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Can sharpening become trendy?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by hso, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    When I was about 10, my dad took all of our kitchen knives to the guy who had also done the local hospital's honing. Think scalpels. We went through a lot of Band-aids over the next couple of weeks.

    In other news, I just picked up the Gatco 4-diamond sharpening system off of eBay for about half of what it would cost new. I've had my eye on those for a while. Next up: Convincing Mrs. McGee that I need a WorkSharp power sharpener.
     
  2. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Gatco and Lansky are excellent tools.
     
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  3. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I suppose it’s absolute heresy, but I use the Vee ceramic crock sticks. Takes just a few seconds to a minute and gets them shaving sharp.

    To me, sharpening a knife is kinda like going to the bathroom. Something I gotta do, but I’m not going to make it last any longer than necessary
     
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  4. Blade First

    Blade First Member

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    I miss him, too...a man with a wealth of knowledge and a heart of gold. Use his method of testing the edge of a knife by slicing Kroger register tape. If your blade is sharp enough to slice that thin tape without tearing it, it is exceedingly sharp, but the key to keep it sharp is stropping it after sharpening it.

    I use a dual-sided paddle with coarse and polished leather panels. Sometimes a little polishing compound on the coarse side to help remove tiny, microscopic burrs helps produce an edge which is near perfect when stropped on the polished leather panel. Not only passes the register tape test but the blade-on-thumbnail test with flying colors.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2019
  5. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    For those of you without a leather strop, you can substitute a piece of corrugated cardboard or even the cardboard from the back of a tablet of paper. Clamp it to a flat surface and pull your knife edge over it to strop and polish the edge.

    Register tape is good, specifically the type used for heat printing.

    Kevin
     
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  6. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Even before that, we were sharpening stone against stone, i.e. the Aschulean hand axe.
     
  7. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    If you cannot hold a consistent angle, and most of the folks I know can't, any device that holds it for you will work, and serve you well.

    The Edge-Pro and Wicked edge are the top of the line IME, but the Lansky Crock Sticks or Spyderco Sharpmaker will get the job done as well.

    There are many tests for sharpness. A quick test that works well for me, is to try to "dry shave" facial hair. If the blade will dry shave my face without pulling too much, I consider it sharp enough for my use.
     
  8. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Every time the urge gets to strong and I sharpen the kitchen knives I have to make a big deal of it to SWMBO or there will be blood and questions!

    For some reason she always seems a little cautious around my favorite Old Hickory....

    We had a room mate at one point that dragged the old hickory through one of those crossed steel "Quick Sharpener" things and could not understand me setting a post in the back yard and piling sticks around the base. SWMBO stopped me before the Joan d'Arc re enactment.

    -kBob
     
  9. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    My Gatco system arrived today. I ordered from eBay and it came in an Amazon envelope. I'm still a little puzzled by this, but as far as I can tell, it's not used. It looks NIB. The gray box was contained in a clear plastic shell made to hang on display and even had a little foam insert in the box to stuff from rattling around. No indication (that I can see) that it's ever been used. As so often happens, my math was off when I posted the stuff above, but I got it for ~$40 (appx 2/3 of normal retail), so I'm not complaining!
     
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  10. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    I've gone full circle on this. I started out sharpening 40 years ago with 2 Arkansas stones, which I still have. I then switched to various jigs which worked but I concluded they were a consumerist trap to spend a dollar to fix a nickle problem. I am back to stones with 2 additions- a holder to hold the stones and a leather strop. May even venture into Japanese water stones to get a fine polish.
    With Youtube and such getting skills is easier than ever. 2 channels I have been watching lately are Virtuovice and Kyle Noseworthy
     
  11. Ole Joe Clark

    Ole Joe Clark Member

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    I use regular stones including a hard Arkansas and the back of a leather belt glued to a piece of maple plywood. I check the sharpness on a Stewart McDonald guitar supply catalog. It is similar to a telephone book and the paper is really thin.

    My Buck and Spyderco are pretty sharp.

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon
     
  12. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    I have set of Lansky rods, diamond, medium, and fine. They are my standard for touching up kitchen knives although I just touched up a few with the leather strop and it looks promising. The stones are needed for new or heavily worn knives.
    My strop was made from a $1 belt from a local thrift store. Green honing compound was purchased online.
     
  13. Boattale

    Boattale Member

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    I own and can use stones freehand. Spent a lot of otherwise empty hours making a Buck 110 purchased at the ship's exchange into a shaving instrument back in 1972 when I was riding around on the USS Mobile. Never lost the touch.

    I own and can use a Lansky to good effect.

    But these days - it's Chef's choice for me. Every knife comes out a razor in under a minute. Just too good, too fast and too easy.
     
  14. NMPOPS

    NMPOPS Member

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    My Dada taught me how to use an old double sided Carborundum stone when I was about 10.Since then I have use hard & soft Arkansas stones and now a Norton 6 inch diamond stone and a leather strop. I can put a shaving edge on any of my knives and I have never even considered buying one of those fancy and expensive sharpening "Systems".
     
  15. MTNSTRYDER

    MTNSTRYDER Member

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    I’m not that old I won’t be over 60 until next month,but I was taught that a good man kept a sharp knife and a clean gun “Sharp ment shaving sharp “I still try to pass that on
     
  16. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Yes, although I am probably not as fastidious with my guns as I once was; my knives on the other hand are sharp and I sharpen them when needed. That said sharpening things can become second nature. This weekend's project was finishing a block plane I made from scrap, the body was scraps of plywood glued together and the blade for the plane was cut out from an old plowshare. Cut off with a right angle grinder with a cut-off wheel, ground to shape on a bench grinder and small 1-inch belt sander and then finish honed on a stone. Far from perfect but for a block plane made from scrap I am very pleased. Sharpening is a skill that can become intuitive with enough practice. Grab some cheap blades and practice.

    tkW2dVel.jpg
    ck7mfaml.jpg
     
  17. 1976B.L.Johns.

    1976B.L.Johns. Member

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    COOL!
     
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  18. streak

    streak Member

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    I have the stropping bug really bad! Recently added a horse butt strop which is pure magic. This after some very basic freehand sharpening on a Norton India stone followed by a a Shapton pro 2k.
    I do however still envy some of the edges I have seen that have come off the Wicked Edge and some of the other high quality guided systems.

    strop6.jpg
     
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  19. 1976B.L.Johns.

    1976B.L.Johns. Member

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    Not a bad thing........

    Try diamond dust on your leather before your last strop on plain leather.
    Don't know why I am posting this, just a possible hint to a finer edge.........

    Don't ask me how I know........
     
  20. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Sharpening a knife to the point it slices your eyeballs just by looking at it is a fun academic exercise but usually has reached vastly diminishing returns a few stones before that 16000 grit water stone.

    Keeping an edge that sharp is time consuming at best and an utter waste of time at worst. Striving for some middle ground of edge sharpness, longevity and durability should be the ultimate goal. Different blade steels will help provide that ratio.
     
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  21. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I stop at 2000 grit then polish. With good steel, and the proper angle, it meets my definition of scary sharp.
     
  22. RA40

    RA40 Member

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    Sharpening by hand is a definite skill to learn. Something to be proud of in a time where hands-on skills are diminishing among the younger generation. The bad part is the inconsistency that can be seen between makers and ones self when it comes to the task. Was able to do it yet like shooting, this takes practice to drive into muscle memory. Doing them in succession it can be a bit numb. I liked the Lansky system that I did this. Is consistent and quick. A bit of stropping with some white polishing compound following.

    sharp4.jpg
     
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