How is life with a Razel?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by The Tourist, Aug 7, 2008.

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  1. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    Tourist, LoL
     
  2. JTW Jr.

    JTW Jr. Member

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    I still refuse to believe that the common freezer is going to do anything to make much of a difference. Even a true cryo has to be done at a certain point in the HT process to make a difference , and that is a special chamber to get the temps to -300 in controlled temp drops.

    Just as a true Cryo won't fix a poor HT , I can't believe a soak in the home freezer will do anything to a blade edge.

    Of all the knifemakers and HT guys I have talked to , all have agreed that placing a HT'd blade in your home freezer is not going to do anything to transform retained Austenite into Martensite , so I can't see how it would improve the edge.

    Just my opinion of course.

    Your edges do look impressive , you have way more patience than I have. :)
     
  3. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    I'm not sure that's it.

    For example, lots of times in a food recipe they might suggest placing the mixed ingredients in the refrigerator for twenty minutes before going further.

    You're not "cooking" the items, but it effects the work and the handling you may do later.

    And that's my take on this. I'm not doing anything to the alloy of the HT or defining a new cryo treatment. I'm making the edge cold for honing.

    Does it make the engagement of the stone to the steel "improved" in some way? Does it aid the overall make-up of a wetwaterstone on a frozen knife akin to a skater's iceskates on a rink?

    Heck, does the blade act like a coolant for the stone, not the process?

    Whatever is happening, I don't think the engineers are going to quantify my edges in terms of change of Rc or HT methods.

    They will cut themselves, however.
     
  4. Mongrel

    Mongrel Member

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    Believe it or not, this is where my head is at on the subject.

    It's a 'forest through the trees' issue.

    Put the microscope and Rockwell testers aside and just think 'cold' vs 'hot' (or room temp...).

    Hey Tourist-have you ever experimented with freezing the stones? NOT the wetstones (risk of cracking...?) but maybe ceramics? It would be interesting to see if there is any kind benefit.

    Anyway, like I said, it may not be making a difference on a molecular level but maybe we are looking too hard?
     
  5. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    Mongrel, good idea. I'll take a damaged stone and freeze it. See if it cracks.

    I don't think it will. Ben sends me stones in the dead of winter all of the time.
     
  6. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Emeritus

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    Second the freezing the stones question. (nope, it's not a pun) Wonder what a frozen stone and a frozen blade would generate.

    Could one advantage be that as you know you don't have long before the blade heats up, you take extra care when you sharpen? Sort of a psychological thing?
     
  7. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    Mr. Thompson, I use Japanese waterstones. As defined, they need water to cut.

    Now, I'm no genius, but ice is water. If it could stay as ice, we might have stumbled onto a newer concept.

    But first, I'd have to sharpen inside a butcher's freezer. I think the very act of rubbing the stone on the blade would generate enough friction to melt the bond of ice.

    As it is now, I re-freeze if my work requires a greater length of time on that specific operation. On high-end knives, I flip and re-freeze constantly--as I did on this Razel.

    That's another reason why it's an expensive procedure. Lots of hand work.
     
  8. wulfbyte

    wulfbyte Member

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    My "frozen" blade theory:
    1. It only works on a waterstone and only at a higher grade of polish.

    2. The cold blade coming into contact with the water lubrication medium sets up ice crystals in the liquid.

    3. The ice crystals in the water act to suspend more uniformly the abrasive particles lifted from the stone.

    Think of dirty snow or slush instead of muddy water.

    For this theory to work, it could only occur in a very specific set of circumstances; freezing the stone wouldn't do it because you would not have the generation of small ice crystals in the water in contact with the edge, but rather larger crystals on the edges of the water contact to the stone. The stone would not conduct heat as well, so the formation of micro crystals would take longer and they would not have a chance to suspend the abrasive particles before being melted again through friction.

    It also explains the difference in perceived action of steel on stone because the medium through which it is being worked is changed. In short, think of the cold of the blade being used to transform the water/stone abrasive medium, not the blade itself.

    Sorry to interject more noise into the signal, but I thought a different point of view might help.
     
  9. Mongrel

    Mongrel Member

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    I actually like wulfbyte's suspension theory...

    Ok...

    Let's get really weird for a moment...

    Has any tried to polish\sharpen a blade on ICE or with ICE?

    hmmm....
     
  10. Aka Zero

    Aka Zero Member

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    Ice would not have much if any abrasion by it self, (pure water anyway) but a mix of some kind of paste and water would make a very fine suspension.

    But I am just trying to steal all of tourists "magic secrets". I use some small diamond hones and can get anything shaving sharp. but past 1200 grit, I haven't explored more than a strop with some polish. And that gets knives to pass the hanging hair test.

    Want a razel, some water stones, and tourists knowledge.
     
