Some of these tips are from my own knowledge and experience, and others are gleaned from others advice.
#1 - WD-40 and rain are like oil and water.
Back before I had a building, I once left my dads angle grinder in the rain, before I tried to use it again, I dried it well, and sprayed the whole thing with WD-40. I believe that if I hadn't used the WD-40 to drive out the rain water, it wouldn't have worked any longer. But, a year later, it's still working fine.
#2 - Oil your clamps.
When you're clamping scales to a full tang knife, epoxy can easily get on your clamps and make it very difficult to remove them. I've found that a coating of oil like WD-40 or cutting oil can keep it from sticking to the clamp, then it should pop right off.
#3 - Before you make a knife from the old file...
Dull files can make nice sanding blocks, just wrap the sandpaper aroudn it, and start sanding. Then, eventually you can make a knife out of it when you get that far.
#4- Chalking files
I haven't tried it yet, but I have been told that if you rub chalk (sidwalk chalk would be the cheapest) on your files, it helps keep the file from gathering filings in the teeth that then deeply scratch the blade.
Hi, I'm Stephen Stumbo, I'm 18 yrs old, and a self taught knifesmith/blacksmith. All through my childhood I've had affinity for blades, probably starting with my first pocket knife. At 12 I tried to grind a knife out of a sawzall blade, and was so proud of how it turned out. At 14 I convinced my dad to help me make a forge so I could try blacksmithing. After building the forge I had a rough time getting started, but after meeting a local blacksmith and getting some tips, I went at it. About a year into blacksmithing (2009) I decided to try my hand at making knives. I started out terribly, but I've slowly been progressing to where you see now. Take a look around, and let me know what you think, you can also find me on facebook to keep up with the goings on around the ole smithy.