Hi Tourist,


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DeTerminator
June 15, 2008, 10:28 PM
And other tinkers!

I' m just wondering what your advice what be to those others that sharpen knives as to what stones or methods you would advise?

I'm sure that there are more advanced methods than the basic Spyderco Sharpmaker. My question is, where does one jump off from there?

I'm wondering about the waterstones and freestyling?

As a teenager, the Arkansas stone was the epitome of sharpness. As an oldtimer (50 y.o.), I would like to hear some opinions fron the pro's!

Thanks in advance!

Kerry

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The Tourist
June 15, 2008, 11:04 PM
sharpen knives...what stones...where does one jump off from there?

Not sure you'll like the answer.

Go to a library, and get books on knives, sharpening and metallurgy. Prepare to spend several years with dirty hands. Find beauty in things. Find your joy in creating, not destroying. Accumulate wealth for the day you give it away. Then put all of this into another man's hand.

And we who can, will curse you. Are you absolutely sure you want to be this?

RLsnow
June 16, 2008, 05:10 AM
You make it sound like the quest for the holy grail man xD

"None who take on this quest, can return unscathed"

bikerdoc
June 16, 2008, 07:54 AM
In many ways it is a quest, Just beginning to learn and find it very Zen like. Like Tourist said, read, study, practice and each day I learn more and get better.

hso
June 16, 2008, 11:00 AM
You make it sound like the quest for the holy grail man

Any craftsman strives for perfection. Whether the cabinet maker or the gardener or the bladesmith or sharpener. There is a perfection in the act of creating different from many other sorts of work.

If you talk to makers-of-things, folks that take a raw material and turn it into an object, they almost always talk about the nature of what they do and how learning to do it changes them as people and how doing it gives them a sense of peace and accomplishment. Athletes talk about it and people "hear" them, craftsmen talk about it and usually only other craftsmen hear them.

The Tourist
June 16, 2008, 11:55 AM
Even the idea of a "quest" isn't exactly right. On a quest, the journey is over when the object or task is completed. This craft has no end.

I listened to the youtube interview of the Japanese polisher, and I listened good.

He spent ten years with a master, fifteen years on his own, and in all that time he was satisfied only once. His "goal" in life is to approach the skill of his master.

I believe this to be true. Most artistic depictions of sword makers and polishers in art define them with "chin whiskers," the painters' idiom of an older man.

Having said that, did you ever try to teach a younger man any craft where "time" is an element of the process?

Like any other form of art--and yes, polishing weapons is an art (as I found)--you will find craftsmen who "get it," and you will find schlockmeisters who have a smattering of skill but focus more on your credit card.

As a boy, I may have dreamed of holding the CMoH. As a tinker in age, I'd like to be remembered as a husband with a craft.

A few days ago, the former neighbors of mine had to bury their 24 year old son. Being a small town, word quickly spread that it was a suicide. I rode my bicycle over to their new home to pay my respects yesterday, but found the driveway full of cars. I remembered that it was "Father's Day." What a crushing, hopeless day this must have been.

I might, in fact, be a good sharpener, but there are clearly more important aspects of life than a polished edge. What I do is nothing within a larger scope. And if I had to "teach" an apprentice, that is what I would teach before all else.

DeTerminator
June 16, 2008, 06:12 PM
Thanks to all that replied to my question.

I see a great deal of thought and insight went into the replies. Food for thought, most definitely.

Later,

Kerry

The Tourist
June 16, 2008, 07:22 PM
Kerry, join us, if you will. I believe that you'll find "the sharpening" to be the very surface.

I believe I've told the group about one of the KF tinkers that got his arm caught between a tow-strap and the underside of a car. They don't even know how badly hurt he really is, and if the damage is permanent.

Tinkers from all over the USA offered to do his work so he could bill his clients and support himself--they offered their services for free. His supplier, Ben Dale, sent him free supplies to make it through his lean times. When he used his neck knife to free himself, he lost the knife. The forum bought him a replacement.

Not bad for guys who rub stuff with a wet rock.

DeTerminator
June 16, 2008, 09:11 PM
Hi "T",

Thanks for your invite and kind words, not to mention your heart felt advice!

I keep checking the sharpness of my stubby, and I'm pretty well satisfied for now. The chisel end seems unbalanced, but certainly adequate.

I used a Sharpmaker on my Cold Steel neck knife Talon style, and it is extremely sharp! I don't know the steel, but it was very easy to get VERY sharp! I really like that knife!

I'm having trouble with my AJ Russel scalpel (ATS-34). I read that it's a very hard steel. It is certainly trying my sharpening skills (limited, for sure).

Most of my knives are pretty good, but I need to try to sharpen all of them with the Sharpmaker and try to understand more.

I looked at my AJ Russel scalpel with my Radio Shack Pocket Microscope, and I wasn't impressed with the edge. I have a long way to go...

Thanks again, Tourist, for your insight, experience, knowledge, and hospitality!

Kerry

Brian Dale
June 16, 2008, 10:50 PM
Tourist, your Post #2 just rings. With your permission, that's going into my Quotations file.

