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

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Old School Sharpening

I had a hankering to get out the stones and do some sharpening today.

My Sparrow Special and ML Sodbuster/Kephart both could use some TLC and I decided to do them freehand with stones this time instead of convexing them with the mousepad-backed abrasives like usual.

There's something very calming about the sound of steel on stone as an edge is brought back to sharp and then honed to a razor's edge.

After I had both knives sharp on a coarse stone I switched to the fine side and repeated the process--a circular motion down the stone two times for each side followed by 20 strokes on one side then 20 on the other. Then I reduce the pressure and number of strokes by half again and again until I'm down to a single stroke on each side. After two or three single passes the knife is ready for the strop.

I've been using my new JRE strop quite a bit and that black compound really brings the edge to hair-popping quickly. It also helps to blend all the scratches left on the edge from using the stone and brings a high polish to the steel. I'll take a few passes flat on the bevels just to brighten them up before I finish and then everything gets a drop or two of oil before a wipe down. Once that's done the knives go back into their respective sheaths until I need them again.

Thanks for reading,



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