Marking Knife on the Cheap





Introduction: Marking Knife on the Cheap

I have been slowly getting into woodworking and decided I would start with a few small project to build my skill.  So i looked in the normal places for projects and plans.  I subscribe to Chris Schwarz webpage and often receive his emails about the things he is working on.  One of his emails was about creating your own marking knife out of a drill bit. 

I decided this seemed easy enough and was a pretty good skill builder.  So with an old drill bit and some simple tools I set out to build a marking knife. A marking knife makes measuring and cutting wood cleaner and more accurate. So it will be a great addition to my growing inventory of tools. Enjoy

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

Drill or Drill Press
Dremel and assorted accessories
Draw Knife
Sand Paper
Some sort of finish

Some sort of wood
A spade bit

Step 2: Pick Your Poison

I had a few old spade drill bits laying around so I had a few to choose from. Also some choices to make. Did I want to attempt a single bevel of a double bevel. I opted for the single out of ease and a smaller bit to start with.

Step 3: Cut the Bit and Shape

I decided on a single bevel and picked an angle at random to cut the bevel. To cut the bevel I used the cutting wheel on my Dremel tool.  It wasn't to hard to get through the metal. I took my time to insure the metal did not get to hot. I was worried about effecting the blades ability to maintain a sharp edge. I then used the small sanding drum for my Dremel to sand the shard edge down.  I also used a stone wheel on my Dremel at the end, but I didn't get a photo of that.

Step 4: The Handle

I had purchased, a long time ago, some blood wood pen blanks.  I have a bunch of them, so i figured this would be a good handle to use. 

I marked the top of the wood with an X. I just ran a straight edge from one corner to the other.  Not perfect but it works.

Then I drilled a 9/32 hole into the wood. I went about 2 1/2" deep. I used a drill press, but honestly you could use a hand drill.

I then clamped the piece up in my bench mounted shave horse. Basically it is a horizontal vice. 

**If there is any interest in the vise I will make an instructable on it.

Once clamped in place I used my draw knife to shave away material. I had not real plan, just started slicing away at it.

**A note about the draw knife- I got it at a flea market for dirt cheap. I paid like $5 for it or less. It had some nicks out of the blade, so i sharpened it up. It works like a dream. I love it.

I eventually got the desired shape and used the sanding drum on my Dremel to bevel the opening by the blade.

Step 5: Finishing the Knife

I decided to use an amber colored shellac for the finish and propped the piece up in a vice with a Styrofoam bowl to catch the run off (there wasn't any).

Once the finish hit the blood wood I was amazed at the color transformation. It turned out great.

I put two coats on it and fixed the blade inside with super glue. I was going to use epoxy, but didn't have any readily available and wasn't going to run to the store.  It was a snug fit anyways.

Thanks for viewing the instructable.  I hope you enjoyed it and it inspired you to design your own. I plan on making a couple more. I will most likely make the handle much thinner on the next one.  I am open to suggestions and any comments.


The Vise used in the instructable.



    • Spotless Contest

      Spotless Contest
    • Science of Cooking

      Science of Cooking
    • Microcontroller Contest

      Microcontroller Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    I'm now curious as to what this knife would be used for...I can see it being used for kolrosing/barkrosing, but that's obviously not what you made it it for marking where to cut?

    This is what a marking knife is for primerily sp?, to help mark your measurements on wood as to where to cut.... !

    But yes you are right it could be udes for other things as well...!

    You got it. It is used in place of a pencil. The line is thinner and more precise. Also if cut deep enough it can help the saw stay on the line. I am sure one could use it for many things though.

    Excellent project... Very Nice!!!

    I'm interested in how you made your vice, it looks like a fairly simple, yet effective, design. I hope you make an Instructable!

    All done. Not much to it. Enjoy

    I will work on that tonight. Should be up by tomorrow or the next day. Unless I get distracted. LOL

    I like this and will try it. One thing I have that most don't is a real good handle. We never cut out crape myrtles and they are 30-50 ft tall. The small sucker limbs make good handles for a variety of things. My woodworking hammer is an old landscape timber part with this type handle glued in.

    Very much enjoyed the article.

    broken files work good too