American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Monday, June 19, 2006

The ultimate sharpening setup

This weekend I took a custom Livesay RTAK out to the shop for some edge work to see if I couldn't turn it into a wicked chopper/slicer.

I first worked on convexing the blade and progressed from 220 grit to 400, 600, and 800 before moving to a Scotchbrite belt to remove any remaining scratches. Then I used the same belts to put the convex edge on the knife.

The RTAK is either flat or hollow ground so the center of the 2-inch wide blade still carries some of the coarse scratches found on Newt's knives. He's more known for his tough as nails work pieces than his highly polished show knives and this RTAK is no exception.

Once I had the knife where I was happy with the look and feel of the blade I moved over to the buffer to clean up the wire edge and give the edge that final polish. Using black compound on one sewn muslin wheel and green on the other I worked the blade back and forth 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1. Repeat on the green wheel.

The RTAK is now scary sharp and a quick snap cut on one of the bushes outside the shop left several small branches cleanly cut.

There are several steps in this process that are potentially dangerous but the results are undeniable. The sharpest blades I've used have been sharpened this way and they've remained sharp longer than knives sharpened using other methods.

Thanks for reading,



Post a Comment

<< Home