the materials cost about $30-$35 each but its worth our while especially Michael for part time income. The deliveries are slow because we are busy but eventually you will get one if desired.

The first ones were heavier and had big carbides measuring .125 thick, .375 wide and 3.0" long. Today I finished the next generation with slightly narrower .250" carbides and the 1/2" x 5/8" W-1 steel turned the narrow direction. These are a slight improvement but not to say the first ones arent great. Everybody I've talked with like the first generation file guides. I like em both and both work great. Truth be known I did save $4 in material costs by using the narrow carbides and still plan to sell them for the same price at $95 each delivered. Hey I'm a businessman ya know. If I can save money I can buy milk for my babies. Actually theres no babies. I can buy a crunch wrap supreme at Taco Bell for lunch now. :)

Here is an alluring shot, a close up and some action shots of the Generation II File Guide:










The plunges are ground in before heat treating on this hunter and the shoulders for the guard too. Its not really neccesary to grind them before heat treating as they could be ground after the blade is hardened but I like to do bigger blades this way. I leave the edge thick and re-grind after the heat treatment is done. For folders I always heat treat the blank and then grind the bevels.

After heat treatment the blades can be ground with a belt or a file unless you leave the blade harder than 62 rc. Most files are only about 63 rc and wont have much affect on removing metal. Dont use a diamond file as they will cut carbide and put notches in the fine surfaces.

I plan to show how this guide works on a framed handle knife also, just give me time.
Thanks for looking and come back.

As always I love comments and stories of your own achievements
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Well-Known Member
Hello Bruce,
I just want to thank you & let you know I sure am happy:happy: with my soon to be a Collector's Model, #1ST Generation B.B. File Guide!

I may have to purchase another one?
So I have a 2ND Gen, model with your Maker's Mark proudly etched on it.

Your carbide inserts sure make a big difference on how long a tool like this will last!
I use Ceramic belts, in 36G, 50G, & 120G all the time for my initial Bevel & grinding and have worked around a 100 blades so far, with just slight visible polishing wear on my B.B. file guide.

I use to just use two pieces of squared up D-2 steel hand clamped with a 1" C clamp to make my plunge lines.
Your File Jig is sure worth the bucks in less hassle and more time grinding.

Besides you do have babies to feed,
Copper and his two mentor Pug pals that are always hanging in the Employee Lounge.:biggrin:

Thanks again!



Well-Known Member
I want one ! can you please pm me details and I can paypal you , check , creditcard whatever . Thanks

Josh Dabney

I'll forever be proud to be a Gen 1 plank owner that helped launch the BB&Son knifemakers tool corp. !

I have to admit I was taken aback a little when I opened my guide and found a reciept with your name PRINTED right on it and a beautiful high end business card. Even the reciept is extremely professional ! A small detail perhaps but it shows me alot about your dedication to the craft and the pride you take in even the smallest detail of your work. I found this so inspiring that I laminated my reciept and business card with contact paper to make a little sign to hang in the shop to remind me the devil is in the details, too put my best foot forward at all times, and do quality work. It's kinda like having you in the shop hanging out ;)

Back to the guide... I finally rough ground my first blade utilizing my guide and don't mind telling you the result I got is downright impressive ! I've previously been freehanding my plunges and struggling with the fact that they're only 95% THERE. It appears that grinding with my guide is going to close that last little bit I've been missing. With some more time to get accustomed to the guide I'm pretty confident I'll get near perfect plunges every time placed EXACTLY where I want them ! Just got the thing and I'm already in love with it !



Absolutely love my guide and have recommended one to a few friends also.

I hope you got Michael working out the design and logistics of some handle broaches :3:

I'd buy a set for sure

Take care and thank you again for the guide buddy ! -Josh

Diamond G Knives

Well-Known Member
Im a Big fan! I Love my 1st gen, cant wait until the 3" inside ones come out!! Also whats this about a Handle Broach??
Count me in!!!

God Bless

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
I'm using one of the 2nd Generation guides now. Peter Serkov was here a couple weeks ago and just had to buy one but I didnt have any finished. He bought my old Finnigan guide that I've used for years. He paid full price for it and calls it his "lucky file guide".


Well-Known Member
As soon as I get $95 in my pocket, I'll be ordering one. Keeping plunges even is something I struggle with on every knife.

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
Ray, I used the email address in your post. Wonder where it went to?
Anyway I need your contact information for the list and shipping label.

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
OK dogs, I have to stop making file guides for awhile and get back to my real job, making guns and knives.

Edited on March 29th 2014

I am still making these in small quantities so let me know if you'd like one. The newest ones are stainless steel and sell for $120
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