Old 12-30-2005, 09:53   #61
Bill Harsey
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Piter,
Very interesting field craft on the sharpener. Thank you for showing us the pictures!

I'm going to have to try that because I always hand hold the small ceramic rods but I think you can get more work done your way. Just don't let your knife get so dull you can't carve the wood.
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Old 06-12-2006, 13:25   #62
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Tantos?

Mr Harsey,

What is the best way to sharpen a tanto style blade? The junction of the 2 blade angles always seem to be an issue.

In the past I have treated it like 2 different knives. Sharpening the main edge and if needed (rarely) the short side. Depending on the size of the stone determined whether I moved the knife or the stone. I would finish with crock sticks.

I have a new knife (T2) and I want to start it out right.

Thanks for your assistance,
Mud Puppy
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Old 06-12-2006, 16:50   #63
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Piter,

Nice idea.
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Old 06-12-2006, 19:50   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mud Puppy
Mr Harsey,

In the past I have treated it like 2 different knives. Sharpening the main edge and if needed (rarely) the short side. Depending on the size of the stone determined whether I moved the knife or the stone. I would finish with crock sticks.

Mud Puppy
Mud Puppy,
That's exactly how I do it, treating it like two distinct blades when it comes to the geometry of the sharpening.
This is also exactly how the swordmakers of Japan did and continue to do.

Try not using the crock sticks and take advantage of the fine tooth left from the sharpening stone. This will greatly increase your edge endurance.

The CPM S-30V doesn't generate quite as much of a "wire edge' as other steels and will come up sharper with less work (ok, fewer steps...) than other steels.
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:54   #65
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What thoughts do you guys have on the MOD CQD knives?
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Old 07-19-2006, 09:14   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STRAC
What thoughts do you guys have on the MOD CQD knives?
Is this a sharpening question?
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:58   #67
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Some people have told me about stropping a knife on cardboard with some sort of a polishing compound as opposed to using a stone or ceramic sticks.

Mr. Harsey, does that sound like something that would work or is the stropping more for a quick hone of an edge versus actually sharpening a blade?


It seems the cardboard would be less bulky and obviously lighter than a stone, which would be great, since I'm a nasty leg.

thanks,

Rob
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Old 07-20-2006, 14:50   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_0811
Some people have told me about stropping a knife on cardboard with some sort of a polishing compound as opposed to using a stone or ceramic sticks.

Mr. Harsey, does that sound like something that would work or is the stropping more for a quick hone of an edge versus actually sharpening a blade?


It seems the cardboard would be less bulky and obviously lighter than a stone, which would be great, since I'm a nasty leg.

thanks,

Rob
Rob,
Stropping is a way to fine finish a blade by removing the burr from previous correctly done sharpening steps.
Then stropping with the very fine grits called stropping compound can be used to maintain that edge until it's time for the blade to be returned to the stones.

The most common use for this type of sharpening is/was the straight razor which responds to this treatment because the edge is so thin there is very little steel to remove.
Stropping is also used to fine finish wood working tools like chisels and planer blades to the point that the finished cut is smoother than anything sanding good produce.
The best razors and wood working tools share one thing in common, a low alloy high carbon steel of fine grain that is very hard. The hardness of these steels aids in the ability of the strop to do it's work because the "wire edge' abrades or polishes off clean.
These steels in the heat treated condition they come in are too brittle for hard field use.

In any given blade steel, the "stropped" or polished edge has surprisingly short cutting endurance and gives up easy in difficult materials. Once the fine polished edge is "wiped off" the knife quits cutting well in anything.

I do know of manufacturers who use a series of cardboard "grinding wheels" loaded with fine abrasive compounds (high speed spinning strops) for final sharpening but the edges I describe how to do here will long outlast them in the field.

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 07-20-2006 at 17:56.
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Old 07-20-2006, 15:54   #69
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More Stropping...

Stropping will not restore a blade that has been used hard resulting in dings, micro chips and flat spots on the edge.

Fine ceramic rods and sticks will somewhat keep an edge straightened out and do some very fine abrading at the same time. Butchers call this "standing the edge up" and they use a steel for this use, chefs do the same thing but again this applies to knives ground very thin made of steels that are not as tough or hard as the modern steels we use in tactical blades.


The reason for using the toughest steels possible in tactical knives is that these things have to be built for many emergency uses that may include cutting other metals like sheet, wire or banding straps and prying with the users full strength to try and break stuff.
To make knives that hold up to this type of work, they have to also be just a little thicker at the edge and this makes a difference in how we sharpen them.

