Next, I rough grind the blade bevels in. I like doing it this way as soft steel is a whole lot easier to grind than hard steel. Belts last longer this way. The key is, leave plenty of sacrificial material for regrinding later. Here I'm starting to grind. Notice you can see the layout lines.
Grinding a blade freehand is a lesson all in itself. I learned this when first starting out as a necessity. My first homemade grinder didn't have a work rest.
I will try and explain how I grind:
I grind with the edge of the knife facing upwards like in the picture. This knife will have a flat grind, so here I'm using the flat platen on the grinder. If hollowing grinding I use the contact wheel. With either method I visualize a center line on either the wheel or platen. While grinding I try to keep the edge of the blade on that center line. With this knife it's easy because of the straight edge. With a curved blade it gets harder. Just try and keep the edge on the center line. Move the handle of the knife up or down to keep the edge on center.
Another thing I worry about is thumb placement. Depending on where I'm concentrating on grinding will determine where I place my thumb. The placements are this:
1. Towards the edge of the blade.
2 Midsection of blade.
3. Towards the spind of the blade.
When I first start out grinding, I place my thumb in postion 1. I also start at a 45 degrees angle. This starts the grind right on the edge of the blade. Then I start dropping the angle to start raising the height of the grind. I do this by thumb placement in #2 postion. Then, to keep the edge from getting too thin, I place thumbs in #3 postion. This will further raise the height of the grind. I hope this makes some sort of sense. I have a hard time explaining what I mean.
Keep the blade cool while grinding even thought it's not tempered yet. Grinding puts lots of stresses in the steel and there is no need to compound the problem by getting the steel too hot.
A note about the plunge cut. I start grinding a little ahead of the plunge cut area. This way I can work the blade backwards to meet the layout line for the plunge cut. This is easier for me. You can clamp a guide on the blade and use that to file in your plunge cuts. Whatever works the best for you is how you should do it. Sometimes I will use a file to refine the plunge cuts. But, I just do it freehand.
Also, a plunge cut with a small radius is better than a 90 degree angle. A sharp 90 degree angle looks cool but it gives a stress point that is likely to break should the knife be used to pry with. I know you ain't supposed to pry with a knife, but when doing some chores like field dressing an animal or something you pry a lot of times and don't even realize it. A radius at the plunge cut will help keep it from snapping there.