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Mora 164 Hook Knife Rehabilitation #2: How I Improved it

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Blog entry by HokieKen posted 01-08-2020 03:40 PM 659 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Mora 164 Hook Knife - Why it Needs Help Part 2 of Mora 164 Hook Knife Rehabilitation series no next part

I say improved vs. fixed because I think there are still some refinements that will help this knife work better but for what little I did, the improvement in function is remarkable.

As a short recap from the previous post, the issues that I suspect to be the cause of the poor performance of this knife are:
  • The blade is too bulky
  • There are too many facets to the blade with a cutting bevel that is too short and steep
  • The back of the blade is blunt with sharp edges
  • The blade terminates in a very sharp point at the end of the taper.

So to start with, here is what I had:

First thing I did was to dye my blade up with layout fluid so I can see exactly where I’m removing metal and where I’m leaving it.

Next, with a 320 grit belt on my belt grinder, I begin lightly working the outside of the blade. My goal is to combine the cutting bevel and the bevel behind it into one continuous, convex shape to the back of the blade.

After a couple of light passes, the red dye shows me that I’m removing metal where I want to.

A few light passes is all it takes to get me where I want to go. There’s still a slight hollow in spots where the secondary bevel was but, for the most part, I have a continuous surface from the cutting edge all the way to the back of the blade.

This is where I stop with the belt grinder. I find a piece of scrap Jatoba that has one side rounded that is a damn close fit to inside radius of the hook. I pulled a piece of 1000 grit wet/dry paper around the profile and tacked it with a couple of staples. I used it to work the inside of the blade to make sure it is flat.

Then I used the flat sides of the same stick to further refine the shape of the outside of the blade.

I switched the wet/dry paper to 2000 and repeated the process. After that, I rolled up a stiff piece of leather and put some polishing compound on it to work the inside of the blade.

Then I stropped the outside on a charged flat leather strop.

And this is no simple feat! This video from Pinewood Forge was a life saver and once you get the hang of it, it’s not bad at all ;-)

Finally, I end with this:

It’s kind of hard to see in the pictures but, I also rounded the sharp edges off on the back of the blade. Finally I rounded the stabby little tip off the end:

So, that’s my quick re-shape of this blade. I decided to take it for a test drive on a Pecan blank I had roughed out:

And WOW, what a difference 30 minutes of work made. I could never get a bowl hollowed that nicely or that easily, even in Basswood, before using this knife.

So, it’s a user at this point for sure. But knowing how much better it is now, I’ll go back and continue to refine the blade. It’s pretty smooth as-is but could definitely be polished out to a finer finish to help it glide through the wood better. But, I ain’t complaining :-) I’m happy with what I’ve got now so if I don’t ever touch it again other than to strop the edge it was well worth the effort!

Comments and questions welcomed!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!



19 comments so far

View Keebler1's profile

Keebler1

562 posts in 314 days


#1 posted 01-08-2020 05:14 PM

Nice job Kenny. I almost bit the bullet after your first blog post and bought a set of 3 tools off amazon. Think brand was sloyd but it said the hook was only for right handers and im left handed. One of these days ill get a set

View Andre's profile

Andre

3009 posts in 2413 days


#2 posted 01-08-2020 05:39 PM

I have a set from Narex which could use a little tuning:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

3427 posts in 2955 days


#3 posted 01-08-2020 06:33 PM

I was expecting that the red dye was to hide any blood spilled along the way.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4454 posts in 1189 days


#4 posted 01-08-2020 07:02 PM

Sounds like all good things to do to tune up that knife. Once I have a shop, I expect I’m going to be doing a lot of sharpening and stropping and grinding of edges, and these are useful things I need to remember until April.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12002 posts in 1745 days


#5 posted 01-08-2020 07:36 PM


I have a set from Narex which could use a little tuning:)

- Andre

I’m very curious about the performance of the Narex Andre. I’d love to see a blog post on it once you have a little time with it :-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12002 posts in 1745 days


#6 posted 01-08-2020 07:37 PM



Nice job Kenny. I almost bit the bullet after your first blog post and bought a set of 3 tools off amazon. Think brand was sloyd but it said the hook was only for right handers and im left handed. One of these days ill get a set

- Keebler1

LH vs RH is pretty subjective with these hook knives Keebler. In fact, not all makers even identify them the same way. I know Pfeil and Morakniv are opposite.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12002 posts in 1745 days


#7 posted 01-08-2020 07:41 PM



Sounds like all good things to do to tune up that knife. Once I have a shop, I expect I’m going to be doing a lot of sharpening and stropping and grinding of edges, and these are useful things I need to remember until April.

