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  1. #16
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    A few tips that I've come across in my sharpening research and tribulations:

    You can't hone a good edge out of crappy steel. My old kitchen knives keep developing rust pocks. I hone the edge back to get rid of one and then hit another pock. Some knives won't take an edge, others won't hold it. I've found it's not so much the steel formula or the manufacturer - some knives by the same manufacturer in the same steel differ tremendously. If I can't get and maintain an edge, on a knife I won't kill myself trying to 'get it right'.

    Use a guide It's almost impossible to hone a decent edge unless there's a decent (very acute) back bevel. Sometimes achieving that will ruin the appearance of the blade. Juranich recommends that you ignore finish to get the perfect working edge. As a collector, I find that's unacceptable. Therefore, always use a guide on a knife that requires a precision edge - either working knives or ones that you can't risk scuffing the blade face.

    Guides basically fit the fixed blade and guided hone (Edge Pro/ Lansky), or the clip on (Razor Edge Systems), or the hand-eye (Spyderco Sharpmaker) categories. I get better results with the mechanical systems, both in finish and function.

    If I must sharpen freehand on a collectible, I mask off the blade face with masking tape. It's not foolproof, but it helps. I tried recontouring my Benchmade without such protection and let's just say I'm sending it off to Colin for him to revive it.

    The most critical moment is the final edge finish. On the very finest polishing stone I own, I'll slowly lower the knife back/ guide and rotate the edge onto the stone. Touching edge first will ruin the edge. Then I'll hone alternate sides in the direction with the edge in front. The final strokes are very, very light indeed. I try to use less than the weight of the blade.

    You want to end up with a microscopically fine edge. In the Sharpmaker video, Sal shows how the straight razor is sharpened to draw out a fine burr with a strop, but he also explains that it's an incredibly delicate edge. Pushing the edge like I described above in the final strokes destroys gives a clean edge that is a little more robust.

    A grinding wheel works well for initial work on the back bevel, assuming you can get a fine enough wheel. The tricks are:

    • never sharpen double edged knife blades on a wheel and never use a rag polisher
    • the wheel spins towards you and the edge faces away
    • use a guide at the base of the blade where it contacts the back of the blade. The angle should allow for the hollow grinding effect and not allow the wheel to contact too near the edge
    • the edge should make contact with the wheel last, after the back has been seated on the guide, or you'll ruin the back bevel
    • use a really slow speed (max 1,000 rpm) and very light pressure on the wheel


    BTW, Never use a dremmel, like you see on the dremmel box illustrations, except for on large serrations.

  2. #17
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    BTW, if i am going to get some japanese Waterstones, what would be a good set?

    I am considering getting an 800, a 1200 and a 6000 as it seems a good spread but if anyone has any ideas other, let me know.

  3. #18
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    Depends what you want to achieve.

    In terms of sharpness, you can never have too fine a stone, but Japanese swordsmiths would work up in very fine increments.

    Your choice should be adequate, though. You could even get a 800/1200 combi and a single 6000 (very high grit waterstones don't seem to come in double sided, unless they're adhered).

  4. #19
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    What are the differences between a waterstone and an oilstone?

    As I understand it you put oil on one, water on the other and the waterstone forms a slurry that speeds up the cutting of the metal. Any other differences?
    Last edited by Chris Barry; 11-02-04 at 08:04 PM.

  5. #20
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    Excellent article Martyn,well done!
    Bazza

  6. #21
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    As with any abrasive the quality of the final finish, ie the sharpness in the case of a knife will depend on how fine the final grit you use is. Having a wider range of grits will speed up the process since it is, for example, a lot easier to remove the scratches from a 250 grit stone with a 1000 grit stone than a 6000 grit stone. If that makes sense.

    It is possible to sharpen a blade with a 8000 grit stone only. It's just that is will take ages.

    The use of a leather strop and very fine abrasive paste is a good way to get that final razor edge, and if your knife is made of good steel you should be able to maintain it with by stropping for quite a while before you need to take a stone to it. The trick is to sharpen it little and often. Give it a quick touch up every time you use it.

    The great advantage of a strop is that it is so much easier to carry around with you than a stone ( I use the inside of my leather belt, it keeps my trousers up as well ). lets face it who wants to carry around what is bascially a big rock with them in the field

    axminster is indeed a great shop, also check out Cromwell tools, they stock a huge range of oil stones in various shapes and sizes. Good for those hard to reach places and also handy for polishing blades, especially funny shaped ones.

