Friday, May 8, 2009

Making a Serrated Knife: A Chronicles' Project

© 2009 Albert A Rasch
Making a Serrated Knife

I've been baking bread regularly since I learned how from Miss Jamie at Borderland Adventures: Her Perspective.

I've figured out a few things. For instance, using "Bread Flour," instead of all purpose, makes for an airier loaf instead of Flour Masonry Units that can withstand seismic activity, and Class V hurricanes. You can mix in spices like paprika, rosemary, or garlic, between the two risings. The kids will ignore all entreaties for help until you open the oven door, at which time they magically appear ready to devour the fresh bread. I normally can fend them off with an ASP baton, but the Mrs says it's cheaper to let them eat the bread than the emergency room visits.

Fresh bread, ready for the butter!

The only problem I have had is that with all the edged devises in this house, there isn't a single serrated blade. Slicing fresh, warm from the oven bread isn't easy without serrations. Even a razor sharp blade will have trouble slicing through cleanly and without crushing your hard work.

I wasn't about to put up with that anymore. I went through the drawer and pulled out one of the long knives that really aren't used that often. It's a good German kitchen knife though the steel is a little soft for my tastes.

I took it down to the shop and carefully market out the lines for the serrations. I made them about an eighth of an inch apart.

Mark out the lines, I used 1/8th inch.

C-clamp the blade to a block of wood to elevate it from the work surface. Taking a good sharp triangular file, nick the blade at every mark so that the fine rattail file will have a place to start. Otherwise it will skid around leading to grossly inaccurate spacing of the teeth.

A few strokes with the rattail file on each was sufficient to create the serrations. You can use a chainsaw sharpening file. It has finer teeth and a smoother cut.

Use a sharpening stone to rub down the back of the blade, and lightly go down each gullet you formed. Do this several times until you remove the thin pieces of metal at each gullet. Alternatively, use a Dremel tool with a stone or Cratex point to grind and polish the gullets.

With some care you can get a pretty even set of teeth. With warm bread waiting, I was in a hurry, so I got them close enough to slice bread, and left it at that.

As you can see the serrated edge makes short work of the bread .

There we go, another job taken care of with the tools at hand.

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...


Anonymous said...

Sweet! That doesn't look to difficult to do.

Albert A Rasch said...


As I mentioned, the steel wasn't as hard as I would prefer for a knife. The file cut into it with a little effort. If the steel was hardened properly, then a Dremel tool would have been a necessity.

If my little project had not have worked, I was prepared to boil a hacksaw blade and wrap tape around it as handle!


The Suburban Bushwacker said...

And I thought i was obsessive, i only sharpen bread knives.


flea said...

Wow that is fantastic work there Albert.

I had no idea how easy a project like this could "look" other words I think my mileage may vary :)

Gun Slinger said...


Is there anything you can't do, invent, or modify? LOL!

Shoot Straight,
Reviewing the Reviews

knifecrafter said...

thankyou thankyou thankyou. i have been looking for something like this for a long while now. and your intelligence has finally got me where i need to be. now to gather my materials now my research us done