Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

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cptdean
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Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby cptdean » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:36 am

I told my brother I wanted to learn to sharpen knives (I'm 50 years old and have never really done it), and this is what he brought me from a box in his garage this weekend:


Image


He swears I gave it to him with a bunch of other stuff years ago, but I couldn't find a memory of it. It was 100% brand new before I put my grubby paws on it. The pamphlet is dated 1982, the clamp is sturdy and solid, and the orange case closes so well that it's a bit of a pain to open again. All good stuff!

Anyway, I spent a few hours sharpening a set of dull VG-MAX Shun knives to paper-slicing, hair-shaving sharp, but didn't have the guts to try it on my Spyderco knives just yet. Interestingly, I only used the clamp and guide on the first knife...the rest were done freehand with those tiny stones, but I loved it. Now I'm thinking I need a Sharpmaker and a couple of Spyderco bench stones. Or maybe the diamond Tri-Angle stones?

Who has some recommendations for me, considering my end game is to sharpen freehand?
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Sharp Guy
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby Sharp Guy » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:04 am

My Dad had a Lansky kit like that when I was in high school. So it was from the early 80's like yours. I still wonder what happened to that now that my Dad's gone.

I've been using a Sharpmaker since the early 90's. I prefer it for general edge maintenance and my Hapstone for resetting bevels but I know several people that use the Lansky system with great success.
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby Woodpuppy » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:36 am

I have a large Arkansas stone that works well for freehand or for large things like axes. But I’ve been quite satisfied with my sharpmaker for over a decade now.
:spyder: My other blade is a Kelly Perfect :spyder:

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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby JD Spydo » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:53 am

I have some of Lansky's sharpening tools and they are not bad. I've never had one of their kit type sharpeners like the one in the photo because I've used a Sharpmaker since the late 90s. Lansky used to have a really good reputation but you don't hear about them nearly as much as I used to years ago. There are so many new players in the sharpening tool business anymore and I'm kind of surprised that a lot of those smaller companies just didn't get bought out.

The GATCO/Timberline Company I think still has a sharpening system similar to that Lansky unit but I haven't heard much about them either lately. If I was to find one of those at a Garage Sale really cheap I would get it for sure. I have an old sharpening kit that I got at one of the BLADE shows years ago. IT was made by a company called SKARB and it is somewhat similar to the Lansky kit and I liked it because you could use your own stones with it. And the SkARB does a great job>> but you never hear of them anymore at all but their website is still up the last time I looked.
Last edited by JD Spydo on Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby knivesandbooks » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:55 am

I jist saw these on sale at Midway. I've thought about these. But between my sharpmaker and my KME it feels redundant.
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby bearfacedkiller » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:22 pm

I had a Lansky kit back when I was a kid. I probably got it in the late 80's. I used it for years until it got lost in one of the many moves during my college days or possibly some sticky fingers made off with it. Well, honestly, some of college was a blur so maybe I loaned it to somebody and forgot. :o

Anyway, I used one for about ten years back when Old Timers, SAKs and Bucks were riding in my pockets. I remember being very happy with it then and quite proud of it. I wouldn't replace it now because it doesn't support angles as low as I usually like to go. Freehand and the sharpmaker are all I use now. Within it's limitations the Lansky works well.
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby cptdean » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:27 pm

JD Spydo wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:53 am
And the SkARB does a great job>> but you never hear of them anymore at all but their website is still up the last time I looked.

I had never heard of them until now. Pretty neat system!
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes by itself.

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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby cptdean » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:29 pm

knivesandbooks wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:55 am
I jist saw these on sale at Midway. I've thought about these. But between my sharpmaker and my KME it feels redundant.

From what I've seen online, your KME system rocks, and is in a different league than the Lansky. I was considering the KME for its uniform edge, but I'm thinking that if I'll eventually end up with bench stones, I may as well get them now.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes by itself.

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, Para Military 2, Native 5 Lightweight, Chaparral Lightweight, Para 3

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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby cptdean » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:34 pm

bearfacedkiller wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:22 pm
Freehand and the sharpmaker are all I use now. Within it's limitations the Lansky works well.

Yeah, I think this is where I'm heading. I'll get the Sharpmaker for sure, but I don't know which stones yet. I think I'd prefer diamond, but I don't know which.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes by itself.

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, Para Military 2, Native 5 Lightweight, Chaparral Lightweight, Para 3

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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby ibflyin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:33 pm

Just my 2 cents but if your gonna get diamonds, bang for buck these venev diamond waterstones are the ticket. They require a little more effort with use because you need to keep them wet and clean them off with a nagura stone when they load but they don't cut us deep as diamond plates so you're set up for a higher polished finish.
https://www.gritomatic.com/collections/ ... d-full-set

To use them on the sharpmaker I got some reusable zip ties and cut them to length to switch them out easily
20180828_074128.jpg
This was my last effort, reprofiled on the 400 then did a few burr swaps on the medium stones followed by strops from 5-0.25 micron for a very aggressive edge.
20180817_185035.jpg
20180817_184940.jpg
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby Bloke » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:26 pm

I too used a Lansky for at least a decade and got some excellent results but I found it to be fiddly and after the initial sharpening it was almost impossible to re clamp the knife the same way and follow the existing bevel. :rolleyes:
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby Evil D » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:36 pm

I still have one, it's still handy for reprofiling very small blades. I got by pretty well with mine but I got sick of the clamp song and game.
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby Bloke » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:43 pm

