Community Sharpening Journal

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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Menipo
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby Menipo » Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:53 pm

RustyIron wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:49 pm
Menipo wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:21 pm
I understand that a guided system might sound as a heresy to the vast mayority of the Forumites here who master in free hand sharpening
Beware of following the pack. Emulate the average user, and you'll end up... average. I choose to use a guided system most of the time because I like the look of the results.
Thanks, RustyIron!

I use a guided system most because I do not want that my lack of expertise ruins a $200-300 blade. :confused:

Any experience with /view on the KME system?
Si vis pacem para bellum ;)

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RustyIron
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby RustyIron » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:08 pm

Menipo wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:53 pm
I use a guided system most because I do not want that my lack of expertise ruins a $200-300 blade.
Don't you worry, buddy. You can ruin a blade's aesthetics just as quickly with a guided system as you can freehand. 😂 Trust me, probably everyone has been down that road at one time or another.

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Menipo
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby Menipo » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:18 pm

RustyIron wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:08 pm
Menipo wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:53 pm
I use a guided system most because I do not want that my lack of expertise ruins a $200-300 blade.
Don't you worry, buddy. You can ruin a blade's aesthetics just as quickly with a guided system as you can freehand. 😂 Trust me, probably everyone has been down that road at one time or another.
Not scratching the blade would be more than enough ... for the time being .... :D
Si vis pacem para bellum ;)

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SubMicron
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby SubMicron » Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:37 pm

RustyIron wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:49 pm
Menipo wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:21 pm
I understand that a guided system might sound as a heresy to the vast mayority of the Forumites here who master in free hand sharpening
Beware of following the pack. Emulate the average user, and you'll end up... average. I choose to use a guided system most of the time because I like the look of the results.
The cosmetic benefits and consistency of a really good guided system are indisputable. I sharpen freehand and have not used a guided system above a Lansky. I exhaustively considered every option with no price limit. It seems that with every single system there's pros and cons, especially when you factor in different sizes and geometries of different knives. Most seem to struggle with the full flat grind, or length and height variations. Variations in stone thickness throw some systems way off.

When settling on the idea of spending $1000-$1500 on one system or another, including accessories and stones, I decided to reconsider because it still seemed that absolute and universal perfection was still elusive, and perhaps not what matters.

I decided to start freehand with Atoma 400, 600, and 1200 diamond plates. These are things that can sharpen anything. I've even sharpened ceramic knives on them. They're traditionally used as lapping and flattening plates. With seeing how quickly my Lansky stones dished out, I knew I'd need a way in the future to flatten ceramic stones anyway. The Atoma plates make quick work of my Shapton Glass stones.

Immediately though, I realized that the significant advantage that freehand offers is the ability to apply much higher pressure without causing angle variations. With the correct grit, no longer is "difficulty" a major factor. If necessary, I can reprofile S110V or Maxamet inside of 5 or 10 minutes on a DMT 220, even with a significant angle change. A couple more minutes on an Atoma 400 is all thats needed to clean things up, and if necessary set things up for a higher grit. It seems that in some cases this is a multi hour affair with some systems and abrasives.

Freehand also allows you to better control the scratch pattern direction which can directly impact the aggression at the apex.

For damage repair, freehand is simply superior. There's no reason to maintain angle while reinstalling a tip or repairing chips. Just simply reshape the knife at close to 90 degrees to the plate, reinstall the edge bevel, and then sharpen.

Beyond all of that, I feel as if im learning a real skill.

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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby GarageBoy » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:29 pm

bbturbodad wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:33 pm


Today I finally got around to sharpening my 4v Native. I usually keep the factory angles for the first few sharpenings and then gradually work to a more acute angle but the factory grind was so uneven I decided to try using the Sharpmaker to take it to 15° dps. I started with the CBN rods and planned to take to it to a polished edge but it felt so good after the CBN I just gave it a few passes on a 1 micron basswood strop and called it good.

Image
Any tips for reprofiling all the way to the tip on the sharpmker and still keeping it pointy?


