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

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hand Sharpening

Before heading out into the world today, I decided to work on the edge of my old red Victorinox Pioneer. It definitely needed some love before it was ready to cut again.

You can see everything I used to establish the edge and then bring it up to a nice polish (well, I'm really only half-way there so it's not even stropped yet.)

I use the Sharpie to color in the edge on the knife so I can tell where my abrasives are taking off steel. The little Photon Microlight is there to give me light right where I need it while looking for a burr. The pocket microscope from Radio Shack is for getting an up close look at the edge and any micro-burrs I may have. The stones are from DMT and are coarse (blue) and fine (red) and will work quickly for putting a new edge on the knife.

The knife started out the day sharper than most knives being carried by the "unwashed masses" out there but it wasn't sharp by my standards or, more than likely, your standards so it needed to go through the whole process.

After the blue DMT it's already pulling at the hair on my arms but it's not popping them off yet. I'll continue to work this edge for a short time and then move on to the red and repeat the process. It should shave hair at every stage of the process because you're setting the edge at the beginning and then simply refining it through the use of smaller and smaller abrasives as you go.

This one won't get the 100K-grit diamond spray because it just doesn't need it. The black magic compound will be more than enough to handle whatever I can throw at the SAK today. It'll be demanding work like cutting down boxes and cutting up sandwiches but I think the edge will be able to handle it. :)

Thanks for reading,



At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have no idea how your tip on the marker helped me,,ive had a terrible time learning how to get the correct angle on my blades especialy on a convex edge, now i can see if im makeing a mistake or not,,thanks again ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,chris from al.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger American Bushman said...

I'm glad it helped you out.

Each little trick will add up and, eventually, you'll be using them all to get the edges where you know they're sharp.

I find even after all this time that each tool works differently and each knife and steel seems to react differently too. For example, some Carbon Steels don't fare as well on my bit DMT plates as the stainless ones do.

It doesn't make sense but it seems to be consistently the case for me. The Carbon Steel knives (some of them) just sort of skate along the surface while my S30V and 3V knives really respond well to the diamond abrasive.

Thanks for your comment and let me know if there's any other tips I can give you to help get your edges where you want them. :)



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