Basic Filework: S Pattern

The S filework is a fairly easy to accomplish pattern. With a little practice you can make it look great and it's a change from the ever-popular vine patterns we see daily.

You may want to know first that this cuts across the spine and therefor doesn't fill well with epoxy. I did a variation that did fill well for a knife shown below.

What you will need:
 - Ruler
 - Permanent marker, fine point
 - Round file, about 3/16" in diameter. Chainsaw file works good.
 - Triangular needle file
 - Vise

1). Mark the spine with the marker. Alternate left and right. I used 3/8" (10mm) spacing.

2). Cut ellipses (ovals) on the left side every other mark. Do this by holding the round file at 45° front and 45° side compound angle. See graphics below.

3). Flip the knife around in the vise and cut ovals on the opposite side, every other mark. The cuts must alternate.

4). With the needle file, cut the 'lines' half way between the ovals at a 45° angle. Also with the needle file, cut the first and last line.

5). With the needle file, smooth the line to face transitions.

Typically for cutting we place the file at 45° to the spine.

And 45° to the face.

  Filing down and forward


Here is what it looks like at Step 3, which I decided to stay with for this knife.


When attaching the scales, I make sure lots of extra epoxy flows into the filework. Then grind everything carefully back to the steel.
A finished knife with the simple filework on some 5/16" stock.

If I was to keep going, the pattern would look more like my practice piece I did on some 1/4" steel.


Unknown said...

Fantástico, sensacional mesmo, estou conhecendo agora esse seu canal e será ótimo pra mim. Estou iniciando na cutelaria, já fiz duas facas e tenho mais três a caminho e suas informações serão ótimas. Vejo muito os vídeos de Walter Sorrels também, me inspiro em vocês, parabéns e obrigado pelo rico material. Célio Humberto de Palmas, Tocantins, Brasil.

Unknown said...

Nice when you assembly the knife do you let the epoxy or resin or whatever you use seep out of the gaps in the pattern or clean it? I can't really tell from the photo

D. Comeau said...

Yes, when I attach the scales with pins and epoxy, I make sure lots of extra epoxy goes into the grooves of the filework. Then, when the epoxy is hard, I sand it back to the steel. This way everything is smooth.


Unknown said...

Looks great! I plan on trying some file work with my next knife. For the epoxy I was thinking of adding black dye to increase the contrast, thoughts? also what type of epoxy do you use? I dont generally have epoxy showing on my knives, any worries that the epxoy wont buff up to a shine?

I see this has been up for some time, I appreciate you showing how its done!