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Process - rocks, paper, scissors - um, no... strops

Discussion in 'Knives' started by daveyburt, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. daveyburt

    daveyburt NES Member

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    Just got a Condor Golok that was 80 grit belt sander sharp - and that got me onto a sharpening kick.
    So, for the scope of discussion...

    Let's say your intent is to go from 80 grit belt sander sharp to a fine woodsman's edge on a carbon steel knife bladed tool; be it a small fixed blade up to a machete.

    My process would include the following sharpening mediums - for better or worse.
    I guess files should have been in the subject line...

    Bastard file to quickly knock off the teeth
    Dual sided puck
    Wetsand paper (on a board or swath of leather)
    Water stones - splash type
    Strop(s)

    Hones are starting to get my attention to toss in the mix somewhere.

    ...I mean, abrasives are abrasives but, how you use them could qualify as an art.

    What would be your process in the above scenario?

    -For the record, I've got the machete slipping thru a post-it note along almost the whole edge....little more to go.
    Not bragging at all - it was hours of work, just indicating that I'm not asking for help on my little quest.

    Just wondering what tools you would use, and how you would apply your 'art'.

    ETA: NO POWER TOOLS
    :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018

  2. Golddiggie

    Golddiggie NES Member

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    For edges that have been beaten to hell, with rolls or major chunks out of them, I'd go to the 72" belt sander first off. I'd probably start at 100 grit and progress through to at least 800 grit. Probably about 10 minutes for that machete you've got to get to the same level of sharp.

    For kitchen blades, I tend to use the Lansky 5 stone kit I have. Mostly because it gives me a more precise edge angle than anything else. But, I'd still clean up a F'd up blade the same as above.

    BTW, I've stropped blades on the buffing wheel that's on the other side of the belt sander to solid results. I need to get some new buffing wheels (10") since the one(s) I have has had multiple color rouge applied to it. I need to get more so that I can dedicate one per color (no cross contamination).
     
  3. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

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    You can go up to 6000 grit on the 2x72, if you want. Mirror finish.
     
  4. Golddiggie

    Golddiggie NES Member

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    I believe I have belts up to 1500 grit. After about 1000 I'd just go to the buffing wheel. Although I do plan to use the 1500 grit on a piece within the next few blades. Not sure if I'll get anything higher than that grit level.
     
  5. daveyburt

    daveyburt NES Member

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    ...Further specification - No power tools.
    :)
    Hand tools only.
     
  6. Golddiggie

    Golddiggie NES Member

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    Well that just takes all the fun out of it... Plus kills far too much time. We gotz no TIME for dat!!!
     
  7. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

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    Diamond hones are extremely fast. Good ones are stupid expensive, but you can get a cheap 200/300/400/600 four-sided block at Hazard Fraught for cheap.

    Unless you want to do more than touch up a random few knives, it will last long enough.
     
  8. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

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  9. daveyburt

    daveyburt NES Member

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    ...and some dont have the resources or space for a proper beltsander and plethora of belts.
     
  10. daveyburt

    daveyburt NES Member

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    so, to get more in tone with the essence of this thread....

    my 'scary sharp' method is 3M wetsand paper on either MDF board (for flat angles) and on a swat of leather (for convex).
    I drag the blade, rather than push, it over the abrasive. I find that pushing it wears out the abrasive too quickly - that also goes for 'swirling' as you would with a puck.

    This is how I got from the 80 grit edge I had, to a more fine edge (2000 grit) that was ready for the strop.
    In this case, I wrapped a piece of leather, with the rough side of the leather under the paper (paper taped on the back, smooth side of the leather), and worked up thru the grits.

    As I was attempting to change my 'flat' grind into being more convex, this is where I was thinking of inserting hones into the mix.

    I also wrapped a small piece of furring strip (pine) to make an abrasive 'stick' which allowed me to work the abrasive down along the edge, rather than perpendicular to the edge, to more quickly eliminate the 80 grit perpendicular 'teeth' that the blade came with.

    So, the intent here is to share hand sharpening methods without using a jig of sorts. (no spiderco sharpening rigs) - just your hand, a surface, and the abrasive.
     
  11. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

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    I found a stack of thick glass panes from jalousie windows, and used those as bases for scary sharp. That way I can switch them out quickly, and only have to change the paper as it wears out.
     
  12. CrossFaced

    CrossFaced

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    Do you just hold the knife with the scary sharp method? Or is there a sort of jig or bolder to use.

    I just can’t see holding the knife at a consistent angle this way. Of course I guess using stones there isn’t a consistent angle then either.
     
  13. daveyburt

    daveyburt NES Member

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    you could hold it or jig it.
    hand holding will tend to convex the edge a bit from variances in the human element.

    i found that, due to the blade thickness near the handle, and initial steep grind angle of my machete, a convex didn't work well in that area.
    I mounted some paper to a strip of pine and reworked that spot of that i had 'convexed', back to flat; which then transitions back to convex as the blade gets thinner along it's length.

    This machete is my most interesting sharpening effort so far. The metal thickness, and grind pitch differs as you move up the blade. This is by design, enabling the use if different blade areas for different purposes.
    As this blade design uses a lot straight blade shape, well up the length, it seemed that it would lend itself well to draw knife use. However, it's thickness and steep grind angle make it awkward to 'draw'. I may be in for a regrind to lessen the grind angle in that area, and try going back to convex...
    ...by hand
    lol
    we'll see.
     
  14. Stee

    Stee

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    I use leather strop with black compound from Bark River Knives. puts on a wicked edge
     
  15. daveyburt

    daveyburt NES Member

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    I think the Bark River black is 3000 grit. Their green is 6000 grit. I believe this is just the opposite of other manufacturers compounds.
    They've got a white that's 12k - which is ridiculous. I usually never go above green.
     
  16. enbloc

    enbloc NES Life Member NES Member

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    6000 grit is smoother than a cat's tongue...
     
    smokey-seven likes this.

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