I have been thinking about what happens when I need to sharpen my blade, both that I have now and in the future. I hate using an electronic sharpener because of how uneven the blade becomes so I want to do it by hand. Do any of you have any product or technique tips?
Posted 19 January 2018 - 08:48 PM
- KlaudeMarks likes this
Posted 20 January 2018 - 11:53 PM
Sharpening is meditative and requires muscle memory. Get a decent set of stones, I like DMT diamond plates in 300, 600, and 1200 grit. I also put green polishing compound on a piece of leather glued to a piece of plywood. Move through the grits, an even number of strokes on each side of the blade. Finish on the strop. After you sharpen a couple hundred knives you will start getting good at it.
I'm an Arkansas stone guy, but one day I'll buy DMTs.
Posted 21 January 2018 - 08:29 AM
I have 6 industrial diamond plates for rough in work, and they work well for the intended purpose. Problem is that they are very aggressive and will remove a lot of material very quickly. Even the finest grit at 2200 will skin a little too much steel for my liking. We do use them fairly often, but it's usually to dress a nicked iron or shaper blade. We keep every edge in the shop scalpel sharp, and the go to method is always by machine, never by hand. No matter how good you are with a stone, I can beat you in a fraction of the time on a dedicated sharpener, have far superior results, and add tremendous life to the blade over hand sharpening. We dress every blade on the wet clay stone and polish to mirror on the buffer after every use. If you touch an edge, it will open you up like a laser. We're extremely protective of our cutting tools, as a custom ground shaper head can run $1,700, and our imported plane irons are almost $300 a pop. All totaled up, we probably have $200,000 in cutting tools in our small shop. Even the chisels are polished after every use so that they never become even remotely dull. I'm a big fan of set angle sharpeners that take any guess work out of sharpening. Every time you go free hand on a stone, you change the angle slightly, and sooner or later you'll need to re profile the length of the blade, removing a lot of life from it. By keeping a blade sharp, always on a correct angle and never letting it get dull, you'll enjoy good performance and longer life.
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