  11. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    Don't be sorry, this debate is ongoing. Even the tinkers are at odds on the reasons--over even if the results are factual.

    The problem (I believe) is the infinite set of variables the sharpening of a knife has. The knife itself--it's alloy, the skill of the cutler, the HT, etc. Then there's the tinker, his skill, the materials, the time he invests, etc. On top of these variables is "ice."

    All I know is that I froze a Razel. Then I sharpened it. I sharpened it again. Then I polished it. Now it's almost too dangerous to touch.

    Why beat yourself up. You sound distraught. Why not simply gather a large wad of money and buy a knife from The Tourist. I know everyone will feel better...:D
     
  12. RogersPrecision

    RogersPrecision Member

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    I've been LITERALLY dreaming of a Tourist edge!
    Bought a new ceramic stone for my Lansky, 1000 grit.
    Been stroking the edge of my Al Mar a lot. 20 degree angle from the horizontal, 40 degrees included angle. Close to factory grind. 2nd shallowest angle on the Lansky, the first is 17 degrees.
    Created a wire edge with the 1000 grit stone, stropped it off using jeweler's rouge on cardboard.
    Ya.....it's sharp, will slice thin slivers of newsprint but.......
    it is not 'scary sharp'. I wouldn't want to shave my face with this edge.
    Hmmmmm.....should I send it to The Tourist? Would I be reluctant to use it afterwards?
    :)
     
  13. DeTerminator

    DeTerminator Member

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    Hi RogersPrecision,

    The Tourist sharpened my CRKT Stubby Razel after repairing it.

    I think that after seeing his work, it may gave you a goal to shoot for.

    You may be slightly reluctant to use it after that, only because you will be afraid to mar the shine and dull the edge.

    It took me a while to get over that mind-set. Right now, it's not as sharp as it was when I got it back. I touched it up a bit on my own after some useage. Nothing too aggressive, though. Once you've got The Tourist edge, it's easier too maintain an acceptable sharpness.

    Later,

    Kerry
     
  14. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    Oh, I would! What's a few twenty's every couple of weeks? You're just going to go back to work for some more money. Or buy food, or heat or some other luxury.

    Here's a parallel I always offer a new client. Imagine that you ran into the most beautiful blonde you ever saw. She worms her way into your heart, and before long, you've bought her a condo, a Turbo Carrera, clothes, jewelry, "plastic enhancements," and numerous trips to celebrity vacation havens.

    Got it pictured, right? Now, just as your adjusting to the cost, you find out her twin sister has just moved in and wants the same deal.

    Okay, got that pictured?

    Now for a just a few bucks more, I can be your sharpener...:D
     
  15. Aka Zero

    Aka Zero Member

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    So, I threw my crkt m21 into the freezer the other day for quite a few hours (prolly 10). Took it out, did some light work with a 1200grit diamond stone that's lost most of its diamond (kinda of like a burnishing steel now) Watch the edge really close, and the water that melted from friction was re-freezing. So that might have something to do with the polishing aspect.

    Stropped on some jewelry polish coated leather. And... I have a kinda mirror finish, still have machining marks, but the finnish is much nicer than before. So.. water/ ice, or the cold blade helps something. Will post pics of the edge sometime, I have to find my card reader.

    Still want to send a knife to Tourist for the full treatment.
     
  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    It may be that the Rc of the edge goes up until the knife warms back towards room temp. That might slow sharpening/polishing, but make for the perceived improvement. Having the Rc on certain steels change in sub-Arctic/Arctic temps has been observed and it may be taking place in this instance.

    Now I have something else to research, like I don't have enough to do already.:rolleyes:

    ;)
     
  17. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    I'm coming around to the idea that it's the relationship of the stone to the frozen condition of the knife.

    I don't use aggressive stones or diamonds. My stones are very fine and soaking wet.

    After the shaping is done, I don't even use a stone of medium grit. And I re-freeze often.

    Once a burr has formed and the knife is sharp in the traditioanl sense, that's when I start to buff--but I use papers, paste and a 3x9-inch Japanese stone of 12,000 grit.

    When I got into this method of sharpening (a/k/a "Japanese sharpening") I realized I had to change my mind about a great many things.

    For example, sometimes it's hard to admit that perhaps your dad or uncle didn't have the faintest idea on what they were doing. They were sharpening as they were taught as boys. Sort of like bad habits being passed on from generation to generation.

    But as I opened up to new ideas I realized the evidence was right in front of me. An 800 year old Japanese katana, which might have seen combat (but that's now in debate), was sharper, prettier, and in better repair than a butchers' knife with half of the metal ground away in less than ten years.

    So I tried it. My edges were world's ahead of anything I had done before, even using waterstones as a newb.

    Also, I blend ideas by stealing from every one. I freeze knives like a Nordic cutler, but sharpen in a Japanese togi style.