Freehand, I have a bad habit of sharpening holding the stone michael Christy style (I learned on 1x6 dmt stones, and old habits die hard) and I'm either getting frustrated and making a bevel too steep (I can see my scratch patterns only on the bottom half of the bevel), and I keep blunting the tip right off...

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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby Menipo » Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:25 am

SubMicron wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:37 pm
RustyIron wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:49 pm
Menipo wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:21 pm
I understand that a guided system might sound as a heresy to the vast mayority of the Forumites here who master in free hand sharpening
Beware of following the pack. Emulate the average user, and you'll end up... average. I choose to use a guided system most of the time because I like the look of the results.
The cosmetic benefits and consistency of a really good guided system are indisputable. I sharpen freehand and have not used a guided system above a Lansky. I exhaustively considered every option with no price limit. It seems that with every single system there's pros and cons, especially when you factor in different sizes and geometries of different knives. Most seem to struggle with the full flat grind, or length and height variations. Variations in stone thickness throw some systems way off.

When settling on the idea of spending $1000-$1500 on one system or another, including accessories and stones, I decided to reconsider because it still seemed that absolute and universal perfection was still elusive, and perhaps not what matters.

I decided to start freehand with Atoma 400, 600, and 1200 diamond plates. These are things that can sharpen anything. I've even sharpened ceramic knives on them. They're traditionally used as lapping and flattening plates. With seeing how quickly my Lansky stones dished out, I knew I'd need a way in the future to flatten ceramic stones anyway. The Atoma plates make quick work of my Shapton Glass stones.

Immediately though, I realized that the significant advantage that freehand offers is the ability to apply much higher pressure without causing angle variations. With the correct grit, no longer is "difficulty" a major factor. If necessary, I can reprofile S110V or Maxamet inside of 5 or 10 minutes on a DMT 220, even with a significant angle change. A couple more minutes on an Atoma 400 is all thats needed to clean things up, and if necessary set things up for a higher grit. It seems that in some cases this is a multi hour affair with some systems and abrasives.

Freehand also allows you to better control the scratch pattern direction which can directly impact the aggression at the apex.

For damage repair, freehand is simply superior. There's no reason to maintain angle while reinstalling a tip or repairing chips. Just simply reshape the knife at close to 90 degrees to the plate, reinstall the edge bevel, and then sharpen.

Beyond all of that, I feel as if im learning a real skill.
Many thanks for your detailed explanation, SubMicron. I tried freehand in the past and was unable to keep a consistent angle (and from time to time a bad pass made a scratch) so I bought the Lansky. I am sure that practice is all about and turns a hopeless into a master, but since I cannot spend hundreds of hours refining my freehand technique I want to give a try (probably the last one) to another guided system. I have no problems with sizes (I collect folding only -no fixed- and all my blades go from 2" to 4.5") or geometries (I have some recurved blades but I do not use them much). Again, many thanks for taking the time and sharing your experiences.
Si vis pacem para bellum ;)

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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby bbturbodad » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:28 pm

GarageBoy wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:29 pm
Any tips for reprofiling all the way to the tip on the sharpmker and still keeping it pointy?


Freehand, I have a bad habit of sharpening holding the stone michael Christy style (I learned on 1x6 dmt stones, and old habits die hard) and I'm either getting frustrated and making a bevel too steep (I can see my scratch patterns only on the bottom half of the bevel), and I keep blunting the tip right off...
With the exception of serrated and reverse S blades this is the only time I've used the Sharpmaker to reprofile a blade so I don't have a lot of experience to go by, but I left the tip til the end then worked it separately using just the bottom half of the stone finishing with the blade lightly touching the base on each stroke to keep from letting the tip slide off the stone.
-Turbo

vivi
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby vivi » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:38 pm

Regarding sharpmaker reprofiling, the key is to not drag the tip off the stone. Stop when the tip is in the middle of the flats. If reprofiling a serrated / recurved / hawkbill blade on the corners, stop shy of the tip and free hand it later.
vivi wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:58 pm
With the weather cooling off I wanted my Police 4 K390 ready to go. The edge it had was pretty bad, it had been used until it was really dull.

