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Sharpening

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by bikerdoc, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I learned to sharpen many years ago. I carry around two small stones, a 600, and a 1200. People are always asking me to sharpen thier knives.
    It is not a hard skill to learn, yet most people think it is hard.
    One trick I use is to polish the edge on card board smeared with a little mothers mag polish.
    Ya' all got any tricks to share?
     
  2. C.R.

    C.R. Member

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    Gotta have Good light ,and a steady place to work. The new diamond hones are nice,but a good old 2 sided stone works I made a strop out of an old leather tool belt ,i loaded up the back side with rouuge and it does a nice job . I think the hardest part is getting the same angle each time the blade crosses the stone, but thats a "feel" kind of thing if you do it a few times you start to feel,and hear the sounds the blade makes and adjust.
     
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  3. red rick

    red rick Member

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    I was better at sharping a knife when I was a teenager than I am now . Maybe it was different steel back then . My cousin and me use to sit in the floor and sharpen our knives while my Grandpa sharpened his . I can remember him spiting on the stone and moving the knife in a small circle . He also used a thick barbers leather strap sometimes .
     
  4. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    I use a Norton stone on my wife's kitchen knives and even though it's an oil stone I just use water and it doesn't load up. For knives I need to be fairly sharp I use wet/dry industrial sandpaper and a 2x4 that's been through a plainer so it's flat on two sides. 320-400 grit is fine for touch ups but I might use 600 or a leather strop and rouge to make the edge pretty on a pocket knife. 180-220 is as coarse as I need to set a bevel and that or a mill file is about all I'd use on garden tools and such.
     
  5. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    I have two distinct sets of stones - oil stones (both natural and Carborundum) for the shop and serious work where you need to reach a specific level of sharpness (not just for knives - but also chisels and other edged items) and water stones for kitchen and my boat. My "water stones" are simple carborundum stones with two sides that have never been exposed to oil of any kind.... They're meant for cutting fish and other food items where you don't want any possible oil or solvent contamination. Years ago when I started working on charter boats I learned to use the water stones for fish that were intended for the table (or restaurant, since we sold all of the catch our customers left behind).

    Both kinds suit me - but I do wish for a Wicked Edge....
     
  6. red rick

    red rick Member

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    I have the Wicked Edge and it still takes me a long time to sharpen a knife . For the price I think the Lansky is the way to go , I have both .
     
  7. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I use a lansky to reprofile or take out dings .
    I find a lot of abused, old orphan knives at yard sales and flea markets.
    The lansky gives the new life.
     
  8. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    I use 1000 and 6000 stones to thin out the blade, then retouch when needed with a pocket Smith's sharpener. If there's enough time, I'll give it a few passes on the strop. Good enough for a fairly smooth push cut on newspaper, but definitely not the sharpest I've ever seen.
     
  9. cdk8

    cdk8 Member

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    I'll sometimes use my belt to strop if I'm away from home.
     
  10. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Member

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    With me fast approaching the age of fifty, I decided it was time to start taking care of my knife edges myself. I became spoiled having a buddy who was a good, and cheap resources for this choir. I still have a long way to go but I am learning.

    My Bianchi belt gave out after only 15 years of holding my fat gut, but now is going to be used for stropping duty.
     

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  11. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    I use the same method that has been used for thousands of years. I pick up stones with different characteristics and adapt them based on the tool I need
    to sharpen. I cannot tell you about the grit or grain because I go by feel and also based on the metal, tool and general state but I can ge them to almost shaving
    status.
    There is one river bed where I fish trout that is very rich in all sort of stones for different purposes. One needs to be patient but eventually mother nature
    provides. The below is on a row with a set of three that I bedded in the backyard and it has been serving me well for 35 years to sharpen axes, knifes and all kinds
    of tools.

    [​IMG]


    But the best part is the Quality Assurance testing in the seller.... lol

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  12. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    When i was a kid in NYC, the apartment building I lived in had the front steps made of solid slabs of fine textured bluestone. They worked just fine as a sharpening stone.
     
