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How to Sharpen my knife


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Greetings.

 

I am slowly concluding my very first build of a knife. I have the blade ready to get fitted for the handle. I am looking foward to putting an edge on this.

 

I currently have a 4X36in grinder.

 

What do I need to do and how do I need to accomplish.

 

I have seen the waterwheel grinder with a leather stroping wheel machine that I could possibly afford to purchase from Grizzly.

 

Basically somebody talk to me and give me some advice and a starting point.

 

I am ready to learn how to put a razor edge. I am sick of sharp, I want very sharp, shaving hair sharp.

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Brandon, I have followed your posts for awhile now. My advice to you would be: #1get a few good books on forging and knifemaking. #2 don't waste your money on a sharpening machine. You have a belt grinder, set your primary bevels on that then get yourself a GOOD set of sharpening stones and learn to use them properly (practice,practice, practice) You don't have to have all the best tools to make good knives, but you do need to develop the skills thru repetition . A good craftsman can make fine things with limited tools, but the best tools in the hands of a poor craftsman still makes junk.

#3 read the old posts on this forum before you ask questions . There are many fine craftmen on this site and all of them have been where your at. Most all of the answers to any beginner's questions have been answered already . I hope I don't sound harsh, I don't mean to be. Keep at it and you will continue to get better.

Looking forward to see your first knife

Fred

Edited by Fred Crislip

A bad day forging... is still better than pretty much anything else

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Doing a quick domain search on google, I found these that may be helpful to you:

The Perfect Edge . com Good source for water stones

Sharpening references

Stone discussion

More discussion

Water stones

There's all sorts of info already out there ;)

 

John

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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When I first started getting interested in knives I quickly realized I did not know how to sharpen one properly. I ended up buying one of these and was able to get a good serviceable hair-popping edge with it, regardless of how dull the blade was originally. Since that time I've gotten pretty good at sharpening one freehand, but I still use the gatco to set up the initial bevel on the blades I make... I like the precision of it. I have also purchased the extra fine and extra coarse stones to go with it, and highly recommend it... It is a good tool.

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


view some of my work

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for your replies.

 

Let me clarify what I was seeking for.

 

First off, I spend hours searching and reading on this site. So when I post a question, it is because I have not found the answer on this forum.

 

Second, I am very well aware that a machine does not make the knife or the bladesmith.

 

Now, I have been around knives my whole life. I have had countless pocket knives and buck hunter knives. I have had sharpening stones and I also have the Lasky system.

 

Here is my problem. I have never been able to sharpen a knife that will shave hair. I realize that this might be my technique, but I am not sure. I want to be able to sharpen knives properly. Thus, this is why I asked you how you sharpen your knives.

 

I will take a look at the sites that John listed and see if that helps me.

 

This last week I was hunting and a man had a knife that was probaly the sharpest I have ever handled. That is what I want to accomplish. My knives have skinned deer, butchered deer, fileted fish and whittled countless sticks. But I am ready for a seriously sharp knife.

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A knife honed like a razor, will dull very quick pn anything other than flesh or hair. But I use japanese waterstones. I like king stones for setting my bevels, but I go to my natural stone, rated at 12000-16000, when I get up to 4000 for sharpening/setting the bevel, I start to strop on the stone rather than try to pushing forward, this leaves a wire edge which is good, before going to the next stone, I strop on leather, then finish up on my 12000 stone and strop on leather with white chrome, this gives me a very sharp edge, my hands have haf paper thin slices of skin taken off from not being careful enough. But expect to spend up to $200 for a basic set of stones. Keeps the flat and clean, and you'll be happy even with what some consider low end stones. I hope this helps, but remember this is what works for me, on my stones, so don't expect to have duplicate results.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for your replies.

 

Let me clarify what I was seeking for.

 

First off, I spend hours searching and reading on this site. So when I post a question, it is because I have not found the answer on this forum.

 

Second, I am very well aware that a machine does not make the knife or the bladesmith.

 

Now, I have been around knives my whole life. I have had countless pocket knives and buck hunter knives. I have had sharpening stones and I also have the Lasky system.

 

Here is my problem. I have never been able to sharpen a knife that will shave hair. I realize that this might be my technique, but I am not sure. I want to be able to sharpen knives properly. Thus, this is why I asked you how you sharpen your knives.

 

I will take a look at the sites that John listed and see if that helps me.

 

This last week I was hunting and a man had a knife that was probaly the sharpest I have ever handled. That is what I want to accomplish. My knives have skinned deer, butchered deer, fileted fish and whittled countless st icks. But I am ready for a seriously sharp knife.

Brandon, hi, it's me again. Sorry the way i sharpen is thus; set the secondary bevels with my belt grinder then work them as sharp as they go on a 6x1x2inch corabundum stone(coarse) then move to a finer corabundum. After that i work it down with a smith Arkansas stone (the dark coarse one) when that one quits cutting i switch to the light grey arkansas stone, when it stops cutting i go to my fine white stone. By that time it normally will shave hair, skive leather shread paper,cardboard and most anything else. But of course, the blade geometry must be right, or it all don't mean nuthin'.hope this helps good luck with your quest!