Your pocket knife will probably be kept with a finer edge than your tactical or field fixed blade.

Try the stropping and tell us how it works.
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Old 07-20-2006, 16:40   #70
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I have received my stone from True Grit today, now the big important part, how to keep my fingers attached to my hand, while making a blade sharp.

I have been enjoying this thread, I have lots of "Sharpening aids" but they are seem to work so so. I had a friend teach me how to sharpen, he was a Barber before he enlisted, and KIA in 17 Sept '69, and actually succeeded to doing so. But over time, I forgotten, and reading this thread has helped me to remember, I hope.. So in a few days, If I am typing a Job well done, you will know I have succeeded. If my daughter types it, well......... you know...
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:31   #71
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Hollis,
Good news on the bench stone.

Learning what a good edge looks like when done on the bench stone helps us understand what it has to look like upon completion when using the field expedient sharpening rigs.
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Old 09-02-2006, 12:01   #72
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Safe Handling of Sharp Tools...

...is a frame of mind whenever the knife is in your hand.

Yes I'm stating the obvious and will continue, be careful when handling these knives no matter what the edge condition. Whoever coined the phrase "a dull knife will cut you worse than a sharp one" hasn't been cut with something really sharp.

In my work as a knifemaker I learned how to make knives very sharp before learning how to handle very sharp knives. I've been cut a few times, couple of those resulted in scheduled surgical procedures to re-attach tendons. Avoid this if possible. Much down time involved.

Using sharp edged tools in hard use and emergency situations requires habits learned before you get there, just like firearms handling. The best advice I have is:

Think at all times where the blade is going to go when you apply the horsepower to the cut.

Watch and Think about your holding hand and arm, this is what will probably get hurt first if the blade breaks thru or slips off what your cutting. Do NOT cut toward your hand or body no matter how much control you think you've got. Murphy likes knives too.

Try and cut tough materials, if possible, on some kind of surface rather than up in the air. You have more control this way.

If the knife isn't cutting in something very tough, Think before using more horsepower. That instant of thinking might keep you from getting cut.

Keep your folding knives cleaned out, especially in and around the locking mechanisms. Grit, pocket lint, organic debris, sand, mud and stuff can all build up over time and cause a lock to not lock the blade in the full open position.

Most of this cleaning can be done with a toothpick or sliver of wood. It's not hard to do but please do it.

Final note, keep some good band aids around anyway.
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Old 09-02-2006, 12:05   #73
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Great advice, Bill.

Used any of the DermaBond yet?

TR
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Old 09-02-2006, 12:12   #74
Bill Harsey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Reaper
Great advice, Bill.

Used any of the DermaBond yet?

TR
Thanks and not yet but I keep it close by all the time in my cut kit which includes a one hand use tourniquet provided by Swatsurgeon
(oh ye of little faith, or really smart).
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Old 09-03-2006, 13:12   #75
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Chopping Safety

I've seen very little published about chopping safety with a knife until the Bladesmiths stated holding chopping competitions to test blades.

Some things I've personally experienced that seem to defeat my own common sense when chopping are:

Fatigue, when the hand and arm gets tired I can't hold on to the knife as well. I've lost a machete a couple times while cutting brush without resting when tired. Got lucky, didn't get cut but should have been.
The closer we get to "done", the harder we try and that's when Murphy shows up to see where he can help. This rule is compounded x100 when you have an audience standing around seeing how well you do.

Think about where the blade will swing when it misses, goes all the way thru or bounces out of the cut. Yes your leg will stop the knife just fine but it might ruin a good pair of pants.

Sweaty or wet hands can make bad things happen too. Go just a little slower and be sure of your grip.

This rule applies to swinging an Axe too, if your splitting wood that's standing on end on the ground, be sure to drop your hands down (without releasing the handle) as the Axe goes thru to keep the blade from rotating thru the cut and ruining good pants or boots.
This is geometry, if your hands stay high, then the bit of the Axe can rotate into your body if it breaks thru the cut. If your hands lower as the cut is made, it will only hit dirt.
Same thought process is used for chopping when cutting down or bucking timber with an axe. In general, the shorter the handle the more the user is exposed to getting cut.

Try not to hit the dirt either or else woodsman like Moroney will have to choose which comment is appropriate.

Have other folks stand to your side when doing chopping stuff, not directly in front of or behind if it can be helped.
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