I reset the edge on a 300 grit diamond plate. Once I had a burr coming up on either side, I switched to a lighter pressure and deburred as best I could on that stone. It could scrape shave. Then I gave each side a few passes on a strop loaded with 7 micron diamond paste.

Image

It's a very aggressive edge. I tested it out on some rope and plastic wrap and it really bites into materials. .
Do you remember the epiphany you had the first time you used a really sharp knife?

That's kind of how I feel about this edge.

This is one of the cleanest low grit edges I've ever put on a knife. When it was fresh it shaved easily. I've used this knife every day as much as I can since I posted this, except when I was cycling through the mountains with my Pacific Salt 2.

Image

It won't stop cutting. The combination of a refined, toothy edge and K390 wants to cut forever. I'm going to keep using it until it stops cutting, because I want to see how long that takes.

This aggressive edge has reignited my love of PE knives. Nothing slips, it really grabs on to materials a lot like a SE knife does. I applied a similar edge to my Street Beat, since the combo of a short blade with a lot of belly means things want to slip off the edge. Not so much any more!
Carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 SE | Siren | Police 4 LW | Police 4 K390 | C95 Manix foliage green | Manix XL M4 DLC | Street Beat LW | Aqua Salt

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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby Bemo » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:51 pm

Vivi, what is that knife?

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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby vivi » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:53 pm

Bemo wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:51 pm
Vivi, what is that knife?
Police 4 g10 / k390
Carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 SE | Siren | Police 4 LW | Police 4 K390 | C95 Manix foliage green | Manix XL M4 DLC | Street Beat LW | Aqua Salt

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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby Bloke » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:25 am

vivi wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:38 pm
Nothing slips, it really grabs on to materials a lot like a SE knife does.
Hey Vivi, not a great photo and not K390 ... it’s my S90V Southfork’s blade at about (?) 26deg, sharpened with alternating passes tip to heal and heel to tip with 220grit SiC.

I don’t sharpen every knife this coarse. This was more of an experiment and since the initial sharpening I’ve touched it up with a few ultra light passes each side on the medium stone at 30deg on my SharpMaker. I wouldn’t want it dragged across my throat. :eek: Ah, hahaha!

Either ways, there’s a lot to be said for a sharp and clean, coarse finish and I certainly agree with your view. ;)

Image
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby Cambertree » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:04 am

GarageBoy wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:29 pm
Any tips for reprofiling all the way to the tip on the sharpmker and still keeping it pointy?

Freehand, I have a bad habit of sharpening holding the stone michael Christy style (I learned on 1x6 dmt stones, and old habits die hard) and I'm either getting frustrated and making a bevel too steep (I can see my scratch patterns only on the bottom half of the bevel), and I keep blunting the tip right off...
Hi GarageBoy,

If you look at Michael Christy’s early videos, you’ll see that he had already reached a high degree of competency in sharpening knives on benchstones placed in the conventional way on a flat surface, before he decided to challenge himself in learning to refine his handheld stone technique.

It’s certainly a valid technique, but I’d suggest that he is making minor adjustments of angle and pressure placement as he sharpens, which are not readily apparent to the casual viewer.

So, I’d recommend placing your stones on a flat, level surface for what I’m about to describe to you.

It’s easier to see where your pass finishes and it removes some potential variables, while you’re working on refining your technique.

Also, I’m assuming you might have followed the much repeated advice by sharpeners here and have equipped yourself with a Sharpie and a good jewellers loupe at around 10x magnification. This will speed your learning considerably.

Acquiring a few inexpensive knives with proper heat treatment, decent steel, and thin edge thicknesses to practice with, like Opinels, Victorinox paring knives and SAKs, or Old Hickory knives will help too.

