My new Sharpmaker and some questions...

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mygunstoo
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My new Sharpmaker and some questions...

Postby mygunstoo » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:47 pm

I bought the sharpmaker last week and over this past rainy weekend started to practice/use with it. From my infinite wisdom, I decided to start with my utility knife, an SP-25 survival knife. It took a long, long time and over 20 times 20 passes on diamond, medium and fine stones to get it sharp enough to shave hair of my skin. I will not do that again. :rolleyes:

After reading most of the threads here regarding the sharpmaker, I decided to check the actual sharpening angles of each rod on each slot. I found out that on the 40 degree slots, the diamond rods average from 21 to 22 degrees, the medium rods were between 20 and 21 and the fine rods were 19 to 20 degrees.

I know one degree is probably not much for many other things, but after seeing the burr (light at the end of the tunnel) using the diamond rods, the knife did not pass the sharpie test when I switched to the medium rods.

Is all this sound normal to you guys/gals? Another thing, the diamond rods are "softer", I meant, not as abrasive, than when first used.

How do if the diamond rods are still good?

Thank you much for your help.

mongatu
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Postby mongatu » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:33 am

The diamond rods "break in" (literally) during the first several uses and become somewhat less abrasive than they were at first when brand new and unused but that's the way they are supposed to be. After break in they should still be grinding metal fairly aggressively and much faster than the med ceramic rods. Light pressure should always be used with the diamond rods. Using too much pressure causes the diamonds to get loosened and ultimately ripped out of the "matrix" they are embedded in. So use light pressure and let the diamonds do the work. If they are still cutting metal significantly faster than the medium ceramic rods, they are still "good."

The rods sit somewhat loosely in my Sharpmaker but they don't move or shift as pressure from the blade I'm working on is applied. So I don't consider this looseness to be a problem.

Resetting a bevel for the first time with the Sharpmaker is a somewhat slow and tedious procedure but once the bevel is properly set, future touch ups are pretty fast and easy.
Peter - My :spyder:'s:
Caly~3.5 (VG-10 & S. Blue); Para2~(20CP~M390~S30v); Military~(M390~S30v); Endura & Delica~4~FFG; Native~(S30v); Caly~Jr.~(ZDP); Manix~2~(M4); Ladybug~3~(VG-10. SE); Mules~(M390).

JD Spydo
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Watch the video/DVD

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:24 am

I know you probably don't want to hear this but it truly did work for me. I urge everyone who gets a new 204 Sharpmaker to watch the video/DVD at least 2 to 3 times before using it. There are tricks to using that tool and if you read the booklet that comes with it and if you watch that video DVD you'll pick up many of the methods that will help you to get started.

Also YOUTUBE has many helpful videos you can watch to get a better idea of how to use the tool.

The one weakness I feel the Sharpmaker has is that you really need either a diamond benchstone or some agressive stone to do the initial first stage of sharpening. You can do it on the Sharpmaker but it takes eons of time to get it done. Diamond Benchstones are a great way to shortcut.

Also if you want great finish results I do urge you to get the Ultra-Fine stones you can buy extra for the kit. The Sharpmaker is a great field kit and it really does a great tune up on knives that are already relatively sharp.
Long Live the SPYDEREDGE Spyderco Hawkbills RULE!!

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BladePlay
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Postby BladePlay » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:41 am

JD Spydo wrote:Watch the Video. I know you probably don't want to hear this but it truly did work for me. I urge everyone who gets a new 204 Sharpmaker to watch the video/DVD at least 2 to 3 times before using it. There are tricks to using that tool and if you read the booklet that comes with it and if you watch that video DVD you'll pick up many of the methods that will help you to get started.

Also YOUTUBE has many helpful videos you can watch to get a better idea of how to use the tool.
JD...What if you don't have the DVD? Any particular Youtube video come to mind? :)



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ChapmanPreferred
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Postby ChapmanPreferred » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:35 am

I think you can buy the DVD here.
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JD Spydo
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Just go to YOUTUBE and look

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:47 am

BladePlay wrote:JD...What if you don't have the DVD? Any particular Youtube video come to mind? :)



.
Just go to YOUTUBE and put Spyderco Sharpmaker in the slot and it will come up with dozens of videos. And some of them are quite good actually.