Fred

A bad day forging... is still better than pretty much anything else

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Also remember that a blade is only as sharp as its dullest side, well.for the most part, you'll ofset your bevel, and it won't cut as clean or stay the way as long.make sure both bevels are ran across evenly, and you will be happy every time.

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I use a Wicked Edge or DMT Diamond "stones" on my knives. When my wife and I started a commercial

sharpening business several years ago I was introduced to paper wheels. They will put a shaving

sharp edge on almost anything, but for really fine blades I use the Wicked Edge. Spendy, but

very good. The Perfect Edge is a great place to order gear from. Howard is good people and

knows his stuff.

 

Bill

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I use sandpaper for most sharpening, the black, silicon carbide "auto body" stuff. Working down through the grits to 600 or finer, then following up by stropping, gets them pretty darn sharp. As a side benefit, the sandpaper is cheap and easy to find, and light to carry for touch-ups in the woods or wherever.

My hand-forged knives and tools at Etsy.com: http://www.etsy.com/shop/oldschooltools

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I have been using the Japanese water stones for the last few years after working in kitchens and handling pro chef's knives that made mine seem like spoons, and have been very happy with the results. I recommend a coarse (800-ish) and a fine (2000+) to start with till you get the hang of it and then you can figure out what works best for you.

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I use a flat platen on my grinder, with the blade edge up, with a 120 grit belt to set the bevels- each side until I see the "wire" pop up, then finish with a worn 220 or 240 grit belt and use the "slack" side- although it's kept pretty tight for this. The blade is then stropped, edge down of course, with a cloth buffing wheel and green rouge to strip the wire. Main thing is to have lots of light for the grinding station. I can get from dead dull to shaving sharp in about 2 minutes working time this way, including changing belts.

Don't waste your money on "sharpening machines." Save up for a good belt grinder, which will do everything one of those machines can faster and so much more besides.

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  • 1 year later...

You can opt various techniques to sharpen your knife like using a whetstone or diamond stone, using honing rod (this rod is used to sharpen the steel) or using a coffee mug for quick results. The last technique I have mentioned is very simple you can do it without having any special tools. You just have to take care of the angle before sweeping the one side of the blade.

My never ending love for assisted opening knives.

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For my personal knives I use a lansky diamond sharpening kit you chose the edge degree you want with the vice and just start going the extra stones I've bought will even put a secondary bevel on a blade just be sure if you get the Arkansas stones to use the honing oil or you will spend hours trying to in gunk the stones

http://bearclawknives.com/ my mentor and his friends once told me there os no problem that cant be solved with a fine cigar and a pot of coffee

you know some people just need a sympathetic pat.....on the head........with sledge hammer

Seven Points Forge by the Bay

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Greetings.

 

I am slowly concluding my very first build of a knife. I have the blade ready to get fitted for the handle. I am looking foward to putting an edge on this.

 

I currently have a 4X36in grinder.

 

What do I need to do and how do I need to accomplish.

 

I have seen the waterwheel grinder with a leather stroping wheel machine that I could possibly afford to purchase from Grizzly.

 

Basically somebody talk to me and give me some advice and a starting point.

 

I am ready to learn how to put a razor edge. I am sick of sharp, I want very sharp, shaving hair sharp.

Brandon,

 

I would recommend Starting Here :

https://www.japaneseknifesharpeningstore.com/

 

Dave is a Very good Fellow to work with and Has Top Quality Stones for beginners to Professional ALL of his stones are 100% guaranteed to be flaw free , they ship out fast and he will walk you through any questions you may have about what stones for what steel to be used on each . I personally have been dealing with Dave for many years and using his products also . he is very professional and courteous. give Dave a try you will not be disappointed with him , the service,or the products he has to offer .

 

Ret, Sgt. Yates

Robert D. Yates , 13 & On Forge

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Brandon,


Sharpening a knife, properly, is ninety nine percent technique. There are a plethora of entities trying to sell you gear and, in all fairness, they will get a knife sharp but... None of them will work if your basic technique is off. I recommend going to the thrift store and buying a bunch of cheap knives to practice on. Read through this article, Step-by-Step Knife Sharpening, then break out your Lansky System and go through all the steps in the article on a cheap, thrift store, knife. The single biggest mistake most people make is going up a grit too soon. You must be able to feel a "wire edge," over every bit of the edge, before stepping up a grit. The second most common mistakes people make is to sharpen with bevels that are not the same angle and/or, to rock the blade and "round" the edge over unevenly. The Lansky System is good because, if used properly, you will get bevels that are even on both sides and, also, because it helps you to develop a "feel" for doing it right. After you have gotten the basic technique down on the cheap knives, move on to a better quality knife.


~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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Brandon,

 

I forgot something. After you are done with the stones, use a strop, with stropping compound. You will be amazed by the difference before and after stropping. Here is one source for strops and compounds - StropMan. After making myself a strop (and learning that the red compound is too fine to use first) I do not consider a knife done until it has been stropped. After you have gotten a knife truly sharp, you will be able to keep it sharp for an amazingly long time by, simply, stropping it.

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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A suggestion the "scary sharp method" basically instead of stones you use sandpaper with a very flat and smooth surface such as plate glass as the backing. Sharpening like you would with a whetstone it takes practice to get the angle right but the knife should be shaving sharp after getting up to 2000 grit. water or oil on the blade will leave a finer finish.

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