I’ve noticed that the main obstacle which hinders the development of people learning how to sharpen better is actually the preconceived limitations they place in their own minds, not a lack of more expensive gear.

Once you’re confident with your technique, you’ll be able to get decent results off the bottom of a ceramic plate or coffee mug, a $2 piece of sandpaper, or a cheap diamond hone.

So, basically the trick to achieve a nice consistent needle-like tip on benchstones, is to imagine that as you are guiding the knife edge across the stone, the angle that you are grinding at is always perpendicular to the edge. This is easiest to imagine on a straight edged Wharncliffe style blade, of course.

Now if we take a curved blade like the PM2, you obviously make a curving pass across the stone.

When you reach the end of the pass, you never want to continue past that point where the grindlines will be at exact right angles to the bevel at the tip of the knife.

I hope that makes sense.

Here’s a pic of my 52100 PM2 to illustrate:

Image

The ruler shows an extension of that line that you shouldn’t go past.

(I’m a lefty, so just reverse the images in your mind’s eye, if you’re right handed. ;) )

If you do go past that imaginary line and your angle is slightly high, you will round over the tip.

If you go past that line and your angle is slightly low, you will grind a ‘wolf’s ear’ above the bevel.

You can see a slight ‘wolf’s ear’ effect on the tip of this knife, my ‘problem child’ S30V PM2, which I’ve written about earlier in this thread. If you look carefully, you can see I’ve slightly overground it on the coarse 140 Atoma diamond plate:

Image

And so if we now look at a fairly curved blade, like a skinning knife, it allows more of an arc in your pass, but again, you should not go past that imaginary right angled line to the end of the blade edge. (The edge is to the bottom of this pic):

Image

This EKA skinning knife is one I sharpened some time ago, and I actually haven’t cleanly ground the tip area, as it’s not really essential to the part of the edge which is mostly used.

I hope that makes sense. :)
Last edited by Cambertree on Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

vivi
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby vivi » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:08 am

Bloke wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:25 am
vivi wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:38 pm
Nothing slips, it really grabs on to materials a lot like a SE knife does.
Hey Vivi, not a great photo and not K390 ... it’s my S90V Southfork’s blade at about (?) 26deg, sharpened with alternating passes tip to heal and heel to tip with 220grit SiC.

I don’t sharpen every knife this coarse. This was more of an experiment and since the initial sharpening I’ve touched it up with a few ultra light passes each side on the medium stone at 30deg on my SharpMaker. I wouldn’t want it dragged across my throat. :eek: Ah, hahaha!

Either ways, there’s a lot to be said for a sharp and clean, coarse finish and I certainly agree with your view. ;)

Image
That looks a lot more precise than my Police! I could see S90V cutting for days and days with this sort of edge too.

The more I look at the South Fork the more I regret not picking one up. It looks like such a well rounded design.
Carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 SE | Siren | Police 4 LW | Police 4 K390 | C95 Manix foliage green | Manix XL M4 DLC | Street Beat LW | Aqua Salt

vivi
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby vivi » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:12 am

Cambertree wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:04 am
GarageBoy wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:29 pm
Any tips for reprofiling all the way to the tip on the sharpmker and still keeping it pointy?

Freehand, I have a bad habit of sharpening holding the stone michael Christy style (I learned on 1x6 dmt stones, and old habits die hard) and I'm either getting frustrated and making a bevel too steep (I can see my scratch patterns only on the bottom half of the bevel), and I keep blunting the tip right off...
Hi GarageBoy,

If you look at Michael Christy’s early videos, you’ll see that he had already reached a high degree of competency in sharpening knives on benchstones placed in the conventional way on a flat surface, before he decided to challenge himself in learning to refine his handheld stone technique.

It’s certainly a valid technique, but I’d suggest that he is making minor adjustments of angle and pressure placement as he sharpens, which are not readily apparent to the casual viewer.

So, I’d recommend placing your stones on a flat, level surface for what I’m about to describe to you.

It’s easier to see where your pass finishes and it removes some potential variables, while you’re working on refining your technique.

