Author Topic: Blade Sharpening  (Read 1587 times)

Offline patriot1952

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Blade Sharpening
« on: October 23, 2012, 06:17:21 PM »
I'm brand new here, so I hope I posted in the right place. One of Jack's recent shows talked about learning 13 new skills in 12 months. I think it's a pretty tall order to become proficient in that many skills in such a short time, but I love the basic concept.

At any rate, I am interested in learning the art of blade sharpening (knives, etc.). I have no idea where to start. Any suggestions about training, sharpening tools, etc. would be much appreciated.
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Offline KellyAnn

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 07:04:33 PM »
Personally I'd start with learning to sharpen the blades you use the most.  For me that's my pocket knife and a chef's knife for the kitchen.
The link below is to a video from TheModernSurvivalist (aka FerFal).  It's a quick and easy way to keep your knives super sharp.  It's the method I've been using for a while now, well at least since I saw the video.  It seems to work pretty well.  I don't think it'd work well for a big 8 inch chefs knife, but that does pretty well with just a honing steel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ0gwE552xE&list=UUrSf5GLpvQSpIpS5-zHc7Lg&index=97&feature=plcp

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 10:39:54 PM »
Ok, well I'm going to comment while I'm waiting for the video to load.  Sharpening your knife or other blades is a very good skill to learn.  For that reason, I'd suggest you learn correctly from the start.  Your blade's angle to the sharpening surface (consistently) is the largest determining factor in a sharp blade.  To do this effectively as a beginner, I'd suggest purchasing a "sharpening kit" along the lines of this:

http://www.egullet.com/imgs/egci/sharpen/sharpen6.jpg

This is much safer than other methods.  It allows you to put an edge at different degrees (e.g. 10, 15, 20, etc.).  Different angles are used for different blades.  For instance an axe might have a 35 degree edge, and a hobby knife might have a 10 degree edge.  This kind of a kit allows you to make the same angle with each pass of the stone.  It eliminates the "wavy edge" that some stones create.

Best of luck in your new hobby!
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Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 01:48:27 PM »
I suggest a two pronged approach. One is to use a kit as suggested above, basically a sharpening system with angle guides so that you can always return a blade to a baseline angle.  For learning I would not worry too much about getting the ultimate razor sharp edge, just a sharp serviceable edge you can achieve with a fine and extra-fine stone.

Ultimately though you need to practice sharpening freehand so you can do touch up blades in the field.  Once you learn to sharpen your knife freehand then you will find it easy to pick up sharpening other tools such as chisels, axes, and chainsaw chains.  The key is frequent practice and use.  Once you get into daily sharpening (use an inexpensive knife with decent carbon steel to learn on so you don't worry about blade wear) you will find that you can actually sharpen as well or better, and faster, doing it freehand than with a guide.  Your hand and eye develop a feel for exactly the correct angle.

If you get confused or lose the feel doing it freehand, then go back to restore the edge with the guide and practice some more freehand.  A simple honing block of any material is fine for learning.  I prefer the DMT diamond stones, but anything will do for the learning phase.

After you are confident you can sharpen your knives, then look into refining your stones or system.  You can use Arkansas stones, diamond, very fine sandpaper over a leather strop, grit on leather strop, etc. And you can then get a quality steel knife and not worry about wearing it out trying to sharpen it by trial and error.
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Offline patriot1952

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 05:21:14 PM »
Thanks for all the suggestions and info. I really appreciate it. Now at least I have a starting point.
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Offline thesurlygent

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 08:39:02 AM »
This is one of the skills I want to learn as part of the 13 in 13 idea.  Thanks for posting the question patriot1952 and the advice from everyone.  I was along the right lines in my plan was to start with a kit/system then as as i advanced move to freehand.  Can any one recommend any kits for starting out? Ive been looking at the Lansky system with the angle guides.

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 08:50:58 AM »
one quick tip... take a sharpie and use it to put a line on the edge you're trying to sharpen. If you're doing it right you'll "sharpen-off" the marker. If there's any marker left on the edge you know you've got the wrong angle.

Another tip... to get a good angle for your blade while sharpening, take one of those 1" black aligator paper clips and clip it on the back of your knife.  It gives you a really accurate angle and eventually you'll just get a feel for it and wont need the clip or anything other than a stone and some oil. 

Offline jgar

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 04:45:34 PM »
Definitely a skill I'm planning to acquire in 2013.

Offline Nate

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 06:01:33 AM »
Another tip... to get a good angle for your blade while sharpening, take one of those 1" black aligator paper clips and clip it on the back of your knife.  It gives you a really accurate angle and eventually you'll just get a feel for it and wont need the clip or anything other than a stone and some oil.

Duh!  Never thought of that one.  I have been sharpening knives freehand for 20 years.  Grandpa taught me long ago with my first SAK.  The clips remind me of my vintage Buck Honemaster.  I might have to try the clips sometime.
NATE

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Offline Moonvalleyprepper

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 12:52:24 PM »
one quick tip... take a sharpie and use it to put a line on the edge you're trying to sharpen. If you're doing it right you'll "sharpen-off" the marker. If there's any marker left on the edge you know you've got the wrong angle.

Another tip... to get a good angle for your blade while sharpening, take one of those 1" black aligator paper clips and clip it on the back of your knife.  It gives you a really accurate angle and eventually you'll just get a feel for it and wont need the clip or anything other than a stone and some oil.

Great tip!

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Offline ForgedPatriot

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2012, 10:48:55 AM »
one quick tip... take a sharpie and use it to put a line on the edge you're trying to sharpen. If you're doing it right you'll "sharpen-off" the marker. If there's any marker left on the edge you know you've got the wrong angle.

Another tip... to get a good angle for your blade while sharpening, take one of those 1" black aligator paper clips and clip it on the back of your knife.  It gives you a really accurate angle and eventually you'll just get a feel for it and wont need the clip or anything other than a stone and some oil.

Great advice. This is definitely one of the skills I need to brush up on.
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Offline caverdude

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2012, 06:49:25 PM »
Wood working tool catalogs often have multiple books on teaching the art of sharpening tools. And there are tools to help you flatten your wet stones back to a flat state.
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Offline tkrabec

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Re: Blade Sharpening
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2012, 08:22:02 AM »
Personally I'd start with learning to sharpen the blades you use the most.  For me that's my pocket knife and a chef's knife for the kitchen.
The link below is to a video from TheModernSurvivalist (aka FerFal).  It's a quick and easy way to keep your knives super sharp.  It's the method I've been using for a while now, well at least since I saw the video.  It seems to work pretty well.  I don't think it'd work well for a big 8 inch chefs knife, but that does pretty well with just a honing steel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ0gwE552xE&list=UUrSf5GLpvQSpIpS5-zHc7Lg&index=97&feature=plcp
I'm gonna try this method, it looks simple and cheap.
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