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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 11-10-2005, 01:54 AM
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Brett Holmes Brett Holmes is offline
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Location: victoria, Australia
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i just cant sharpen to save myself.

i've made a vew knives now but none of them are sharp, its quite embarasing to tell someone that you made the knife but cant sharpen it. my problem is holding the constant angle, i want a lansky but cant afford one, so i'm going to have to learn to use a bench stone. i have seen little jigs that clamp on the blade to hold the angle but i dont understand how it holds the angle around the curve neer the tip of the blade. will i have to resort to making only warncliffs just so that i can hold the angle!
any tips and tricks would be greatly apreciated because i want it sharp enough to shave with and at the moment none will even cut me.

Brett
p.s. i have already searched.
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2005, 02:41 AM
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Kbud Kbud is offline
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Here's a link to a calculator and instructions that was posted by Steve Sando awhile back.
Bevel Calculator

Hope this helps......


Pj

Last edited by Kbud; 11-10-2005 at 02:44 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2005, 04:38 AM
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azmike azmike is offline
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I have some difficulty with this too, (its gettin better), but i find i like using stones over one of the "systems". The more i do it, the better i seem to get, (as long as the blade is HT/tempered
correct). It also seems that i do better when i don't try to force it, and there is a particular "sound"
i get when its right. BUT, what helped most was watching and listening when Tai was doing one at
a full moon forge this past summer. not much help-but your not alone, and help is out there--like the link above. mike

thanks Kbud.
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2005, 08:27 AM
Greg obach Greg obach is offline
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Location: Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada
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there are many ways to go

you could get yourself a king waterstone from Lee Valley... only 30 bucks... say bout 1200 grit...... work the primary bevel at a nice low angle.... and be patient !! ... maintain that angle till you can no longer see a shiney edge...... the edge should almost be invisible... (do both sides the same)...... if you touch the edge to the back of your hand you maybe feel the burr...... now load up a piece of pine or a piece of paper with green buff compound...(cr oxide)....... now pull the blade backwards on it ..... do both sides and maintain the bevel angle..... be patient and make sure your not rolling your wrists and rounding the edge...

you should come out with a blade that'll cut standing paper tubes... and shave hair off your hand with one pass..

I believe that the hard arkansas stones will be more available to you......these are wonderful too...... check out what you can get locally and it should be no prob...

once you use a truely sharp knife.... you'll never go back to a dull one

GReg
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2005, 08:56 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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If your problem is not being able to hold a consistant angle then one of those clamp on devices can help. I use the Razor's Edge clamp to set the initial bevel on some of my knives. It can be used on a stone (as it was intended to be used) or even against a sanding belt. Using it on a belt sander gets the job done quickly but you'll need a new clamp a couple of times a year! They cost about $15.

The clamps are sized according to the size of blade you will sharpen, either under 4" or 4" or more in length. To sharpen the curved tip of a blade just lift the knife handle and keep the edge of the blade in contact with the stone...


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  #6  
Old 11-10-2005, 04:31 PM
Jason Cutter Jason Cutter is offline
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Holmsy, not sure if this applies to you, but quite a few people get frustrated because they don't realise how long it can sometimes take to develop the initial bevel. They get upset that the edge can't cut, but thats because the actual edge cannel hasn't even formed yet. Ie.- theres still a bit of flat on the edge.

I'm not sure if you are using a grinder at the moment, but that may be one way to save some time in getting the initial edge bevel. If you do decide to use the grinder, make sure you grind with the edge DOWN, ie.- in the direction of the belt run, NOT against the direction of the belt. Keep it cool, especially watching the tip. Use sweeping movements of the hand.

Regardless of whether you grind or use manual stones, sharpen till the burr forms, THEN, go for refining the edge with finer abrasives. Jason.


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  #7  
Old 11-10-2005, 09:24 PM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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I just bought a book on sharpening and have read many posts on the subject. I have a Lansky's and don't like it. I am in the process of modifying my technique to give a smoother edge, but you may want to try it. I do get very sharp and consistent knives.

I took a scrap of leather and cut a straight edge on it. I used a simple plastic protractor to get a 30* angle (I know now that i should be using a 22*, and I will change that before I sharpen another). At that point I cut along the angle line and then straight down making a simple right triangle out of the leather. It's just a few inches long. I then cleaned a spot on my 1 x 30 belt grinder (which wasn't getting much use) and taped the long side of the triangle parallel to the belt. The point on the triagle meets the belt where there is slack.