Also, I’m assuming you might have followed the much repeated advice by sharpeners here and have equipped yourself with a Sharpie and a good jewellers loupe at around 10x magnification. This will speed your learning considerably.

Acquiring a few inexpensive knives with proper heat treatment, decent steel, and thin edge thicknesses to practice with, like Opinels, Victorinox paring knives and SAKs, or Old Hickory knives will help too.

I’ve noticed that the main obstacle which hinders the development of people learning how to sharpen better is actually the preconceived limitations they place in their own minds, not a lack of more expensive gear.

Once you’re confident with your technique, you’ll be able to get decent results off the bottom of a ceramic plate or coffee mug, a $2 piece of sandpaper, or a cheap diamond hone.

So, basically the trick to achieve a nice consistent needle-like tip is to imagine that as you are guiding the knife edge across the stone, the angle that you are grinding at is always perpendicular to the edge. This is easiest to imagine on a straight edged Whaencliffe style blade, of course.

Now if we take a curved blade like the PM2, you obviously make a curving pass across the stone.

When you reach the end of the pass, you never want to continue past that point where the grindlines will be at exact right angles to the bevel at the tip of the knife.

I hope that makes sense.

Here’s a pic of my 52100 PM2 to illustrate:

Image

The ruler shows an extension of that line that you shoudn’t go past.

(I’m a lefty, so just reverse the images in your mind’s eye, if you’re right handed. ;) )

If you do go past that imaginary line and your angle is slightly high, you will round over the tip.

If you go past that line and your angle is slightly low, you will grind a ‘wolf’s ear’ above the bevel.

You can see a slight ‘wolf’s ear’ effect on the tip of this knife, my ‘problem child’ S30V PM2, which I’ve written about earlier in this thread. If you look carefully, you can see I’ve slightly overground it on the coarse 140 Atoma diamond plate:

Image

And so if we now look at a fairly curved blade, like a skinning knife, it allows more of an arc in your pass, but again, you should not go past that imaginary right angled line to the end of the blade edge. (The edge is to the bottom of this pic):

Image

This EKA skinning knife is one I sharpened some time ago, and I actually haven’t cleanly ground the tip area, as it’s not really essential to the part of the edge which is mostly used.

I hope that makes sense. :)
I'm seconding everything you wrote here. This is really sound advice from beginning to end.

I do a lot of my touch ups with a stone or strop in my left hand, but learning the ropes on a flat surface first is ideal.

With free hand, you ideally want to get to where you can tell whether you're hitting the apex purely by audio and tactile feedback. The response from your stones will be different if you're grinding the shoulder VS hitting the edge.

You're right about getting good results from budget gear. That Police I talked about was set on the $12 harbor freight 4 sided diamond hone, then stropped on a $6 strop with a bit of $7 venev compound. Just under $30 shipped for everything it took to produce one of my best edges.

Sandpaper is the sharpening worlds best kept secret. I've been saying for over a decade that a folded up sheet of sandpaper in your wallet is the best EDC sharpener out there. Find a straight corner like the edge of a desk to wrap it over and it works for serrated edges too.
Carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 SE | Siren | Police 4 LW | Police 4 K390 | C95 Manix foliage green | Manix XL M4 DLC | Street Beat LW | Aqua Salt

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Bloke
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby Bloke » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:06 am

vivi wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:08 am
That looks ...
I cheat, Vivi! I use an older Hapstone Pro System ‘cause I freehand a lot like lightning strikes ... I never hit the same stop twice. :o Ah, hahaha!

The Southfork is a gem and I can only imagine how a Phil Wilson Custom at 0.005” behind the edge would perform. If you do happen to stumble across one at a decent price I very much doubt you’d regret buying it.

I stumbled across an unused one in the box on EBay AU for $AU300, a steal, just after I’d bought mine. I should have bought it there and then. The next day it was gone. :rolleyes:
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

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Cambertree
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby Cambertree » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:41 am

vivi wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:12 am
I'm seconding everything you wrote here. This is really sound advice from beginning to end.

