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Thread: Knife sharpening kit

  1. #1
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    Default Knife sharpening kit

    Maybe you're like me, and you've been hiding your shortcomings in shame. When a certain subject comes up you nod sagely, but never speak, for fear of being discovered.

    You see, you never really mastered edge sharpening. You've lived your whole life in a world where the only reasonably sharp blade came from the store. Sure, you've scraped blades across whetstones, slid the kitchen knife over the steel like a chef in a movie. But, you've always felt the keenest inadequacy.

    Meanwhile, you know, though you don't know how, all your friends keep their knives sharp, and their significant others satisfied.

    Well, I recently received my Edge Pro Apex, made in Hood River, Oregon. Now, all my blades are better than they were out of the box. My wife has already nicked herself twice. I'm bursting with pride.

    What a brilliant tool.

    I can feel the contempt welling up for those poor, benighted souls who live with dull knives.

    I am thinking of becoming an itinerant knife sharpener. Or maybe a kung fu sword maker, shrouded in the mists of Wu Dan Mountain.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I can grind, sharpen, and hone an edge tool. And I still do for my curved edges (turning tools, etc.). Esp. the ones that need frequent touch-ups.

    But for years now, I've found it far more cost-effective to pay the neighborhood sharpening lady to sharpen most of my straight edges.

    If I didn't have such handy access to inexpensive sharpening service... I'd probably get myself a gadget. Just to save time. Never seen the EdgePro... but it looks cool. I'd also look closely at the WorkSharp line.
    David G
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Watched the video. What a faff.

    And you need a sharp knife when setting it up.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I can shape, sharpen and hone an edge the old fashioned way. I was brung up doing such. But I may have lost my touch. For at least 12 or 15 years now, I use a diamond stone sharpening kit. My current one is the DMT Magna Guide. I had another that worked as well, but that one got lost in a move.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Now, you want to talk about OCD...

    Peace,
    Always Shaving Sharp

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Don't know what is meant by "you need a sharp knife when setting it up?"

    This morning I used my grinding wheel to remove a good quarter inch from a chefs knife that had a bend and crack in it from some impatient cook trying to force it through a frozen steak. Then I used the wheel to thin the blade a bit.

    Finished the thinning at 15 degrees on the Edge Pro, then put the new cutting bevel on at 21 degrees. Just made perfect thin slices of overripe tomato for my lunch sammich.

    That may be faffy but I don't mind.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    Don't know what is meant by "you need a sharp knife when setting it up?"
    Used in the video on the page you linked to.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I use a $40 lansky kit for knives, and a jig I got from Lee valley tool for chisels on Waterstones much faster than freehanding it for me anyway, when the steel nolonger does the kitchen stuff right I use a service every 3-4 years as needed.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I have diamond plates for all edge tools, with a honing guide for Stanley plane blades and another for chisels and other plane irons. The draw knife guard has a built in jig and I have a jig for the planer thicknesser blades. There is a diamond steel for maintaining the kitchen knives that Her Indoors bought at college. The only time I don't use the diamond plates is for gouges where I use an oil-stone slip and I use a slate sharpening stone with an abrasive slurry for the Higonokami.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Nick, why one guide for Stanley plane irons and another guide for everything else?
    Last edited by Paul Pless; 11-12-2017 at 06:19 PM.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I have the nice Stanley plane honing guide which does not run on the stone. It does not work well with chisels though.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    Nick, why one guide for Stanley plane blades and another guide for everything else?
    Stanley bench planes are wider than everything else, and have a handy slot that takes a Stanley honing guide.


    'tother one is a simpler version of this
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Lee, thank you for broaching the subject. I too have fallen short attempting to sharpen on a stone or steel but always about 20% short of ideal. Lately I've been using the little pocket sharpeners that have carbide and ceramic sharpeners and use it frequently. Works great.

    In the mean time anyone watch Zatoichi the blind masseuse swordsman? I never see him sharpen his cane sword but he can slice dice in mid air and a ceramic sake bottle.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I have this one

    http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/pag...072,43078&ap=1

    I tried a grizzly cheap tornado clone and went back to that.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I prefer a fine edge sharpened at less than 15 degrees, as it slices through hard vegetables rather than cleaving through them by prying (makes a cracking sound). For heavier work like cutting through bones, I use a cleaver with a stronger, larger angle edge.