Then,

Even the idea of a "quest" isn't exactly right. On a quest, the journey is over when the object or task is completed. This craft has no end.

I'm hearing the terms, "a discipline" and "a practice," in the deeper senses of those terms.

I might, in fact, be a good sharpener, but there are clearly more important aspects of life than a polished edge. What I do is nothing within a larger scope. And if I had to "teach" an apprentice, that is what I would teach before all else.

That's how a Master behaves.

Yarr
June 17, 2008, 12:49 AM
I've been making, fixing, sharpening knifes for a number of years now. I put in my two cents by starting out a sharp knife is one that you could shave your whiskers smooth with. My style starts with a well oiled India stone, and by hand setting the angle with a the swirling motion alternating the sides every few seconds. To set the edge i use down strokes till i can feel all the burrs are bent to one side and then ever so lightly up strokes to take those off and finish the edge. To polish i use a leather glued to a wood backing and impregnated with polishing compound. in about two minutes i have my blades ranging from AUS-8 to D2 sharp enough to shave with.

I must add ive tried every easy way out of it but nothing works better than a skilled hand on a favorite stone.

JShirley
June 17, 2008, 12:56 AM
Welcome to THR. :)

John

JohnKSa
June 17, 2008, 02:06 AM
I love sharpening things...

Sometimes, when all the knives are sharp, I sharpen scissors. The little scissors on the Swiss Army knives are a real challenge.

sm
June 17, 2008, 04:14 AM
Yarr,

Welcome to THR.

Fella free hand sharpener myself.


So... what is the score around here on Free-Hand vs Doo-Dad ?

*stirs pot*

Brian Dale
June 17, 2008, 04:34 AM
Howdy, Yarr, and Welcome.

With 1 left hand + 1 right hand, I have enough brain space to watch the angle between 1 blade and 1 stone. Add a gadget to the mix and my concentration reacts like a house of cards when you drop an encyclopedia on it.

Freehand.

Yarr, I'm still working toward the "skilled" part. ;)

JohnKSa
June 18, 2008, 01:05 AM
Freehand. Here's a sample:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=80072&stc=1&d=1213767246
I've tried using a guide and it was a miserable failure...

But I'll probably try again because I like tinkering. :D

sm
June 18, 2008, 01:13 AM
JohnKSa,

Very nice!



I cannot get over how well you used a sharpie marker to color your blade.
I mean the shading and attention to texture is wonderful!

*runs-n-ducks*

sixgunner455
June 18, 2008, 01:14 AM
Free-hand. Gadgets do nothing for me.

Okiecruffler
June 18, 2008, 01:14 AM
It's like my father told me when I asked why he couldn't teach me to be as good a woodworker as he was. He just looked at me and said, "Snatch the pebble from my hand, Grasshopper."


Okay, he didn't say that, but wouldn't that have cool? He did say that he could teach me to cut, sand, fit and finish, but he couldn't teach me to "feel" the wood. Only I could teach myself to do that. I was 17 so I gave him one of these :rolleyes:. To which he replied, "and you're not ready to teach yourself anything yet."

That was 21 years ago and I can throw together a mean cabinet, table, jewlery box, tone drum, but to this day I don't know what he meant, and to this day I'm so far below his skill I wonder if we're related.

Rupestris
June 18, 2008, 01:16 AM
Very nice John. Is that a Convex edge?

I've yet to find a factory edge as clean as Spyderco but your edge looks like you might have trumped 'em.

Chris

JohnKSa
June 18, 2008, 01:53 AM
I cannot get over how well you used a sharpie marker to color your blade.Shhhh... Some of them are falling for it.Very nice John. Is that a Convex edge?Thanks!
When I originally set the edge geometry, I did it as a faceted edge (2 facet) with very little difference in the two facet angles. Then I polished it out to a convex edge, but there's really not much curve to it.

I've had the knife a long time and it's been sharpened more than a few times so I'm not sure how the factory edge compared to what's on it now in terms of sharpness. I can tell you that the current edge is definitely prettier. :D

Rupestris
June 18, 2008, 01:59 AM
When I originally set the edge geometry, I did it as a faceted edge (2 facet) with very little difference in the two facet angles. Then I polished it out to a convex edge, but there's really not much curve to it.


Thanks John.

The reason I ask is because of the slight dark edge at the tip. Otherwise it looks quite flat.

Could be the Camera/scanner. Either way, darn nice job! Pretty is an understatement.

JohnKSa
June 18, 2008, 02:16 AM
You're right, there's more curve at the tip because the blade is thicker there than it is through the rest of the edge. If I had used a guide, the polished edge would extend a lot farther up on the blade at the tip and the tip would be sharper. Because of the way my freehand technique works, there's not much difference in how far the polished edge comes up on the blade which means that the edge angle at the tip is less acute (less sharp). That hurts the cutting ability a little at the extreme tip but makes for a stronger tip and less metal ground off during sharpening.

Brian Dale
June 18, 2008, 03:24 AM
JohnKSa,

Wow! I need to keep practicing. That's a beautiful edge.

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