I do a lot of my touch ups with a stone or strop in my left hand, but learning the ropes on a flat surface first is ideal.

With free hand, you ideally want to get to where you can tell whether you're hitting the apex purely by audio and tactile feedback. The response from your stones will be different if you're grinding the shoulder VS hitting the edge.

You're right about getting good results from budget gear. That Police I talked about was set on the $12 harbor freight 4 sided diamond hone, then stropped on a $6 strop with a bit of $7 venev compound. Just under $30 shipped for everything it took to produce one of my best edges.

Sandpaper is the sharpening worlds best kept secret. I've been saying for over a decade that a folded up sheet of sandpaper in your wallet is the best EDC sharpener out there. Find a straight corner like the edge of a desk to wrap it over and it works for serrated edges too.
Thanks Vivi, I appreciate the kind words. :)

Yes, I’ve taught a few people how to sharpen and maintain their edged tools, and while some want to get further into benchstone sharpening, others are completely happy with a sandpaper setup costing probably $10 or less.

When I travel overseas, I take a few strips of rolled up sandpaper in my luggage. It weighs practically nothing and can be replaced anywhere. Considering that the kitchen knives in most houses are quite dull, people are often amazed at the sharpness their knives can be restored to with just a few minutes on the sandpaper.

The finer grits make a perfectly fine ‘strop’ for your own travelling knife too, whenever it needs a little touchup sharpening.

Nice work on your P4, that looks like a great edge, and a superb cutter. :cool:

Bloke, that edge on your Southfork looks like a super aggressive slicer as well. I forgot you had one of those, as you usually use your Sprig for cleaning your Flathead fishing catch. ;) :cool:

I’m running mine with a thinned out bevel and a 20dps microbevel on the Sharpmaker brown rods at the moment.

Image

But I’ll probably go back to using the Venev OCB 400 diamond pocketstone for applying a light microbevel, or even the Venev 240. The FEPA-F 240 seems to be roughly 350 grit on the ASTM/JIS scale. And the 400 FEPA-F seems to be about 700 grit ASTM/JIS.

Image

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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby vivi » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:00 pm

today was my first try sharpening on powered equipment, and I'm happy with the results!

My test knife was a Cold Steel Kopis Machete

Image

I bought a couple of these on close-out from Cold Steel for $10 a piece. Quite the steal.

Unfortunately they didn't come with an edge.

I had gone at this one at a steep angle with my DMT X Coarse, but wasn't getting anywhere.


Bought a belt sander for them, axes, and doing mods like I did to my Pacific Salt 2, but hadn't gotten around to trying to sharpen with it until today.

Wanted to work on some hiking trails I've been carving out, and these have better handles for that job than their straight edge machetes.

I focused on the chopping area at first, then gave the entire edge a few licks. I know some people don't sharpen the entire edge of machetes but for me having the beginning of the edge sharp makes a lot of sense for carving purposes and other jobs.

Enough rambling, here's some photos:

Image

Prior to getting to work, the edge was barely functional for bashing things mostly.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image




Still has a burr I'll clean up by hand but the entire edge can featherstick now. Excited to go cut up some undergrowth in our woods.

Maybe some day I'll be confident enough to try this on a spydie. I'm already wondering how hard it would be to full flat grind my old beater PE Pacific Salt :D
Carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 SE | Siren | Police 4 LW | Police 4 K390 | C95 Manix foliage green | Manix XL M4 DLC | Street Beat LW | Aqua Salt

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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby vivi » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:02 pm

This was an easier blade shape to work with :D

Image

I always thought this would be tricky to get the hang of and I'd mess up some tools in the process. Seems pretty easy so far.

Next up some, old beater chef knives.
Carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 SE | Siren | Police 4 LW | Police 4 K390 | C95 Manix foliage green | Manix XL M4 DLC | Street Beat LW | Aqua Salt

Baron Mind
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby Baron Mind » Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:52 pm

Cambertree wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:04 am
GarageBoy wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:29 pm
Any tips for reprofiling all the way to the tip on the sharpmker and still keeping it pointy?

