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Old 01-08-2010, 11:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
I think the Sharpmaker is superior to the round crock sticks, if for no other reason than that the flat areas of the hone make it easier to sharpen without rounding off the tip. The trick is to end your stroke on the tip of the knife, not letting it actually move off of the stone, as Trooper describes. It's a good tool that will do what it's designed to do and do it well. It has minor issues, namely the limitation of only having 2 angles and few stones, plus the rattle/slop of the stone in the slot. This seems to be pretty variable- mine had almost no play but my Dad's did have some slop. I guess that's what you can expect at the price. The other side of the coin is simplicity; the fact that it's pretty basic makes it easy to learn to use and hard to mess up. For $50 it's a darned good entry level sharpener.

Ultimately I sold mine because I'd "moved on" to the point where it was redundant. I keep enough knives at my work case that I can swap 'em out before they get dull, and I don't use knives at much at this job as I have at others. I do my serious sharpening at home on waterstones, using a glass hone to maintain my knives in the rare circumstance that they need a touch up at work.
Thanks Ron.

Well I did it. I order it today. I have an old set of knives (Gerber - don't know if these are good knives or not - they were made in the USA). Will be using it on these til I get some better knives.

Carol
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:02 AM   #12
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Book's around here somewhere.

I have had this sharpener for years,actually two of them.The original only had one angle in the verticle set up.I have never used the 30 back bevel on my new one.What is the differance between the 30 BB and the 40 degree edge? I should just try it as my knifes are junky anyway, but it would be nice to know what to expect.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:34 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by trooper View Post
There is a trick to not blunting the tips on your Sharpmaker - don't let them "flick-off" the stone at the end of the down-stroke. Just let the tip land at the nase of the stone to a complete stop. I should post a youtube video or something on this... Yes, a risk but one that is easily mitigated with some user training.
I would love to see this.

Thanks,
Carol
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sadievan View Post
Thanks Trooper. Very helpful. When you sharpen do you just do the 30* or do you do both a 30* back bevel and then the 40*?
Most of my knives are all set to 30" primary and a hand-adjusted back-bevel of maybe 15-20 degrees I do on the same 30-degree-side of the sharpener.

Now- When I sharpen other peoples knives, and what I suggest most people do - is only use the 40-degree side for sharpening; Maybe make ten passes or so on the 30-degree white stones just to clean-up the back-relief of any burrs or scratches.

I use the 40-degree side when sharpening other peoples cutlery, unless they already have a more narrow angle, or need a stone instead.

Knives I keep at 20/20-standard bevel (or larger, but use that side for sharpening): My 7" meat cleaver, 12" scimitar and 14" butcher's knives (That I rarely use anyway) - A set of beautiful classic French knives (Gave to ex-mrs. trooper as a Christmas gift recently); Mrs. Trooper's 8" Furi Chef's knife and my utility knife (That all cooks should have).
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanna be View Post
I have had this sharpener for years,actually two of them.The original only had one angle in the verticle set up.I have never used the 30 back bevel on my new one.What is the differance between the 30 BB and the 40 degree edge? I should just try it as my knifes are junky anyway, but it would be nice to know what to expect.
Usually the 30-degree side is used for filet knives, some Japanese-style (or Western/Santoku-style knives); a few types of slicers and maybe high-precision paring knives... But for the most part, it is used to "back-bevel" the primary cutting edge.

A back-bevel will reduce drag on the leading edge, reducing friction and do the same work with less force. Another reason for the back-bevel is to "re-tune" the knife after the existing edge has been worn-back from repeated sharpening/wear.

Think of this letter: V

now think of how much surface area each side of that V has... and then you use the 30-degree back-bevel to shoulder-off some of that area...

Now think of the lower case: v

Sometimes it is really frustrating (and difficult) to sharpen a knife when you're working with more of a Wedge than an Edge. Putting a taper on the blade with the back-bevel will shave some of that shoulder-angle off, and make a clean, neat, double-angle edge; Taking back surface-area on the leading edge, and providing that back-bevel transitional stage instead of driving a solid slab of knife-face tension directly behind the initial cutting edge.

Suggestion: Don't try to turn a 40-degree knife into a 30-degree knife with the SpyderCo... you can do it; I have done it myself - But it takes forever, will wear-out your gray stones quickly, and you can get a better result by either using a stone or having a knife-shop grind the initial reduced angle . . . trust me on this... Also - probably not an angle I would suggest for a softer steel knife, or a heavy German knife, just because if the law of diminishing returns goes... Just a suggestion.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:16 PM   #16
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Very helpfull!

