As a new knifemaker (right at 1 year experience), the biggest hurdle I
have been faced with aside from time is grinding bevels. I can generally
get them 'ok' but crisp grind lines seem to elude me most of the time.
I've tried various jigs and to be honest, my results were just not
stellar with them. Lots of fiddling to set them up and sometimes, bolts
would loosen up mid stream and so forth. I'd looked at the Berg/Northgard Tilt
before and wondered if that it would be like the other gadgets I
had bought and would find a nice spot to collect dust in my shop.
I eventually gave in and figured I'd give it a shot. The package
arrived quickly and appeared to be just a couple bolts to set up and so
I disregarded the instructions. After bolting it on to a spare tooling
arm, I used a section of a paint stirring stick to check my bevel
angle. The results were horrid. I then noticed that the table was not
aligned to my platen. It looked like I needed to bend the entire
assembly to the right to align it. So instead of grabbing a mallet, I
grabbed the instructions and found that this was easily remedied with
some adjustment bolts in the back of the table and I took 5 minutes to
align and level everything. Point here is read the instructions.
I then went back to another section of my stir stick and got my bevel
set. I dove right in on a blank to see how it worked. I used a rather
aggressive belt and it literally took minutes to finish the side. There
is very little learning curve to this table. I hesitate to call it a
'jig' because it's really not. I suppose the best way to describe it is
freehand bevels with training wheels. I got nice looking results with
crisp grind lines on my first time using the Berg Tilt Table
. It really
is as easy as he describes in the videos. Mark your center line with
some 'railroad tracks' and grind to the lines. That simple. With true
freehand grinding, when I worked right to left, I always struggled, but
actually left to right was easier for me using the TT
. That's not to
say that working left to right was difficult, but I had to be more
mindful of keeping the knife flat to the table as I was guiding with my
weak hand. Will make sense once you use it. I was able to get both
sides crisp, even and ground enough to heat treat in a fraction of the
time it would normally have taken me...and with no frustration or
The short of it is that this product is just as easy to use as
advertised and has found a permanent place of prominence in my shop
where it will be used often. Great product and great communication from
the seller makes this a winner in my book.
Check out our Knife making tools, huge assortment of topic specific how-to knife making videos, our Complete Online Guide Knife Making and our New Book Introduction to Knifemaking by Dan Berg and Jason Northgard.