Fancy file-work along the spine of the blade, like that featured in this step-by from custom knifemaker Bruce Evans, is commonly applied after the steel has been heat-treated. Which means, I believe, that it can be applied just as well to a factory knife if, for instance, one wanted to customize it for oneself, or personalize it as a gift. The process produces impressive results with minimal tools; mostly what you need is patience, attention to detail, and a bit of practice to start.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Terry Kremin

    You needed to read the the first panel description better:

    I differentially heat treat the back edge is pretty well soft”

    So unless your knife also had the spine treated to be soft, (unlikely), you will be trying to sand and file hardened steel. Files are generally about an HRC (Hardness, Rockwell C scale) of 60. Guess what a hardened knife blade usually is? About HRC 60. So you will be trying to file a steal that is as hard as the file.