    Try some things in your studies. Some of my fellow tinkers have buffed a knife with toothpaste.
     
  18. sm

    sm member

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    Warning:

    Toothpaste is abrasive.

    Do not use toothpaste on opals, pearls, sterling, some plastics or optics or other items.

    Decades ago, Ann Landers ( or one of them gals) wrote in their column about the "polishing" affects of toothpaste.

    There was a slew of items ruined, or seriously abraded.
    Family heirlooms, such as opals, mobe' , abaolone, mother of pearl, eyeglasses, opera glasses, gun scopes...

    Investigate and Verify.

    We got that Element Chart, and not everything on that chart gets along with everything else on that chart.

    i.e Chlorine is slick!
    Some folks used that to lubricate, and it will ruin metals and other things.
    Hence the reason some "lubes" on the market may really slick things up, and at the same time promote embrittlement and other metal problems, like corrosion.

    I guess it has been 25 years ago the "in thing" was using Bleach to strop kitchen knives.
    Idea being, kill germs and bacteria and the edge being "germ free" would be sharper.

    Nope. Didn't work that way at all...
     
  19. John G

    John G Member

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    Well, I finally got my Razel, the Pocket Stubby model. It's a neat little knife. I really like the feel of the micarta handle. I've already used it for some light woodcarving tasks, as well as the usual EDC stuff: letter opening, cutting cord, opening carboard boxes, cutting packing tape. Oh, and I used the chisel edge to scrape gunk from the kitchen counter (lest my girlfriend wonder how that dried brown polyurethane got on her white countertop.) That was really nice. So far, so good. I've actually put my other EDC knives (Case Sodbuster Jr., Case Serpentine Jack, Kershaw Scallion) on the shelf, in order to force myself to only use the Razel. :)

    My only gripe is the kydex sheath. I've never owned anything kydex before, and also have never carried a fixed blade in a pocket sheath. So it'll take some getting used to. Plus, that sheath takes up a lot of pocket. I realized this when I went for my keys and had to find a way around the hunk of square plastic on the back of the Razel's sheath.

    The quick solution is to move my keys, but I'm not sure I like this new knife moving in and occupying a whole pocket. A dedicated pocket for one knife? :scrutiny:
     
  20. OldCowHand

    OldCowHand Member

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    My theory on the freezer approach to sharpening is simply that cold metal is harder to bend than warm metal. Instead of bending away from the stone, the metal stays put and allows itself to be shaped to the desired perfect edge. Whether it's durable upon warming depends mostly on the shape that was imparted to it while it was cold -- I could envision taking advantage of the increased brittleness to create a thin razor edge that would bend like tinfoil at room temperature.
     
  21. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Member

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    FWIW, I just received a CRKT stubby razel and have had the ringed model for a while now. The ringed, while I really wanted it to be usable for everyday carry, is too big (for me). The stubby seems much better in that regard.

    The only problem so far is the sheath for the stubby is way too tight. While the clip holds pretty well, I find that the sheath often comes off while I'm removing the knife. If it doesn't loosen up on its own, I may try heating it and reforming it slightly. Then again, I may just get a leather sheath made.
     
  22. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    Factory sheaths are often crappy and nothing like you'd get from the Graham Bros. If you want to spend the $$$ I use redhillsheaths.com and Bruce makes the best stuff I've ever seen.

    TR, you want to get rid of the ringed one? Since it's used and nasty just send it my way and I'll take it. :)
     
  23. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Member

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    Valkman - Thanks for the offer, but I'm not done playing with this one yet. :)

    What I'd like is a stubby, but with a smaller ring. I've got what I normally refer to as "little girl hands", and the ring on the RR is overly large.
     
  24. 20nickels

    20nickels Member

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    TR,
    Do you prefer the squared off edge of the stubby over the curved/angled edges of the ringed in use? Or is it a non-issue? Personally I would think the 90 degree square would be more usefull and it's utilitarian looks, but maybe I'm nitpicking.
    Also +1 on whomever mentioned putting a ring on the stubby, I know the whole idea of stubby is to minimize bulk, but I would buy.
     
  25. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Member

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    20nickels - From a practical standpoint, at least from what I've done so far, it's kind of a non-issue. Frankly, I think that each is optimized for its size. The larger knife (ringed) has a bit of belly to the long portion of the blade. The stubby has a very straight edge.

    Until you mentioned it, I hadn't paid much attention, since I got them at least a month apart (the stubby was originally backordered). Looking at them side-by-side for the first time, I can see what you mean. However, when I've used them, I didn't even notice.

    FWIW, I'd say that the majority of my cutting has been with the "tip" (ie. the sharp bit where the two edges come together). After that, I use the "chisel" portion more often than the regular edge. Like Tourist mentioned at some point, I keep the bottom edge very sharp and the chisel edge not quite as much.
     
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