How do you make perfect hand satin finishes?

I have been trying to learn to do this for some time and I just cannot seem to achieve it. My problem is making the lines perfectly straight and consistent and after a lot of frustration I started wondering if manufacturers are using a jig of some sort to do this. All I have to go on is youtube tutorials and they all use a flat piece of stock with sand paper wrapped around it but this just doesnt seem to work for me I cant keep the lines straight and the flawless straight lines I see from some of my favorite manufacturers are taunting me to the point I am trying to devise an idea for a jig. After a lot of testing of sand paper finishing with a scotchbrite pad seemed to give me the luster I am after but again, sloppy crooked lines is the result whether i finish with paper or pad. There has to be a better way then just doing it by hand which is clearly never going to give me the results I desire, does anyone use a jig or know how to make one?


Well-Known Member
Do a search. Ed, a former member had a lot of good advise and recommendations on how to go about it. Plus it had lots of photos.


Well-Known Member
Dr, Lucie told me years ago to use one of those 3M rubber sanding blocks. That lets you get way up in the plunge area with no prob. The trick is to pull straight. a simple "jig" would be something that is straight that lets you guide the block up against it. If you are making a straight back knife, you use the straight back. Otherwise, Maybe use the edge of whatever the knife is strapped to. what can you use as a guide? Maye your finger as it hangs off the edge of the rubber block? ;)


Well-Known Member
Ed Caffrey, suggested,, Klingspor Sandflex sanding blocks. Different grits. Leaves a nice polished satin finish. I know hes got a video on them just can't find it. Maybe on his webb site
Last edited:


Active Member
  1. Final passes on each grit, just pull towards you for full length of blade then place back at plunge and repeat, no "pull/push"
  2. Sand up to 600 grit with good quality paper on a hard back block, then repeat at 600 with a leather or hard felt covered block
  3. Finish with fine or extrafine scotchbright pad, pull strokes only on a hard back block

J. Hoffman

Dealer - Purveyor
I'm going to have a hard time explaining this, but when you start your pull, don't put your sanding backer flat on the blade. Put the edge of the sanding backer into the plunge cut, as if the blade were your sharpening stone and you wanted to sharpen the edge of the backer. This makes it so only a very small portion of sandpaper is on the blade. As you draw the backer across the blade, tip the backer down so the entire portion of the backer is on the blade. This will prevent j-hook marks on your blade. I hope that made sense.


Well-Known Member
I did a seminar with J. Neilson a number of years ago and he suggested using Windex on the blade to hand sand.
I have been using it for years and it works great, seems to eliminates the little "fish hooks" when you reverse and sand the other way.


Well-Known Member
Maybe 8 or 9 years ago at Blade, I was talking with Burt Foster about hand rubbed finishes. He handed me a blade with no coating, parkerising, etc that had his "working" finish and asked me to guess the girt. I said 600, and IIRC he said no, it was 320. It looked GREAT. He told me that you could get away with a low as 220 as long as everything was straight and clean. i am still trying to remember what I heard years ago about how fine a finish has to be for a process like rust blueing to "wash away" the scratch pattern. My recollection is that it was like 400, but that would be for a medium carbon steel like 4140.