The basic model of the Vine Pattern file work

7 min


The basic model of the Vine Pattern work fileThe basic model of the Vine Pattern file work is probably one of the most common types of file work to be performed on the back of a knife, as is the S Pattern work file.

I have prepared a diagram and step-by-step steps so that with a little effort you can complete this scheme and move on to more complex file works.

file work Vine Pattern

What you need to do the “Vise” work file:

  • Round file about 5 mm in diameter
  • Needle file (semicircular or triangular)
  • A very fine knife file (this, is 0.16 mm)
  • A fine needle file (I use only the first few cm)
  • A cylindrical file with a diameter of 2 mm
  • A cylindrical file with a diameter of 3 mm
  • A needle file “knife” (this, I modified by removing the abrasive side part and bringing the wire to about 0.20 mm)
  • A “knife” to be used together with the lines of abrasive paper (easily obtained from an old standard hacksaw blade; with rounded wire of about 0.16/0.18 mm)
  • A metal rod with a diameter of 3 mm to be combined with strips of abrasive paper (preferably of softer metals than steel)
  • A vice to lock the knife (before hardening )
  • Permanent fine-tipped marker
  • A tip to trace the steel.
  • Metal ruler
  • The schema of the File Work “Vise”

Ps. If you want you could as an alternative to the indelible marker also use Prussian blue and trace with a tracking tip.

Of course the size of the files as well as the rods depend on the size of the file work you have to do.

The basic scheme of the File Work “Vine”

file work vine pattern

  1. Mark the pattern with the indelible marker both on the left and on the right. I used in this scheme a distance of 10 mm.
  2. With the file cut the semicircles on the left side at the sign.
  3. Cut the semicircles on the right side, any other sign. These are cut to the same depth as the left side, but the cuts will be moved forward by 5 mm.
  4. With the narrowest edge of a triangular or semicircular needle file, cut the ‘leaves’ about 2 mm above each large half turn.
  5. Repeat the drawing on the opposite side if you haven’t done so yet.
  6. Carefully shape the undersides of the semicircles to smooth the screw and make the design harmonious.


And now here is the execution of the file work vine example:

I made this example very quickly to make some sample images using aluminum training knives. Some passages I have described as text without performing them but they are easy to understand by reading the text.

I will give you a detailed sequence in a new post but in this case it is to explain the S patterns and the Vine pattern.

  • Fix the knife in a vice and wipe the back with sandpaper.
  • Take the pattern and make a mark every 10 mm along the back of the knife.
  • You decide whether to use the fine-tipped indelible marker or Prussian blue to draw with a tip.
  • The first thing you need to do, is to delimit / define, the area where you want to do the file work
  • It is a good rule to cover with adhesive tape all the part of the blade that is not affected because it is easy, working with the strips of abrasive canvas to touch the blade in a place that you do not want.
  • Take into account the thickness of the blade (in this case it is 5 mm) and calculate a total length that must be a multiple of 5.
  • Mark the area, start with cleaning with abrasive paper the portion of the back (I did not do it in the example image) and bring the back to a sufficiently glossy grain example of 600 grain to see more easily where I mark with the marker or tip to trace.
  • Having a sharp back also serves after when filing where you go wrong and by how much.
  • Mark 5 mm along the entire length of the affected area.
  • Now with the fine files mark trying to stay inside the marks made with the marker or the tip to be traced.
  • Dig the marks well to make us rest the tip of the round needle lime.
  • When the tip of the round file has taken enough support, it affects the previous signs with a minimum of safety, at this point without stopping (it is important) rotate the wrist and transform the excavation from straight to inclined as from the schemes seen previously.
  • Now, you can get into the grooves with the cylindrical 2 or 3 mm file and stretch them a little.
  • Now, stretch them almost to touch the edge of the flat area of the blade or in any case until you reach the line you have drawn along the centerline and the plate of the knife (this depends on the design you are making and your personal taste.
  • With the 3 mm cylindrical file, they stretch until they go a little beyond the flat area the round grooves but important, you only have to do the outward (or return) movement working on the wrist, this is important not to do “round trip” as is usually done with a file because you do not get a regular and clean mark.
  • Now perform (if you wish or the drawing requires it as in this case) the cuts for all or almost, the desired length with the file that cuts only on the wire.
  • Now, I finish the cuts with 600 abrasive paper and the blade of a small knife.
  • Perform the same thing for round channels with 3 mm or 5 mm metal rod depending on the size of the channel you have performed.
  • The finished work file on the blade before hardening is 600 grain
  • After hardening the file work is finished with abrasive papers from 800-1200-1500, it depends on the blade and the finish you want to achieve.
  • The file work is practically finished it only lacks the final polishing when the blade is finished and ready to mount the handle.