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  13. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I started sharpening about 55 years ago when I was 5 or 6 years old. My grandpa was a Swedish woodworker/cabinetmaker and I sat on his lap at his bench while he guided my hand and we sharpened his chisels and planer blades and his pipe smoke swirled around our heads. He gave me my first pocket knife when he thought I could take care of it. Every blade since then is kept sharp and lightly oiled.
    Old methods still work.
    I do have an old Spyderco sharpmaker that I will admit to using occasionally and I sometimes strop on a piece of leather or even an 800 grit wet/dry automotive abrasive paper. I once shaved my face with a Grandfors axe just to prove I could and win a $5 bet.
     
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  14. PowerG

    PowerG Member

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    Years ago a guy who did sand-blasting gave me a ceramic nozzle that came out of the blasting gun, he was replacing it, and told me these nozzles made good whetrocks. Boy he wasn't lying, it's pretty much all I use.
     
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  15. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Old timer here in N F W taught me to use the top edge of auto side window glass for a quick touch up.
    He also talked of using the unfinished bottom of a ceramic coffee cup.
     
  16. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Member

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    The Loves truck stop chain is carrying Schrade, and S&W brand knifes, yes I know they are made in China now, but so is my Kershaw / Emerson.

    I have been using my points to get a couple of models that have been missing from my collection for a while. The LB7 was my first adult knife, and needed to be returned to the collection, but tonight I broke down and bought the Old Timer stones so I can have a dedicated sharpening system for the truck.

    I managed to touch up all the knifes I have with me this tour with out to much trouble. 20161121_195851.jpg
     
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  17. cdk8

    cdk8 Member

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    That's awesome! If you don't mind my asking, how long did it take to develop these skills? How long does it take to find a stone that is a good candidate for sharpening larger tools? Most of my sharpening stuff does best with smaller fixed blades and folders...they struggle with axes and lawnmower blades.
     
  18. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    Thanks. There is no precise science becase it depends on the tools, metal and shape fo the things you want to sharpen.
    In my case I learned from my father and uncle who always like very sharp knifes and tools and simply use river stones and water.
    Then you have to try them. Look for the different shapes and textures and if you want a large one you might have to
    crack them or they might be already broken in a specific place so you just look for what type of tool or job they might be good.
    Initially you want some that have very fine grain and they are somewhat flat on one side. You can grind them a little later.
    Too much quartz is not good although a small one that is round could be great for quick resharpening and finishing in very hard blades.
    If found long round ones including one at the beach.
    Also when they are too coarse are not good for much but might be good for digging tools that get out of shape and develop rust and coarse
    edges. It is not really sharpening and more like grinding using a stone vs a tool with a grinding wheel.
    A way to condition them at first is to rub one against the other and add water although some folks might use a tool to
    cut the edge and flatten if needed and get there faster. I guess it depends on what mother nature provides. If you are patient you always find
    stones that seem like they were made for this on purpose.
    After years of use the stone will develop its natural curves like the one above. I just keep sharpening with a bit of water and make a nice
    lapping paste. Then I have a couple of small ones in the kitchen for the cooking and meat knifes.
     
  19. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    I learned to sharpen years ago from my Grandfather and my first sharpening venues were with a chopping/splitting axe.
    I learned a lot and today I have my favorite/ good ways.
    Normally, for knives, I use a bench mounted medium India followed by a Hard Arkansas.
    I do like however ,the Spyderco system to both sharpen and maintain blade edges.
     
  20. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Unless you live in Arkansas. The harder Arkansas stones are over 99% microcrystalline quartz. Of course, it would be a really long day of rubbing two stones together to get a large, flat surface. It's manageable to hand shape and flatten smaller stone files and pocket sharpeners, though.

    Here's a variation of the glass plate and SiC powder lapping method. What I do is just rub a SiC stone against my carborundum and/or hard ark stones to raise a slurry of SiC. Then use those surfaces for lapping, adding a mix of water, oil, and detergent when it gets too thick. This conserves the SIC stone from "melting away" into a pile of green goo, and it flattens your bench stone in the process. Getting some SIC sludge onto your river rocks should speed up the process quite a bit, and all you need is a small SIC stone/stick. The SiC particles are harder than most all natural sharpening stones, and the sludge will continue cutting for a long time... as opposed to the SiC stone, itself, which erodes away quite fast. I gather this is because the SiC crystals are highly brittle and fracture, easily (but fracture into sharp bits which continue to work).