Freehand, I have a bad habit of sharpening holding the stone michael Christy style (I learned on 1x6 dmt stones, and old habits die hard) and I'm either getting frustrated and making a bevel too steep (I can see my scratch patterns only on the bottom half of the bevel), and I keep blunting the tip right off...
Hi GarageBoy,

If you look at Michael Christy’s early videos, you’ll see that he had already reached a high degree of competency in sharpening knives on benchstones placed in the conventional way on a flat surface, before he decided to challenge himself in learning to refine his handheld stone technique.

It’s certainly a valid technique, but I’d suggest that he is making minor adjustments of angle and pressure placement as he sharpens, which are not readily apparent to the casual viewer.

So, I’d recommend placing your stones on a flat, level surface for what I’m about to describe to you.

It’s easier to see where your pass finishes and it removes some potential variables, while you’re working on refining your technique.

Also, I’m assuming you might have followed the much repeated advice by sharpeners here and have equipped yourself with a Sharpie and a good jewellers loupe at around 10x magnification. This will speed your learning considerably.

Acquiring a few inexpensive knives with proper heat treatment, decent steel, and thin edge thicknesses to practice with, like Opinels, Victorinox paring knives and SAKs, or Old Hickory knives will help too.

I’ve noticed that the main obstacle which hinders the development of people learning how to sharpen better is actually the preconceived limitations they place in their own minds, not a lack of more expensive gear.

Once you’re confident with your technique, you’ll be able to get decent results off the bottom of a ceramic plate or coffee mug, a $2 piece of sandpaper, or a cheap diamond hone.

So, basically the trick to achieve a nice consistent needle-like tip on benchstones, is to imagine that as you are guiding the knife edge across the stone, the angle that you are grinding at is always perpendicular to the edge. This is easiest to imagine on a straight edged Wharncliffe style blade, of course.

Now if we take a curved blade like the PM2, you obviously make a curving pass across the stone.

When you reach the end of the pass, you never want to continue past that point where the grindlines will be at exact right angles to the bevel at the tip of the knife.

I hope that makes sense.

Here’s a pic of my 52100 PM2 to illustrate:

Image

The ruler shows an extension of that line that you shouldn’t go past.

(I’m a lefty, so just reverse the images in your mind’s eye, if you’re right handed. ;) )

If you do go past that imaginary line and your angle is slightly high, you will round over the tip.

If you go past that line and your angle is slightly low, you will grind a ‘wolf’s ear’ above the bevel.

You can see a slight ‘wolf’s ear’ effect on the tip of this knife, my ‘problem child’ S30V PM2, which I’ve written about earlier in this thread. If you look carefully, you can see I’ve slightly overground it on the coarse 140 Atoma diamond plate:

Image

And so if we now look at a fairly curved blade, like a skinning knife, it allows more of an arc in your pass, but again, you should not go past that imaginary right angled line to the end of the blade edge. (The edge is to the bottom of this pic):

Image

This EKA skinning knife is one I sharpened some time ago, and I actually haven’t cleanly ground the tip area, as it’s not really essential to the part of the edge which is mostly used.

I hope that makes sense. :)
I consider myself to be a relatively advanced freehand sharpener, but I've always had a problem with tips.

This is a great tip, no pun intended :).

Thank you for sharing.

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Cambertree
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Re: Community Sharpening Journal

Postby Cambertree » Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:17 pm

Baron Mind wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:52 pm
I consider myself to be a relatively advanced freehand sharpener, but I've always had a problem with tips.

This is a great tip, no pun intended :).

Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Baron. :)

Yes, we all learn a lot from each other here, I think.

I’m glad you found it useful. Achieving a crisp, consistent, needle pointed tip is one of the things I found quite challenging as well, long after I learned to get good results on the rest of the edge area.


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