There are many great sharpening tips on YOUTUBE particularly in the area of convex edges.

There may be some of GOOGLE video. I've yet to try them out but I just might do that this morning. But there are a lot of Sharpmaker tips on YOUTUBE
Long Live the SPYDEREDGE Spyderco Hawkbills RULE!!

mongatu
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Postby mongatu » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:01 am

Also, for many people, the Sharpmaker takes some practice to get good with it, unless you are already somewhat skilled at freehand sharpening. There are some subtleties involved in using it.

In addition to videos, there also are a lot of Sharpmaker threads on this forum that have useful tips that are worth using the search engine to find and review.
Peter - My :spyder:'s:
Caly~3.5 (VG-10 & S. Blue); Para2~(20CP~M390~S30v); Military~(M390~S30v); Endura & Delica~4~FFG; Native~(S30v); Caly~Jr.~(ZDP); Manix~2~(M4); Ladybug~3~(VG-10. SE); Mules~(M390).

log man
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Postby log man » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:26 am

Superior results requires superior technique, and just plain hard work. Simply buying quality equipment is not enough. There is a real learning curve to having superior results with any equipment, despite our thoughts of bought success.

LOG

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Jet B
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Postby Jet B » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:39 pm

One of the biggest problems with using your sharpmaker will be doing your older knives that don't have an ideal bevel angle already. It can take eons like you experienced because you have to knock the fat shoulders off on the 30 degree slots before you can effectively put a proper micro bevel on it.

I learned quickly that buying full flat ground blades or just anything with a thinner blade profile helps to insure you won't have a big chore fixing the edge.

I even had an Endura wave with bunked up edge angles that I had to fix, but that is one fat saber grind on that knife.

Keep using the sharpie trick and stay on the diamond stones until you are actually hitting the edge on the whole blade before you even move on to the other stones.

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dbcad
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Postby dbcad » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:26 pm

Welcome mygunstoo :) I have learned a bunch here :)

All of the replies to this thread make sense. I don't have SM diamond stones, but have opted for the DMT Aligner system for reprofiling, getting the first stage done on wider blades. For less wide blades I have propped the DMT Aligner stones on the SM brown stones and have worked through the DMT grits there before going onto the SM stones for a finer edge finish. Worked well for the Dyad PE where one bevel was a little out and for my old Fox. They are very sharp now so touch ups will be a breeze with the SM.

With some time, watching the delightfully retro video quite a few times, and understanding more of what I was was doing, sharpening using the SM has become pretty much pain free. For reprofiling though, more agressive stones for me are needed.

Sharp is very nice :)
Charlie

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mongatu
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Postby mongatu » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:57 am

The Spyderco diamond rods for the Sharpmaker are pretty aggressive, imo. I've used them to set the bevels on several Spyderco's and they make the job go fairly fast, especially if you work one side at a time and get into doing repetitive up/down strokes on the rod. With a little practice just working one side at a time up and down, I found I could get some pretty good speed going which actually helped me maintain a more consistent angle. Used like this, the rods cut pretty fast and I found it necessary to stop frequently to check the progress and make sure I didn't go too far. When using the diamond rods, I like to stop just before I hit the very edge as I feel the deep scratches the diamonds leave are not good for the very thin metal near the very edge. But I found it pretty easy to stop just a hair before hitting the edge and then start smoothing things out with the med ceramic rod and using that to go the rest of the way to the edge.

The whole process can still take about a half hour or so, but that is a lot better than using only the medium ceramic rods as the most aggressive stone for dozens of hours.
Peter - My :spyder:'s:
Caly~3.5 (VG-10 & S. Blue); Para2~(20CP~M390~S30v); Military~(M390~S30v); Endura & Delica~4~FFG; Native~(S30v); Caly~Jr.~(ZDP); Manix~2~(M4); Ladybug~3~(VG-10. SE); Mules~(M390).

BAL
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Postby BAL » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:04 am

log man wrote:Superior results requires superior technique, and just plain hard work. Simply buying quality equipment is not enough. There is a real learning curve to having superior results with any equipment, despite our thoughts of bought success.

LOG
Couldn't have said it any better.

mygunstoo
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Postby mygunstoo » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:40 pm

Thank you very much to ya'll for the replies and support. I will continue using the sharpmaker untill I get good at it.


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