Here I will try to explain how I do the "Vine Filework"
I do my filework after I have heat treated and after I have hand rubbed the blade,since I differentialy heat treat the back edge is preatty well soft.If you are using stainless you will have to do this before you heat treat.I use a round and three corner file.
First mark the area to be worked with marks every 1/4 inch,this is for a starting reference
Start with the round file and make round cuts straight but at an angle around 45 degrees to the blade.make these cuts between every other mark on one side of the blade then on the other side start on the next marks making a zig zag pattern
Now with th round file make each cut into a bigger half round and round out the corners to make the vine
Take the triangle file and at the high points of the rouns start a cut with the file almost flat and cut the corner in and back making the thorns.You can sort of round this cut and less pressure on the file as you round back to a point
Now take the three corner file and round out te sharp corner at the top of the thorn cut so the vine flows gracefully again
Using sandpaper wrapped around the files leather or whatever you think will work,start smoothing out all the file marks and round all edges.at this point when the hand rubbing is done some people like to boff this area and then come back and hand rub a satin finish to the high spots leaving a mirror in the shallows,others have used black laquer or gun blueing and clean the higs back to a satin leaving the low's black
Here is the blade done before it got its final finish and then after the knife was completed
Doing filework is not really that hard.with a little practice on some scrap pieces of metal you can be doing some flework on a blade in a day or so.Remember a pattern doesnt always have to be perfectly cemetrical in fact sometimes it looks bettewhen it not.Filework is only limited to your imagination and can be as simple as just a few cuts and really elaborate with many different cuts to make a design.if ypu have a idea and are not sure how you would do it or how it would look,just draw the back edge of a knife and draw different type cuts to make the pattern you are wanting,you can do this when you see on another knife and you want to recreate it.Just have fun with it and dont be afraid to try something on a piece of scrap and see how it looks......Bruce
I would like to give thanks to Joe Keesler for doing a demo at Batsons symposium a few years ago were I learned how to do part of his tecnique on doing the vine filework.His is allot more elaborate than mine..But this does look good.