The basic model of the Vine Pattern file work

The basic model of the Vine Pattern file work

The basic model of the Vine Pattern file work

  • It also marks part of a circle alternating left and right on each mark and also the centerline on the back of the knife and the depth on the plate of the blade to have a sign of the depth. (in the example I did not do these tracing operations)

The basic model of the Vine Pattern file work

  • Now let’s create “the arches” and “the leaves”.
  • Now with the file round and strokes down that hold the file at an angle as shown.
  • Keep the angle consistent and file until the curve is about half the thickness of the back of the knife.
  • If it helps you as I told you also trace the centerline on the back as well as the depth on the plate of the blade on both sides!

It is never time wasted to trace the knife well.

  • Repeat the operation to create “arcs” or circles on the right and left side.
  • You should end up with something like this now.
The basic model of the Vine Pattern file work
  • Now you need to do with semicircular needle or triangle file and make leaf cuts.
  • The leaves are about 2.5 mm to 3.2 mm above the large semicirculars.

The basic model of the Vine Pattern file work

  • The file shots you have to do them precise and with this double inclination at 45 ° downwards and tilted forward by 45 °.
  • The leaves have a double inclination.
The basic model of the Vine Pattern file work
  • Now you can perform additional shaping to round the edges and give a rounder and more even screw effect.

file work knife

Fill the work file

A further enrichment or embellishment of the blade with the file work is the filling that is performed when the file work runs along the handle.

Some makers prefer the natural file work and other makers the filled file work.

It goes to tastes and depends on the knife but in some cases it is the customer who asks for his personal taste.

Surely it is one more possibility to embellish the knife with an aesthetic pattern and colors.

I would also like to add that if you leave the openings, cracks, cracks or microscopic hiding places on an exposure knife there are no problems but if it is a knife that you use for hygienic reasons it is not good.

Also for this we use fillings.

If you use filling be sure to go beyond the thread of the back of the knife with colored epoxy resin.

What to use to fill the work file

If you want to keep the surfaces smooth and clean, I suggest you fill the hollow parts of the file work with a high-performance epoxy resin such as:

The basic model of the Vine Pattern file work

These resins are waterproof and resistant to the percussive forces that occur during the use of the knife such as cutting or beating and without forgetting the potential accidental falls.

The basic model of the Vine Pattern file work

Attention! Do not use substandard resins!

Always prepare the steel surfaces to pour the epoxy resin by cleaning them with delicate
abrasive paper
(sandpaper 220) and perform immediately after passing the paper a cleaning with chemical solvents to degrease with acetone or methanol.



The file work is one of the processes that I really like even if it is not something for all types of knife because it must be distinguished the functional file work to improve the grip or the aesthetic file work that is more an artistic expression ..

Consider that the patterns, shape and distances are to your taste but at least the first few times you follow a pattern.

At the beginning I tried to understand well and do faster on soft materials such as aluminum and then with the sander I removed and tried again.

This is my way of doing a certain type of file work but this technique is one of those applicable on knives but if you know other methods write it in the comments.

Are you experience?


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Andrea F

Maker and Enthusiast of Knifemaking. Other: Engineer / Professional Blogger / Bass Player / Instructor of Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms. Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport! State Of Love And Trust!


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