    I found a piece of uncut Ark stone in my virtual backyard (eBay), and I have shaped a variety of small deburring/polishing tools from it (this when I found out if you aren't using SiC or diamond, you are a masochist). After the initial profile is created, I rarely use a bench stone to maintain any of my sub 4" knives. Most often, I use a small sliver of hard or translucent ark, freehand.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
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  21. Ditchtiger

    Ditchtiger Member

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    Was going to be my post until I scrolled down and found someone else already knows.
     
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  22. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    20161201_001841.jpg
    Here's a pic of some of my stones. Nothing as beautifully barbaric as 1stMarine's manly hunk of rock.:thumbup: Many of these were made from the little chips that fell off the rock when sawing/chiseling off bigger pieces. The little half-moon shaped rock on the right, for example, just popped out of the rock on its own, an inch away from where I was sawing. It was a preexisting stress fracture that I noticed, previously. I ground and lapped the bottom and side flat, but I just smoothed over the curved surface that naturally fell off the rock. And the little chisel shaped rock below that was a small fragment I extended by mating it to a scrap of wood with JB weld.

    Most of these little rocks live at my crafting bench for shaping and deburring of machine parts. But I can repair and sharpen any of my pocket knives or small wood working tools in a matter of seconds with any of these guys. Whenever I am carrying a pocket knife, it is often accompanied by one of the 3 little stones on the right. A short length of ceramic sharpening rod would probably serve just as well, but these are more fun. 20 years ago, it wouldn't have even entered my mind; rubbing two rocks together qualifies as fun for me, lately :)

    The Bic lighter is for size reference. But this being The High Road, I also included a "40SW Long" reload.

    BTW, 1stMarine. I did some of these before figuring out the SiC trick. The SiC cuts these stones about 10x faster compared to india stone or concrete patio. I had given up on a deep low spot on the bigger piece of Ark on the left. After learning the SiC sludge trick, I went back and lapped it out in 5 minutes. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  23. Erich

    Erich Member

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    A tungsten carbide ring (I got one to use as a "back up wedding ring" for when I'm doing chores and such) will do a fine job of honing/straightening an edge.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    wow... you guys know a lot! must have a phd in geology.
    I just go traditional by feeling and testing. Probably miss a lot good candidates and it takes longer.
    The good thing is once you find the right stones there is no need for more for a lifetime of sharpening.
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom guys.
     
  25. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    I finally finished turning my 3 lb chunk of rock into a bench stone. Holy moly, I am never going to do this again.

    How NOT to shape and lap very hard, uncut Arkansas stone:

    1. Buy a carbide grit hacksaw blade. Haha, this was a long shot, and it would probably work on soft ark. But unless you want this to be a year long project, I don't recommend it.

    2. Proceed to use a way undersized 4" tile cutting saw to shape it. This way you can cut only about 1" deep into the stone, at best. Then after cutting all the way around the rock, you can hammer wooden wedges all the way around the cut until the rock splits. Leaving huge quarter inch high protrusion in the center which will takes hours to nip away.

    3. Instead of buying the correct tool, chip away at the surface using tile cutting saw. Be sure to do this in your garage, so that when you're done, everything is covered with a layer of hazardous white dust.

    4. When you get it as close to even as possible, using your bare hands and the edge of the tile saw, begin hand lapping with SiC grit and your Norton coarse India way too soon.

    5. Give up when you realize that the 12 mil low spot is going to take 200 hours to reach, given the 18 square inch surface area.

    Light bulb finally went on. I turned my tile saw into a single tooth "rock jointer." Sheet of plywood. Cut slit. Put it on tile saw. Shim it until the top of the blade barely pokes out the top (at peak of its wobble). Run the rock back and forth over this. Works best if you don't stop with rock over the blade. Pass all the way across without stopping. Using this technique, I was able to reach the low spot in just 15 minutes, leaving a super even uneven surface, about 4 or 5 mils high/low points, and lapping took only a few hours. :)

    *Where I cut it, the stone has streaks bordering true hard white, but it's mostly slightly grey translucent. It's gonna be pretty aggressve until the surface burnishes in, but the edge it makes is already delicious.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
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