- Dave Polaschek

It’s really just a matter of streamlining the blade Dave. Slimming down the profile makes it move through the wood easier and at the same time drops the angle of the cutting edge a bit making it sharper. An additional benefit is that it makes it easier to hone/strop the edge because instead of trying to hold at the angle of the small primary bevel, you just have the one. If/when you get around to tuning your’s up, I’ll be curious if you come to the same conclusions or take a different tact.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3427 posts in 1427 days


#8 posted 01-08-2020 09:14 PM

Broke out in a sweat in sympathy… nice job though…


..... to dye my blade up with layout fluid so I can see exactly where I m removing metal….

- HokieKen

Lucky it was red and not woodgrain… wood have had trouble finding on workbench….
Nevertheless, denatured alcohol would have removed the dye quicker!

You though my last suggestion was expensive… just wait for this… Have you considered a Tormek (Love spending other peoples money)?

Not all the way (not the big daddy T-8), but their universal support/horizontal base jigs… (or a plagiarised shop-made version)...
Here I have adapted it to my grinder,

and can use any of my Tormek jigs for shaping on my grinder, and leave the honing for the Tormek.

Tormek has a jig for virtually any cutting/shaping tool in the workshop… maybe not a chain saw (though it’s not a common workshop item)...

(just stab in the dark).

Have posted this comment as there may be yourself (or other) unaware of the jig and may get ideas….
Freehand would definitely be quicker, however, with jigs the secret is repeatability.

I always keep saying… If you really try hard, you’ll find a more expensive and complicated way to do it!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12002 posts in 1745 days


#9 posted 01-08-2020 09:30 PM

As this was a one-time reshaping of the bevel, freehand was good enough LBD. Maintaining the edge can be done with stropping.

I have to say, in this particular case, you are actually suggesting a cheaper method ;-) Even though I built my 2×72 belt grinder from scratch, the price tag on that big boy is nothing to sneeze at. It’s more than earned its spot in my shop though. I wouldn’t be without it. Do you have one? If not, you need one ;-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3427 posts in 1427 days


#10 posted 01-08-2020 09:54 PM



.... Do you have one? If not, you need one ;-)
- HokieKen

Closest I have is this mini belt sander…

It has more dandruff on it from me walking past than self abused sawdust…

No idea why I haven’t got a belt grinder as I have duplicated functionality in most other things… also little room left on the kitchen bench.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

3938 posts in 1931 days


#11 posted 01-09-2020 01:51 AM

Nicely done Kenny. Repeated stroppings could refine the shape over time.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View woodcox's profile

woodcox

2386 posts in 2619 days


#12 posted 01-09-2020 02:35 AM

Great improvements there Kenny. Your grinder looks invaluable for this.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Brit's profile

Brit

7889 posts in 3449 days


#13 posted 01-10-2020 09:45 PM

Great job Kenny!

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Andre's profile

Andre

3009 posts in 2413 days


#14 posted 01-11-2020 03:04 AM

LOL! Doubt I will ever do a review, bought them for a project which for which they were not used.
I played with them a little today and other than the handles being slightly large they cut very nicely.
Attaching some pic’s, guards and a quick honing stick to maintain edge, might modify and put a little
cowhide on?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12002 posts in 1745 days


#15 posted 01-11-2020 03:19 AM

Very nice Andre :-) Do the blades look more like the before or after pics of the Mora? In other words, is it one nice surface or a couple of well defined bevels?

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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