Swigert Gets a Sharp Maker

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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Postby Mike9x19 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:17 pm

This is a very cool idea for a thread. I will certainly be following. I just recently got a Sharpmaker as well. It is fairly simple to use. Be sure to watch the included DVD at least once before starting.

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Postby Surfingringo » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:15 pm

You want some tips along the way from those that have gone before you? Or do you want to figure it all out yourself? :D Cool thread idea too! Hope you stick with it. I will watch with interest.

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Postby Officer Gigglez » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:16 pm

I just dropped some tax green on a Sharpmaker
Spyderco Knives (in order of obtainment):
-Tenacious, Combo edge
-Tasman Salt, PE
-Persistence Blue, PE
-Pacific Salt, Black, PE
-Delica 4, Emerson Grey
-DiAlex Junior
-Byrd SS Crossbill, PE
-Endura 4 Emerson Grey
-Byrd Meadowlark 2 FRN, PE

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Postby Surfingringo » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:56 pm

Tip #1 is go ahead and get the diamond stones. They are a real game changer and exponentially increase the sharp makers functionality IMO.

Tip #2 get some of your cheap knives and practice practice practice. More will be revealed. :)

And if you have any latent (or active) OCD characte traits, this is your chance to use them for something productive! Lol

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Postby Bighaze51 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:18 pm

Tip #3: don't pull the knife all the way through and let the tip come off. It WILL round it over.

Good luck!!

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Postby mikerestivo » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:45 pm

Here is another vote for the diamond stones. They are a time-saver on some of the harder steels. I have found the Sharpmaker is best for regular touch-ups.

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Postby paladin » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:29 pm

mikerestivo wrote:Here is another vote for the diamond stones. They are a time-saver on some of the harder steels. I have found the Sharpmaker is best for regular touch-ups.
+1 this...Sharpmaker, someone once said, would be more aptly named "SharpKEEPER"
What is truth? Pontius Pilate

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Postby Surfingringo » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:00 pm

I agree with the above statements. Luckily for me, I'm so anal about keeping my blades silly sharp that they never get so dull that the sm can't handle em. I do have some dmt coarse/xc stones and I would definitely recommend buying those and taking the time to learn how to sharpen freehand. If I have to sharpen a really dull knife for someone, I'm able to freehand the primary bevel very close to 30 degrees with the dmt's, then I clean up the bevel and set a small microbevel with the sm. This route is a LOT less work than trying to tackle a really dull knife with just the sm. Even with the diamond stones, the sm can be a bit undergunned for a knife that needs to be completely re-beveled.

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Postby eric m. » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:44 am

This information is really good for me also! I got my SM a month ago and have only used for touch ups so far! Those diamond stones sound interesting. Thank you! :)

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Postby Mallus » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:53 am

To get started on right foot, you'd do well to stop for a short moment and consider what you're about to do when you set yourself to sharpen a knife. Cliff has done a nice video and there are related discussions as well on his web site: http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/forum/read.php?7,6571. I'll summarize some points as I've (hopefully :) ) understood them:

Cutting away the weakened metal, i.e. de-stressing the edge, is crucial to the longevity of the sharpened blade. For some reason, people are prone to avoid taking this step, maybe thinking on saving time and precious steel? This of course is a virtual saving at best, as it'll lead to more frequent sharpenings by ruining the edge retention.

Shaping is the easy part and if you're not too particular about the appearance (scratches and so fort) of your blades, you can do it fast free hand. Just follow the reflected light disappearing every now and then and stop when you can't see a reflection. While you're at it, and especially if you have a coarse stone, why not drop the edge angle considerably as well during the shaping? It'll improve cutting performance dramatically and speed up the coming sharpening sessions.

With regard to Sharpmaker, I find it most useful in apexing / microbeveling the shaped edge, making it easier to hold a constant angle when it's most needed. In this phase you don't need to do very many swipes, as the thickness of the metal at the edge is already somewhere around 20 microns. Deburring (shouldn't be much of that, ideally) and back sharpening steps (minimizing the micro bevel width) are easily doable as well with the sharpmaker, even if you might have a psychological barrier in holding the knife at odd angles (to the vertical plane). I wish there'd be a sharpmaker base that would allow infinite edge angle adjustments, but as it is, we'll make do with what we have.

I've had great success following Cliff's methodology and I trust you'll have great fun with the Sharpmaker! One more thing: be carefull with the corners lest you weaken the blade! It's terribly easy to press hard enough with the corners to bend the edge back and fort, and that is going to lead to a very short lived performance.