    Most people over-stone their knives. My dad would pull out the sharpening stone at the first sign of dullness, and grind a pocketknife blade to nothingness in 10 years. He never learned to use a steel. I (and my father) prefer a fine edge sharpened at even less than 15 degrees. When this edge dulls, it's because the edge has bent over (you can see this as reflected shiny spots on the edge in a bright light). Proper use of a steel will straighten this edge, rather than grinding it off for a fresh edge. Most knife and steel instruction manuals are wrong, they tell you to stand the steel on its point and stroke the blade down, like you are trying to whittle shavings off the steel. This just bends the fine edge over more. Instead, hold the steel horizontal and run the sharp edge over it in a "retreating" direction with light pressure, like a barber honing a straight razor on a leather strop. Usually three strokes one way, then three the other, keep reversing until sharp. This will straighten the edge. I use my kitchen knives daily and haven't had to stone them in years. The best steels are smooth like an OD ground steel dowel pin, or near so. The ones with deep striations I don't like, they take metal off and over time leave a scalloped and serrated edge. You don't need that to straighten the edge. In fact, the rounded corner of a stainless steel counter or sink will work in a pinch, as will the outside corner of a stainless steel pan or pot. When it comes times to stone the knife, it's because steeling doesn't work, or I need to grind out a chip, or straighten the edge line. I use a Norton "oil" stone but with water, as it floats away the grindings better. I wet a dish towel and wring it out, and place it on the counter. Then wet the stone and place it on the towel. The friction of the towel allows me to use both hands on the knife to maintain the angle and even pressure. Every so often I put the stone under running cold water and rub it good to remove the metal dust (swarf). First the coarse side of the stone, then the fine side. Once stoned, that's it, there is no value to using a "honing steel" at this point. The only purpose of a steel is to straighten ("realign") a bent edge. Ceramic and diamond hones are a different story, but I don't like them because they also reduce the life of the knife. Commercial butchers use diamond hones all the time because time is money and they don't care about knife life, they just want a sharp edge as fast and easy as possible.

    I have found many superb steels in thrift stores. The cheap older ones by Chicago Cutlery (USA) are small diameter but carbon steel, not too aggressive in surface, and work well. More expensive ones by Wustof or Henckels are good, as well as Case. Large diameter and long are great, but you can still get a great edge with a small short one. More important is a relatively smooth surface, not aggressive striations. Compare them and you'll see. Rusty ones can be cleaned up with scotch brite, dirt or greasy grime is solved with lye-based oven cleaner or other solvent.
    Last edited by Bob (oh, THAT Bob); 11-12-2017 at 07:08 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I’ve got a CBN grinding wheel with a wolverine jig for turning tools. I sold my Lee Valley grinding jig and hone chisels and plane blades by hand on a 13000 grit japanese water stone

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Lee, thank you for broaching the subject. I too have fallen short attempting to sharpen on a stone or steel but always about 20% short of ideal...
    Yeah, obviously I overstate my own incompetence for fun, but I don't know why I never got any sort of guided kit, just muddled through freehand on stones, and apparently completely misusing the kitchen steel.

    If I'd started this thread before buying I might have gotten a cheaper, less faffy kit. But I'm just glad to be one of the guys who can actually, really, sharpen a blade.

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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I have posted the following photos before. The two stones on the left are over $1000, and the one in the middle about $400. Kyoto:




    Knife-sharpening station at the Aritsugu knife shop, Kyoto:








    Knife shop in the Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo. The broad stroke across the stone is very fast, not deliberate at all:



    bccphalarope(dot)com

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    concentration!
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I sharpen on my oil stones then finish with a leather strop loaded with buffing compound. The result is razor sharp.

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    As a woodcarver having belonged to several carving clubs over the years, I've seen a variety of knife and gouge sharpening techniques and equipment. I always smile inwardly when someone extols one method (theirs) as the "absolute best way". As far as I'm concerned, there is no single "best" method. That idea tends to be a crutch for folks lacking the experience or fortitude to "just do it"; something; ANYthing.

    Better than "out of the box" is nothing to brag about. Most knives in the box (or blister pack) are "sharpened" atrociously. Almost ANYTHING is better than that.

    I currently use an oxide powder on a leather strop for my carving knives, and a variety of whet and oil stones for pocket and boat knives. My collection of stones includes an old hunk of slate my grandfather used to carry in his back pocket for sharpening his scythe out in the field. I used the multiple stones far longer than the oxide strop.
    Last edited by Nicholas Scheuer; 11-14-2017 at 05:51 PM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    ....I don't know why I never got any sort of guided kit, just muddled through freehand on stones, and apparently completely misusing the kitchen steel.
    There's nothing wrong with that; perfection isn't necessary in all things. And no one needs to know about those few areas in which perfection may be worthwhile for you. Just like my cheap hammers, my muddle sharpened knives on my old man's 70 year old stone get me by. I doubt if I'll think of any of them when I'm on my death bed.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    The farm we bought in Labrador Valley in Upstate NY was originally given as G.I. Benefits to George Washington's soldiers. I was looking around in the barn one day, and on a shelf I noticed a strange looking, elongated stone which seemed to be a fine-grained sand stone. It took me a while to recognize that it was probably someone's natural scythe stone. Mowers would stop from time to time to dress the blade of their scythe. I still have the stone, and for that matter I still have a scythe, however I don't plan to do any haying since we have no hay.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Shang View Post
    I don't plan to do any haying since we have no hay.
    there are other uses for the scythe, as suggested by this representation of death in the catholic cathedral of trier. . .