Evil D wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:36 pm
I still have one, it's still handy for reprofiling very small blades. I got by pretty well with mine but I got sick of the clamp song and game.
Same D, except I have three full sets, Standard, Diamond and Arkansas and the last knife I reprofiled was a ZDP-189 Manbug. :)
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby Evil D » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:45 pm

Bloke wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:43 pm
Evil D wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:36 pm
I still have one, it's still handy for reprofiling very small blades. I got by pretty well with mine but I got sick of the clamp song and game.
Same D, except I have three full sets, Standard, Diamond and Arkansas and the last knife I reprofiled was a ZDP-189 Manbug. :)
Same, I think I have every stone Lansky makes. I was all about it until I discovered the Edge Pro. It has it's own set of hurdles but they annoy me less than clamp based systems. I think the last knife I reprofiled on my Lansky was a Bug.
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Bloke
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby Bloke » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:04 pm

Evil D wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:45 pm
Bloke wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:43 pm
Evil D wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:36 pm
I still have one, it's still handy for reprofiling very small blades. I got by pretty well with mine but I got sick of the clamp song and game.
Same D, except I have three full sets, Standard, Diamond and Arkansas and the last knife I reprofiled was a ZDP-189 Manbug. :)
Same, I think I have every stone Lansky makes. I was all about it until I discovered the Edge Pro. It has it's own set of hurdles but they annoy me less than clamp based systems. I think the last knife I reprofiled on my Lansky was a Bug.
Ah, hahaha! The only stones I don't have are the triangular stones because I had no SE blades back then but I was tempted to buy them just in case. :)

Ah, hahaha! We're bloody mad but not mad enough to go back to a primary sharpening systems that utilises a clamp. ;)
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby sal » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:15 am

Hi Ibflyin,

Welcome to our forum.

sal

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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby ZrowsN1s » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:08 pm

Bloke wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:26 pm
I too used a Lansky for at least a decade and got some excellent results but I found it to be fiddly and after the initial sharpening it was almost impossible to re clamp the knife the same way and follow the existing bevel. :rolleyes:
I had that issue with the KME. I started lining up the clamp and the spyder on the blade, and then taking a picture of it for future reference.
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby Fixmeister » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:31 pm

The Lansky was my 1st serious sharpener and I could get very sharp edges with it. However, I will confirm the difficulties in repeating the bevels. Plus your angle choices are limited. The biggest limitation I came to realize was the rapid wear of the small stones. They dished in the center pretty badly and needed to be flattened to avoid a multi-angle bevel. The diamond stones remained dead flat but wore out quickly. And because the stones are small, it’s relatively slow. But it’s great place to start since you already have it.

Freehand sharpening is tricky and takes lots of practice (on dime-store knives). I would recommend you stick with your Lansky and add a Sharpmaker. Bite the bullet and get the diamond stones so you can reprofile a bevel if you need or want too. The standard ceramics plus the diamond rods will suffice. Then...

See if you have become an edge fanatic. If you get bit by that bug, you’ll know. It will possess your soul and cause you sleepless nights in pursuit of an edge you can comb your hair in from the reflection. There is no known cure. Be careful what you ask for.

Tom

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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby Bloke » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:34 pm

ZrowsN1s wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:08 pm
Bloke wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:26 pm
I too used a Lansky for at least a decade and got some excellent results but I found it to be fiddly and after the initial sharpening it was almost impossible to re clamp the knife the same way and follow the existing bevel. :rolleyes:
I had that issue with the KME. I started lining up the clamp and the spyder on the blade, and then taking a picture of it for future reference.
Great minds think alike Matt. :cool:

I didn’t have any Spyders back then but basically did the same thing. I real life I’m the most disorganised bloke you’ve ever likely to meet and it didn’t work out too well for me. :o
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

cptdean
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Re: Learning to sharpen with a blast from the past

Postby cptdean » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:35 pm

Fixmeister wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:31 pm
The Lansky was my 1st serious sharpener and I could get very sharp edges with it. However, I will confirm the difficulties in repeating the bevels. Plus your angle choices are limited. The biggest limitation I came to realize was the rapid wear of the small stones. They dished in the center pretty badly and needed to be flattened to avoid a multi-angle bevel. The diamond stones remained dead flat but wore out quickly. And because the stones are small, it’s relatively slow. But it’s great place to start since you already have it.

Freehand sharpening is tricky and takes lots of practice (on dime-store knives). I would recommend you stick with your Lansky and add a Sharpmaker. Bite the bullet and get the diamond stones so you can reprofile a bevel if you need or want too. The standard ceramics plus the diamond rods will suffice. Then...

See if you have become an edge fanatic. If you get bit by that bug, you’ll know. It will possess your soul and cause you sleepless nights in pursuit of an edge you can comb your hair in from the reflection. There is no known cure. Be careful what you ask for.

Tom

Thanks for the excellent advice. I’ve been eyeing the Sharpmaker and additional stones, and I’m also trying to find a good first bench stone that’s capable of reprofiling and sharpening. Maybe a two-sided Norton Crystolon or DMT Duo-sharp? What would the hive recommend for beginning bench sharpening? I’ve read I might need something more coarse than the 302 medium, but I certainly don’t mind owning that one.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes by itself.

Dragonfly 2
, Para Military 2, Native 5 Lightweight, Chaparral Lightweight, Para 3


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