    I have also noticed that if you use a water stone to polish the back opf a blade it turns it quite an attractive matt grey, quite unlike the shiney finish from an equivalent grit abrasive paper. I hav eno idea what the physics behind this is but I think its quite a cool finish.

  7. #22
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    I am looking for waterstones to sharpen my ws woodlore knife.
    I know how to sharpen my folding knife with a lansky set but i never
    have used waterstones.
    Can anyone tell me if this a good set for a starter with waterstones.
    http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part=S0400
    Also i saw these DMT stones i like the size and was thinking to put the knife
    in a holder and work with the stone in the hand (good thinking or bad) :confused:
    http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part=DMTWS7C
    Mayo
    Iam Fast in this
    My gallery Updated 27-May-2012

  8. #23
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    for waterstones that is a good starter kit ... i've got that and added some further stones to it.
    The DMT stones I find a bit coarse and prefer the spyderco alumina ceramic stones
    there are 2 schools of though about working the blade on the stone and the stone on the blade ....... I prefer the former as I find it easier to control

  9. #24
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    Quote Originally Posted by MushiSushi
    for waterstones that is a good starter kit ... i've got that and added some further stones to it.
    The DMT stones I find a bit coarse and prefer the spyderco alumina ceramic stones
    there are 2 schools of though about working the blade on the stone and the stone on the blade ....... I prefer the former as I find it easier to control
    I looked at those spyderco alumina ceramic stones and they look
    good to me.
    I have not decided what to buy but i will keep those in mind.
    i think a starter kit en those spyderco alumina ceramic stones wil do for me to learn.
    All i need now is a old knife to practice on
    Mayo
    Iam Fast in this
    My gallery Updated 27-May-2012

  10. #25
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    Saw this on the http://raymears.co.uk site http://raymears.co.uk/pictures/wet.jpg
    Newly developed combination whetstone, where one side is a fine diamond whetstone (25 micron) the other is a fine ceramic whetstone.
    The diamond whetstone restores the wedge form of the blade edge and the ceramic whetstone smoothes the edge to obtain long-term sharpness.

    They can be used dry, withstand all types of steel, do not become deformed and come with a leather case. Size 27 x 77mm

    Anybody a opinion about these stones :confused:
    I like to here :thanks:
    Mayo
    Iam Fast in this
    My gallery Updated 27-May-2012

  11. #26
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    I am tempted to get some (to add to my burgeoning sharpening stone collection ) to try but my last experience with diamond stones is putting me off. If I cave in and get them I'll post a review.

    I can see them being, potentially, very good for axes in the field.
    Remaining positive will set you apart

  12. #27
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    I have a set of 9 toshi (water stones) at about 220, 400, 600, 2x800,2x1000, 3000 and a 6000 i think there great some are natural Japanese ones some are man made. You do need a good stone holder for them and have cloth/rags in your hands when using them as its easy to slip with them and loose your skin also your skin goes puffy and soft in the water so you can end up sharpening your hands by accident (been there done that) and its very sore.

    I personally like to use them while sitting on the floor. I put them on a low surface and put a bit of carpet under my knees and I feel I can get a lot of control and weight on the blade. They are not just good for sharpening but also great for polishing especially if you some nagura to mix with the slurry.

    A good set may cost you about £500 easily but they will last and last.
    Beautiful things don't ask for attention.
    http://farquharforge.com

  13. #28
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    Hi Folks,

    Inherited some stuff from my Dad recently, including a sharpening stone. All it says on the pack is Condor (in an eagle / condor knid of logo) Silicon Carbide Sharpening Stone - Double Surface - Fine and Course. Having never used a silicon carbide stone, what I'm not sure of is wether ALL silicon carbide stones are waterstones as all I've ever used is oil stones and recently diamond stones. I don't thinbk it's fine enough for a final edge, but would be useful for rough sharpening, so I wouldn't want to ruin it by using the wrong lubricant.

    Ta in advance,

    Jon

  14. #29
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    I got a waterstone a while ago off E Bay the trader said it should be permanently kept wet any thoughts if thats correct or not?
    heres an E Bay link no idea of grit mines the same and seems v fine
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...384027667&rd=1

  15. #30
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    Re: Waterstones & Sharpening...

    Quote Originally Posted by BachlumChaam
    I got a waterstone a while ago off E Bay the trader said it should be permanently kept wet any thoughts if thats correct or not?
    heres an E Bay link no idea of grit mines the same and seems v fine
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...384027667&rd=1
    I have lots of water stones i let them dry out and i have never had a problem with that. As for wetting the stone just put it in water a while before you want to use it.
    Beautiful things don't ask for attention.
    http://farquharforge.com

 

 

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