The stiff leather makes a perfect angle guide for any knife. I put on a 320 grit and lightly make passes across it until I see the burr come up evenly along the entire edge. I turn it over and make about the same number of passes. I then bend my leg to tighten the denim on my jeans and strope a few times per side on my pant leg.

It shaves my arm every time.

Like I said, I am altering this proceedure to create a smoother more durable edge, but it works pretty good as is.

I may attach a photo of my jig a bit later.


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  #8  
Old 11-10-2005, 11:32 PM
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Brett Holmes Brett Holmes is offline
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thanks for all your help guys, i might just have to try all your ideas and see what works for me

jason, i think you might be right about not realising how long it can take but its also the angle thing. i have used the grinder but found that i over heated the edge very easily, i think its due to the pretty high sped it runs at. will a dull belt heat up alot more than a sharp one? also i had it edge up which might have made for a poorer edge

Andrew i would love to see a picture of your jig, it sounds like a really interesting idea, also stropping on your jeans hmmm interesting. also you mention that the point of the triangle meets the belt where it is slack, why have you done that, how does it affect the outcome

thanks Brett

Last edited by Brett Holmes; 11-10-2005 at 11:38 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2005, 10:15 PM
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NuViking NuViking is offline
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I dont know why a Lansky kit is so disliked besides from the price if you add an extra coarse stone and an extra fine stone to the kit all you have to do is strop it with a leather belt with some fine polishing compound and a consistant razor edge can be achieved while watching your favorite tv program or better yet listening to some hard driving strause on the stereo.
After the edge is developed it can be easly maintained with a ceramic stick or sharpening steel.
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2005, 12:58 AM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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Hard driving Strauss?

hmm...

Did Metalica do a cover of Blue Danube?

And yes, I'll post a pic of my rig when I get home in the morning.

Cheers!


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  #11  
Old 11-13-2005, 07:06 AM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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Like anything else - practice, practice, practice....

One thing you can try is the Scary Sharp method. It's kinda popular for sharpening woodworking tools. You get various grits of sandpaper - nothing coarser than 100 grit. Tape the coarsest one to a piece of glass (to keep it very flat) and work the edge. When you have a smooth edge with one grit, wipe the knife down and go to the next. Use oil on the sandpaper to make the process smooth. You may be surprised at how quickly you go from dull to razor sharp. I think what makes this method work is that you have short goals that you can achieve - as opposed to a single stone where you keep doing the same thing for a long time before you see a result.

A great piece of advice that I got from an old hunting magazine is to go in the kitchen and get a handfull of kitchen knives. My wife does not understand the concept of 'slicing'. All knives are used for chopping - and not always on a cutting board. Add the usual trips to the dishwasher (AAAAARGH!) and they are all usually dull, dull, dull. Practice up by sharpening a dozen of these knives before you try sharpening your 'good' knife. You can't screw up the kitchen knives, you can only improve the edge, and you'll get the feel for your own sharpening.


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  #12  
Old 11-13-2005, 07:31 AM
Randy Kidd Randy Kidd is offline
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Here is a tip that I learned long ago..Instead of the conventional ceramic rods, I use the rod from the inside of a high pressure sodium vapor bulb. This thing puts a razors edge on very quickly, the edge is smooth as glass, and scary sharp, steel build up can be cleaned off the rod with just a few passes from a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. These bulbs are used for industrial lighting and in growing operations, you can get them at large garden centers and at the big box home improvement stores..I get mine occasionaly free from a friend who changes the burned out one's at a factory, I get the burned out one..They come in all sizes..They will shatter if dropped..The trick is getting it out of the bulb without breaking it..I wrap a towel around the entire bulb then... a light tap on the glass,

here is a pic of one, the tube inside of the bulb is what you are after, you won't be disapointed in the results.

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  #13  
Old 11-15-2005, 12:59 AM
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Kbud Kbud is offline
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Heck yeah I have several of those ceramic rods.. those are the S$%^
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  #14  
Old 11-21-2005, 11:39 PM
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NuViking NuViking is offline
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I like sharpening steels and ceramic rods for maintaining an edge. If used regularaly a ceramic rod will make your knife sharper than you could beleive. Just dont let it get dull. maintain the edge most folks wait till their knife is dull to resharpen but if maintained as you use it sharp it well offen get ugly sharp and take very little efforts. Just ask meatcutters why they steel their knives so much
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  #15  
Old 11-23-2005, 07:07 PM
whv whv is offline
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check this out

http://users.ameritech.net/knives/index.htm

probably more information than you would ever want to know about sharp knives.


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