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Postby Sharktooth » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:42 pm

Good idea!

For consistent results, remember to setup the sharpmaker on a level surface ;)

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Postby Holland » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:45 pm

paladin wrote:+1 this...Sharpmaker, someone once said, would be more aptly named "SharpKEEPER"
Amen to that. Congrats on your purchase and can't wait for updates :)

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Postby Surfingringo » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:39 pm

swigert wrote:OP here,

I also did some work on a FFG Endura 4. I did the Sharpie trick and got all of the sharpie off the blade. My question is how do I deterine the angle of the current bevel? for the endura I didnt have it straight up and down I had to angle the knife a little to hit the side? IS THIS OK?

I got the endura to where it would take hair off the arm, I wouldnt call it hairs splitting though, I had to work just a little to get the hair to come off.
No. The design of the sharpmaker is intended to allow you to sharpen at exactly 30 or 40 degrees inclusive. If you start tilting the knife to random angles trying to match the current bevel on the knife, you might as well be sharpening freehand. In the interest of keeping it simple for now, the only thing you need to know is that your sharpening angle should be more obtuse than the angle of your bevel. That way, when you pull the knife down the stones, you will be making contact with the edge, not the shoulder. THATS the point of the sharpie. Ideally, when you are sharpening at 40, you'd like to see the ink disappear only near the edge, not across the entire bevel. Hopefully that makes sense. This kind of stuff is way easier in person, but that's ok. We'll get there. :)

So...at this point (re: the kitchen knife) it sounds like you don't have the knife fully apexed...you need to take off some more metal. Since you don't have the diamond stones, I would recommend you use the browns at 40 degrees on the corners and go to town. Make sure the rods are clean and do 50-100 strokes then rotate to a fresh corner and repeat. Keep at it until he knife is FULLY APEXED. Once you've got that "edge", you can go through the progression (like in the video) to refine it. But remember, until you've properly apexed the edge, you won't accomplish anything by moving to finer stones. You've got to stay at your heaviest grit until the work is done. But once that's done properly, the rest is cake. Trust me, if you get the main bevel right and then take the knife through the progression, that little kitchen knife will be popping hairs at the slightest touch.

Ok, theres way more to it than that but I'm just trying to give you the simplest thing you can do right now with your current equipment to get some encouraging results. Give it a shot, and remember, don't skimp on the heavy grit. You'll get results eventually, but you'll get tired of toiling away on those medium rods soon and order some diamond rods or dmt's. :)

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Postby Surfingringo » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:44 pm

swigert wrote:so straight up and down correct?
Correcto. ;)

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Postby Surfingringo » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:17 pm

swigert wrote:Hmmmm ok. Will start over with the kitchen knife again tmrw. Could you explain more about what you were talking about the endura. Why start on the 40? Obtuse something?

A good start would be to check out the "maintenance and tinkering" subforum on BF. Read all the stickies there on sharpening and microbevels and that will give you a good basis of knowledge from which to start.

Don't worry about the endura for the moment, but try what I suggested with the kitchen knife tomorrow. You might be surprised how sharp it gets. :)

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Postby Syncharmony » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:52 am

Not sure if it's been mentioned already, but it bears repeating. A sharpie marker is your best friend. Draw it down the bevel of your blade to the edge and start to sharpen and check periodically. Also, I recommend getting a loupe. I use this one, it's cheap and it has a built in LED light which is quite helpful. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/20xloupe.html

On the diamond rods, like you ask, go really light. It's pretty easy to wear them down quickly as I found out by not going light the first couple of times I used them. A light touch is all you need to take steel off quickly. Even still though, it can take a while, so keep checking with a marker and loupe and make sure you have reached the edge before you start to move to different stones.
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Postby Liquid Cobra » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:11 am

I found a lot of success working on one side of the knife until I raised a burr on the opposite side. This ensures that you are in fact removing steel all the way down to the edge. Then repeat on the opposite side until you raise another burr. Then go at it from side to side to remove the burr. Good luck!
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Postby Gerard Breuker » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:27 am

Staying at 40 should get you a good sharp edge that can cut paper without tearing and can be refined with the other stones.
Going to 30 before you can get a good sharp edge at 40 will take a lot of time before you will probably end up in the same situation you are in now.
Look at the edge you have. Feel for burrs. Feel how it cuts and keep at it.

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