    speaking of, i found a scythe on our property in hell, kinda eerie. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    there are other uses for the scythe, as suggested by this representation of death in the catholic cathedral of trier. . .

    speaking of, i found a scythe on our property in hell, kinda eerie. . .
    The Scythe, by Ray Bradbury (LINK)

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    May there be many a summer morning when,
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    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    The skeleton figure in the Astronomical clock in Prague says, Make hay while the sun shines.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    To sharpen a scythe or a Japanese plane iron (and others, including chisels if you are adventurous) a hammer and anvil are required for the process.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I made this recently from a small chaffcutter blade. I figured it would be good for dicing herbs and onions etc and it seems to work quite well. Working on getting a good edge on it now, I'm slow and not particularly good at it but I can get a good edge.

    23472809_10155274009871748_5278173534088354723_n.jpg
    Still needs three rivets fitted. The handle is a piece of Australian Teak floorboard.
    My take is that if you poke someone with a sharp stick they'll get annoyed, if you smile and shake their hand they will be your friends.

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    Maybe you're like me, and you've been hiding your shortcomings in shame. When a certain subject comes up you nod sagely, but never speak, for fear of being discovered.

    You see, you never really mastered edge sharpening. You've lived your whole life in a world where the only reasonably sharp blade came from the store. Sure, you've scraped blades across whetstones, slid the kitchen knife over the steel like a chef in a movie. But, you've always felt the keenest inadequacy.

    Meanwhile, you know, though you don't know how, all your friends keep their knives sharp, and their significant others satisfied.

    Well, I recently received my Edge Pro Apex, made in Hood River, Oregon. Now, all my blades are better than they were out of the box. My wife has already nicked herself twice. I'm bursting with pride.

    What a brilliant tool.

    I can feel the contempt welling up for those poor, benighted souls who live with dull knives.

    I am thinking of becoming an itinerant knife sharpener. Or maybe a kung fu sword maker, shrouded in the mists of Wu Dan Mountain.
    I never hide my shortcomings.

    I, like you (hmm... are we that similar?), use a knife sharpening kit sometimes. One of the advantages is that it can actually get your skills without the kit to improve.

    Try some knives without the kit occasionally.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    In the very early twentieth century, one of my great uncles had a standing bet of a hundred pounds- nearly a years pay for a farm worker- that he would shear a hundred sheep with the blades and then cut an acre of wheat with a scythe in a day. Nobody ever took him on.
    For knives, I carry a sharpening stone in my pocket- fine one side, superfine the other. I strop the blades on the palm of my hand. Dad taught me to sharpen knives. He reckoned it was sharp enough when you could shave a mouse without waking it up JayInOz

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Quote Originally Posted by JayInOz View Post
    In the very early twentieth century, one of my great uncles had a standing bet of a hundred pounds- nearly a years pay for a farm worker- that he would shear a hundred sheep with the blades and then cut an acre of wheat with a scythe in a day. Nobody ever took him on.
    For knives, I carry a sharpening stone in my pocket- fine one side, superfine the other. I strop the blades on the palm of my hand. Dad taught me to sharpen knives. He reckoned it was sharp enough when you could shave a mouse without waking it up JayInOz
    So...you strop your knife on the palm of your hand.

    Damn, that's manly I quit.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    So...you strop your knife on the palm of your hand.

    Damn, that's manly I quit.
    It is a fine trick. Use the meat of your palm. Itís awesome.

    Peace,
    Also Very Into Sharp Blades

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Knife sharpening kit

    I use the Lansky diamond kit for my pocket knives. It wasn't the stone sharpening that turned me off to them, it was the constant flattening of them I procrastinated with.

    With a stone, all you have to do is know your angles, even them out a little and then work up a burr on one side. then chase it away on the other.

    With the Lansky, it's just too convenient and I will keep my knives sharp.

    For my kitchen tools and larger knives, I use my 1"x30" belt sander with a 320 grit belt followed by a strop belt with green compound. 15 degrees is great for chefs, 20-25 degrees for pocket/hunting.

    We don't need no stinkn' yuppie bread knives round here.


    Here's where I got the strop and guide for the belt sander.
    http://www.surgisharp.com/products

  35. #35
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    Default

    I was taught to strop a chisel on the palm of my hand. The bloke who taught me had all of his fingers so I figured it can't have been too iffy. Still got all of mine, too.

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