Sharpening choils - Why?

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Deadboxhero
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby Deadboxhero » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:50 pm

Vivi wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:35 am
I was glancing at the Kapara thread and saw a member had added a sharpening choil to a knife that did not come with one from the factory.

As someone that wishes the opposite was as easy to do, I have to ask....why?

As I understand it a sharpening notch is to make sharpening the very first portion of cutting edge easier.

But where this reasoning fails to make sense to me, is by adding a sharpening notch you create two drawbacks:

1. There is now less cutting edge.

2. Materials being cut will snag if they slip into this sharpening notch.

The first point nullifies the entire point of sharpening notches in my opinion.

If you add a sharpening notch to a knife, the amount of cutting edge removed is greater than the amount of cutting edge that is difficult to sharpen with typical bench stones.

If you find it difficult to sharpen that first 1-2mm of cutting edge, why would you remove twice that? You're better of letting that first part develop a J shape, or using a specialized tool to grind that area.

I don't get it.

I know most people consider this aspect of knives trivial, but this is one of the reasons I prefer Spydercos to other brands that insist on putting them on everything. It is something I specifically request makers not do when I buy customs.

I can honestly say that I have never benefited from having one on my knives.

Without a small sharpening choil there is a recurve that devlops over time closest to the ricasso with sharpening.

Also without a choil, the thick ricasso gets in the way of sharpening the heel and can even bang on the corner of a sharpening stone causing chipping on the stone or excess wear.

Lastly, most aren't getting consistent bevels up against the ricasso, they also haven't been Sharpened flush from the factory and have an a small unsharpened area by the ricasso.

As the knife is used and worn away over time this turns into a recurve like on a western boning knife.
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anagarika
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby anagarika » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:06 pm

Vivi wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:14 pm
Evil D wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:59 am
This is why I propose they instead start adding one single large serration at the heel of the blade. This will achieve the same results as a sharpening notch for those who want it, but also prevent things from snagging since it's still an edge. No edge length is lost (technically you gain a small amount) and you have a nice notch for cutting cord.
This would make so much more sense than what we currently see. I'd still prefer a straight edge, but this would eliminate the snagging issue and my main annoyance with the notch.
We’re in agreement more than disagreement. ;)
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Deadboxhero
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby Deadboxhero » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:13 pm

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Most knives come unsharpened next to the ricasso.

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It's a complete plateau.


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The top is a new factory edge pm2.

The bottom is heavily used and modified.

The choil was very helpful for maintaining the shape of the blade as it got smaller with lots of use and sharpening.
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Deadboxhero
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby Deadboxhero » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:20 pm

On this knife there is no need for a choil since the edge extends below the plunge and the geometry is still thin next to the plunge and edge.

Image

Over time, a choil may be needed as the blade shrinks due to Sharpening wear. However, the handle can always be cut down in height next to the plunge to always keep the edge a little more exposed then the plunge.
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91bravo
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby 91bravo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:43 pm

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When you hold that unsharpened portion on the stone, make sure that's the ONLY part that's touching the stone. So as you sharpen, no other part of the edge should touch the stone, until you have good bit of it sharpened away. I don't sharpen this area out in one session. It's usually a few sharpening sessions that make it flush with the rest of the edge. I use custom DMT diafold stones epoxied to tooling board handles, which is an amazing freehanding setup! Before the stones were epoxied, the edges of the DMT stones were cleaned up on a Bridgeport milling machine, mainly for sharpening out that pesky unsharpened area by the ricasso. The milling makes a perfect 90 degree angle between the sharpening surface and the side of the stone, if that makes sense.

Image

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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby 91bravo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:46 pm

Also, I don't think sharpening this area is really necessary, as I hardly ever use that part of the edge. It's more my OCD of having a 100% edge that pushes me over the edge and bust out the sharpening stones! All of my Spyderco knives have this sharpening treatment...

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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby Deadboxhero » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:48 pm

It's slows down the sharpening, also you still get "creep" next to the plunge.

The choil should very small and be as close to the plunge as possible.

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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby 91bravo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:00 pm

More of my OCD!
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anycal
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby anycal » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:35 pm

Beautiful work there, bravo. I am going to have to copy that DMT setup. It makes sense. I have been using DMT plates, and that setup lacks the precision of something handheld, like in your pics. Thanks.
Peter

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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby 91bravo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:43 pm

Thanks Peter!

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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby Liquid Cobra » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:53 pm

I think I’m the guilty party mentioned at the beginning of this thread. I can’t speak for why others do or do not add sharpening choils to their knives but I can tell you why I did.

Honestly, I just thought it would be a fun thing to try.

For years I’ve not been a fan of sharpening choils because they had a tendency to catch on things while I was cutting, so I didn’t care for them. They also looked strange to me. I didn’t give them much thought after that except when sharpening on my Edge Pro. I have a hard time sharpening all the way up to ricasso on my Edge Pro and found myself sometimes wishing it was easier. But oh well, no big deal. Then for some reason, over the years the sharpening choil started to appeal to me athestically and they didn’t seem so weird looking. I also sharpened a few knives on my Edge Pro that had the notch in the blade and it was easier. Maybe I was wrong about sharpening choils...

When the Kapara was released I saw that Alistair was talking a lot about his new Spyderco collaboration on Instagram and YouTube. He was offering some tips to help make the knife more like his custom which I thought was pretty cool of him. Again, I just thought it would be fun to tweak this knife and make it into a little project. I wanted to add the sharpening choil, get a bright red backspacer that he will eventually sell, replace the clip with a Ripps Garage Tech clip (idea I got from The Irradiator ;) ), strengthen the detent and then add some red para cord and a red combat bead (again, thanks Paul). So I got the ball rolling with my first mod. I also just wanted to see if I could add the choil and not mess things up. It was a fun way to spend my evening. After I was done I modded my Amalgam and Sliverax to make the detent stronger which also worked out really well for me.

