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gringobill

Knipshield Plough Gauge Blade

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At the recent show in Wichita Falls, I stopped by Terry Knipshield's booth ( he goes by "Knip" on this board) and checked out his wares, specifically his blades for Plough gauges. To begin with they are beautiful to look at, they are show pieces as well as being an exceptionally well made tool.

The thing screams "quality," when you look at it. I'm not sure what the wood in the handle is, cocobolo I think, but it is gorgeous. When it's mounted in a old Doxon plough gauge I have it's like a piece of art that I like having around just to look at!

I ended up buying one and he asked me to let him know how it worked after I had tried it for awhile. So here I am!

It works wonderfully, it came scary sharp and all I did/do was strop it a few licks, fit it in the plough gauge and start cutting. It is a terrific tool and will be around long after I'm gone.

He may be the only person out there that is building new blades for plough gauges. I've never seen a new plough gauge, Dixon in the UK may still make new ones but I don't recall seeing any. I have a couple of plough gauges, both pretty old and well used and this new blade is a real upgrade to one of them.

I prefer a plough gauge greatly over a draw gauge for cutting straps, particularly out of heavier leather, latigo or veg tan. I have much better luck getting a perfectly straight edge when cutting belt blanks off of a side of veg tan with a plough gauge.

A disclaimer, I have no affiliation with Terry other than being a very satisfied customer.

Bill

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Another satisfied customer here. I sent Terry a Dixon and later a Blanchard to have for patterns. He has the patterns for both on hand. I had the first prototype of the Dixon and it has yet to be need anything but a light stropping. He made a Blanchrd for me to try recently and just as good as the first Dixon he made me.

As far as new plough gauges, Dixon and Vergez-Blanchard still make them but it is great to have source of quality replacement blades through Terry Knipschield.

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Thank you both for the good reports! I really didn't know what the demand would be for these, but they looked cool, and I thought I'd give it a try. Glad to know they're working out. I suspect they'll hold up well with judicious stropping alone for a long time. Maybe they'll last long enough to become an antique! :)

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Let me add one more positive report:

I've got an old Dixon plough guage that I've never been able to use well. In part because the blade was shot and because I couldn't sharpen it worth a darn in the first place. :surrender:

I got one of Terry Knipshield's knives and after cleaning and a quick strop I tried it out. If fit like a glove in the guage. The first piece of test leather I used was rather spongy so it went off track a little but it was my error in how I pulled the strap thru. One adjustment later and everything cut like butter! I just got a couple of custom belt orders and JUST NOW used the guage to cut the straps out of some 9/10 oz sides. Totally, 100% satisfied. It cuts extremely well. I just hope I can

sharpen it up correctly when the time comes. In the meantime, a quick strop before cutting will do. Thanks again Knipper!

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I'm very happy its working for you! Yes, that edge should hold up for a long time just by stropping. As usual, I recommend the Brownell's 555 Black compound for that or for buffing on a wheel. Keep it as flat as possible while just making contact with the edge. Adjust the angle according to your preference, but too much edge into the wheel or on the strop rounds the edge over and though it still might cut, it won't glide through as effortlessly when you cut. That sweet spot has to be "discovered"...its nothing I can explain, but when you find it, you'll notice a big difference! When it comes time to hone it, try to keep that gradually tapered convex edge. Any shoulder from honing a flat bevel will tend to hang up and resist the cut...

Terry

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Let me add one more positive report:

I've got an old Dixon plough guage that I've never been able to use well. In part because the blade was shot and because I couldn't sharpen it worth a darn in the first place. :surrender:

I got one of Terry Knipshield's knives and after cleaning and a quick strop I tried it out. If fit like a glove in the guage. The first piece of test leather I used was rather spongy so it went off track a little but it was my error in how I pulled the strap thru. One adjustment later and everything cut like butter! I just got a couple of custom belt orders and JUST NOW used the guage to cut the straps out of some 9/10 oz sides. Totally, 100% satisfied. It cuts extremely well. I just hope I can

sharpen it up correctly when the time comes. In the meantime, a quick strop before cutting will do. Thanks again Knipper!

One tip I can offer to keep on track with either a plough gauge or draw gauge is this - "Don't watch the blade while you cut, watch the fence". The natural tendency is to watch the blade because that is where the action is at. Instead concentrate on the leather staying next to the guide. Once you do that, it becomes a lot easier and more consistant to cut straight straps. If the leather is staying next to the guide and the beam is secure, that blade is taking care of itself just fine, An old guy shared this with me and it made a night and day difference. Jusdt tension the strap and pull with the draw gauge or push with the plough.

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Thanks for the tips! getting more comfortable with the guage. I can see why Bruce once said 'you'd never use anything else again".

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