Old 08-06-2004, 09:49   #1
Bill Harsey
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Field Sharpening Report

Last week about 10 of us made camp at 7200 ft. elevation on Steens Mountain deep in south eastern Oregon. It's said this is as far as you can get from an interstate highway in the lower 48. It's only a 6 hour drive from the shop to the base of this high desert mountain region. Of the men in the camp, all are experienced hunters and outdoorsmen. One has guided trophy bighorn sheep hunters in those mountains on ground that I don't see how the sheep stick to let alone humans walk on because of the extreme slopes. Mr. Chris Reeve joined us this year too. Many of the guys have good factory knives and most have something made by me. In years past I would bring my big Norton two sided sharpening stone to take care of camp sharpening. This year I wanted to try something more like what a military person in the field could carry. I left the big Norton stone at home and packed only the small DMT (Diamond Machining Technology, Inc.) Double-Sided Diafold diamond whetstone. This little tool folds out like a butterfly knife and has two grades of diamond grit, medium and fine. I think it weighs less than two ounces. To use this stone, I sit down and hold the blade still in my left hand and rest it on my knee and "file" the bevel with my right hand. The diamond cuts very well and I don't have to use much pressure. No bench or work table is needed. Using the medium side first on one of the first ever Harsey folders with 154CM steel (R "C" scale hardness 61) It only took a couple minutes of sharpening before I switched to the fine side and was done. The knife had seen some very hard use and had flat spots on the edge. The blade was restored to an aggressive edge from base to point in what I thought was a reasonable amount of time. Yes I can sharpen faster on a bench mounted stone because I can use both hands to put more pressure on the blade. But this was a FIELD test. continued...(after traditional spelling edit)

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 08-06-2004 at 10:28.
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:13   #2
Bill Harsey
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A couple more guys found knives to be sharpened. The medium side of the stone would re-establish the bevel angle if needed easier than I thought because it removes hard steel at a nice rate. The kitchen knives only took a couple passes each side for two reasons, First, they are in pretty good shape to begin with and Second, they are very thin. When we have the breakfast crew building omelette's at sunrise with fresh grilled sweet onions and red pepper, and Bob Lum's custom made "beef hash" I like to try and keeps the knives "race ready". In the end I was very pleased with the work the DMT double sided Diafold could do. I don't think it weighs much over an ounce or two and when folded the diamond is completely protected. I will continue to carry this tool in my kit because it works very well.

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 08-06-2004 at 10:50.
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:21   #3
Bill Harsey
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Both Chris Reeve and myself like the DMT products because they use very high quality monocrystalline diamond. Monocrystalline means single crystal. This does not fracture and break down as fast as the multi crystal structured polycrystalline diamond used by others. This means the diamond stone lasts longer. DMT makes a lot of different sharpening stones but my interest in them right now is specifically for what DMT makes we can use in the field for both military and sporting uses. One last point, the DMT sharpener doesn't care what steel we are sharpening, including CPM S-30V that my folder is made from. It all came up sharp with about the same amount of work.

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 08-06-2004 at 10:40.
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:23   #4
Bill Harsey
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Re: Field Sharpening Report

The DMT Diafold comes in either coarse and medium or medium and fine grit combinations. There are one grit models too. I'm thinking the coarse and medium may even be better for hard use military field applications. Remember, to sharpen this way, hold the blade still in your holding hand that rests on your leg while sitting. Use the stone like a file to stroke at the angle you need over the bevel of the knife.Do not move the knife while sharpening. Look at the edge and see where you are removing steel, this will tell you a lot. Sharpening is a steel removal process. Turn the knife over and work on the other side, feel for the wired edge that tells you that major sharpening is done. When you percieve the wire edge from top to bottom of the edge, use the fine side and make a few strokes on the edge at a barely incresead angle. This will at least start the wire edge off and you should have a nice aggresive edge to work with. Check out www.dmtsharp.com

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 08-06-2004 at 10:45.
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:03   #5
NousDefionsDoc
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Great report thanks!

I carry a single-sided medium in my pack. Do you strop them after you put the sharpener to them?
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:21   #6
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NDD, No I don't strop the knives we use in the field for game or utility work. You have a knife of mine that has been stropped but that is for another function. Depending on the type of fine abrasive in the strop, this is a good way to remove the fine wire edge we get from sharpening with a stone. Yes you can always get a blade sharper with stropping but the "edge endurance" drops off with the finer edges. The slightly more ragged sawtooth edge that comes straight off the final diamond sharpening step will do the most work over the longest period of time between sharpenings. If you find yourself having to do emergency surgery on someone your trying to help, stropping may be good so you can cut with less pressure and have an opening that might heal faster.

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 08-06-2004 at 11:24.
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:23   #7
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Roger. Thank you. If I do emergency "surgery" in the field with my new Harsey A/F fighter, I hope it never heals.
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:26   #8
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For those of you who, like me, did not know what a "strop" is:

http://www.knivesplus.com/KP-STROP8-STROPBLOCK.html
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
my new Harsey A/F fighter
Have you already posted pics of this?
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:28   #10
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I was editing my post when you answered, realizing that you do have a fine stropped blade by me designed for a specific type of work.
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:29   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
Have you already posted pics of this?
Somebody did...
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:32   #12
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RL, if you didn't know what a strop was until now, you've never truly had you ass beat by an angry redneck father.
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:40   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
RL, if you didn't know what a strop was until now, you've never truly had you ass beat by an angry redneck father.
I knew what a belt is, but not a strop. Ouch!
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:54   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
Have you already posted pics of this?
Here:

http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/...&threadid=1977
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