It sounds like trooper is a sharpening guru.That is a skill that is usefull both in and out of the kitchen.Thanks for the info I will give it a try.Do you have any tips on sharpening lawnmower blades?
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:30 PM   #17
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Carol, I have some YT vids but I made a reference to my username on there and the moderators deleted my post... so maybe they didn't like it? :(

My how to use a steel video is the best one out there, so it's hard to miss. I go over different types, and what to look for and such... but will probably make a new one given the questions I get on the old one... Also have a SpyderCo video on there (Someone asked about how to sharpen Global knives I think... ) -- Anyway, thanks!
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by wanna be View Post
It sounds like trooper is a sharpening guru.That is a skill that is usefull both in and out of the kitchen.Thanks for the info I will give it a try.Do you have any tips on sharpening lawnmower blades?
LOL, thanks - For the cost of having a mower blade professionaly done (I think they charge seven dollars at the knife shop here) - My time is not worth dealing with built-up grass, grime and grit to deal with it... But I have done it. (How else would I know it sucks that bad?!)

If you have a vice, it is your best friend. Remove the blade, clean it up and secure it in the vice. You will have three challenges:

1. Is the blade warped? If so: Buy new blade.
2. Does the blade have chips, dings and bent cutting-edges? Yes, it does.
3. Has some other idiot tried to sharpen this before? I hope not.

Given the first challenge is not a problem, you're in good shape.
Given the third challenge is not a problem, you're in GREAT shape!

Chips, dings, dents and rolled cutting surface... That is the first thing you have to tackle, and you WANT to fix this stuff while the blade is still "dull".

You have three options to remove big gouges and nicks:

1. Grinder/Grinding wheel - More likely overkill and may detemper your blade.
2. Belt sander - if you're really good and it has a low speed... but overkill.
3. Dremel tool and a Bastard File (dremel optional) - Best option.

If you use a dremel, just be very, very ginger, and only take out the bigger nicks and burls... in short passes, not sustained grinding. The dremel surface area will limit detempering risk, but it is still a risk. You also have to be careful not to remove too much metal - just less than what you need - finish the rest with a file.

Next, take the back of an axe or some other heavy steel tool, and basicly "steel" the blades, following the same method you would use for a knife, but using a little more force. This will really make a big difference in the next step...

Use your file, and as gentle as baby's breath, lead-into the cutting edge, following the origional angle as closely as you possibly can... and do both sides of the blade.

Next, just as gentle, use your file on the non-ground side of the blade, and file out-ward and away on an extreme (almost flat with the back side of the blade surface) angle. This will push-out the stragglers you didn't get when you did the steeling, and any metal edge rolled-back from the initial cutting-edge filing.

You will find that there are spots that may need a little more work than others along the blade... this means more work, not more force... just more passes.

After this is done, steel the blades again and you're ready for testing...

Testing the redneck way: Take a loose pipe, wrench handle or something else round and pipe-like, maybe a broom handle - and put it in your vice.

Put your "propeller" on that and spin it *normal safety disclaimer*

It won't be perfect, but you will be able to tell if it is really out of balance, or just a sloppy mower blade spinning around a stick. If it seems close enough, remount it. If it is really out-of-whack - You can file some metal off the "heavier side", but don't get too anal over it... File metal of the outer, trailing edge of the blade... for obvious reasons.

Retest and then mount back when you are comfortable with the work.

Tips: Your blade cut fine the first, second and tenth time it hit that rock, sprinkler head, driveway, dog toy... some nicks and gouges are fine - they happen. Don't take a set of channel-locks to the blade and try bending back a 3/4" roll... all you'll do is warp the approach angle of the blade... making further effort meaningless.

What you are looking for in the finished edge is a nice, even, consistant "shiny edge" across the cutting surface, that says "I did an nice, even, minimalist but clean job of following the factory angle and cleaning up the leading edge." Finesse, not brute force filing/grinding.

If you wanted to geek-out on it and use finer files, or a stone, or 0.3 micron grit and a dremel buffer... think about how much that's really going to mater the first 11 seconds that mower comes back to life. Just clean up the edge, smooth, straight, aligned, even, honed back to serviceable condition. Overkill sharpening will just make the blade dull faster, and give you less resharpen cycles before it's just plain spent.

I hope that ad-hoc how-to helps!
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:36 AM   #19
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Cool!!

I have a buddy at work that can sharpen anything and I mean anything.I have seen him cut the handle off of an old file grind it so fine that he can shave his arm hair with it.I guess he didd'nt want to buy a chisel.He has tried to teach me how to sharpen drill bits and every cutting tool imaginalable to no avail.I really think it is a natural ability that you can try to explain but you either have it or you dont.I can get my knives sharp but not razor sharp and that sucks.Reading your posts: you and Jimmy are in the same class.Thanks for the info I will put it to good use.
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:56 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by wanna be View Post
I have a buddy at work that can sharpen anything and I mean anything.I have seen him cut the handle off of an old file grind it so fine that he can shave his arm hair with it.I guess he didd'nt want to buy a chisel.He has tried to teach me how to sharpen drill bits and every cutting tool imaginalable to no avail.I really think it is a natural ability that you can try to explain but you either have it or you dont.I can get my knives sharp but not razor sharp and that sucks.Reading your posts: you and Jimmy are in the same class.Thanks for the info I will put it to good use.
Wow, thanks for the compliment! Any skill is rooted from example and developed with experience. Bad examples or no examples mean more trial-and-error in the experience journey. May you always have good examples and less trial-and-error in everything you do!
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