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Need help with knife sharpening...maybe professional?

Discussion in 'Knives & Other Discussion' started by papster, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. papster

    papster Eugene Member

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    So I'm new to knife sharpening other than when I was young and can't really remember

    I've got an HK benchmade auto that needs sharpening. I bought a stone and gave it a go but it's not right.
    Any help/suggestions or anyone in the eugene area who sharpens professionally or willing to meet up and teach me for a fee?

    Thank you
     
  2. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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  3. nwbobber

    nwbobber Longview, Wa. Active Member

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    That looks like a great service from benchmade, but if you are like me, you will want to learn how to sharpen you knife yourself. The biggest problem is learning how to hold the same angle as you are stroking the knife against the stone. be very conscious of this until you get the hang of it. Most knife makers suggest 7 degrees. You can go a little shallower for a sharper but less durable edge, or go a bit the other way for a less sharp but more durable edge. I don't know what kind of stone you bought, but you must use oil on an oilstone to keep the stone from plugging up with metal, water on a whetstone or waterstone. Diamond stones need water also. You generally need two grits, a coarse one and a fine for finishing, I think average is about 300 mesh on the coarse, and 800 on the fine. I like to go to 1200 for a finishing stone, but you really don't need to for most purposes.
    My preference when sharpening is to use a stroke like I was trying to take a shaving off the stone, keeping the edge that is in contact with the stone close to ninety degrees from the direction I'm moving the knife. This means when you are sharpening the curved portion near the tip, you will need to change the angle of the knife through the stroke, keeping the blade contacting the stone 90 degrees from the direction, and 7 degrees angle on the edge. Take it slow at first, you will develop muscle memory.
    As the edge gets close to being "done" it will develop a burr on the opposite side of the edge you are sharpening. Feel for it by dragging your thumb off the edge. Carefully, and never along it. When you have that burr all along the length of the blade, you are done with that grit on that side. Do the other side till you feel the burr, then go to the finer stone and repeat the process.
    You can learn this, if you try. Many folks give it up and buy a lansky or something that helps control the angel for you, but if you learn this skill, it is faster on a larger stone.
     
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Buy a Lanskey sharpener and setup the angle you want and never change it.

    I was a custom knifemaker for 14 years and a voting member of the Guild.
     
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    What kind of stone did you get?
    I like a good three sided stone setup.. kinda looks like this and probably $50.

    You can get by with a double sided carborundum for reprofiling angles and or fixing bad damage (get a pretty big one.. about $7-10 and then like a nice 6-800 grit stone. Ideally you'd also have like a 1500 or so and then strop it on a compound loaded belt. I'd recommend the green compound.. just get it at Harbor Freight.

    I've had a Lansky kit for about 35 years but have never used it.

    For knives that came with a convex edge or if I want to make one, I use different grit sandpaper laid on a mousepad. they have crazy fine grits.. like 8000 at least.. I forget.
    Don't be afraid to practice on all your kitchen knives etc., take your time and perhaps check utoob for techniques also.

    Good luck.
     
  6. papster

    papster Eugene Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I have. Smiths stone set that had a very rough larger stone and a very coarse small stone and it came with a bottle of honing solution

    It's making the knife sharp but I feel like the angle is different on each side so I assume I'm not holding it correctly.
     
  7. papster

    papster Eugene Member

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    Can I use gun oil on the stones like hoppes or rem oil?
     
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Ooh, an oil thread! The Smith's is non-petroleum base. Everybody uses everything from spit to sewing machine oil. They sell the Smith's in 4oz bottles for like $4 at Lowes and probably Home Depot.
    I use standard Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF).. close to a buck a quart. It of course has surfactants in it and works very well for many things. I have different applicators/squeeze bottles and use that stuff like Johnny Appleseed. Heavier motor oils and uncut mineral oil seem to load the stones badly, making them very difficult to clean.
    The bad thing about the Smith's is it seems the stones just make that stuff disappear.. but it does work well.
    Wash the stones with soap, warm water and a nylon scrubbing brush after use.
     
  9. 1990Turbo

    1990Turbo St.Helens Active Member

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    I use a diamond cbn coated steel wheel then buff off the burrs on the buffing wheel using compound.
     
  10. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Arlington, WA Member

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    For most knives, I use a Lansky kit and like it well. I am also a woodworker and sharpen my chisels using a DMT Duosharp Plus Diamond Kit. You could use this for knives too, just harder to maintain a perfect angle like the Lansky does. Note that not all stones are oilstones or waterstones, you need to know which kind you have or plan to use.
     
  11. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    True.. there's ceramics and diamond, neither of which require oil or water.
    I'm pretty sure he has oilstones though a lot of people use water on them.
    Don't use oil on a waterstone though.
     
  12. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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    My Benchmade likes a hard Arkansas stone. My recommendation would be to watch a vid on knife sharpening, buy a cheap knife and practice.

    [video=youtube_share;rTKV5-ZSWcE]http://youtu.be/rTKV5-ZSWcE[/video]
     
  13. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    That's a Japanese waterstone.. much different and softer than an Arkansas oilstone.
     
  14. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, it is the technique that is the same for a waterstone or an oil stone. Couldn't find as good a vid that showed the sharpening technique as well for a Surgical Arkansas stone...
     
  15. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I hear you. He started out/prefaced his bit with the soaking of the waterstones and then going on about leveling them and sharpening (at least initially) how I might sharpen a lawnmower blade or a long sword perhaps.. I could only watch about fifteen seconds of it.
    Don't get me wrong, I'd not shun some waterstones but I'd shun or say there are better techniques.. though again, I didn't watch hardly any of it.
     
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    A fellow that I think is interesting, and sharpens kinda how I sharpen (though he mainly uses waterstones (he's Japanese), is virtuovice.. he's got thousands(?) of utoob vids and seems to pop and skin a deer a week and owns perhaps hundreds of knives. I think he's a surgeon and again, I find him interesting. He's a crazy anal fek and uses a microscope and shenanigans.
    Here's one showing him convexing a blade.. perhaps one of many..

    [video=youtube;uunAbAWmSX4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uunAbAWmSX4&feature=player_detailpage[/video]

    Well, I just looked at that and that was a pretty lame whatever but he's a sharpening fool/savant.
     
  17. 44mag2ndamend

    44mag2ndamend Round the ole tree stump, Down by the crick Well-Known Member

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    On my cheaper less expensive stuff I use on of those carbon quick edge rippers. I call them that because if not careful you can literally rip chunks out of your knife edge. Then use a good quality steel to bring the edge into shape.

    Works pretty good on the utility low-quality stainless.

    Lansky on my better knifes, then finish with their ceramic rod kit. Again this is on my mid range knifes, and works out pretty well, also I do not let anyone use these do to damage of the edge from people not having respect for others property.
     
  18. Synnergy

    Synnergy Oregon Member

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    check out sharpening supplies dot com, there are many good videos on technique. I ended up buying some product from them because of how helpful their information was. Whatever stone you choose (natural vs. synthetic,) I would highly recommend finishing your process with a leather strop/compound. My knifes will all do a nice job shaving when I am done.
     
  19. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    oops...
     
  20. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    That sharp, huh?