I don’t really care if the sharpening choil snags or not as I’m not planning on beating this knife up with use too bad. Yeah, I’ll admit it. I’ve got plenty of others for that. And I’m happy Spyderco typically doesn’t add a sharpening choil to their knives. It’s easy enough to do yourself should you want to. I just wanted to try it out.

In the end a sharpening choil is like everything else in this hobby, a preference. Like Sal likes to say “all good, just different.” Or something to that effect. I’ll throw in a quote from Sal about blade steel that I think is relevant here.
sal wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:48 pm
Hi P_atrick,

Interesting question. First I would have to say that "Passion is the spice in the spirit that makes excellence possible"!

If it were not for the interest in blade steels and variety from you and me, there would be so sprints of any kind. While all steels used in blades have their similarity, like ice cream, they have different "flavors" and characteristics. I'm sure that of all 32 flavors of ice cream, some are preferred by more people. Some people always like to eat the same flavor. They know what to expect and enjoy the experience. Others like to taste different flavors to experience and compare. Experiencing a blade is a personal experience. studying the details, why did they do that? Cutting, sharpening, handling, open/close, deploy, how to carry, where to carry, etc. Your full attention is focused.....that alone is a pleasure.

Obviously, we do it for our customers or I would only be making one off mules.

As a maker, we get to experience the different performances through testing and learning, as well as how to heat treat, form, finish, sharpen and care for . As a customer you get to experiment with the differences. If a steel is not used again, it may be for lack of demand, difficulty to work with, difficulty to acquire, etc. We still retain all of the data acquired in the making and testing of the steel. So we do have that information should we choose to bring it back or you demand it.

sal
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby Bloke » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:23 pm

91bravo wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:43 pm
Bridgeport milling machine ...
Wish I had a little Bridgeport! :) :cool:
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby 91bravo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:43 pm

Bloke wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:23 pm
91bravo wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:43 pm
Bridgeport milling machine ...
Wish I had a little Bridgeport! :) :cool:
These old knee mills are great!

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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby Sharp Guy » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:48 pm

Bloke wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:23 pm
91bravo wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:43 pm
Bridgeport milling machine ...
Wish I had a little Bridgeport! :) :cool:
You and me both Alex! Add a small lathe to the wishlist too while we're at it. :)
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby Pelagic » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:54 pm

91bravo wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:43 pm
When you hold that unsharpened portion on the stone, make sure that's the ONLY part that's touching the stone. So as you sharpen, no other part of the edge should touch the stone, until you have good bit of it sharpened away. I don't sharpen this area out in one session. It's usually a few sharpening sessions that make it flush with the rest of the edge. I use custom DMT diafold stones epoxied to tooling board handles, which is an amazing freehanding setup! Before the stones were epoxied, the edges of the DMT stones were cleaned up on a Bridgeport milling machine, mainly for sharpening out that pesky unsharpened area by the ricasso. The milling makes a perfect 90 degree angle between the sharpening surface and the side of the stone, if that makes sense.
EXACTLY how I do it. Thanks. I have no problems freehand sharpening without a choil. No recurve, just straight edge to the base.
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby awa54 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:58 pm

For me it was aesthetics; a "j" in front of the plunge is ugly and looks like a failure of sharpening technique (even though most non-diamond plate type stones are incapable of creating a sharp edge to plunge transition, so it's more about the tools than your skill).

I've since come around to preferring no sharpening notch and have a modified diamond hone that's specifically shaped for creating a crisp end to the the grind so that it buts right up to the plunge/ricasso.
-David

still more knives than sharpening stones...

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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby Bloke » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:00 pm

Sharp Guy wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:48 pm
Bloke wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:23 pm
91bravo wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:43 pm
Bridgeport milling machine ...
Wish I had a little Bridgeport! :) :cool:
You and me both Alex! Add a small lathe to the wishlist too while we're at it. :)
I have a little 1200mm bed bench lathe Pat, but a little Bridgeport Mill and tooling would be awesome.

The first thing I’d build would be my own design, system sharpener. :rolleyes:
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anagarika
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby anagarika » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:12 am

I need more patience to copy what you, Bravo do. Thanks for sharing your process in detail.
Chris :spyder:

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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby Wartstein » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:04 am

Pelagic wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:55 pm
I'm still wondering how people have trouble sharpening the base of the blade. Given you must overcome the fact that spyderco didn't do it (usually), once you have it right it's easy to maintain (IF you use stones and not sharpening rods).
Just read this whole thread thorrowly once more. Still don't understand the following: IF people have trouble sharpening the base of the blade properly, than why not take the very same little file you'd need to create a notch anyway, and instead just sharpen the base of the blade with it as good as you can?! Might not be as sharp as the rest of the blade, angles might be off slightly on that very first part, but in use that's surely still so much better than a notch, am I right?
And sharpening the very base of the blade with that file, even done quite unskilled, will surely prevent the development of a recurve.
I am really NOT an experienced sharpener, so maybe I am wrong, but my logic tells me I am probably not... ?!?
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Re: Sharpening choils - Why?

Postby curlyhairedboy » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:03 am

As 91bravo has demonstrated, it's certainly possible to get the edge all the way back on a typical spyderco.

In my observation, it's the models that have a much more gradual plunge that have the most difficulty with popular sharpening systems. When knives with a gradual plunge are sharpened "all the way back" with a constant angle, the bevel thickness drastically increases, leading to a less than attractive appearance.

The solution is to either dynamically increase the angle as you reach the plunge (difficult to do on many systems) or add a sharpening choil that starts the edge after the plunge grind.
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