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odd sharpening materials

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Colt46, Dec 26, 2007.

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  1. Colt46

    Colt46 Member

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    When caught away from home and you don't have a proper stone what do you use to hone your blades?
    I just did a pretty credible job on my tactical folder using the top edge of my driver side window of my car.
    Anybody ever try this? I suppose anything harder than the steel in your blade could work.
     
  2. Dave P

    Dave P Member

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    bottom of coffee cup
     
  3. Nikdfish

    Nikdfish Member

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    If you've got the time, even cardboard works ...

    I've seen more than one inmate made shank that got its final "hone" via hours of stroping on brown box cardboard.

    That being said, I agree with Dave P that unglazed ceramic makes a good workable stand-in.

    Nick
     
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    frosted upper edge of car window

    ceramic electrical insulators

    disposable emory board
     
  5. SeanSw

    SeanSw Member

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    Leather belt, cinder block, skateboard grip tape, stainless steel tables (very handy when you can't find a sharpening steel in the kitchen)

    You can also fold a small playing card sized sheet of high grit sandpaper and keep it inside your wallet.
     
  6. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    We used black silicon carbide sandpaper to sharpen the trimming knives at an Upholstery plant I worked at.

    When refurbishing old pocket knives I polish away pitting using the SC paper in progressivly finer grades down to 1,000 grit, then finish up the polishing by stoppin on leather impregnated with white steel chalk polishing compound mixed with alcohol. By then the blade has taken on a razor edge, and a mirror finish.
     
  7. Hans Esker

    Hans Esker Member

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    Rocks, concrete curbs and floors, steel loading dock edge, uncut synthetic ruby, the back of a harder knife, wood with green chrome compound, stropping on copper to remove an excessively large burr. I reserve the right to add to this list if I remember any others
     
  8. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    When in the south central Wisconsin area, perhaps the use of a cell phone...
     
  9. conw

    conw Member

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    Good thread.

    I like the coffee cup and car window ideas, and I also like to use baking soda and cigar ash (seperately) on various surfaces to strop.

    sm wrote about stropping on the palm of your hand. I have been putting knives and such in the freezer before final stropping. Tourist can chime in, as I read it in his Razel thread, but I actually imagine that it stiffens the unwanted steel and makes it more brittle and easy to remove...maybe not but it seems to work.
     
  10. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    Leather works great for finishing an edge...many things can be used for getting a rough edge.
     
  11. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    Formica works well as a strop. I'll bet some of the solid surface counter tops may work as well but have not tried.
     
  12. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    Merciful heavens! Oh no, sharpening is vastly too complicated for a civilian! No, no, it reaquires years and years of debauchery, er, I mean, careful study, and self sacrifice...

    Actually, the study comes in knowing the steel, defining the repair or condition of the edge, and then picking out the correct wet rock.

    A magic marker helps. Smear the edge, make sure that whatever medium you are using keeps a constant and uniform engagement of your bevel. You must form a burr. When a burr forms on both sides, begin to polish. You can use the blue jeans are wearing, but always stroke dull spine first.

    Your femoral artery is in that thigh, and you don't want to find it...

    The hardest part of being a tinker is being a minstrel. You have to entertain the client while you're buffing the knife.
     
  13. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    So, do you play harmonica ala Bob Dylan or Paul Oschar while sharpening....maybe belt out some blues?

    well this side is dull
    that side dull too
    do as I say
    don't do as I do...

    gonna raise a burr
    on both sides
    strop it on my leg
    and polish it bright

    cause I'm a tinker
    oh, baby I'm a tinker
    I'm a tinkering biker man
    I'm gonna polish it for you

    *ala muddy waters*
     
  14. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    Wheelgunslinger, I do believe I'm getting a tad misty...
     
  15. conw

    conw Member

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    Oh, I was curious about the freezing part Tourist...
     
  16. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    Believe me, freezing is a debate we are having on KnifeForums.

    Several months ago the idea of freezing a problematic knife (one that won't sharpen or fails to stay sharp) was proffered to me by a Canadian tinker.

    On the knife I was sharpening at that moment, it worked.

    I froze a few more, and it seems to provide an enhanced edge, if I freeze the thing solid.

    In a week or so, you may want to correspond with waterhouse. He's the guy who won the auction knife, and his knife was frozen solid for many days.

    I figure it this way, I feel the same way about not wiping my chin my black T-shirts when I'm in a fancy-schmancy restaurant.

    "Hey, it wouldn't hurt."
     
  17. conw

    conw Member

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    Since steel does get brittle at colder temps (not sure how cold precisely) it would stand to reason that freezing could help shave unwanted burrs etc.
     
  18. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    That's my thinking. Since we never get down past 110 degrees below zero, there should be no long term damage to the HT parameters of the knife.
     
  19. Carl Levitian

    Carl Levitian member

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    When we first moved to Washington D.C. when I was a boy, we lived in a nieghborhood that had alot of old school Italians. We kids played in the alley in back of the apartments where there was a small playground. A swing set, jungle jim, a small area for a ball game. We knew when it was getting close to dinner time, as all the old Italian ladies would come out back, and strop thier kitchen knife on the back cement steps. I guess those ladies never knew they wern't getting the knives sharp because they didn't have some latest gizmo to sharpen with. Yet those old butcher knives sliced alot of meat, bread and vegtables in meal preparation.
     
  20. conw

    conw Member

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    Another finer point (so to speak) that I've lately realized is that past initial sharpening, less pressure is better...I maintain consistent contact, but when I'm sharpening and honing back and forth on my diamond/steel I really go pretty light.

    This sub-forum is getting to be a real storehouse of information.
     
  21. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    Sharpen on something abrasive, lots of good ideas above, hone on wood. I have a maple countertop that works great. If you do physical work for a living, a final strop on the palm of your hand, BEFORE a couple of beers.
     
  22. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Some steel gets brittle at colder temps, not all. The alloy determines whether the steel becomes "brittle" at what temperature.

    Absolute statements universally applied are almost always absolutely universally a bad idea in most places.;)
     
  23. John G

    John G Member

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    They say Ty Cobb used to sharpen his metal cleats on the dugout steps. If it was good enough for the Georgia Peach...
     
  24. conw

    conw Member

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    hso, I can't say I completely agree with you :)
     
  25. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Absolutes?

    NO way!

    That's totally wrong!

    Absolutes are always right.

    It's generalizations that are always wrong.

    :D
     
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