Reply by Kelly

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Posted on Diamond stones

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2541 posts in 3511 days

#1 posted 07-24-2017 05:13 AM

Key to your answers is, what you are sharpening. For example:

- For my lathe knives, I use a home built, four wheel, variable speed, reversible grinder (DC industrial sewing machine motor and control running pillow block mounted bearings and shafts. Two of the wheels run CBN wheels, which go and go and go and go, for grinding high speed steel.

- Before the DC motor and CBN wheels, I used my Delta 1” grinder, which can heat things up quickly, so it was an on and off thing with 220 belts.

- My two wheel grinder rarely gets turned on, unless a mower blade needs sharpening. It’s just too fast for fine work.

- For my kitchen knives and expensive pocket knives, I use an Edge Pro. That runs water stones, which I touch up on glass or granite (free) using carbide granules that last a long time and are cheap.

- For quick touch ups, I wander over to my buffer (Redwing two speed beast) and use red rouge or chromium oxide.

- For carving knives, I have a gold compound that works so well, one swipe of a knife across it leaves a black trail of metal on the felt covered wood forms shaped for different blades. Include in that set up leather belts glued to wood.

Critical to using every one of these methods is, repeating the exact same angle on each pass. People talk about muscle memory, but that doesn’t work for those of us who work with a lot of different angles and items needing sharpening (pocket knives, kitchen knives, axes, chisels, carving knives, lathe knives, mower blades, cleavers, . . . ).

To insure the angle establishing a grind for a lathe knife, I use one of the several jigs sold for that purpose. They all but guarantee repeatability. After that, the buffer can sheep you going for a while.

You can also glue some MDF together, make it round, mount it on your drill press, apply buff compounds to dedicated wheels (for a given compound) and touch them up that way.

Of course, you can go the diamond plate route too, but using a jig to repeat passes is still critical, since shifting even one degree can set you back quit a ways.

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