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Narex Carving Tools Reviews?

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  • #31
    But you can see all the blades have bevel like that, which are not carving sharp.
    My phone camera is not quite good enough to give good resolution close-up of the bevel, but it is there.
    The bevel also has rough machine mark.
    Last edited by kiri; 06-06-2017, 04:36 AM.

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    • #32
      I ground off the Skew for half an hour, and got rid of some of the 2ndary bevel, but need more work for the best. It cuts a lot better than when arrived first.
      The steel is soft side, so it is easy to grind off on the stone.
      Last edited by kiri; 06-06-2017, 04:39 AM.

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      • #33
        With a little more sharpening on the stone and then strop, the Skew of NAREX, has become quite usable. It is cutting nicely on the Aspen wood. If a little bit of sharpening work is not problem, then Narex seems a good tool to go for. The steel is soft, easy to work on and sharpen.

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        • #34
          Those look good. I have Dastra, Pheil, Henry Taylor, Stubai brands. Pfeil are the closest to just poke in the wood and go, but even they need a little honing to be like I like them. The others need more. For bevel alterations, assuming we're not talking about an 11-4 veiner or something similarly tiny, it's either the wet grinder or 180 grit sandpaper. You may burn up a sheet or two of the paper, but man, its fast.

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          • #35
            I have worked on 2 other gouges in Narex set to get them sharper, and they are now reasonably sharp, and very useful. One of them is still not sharp as it could be - need more work on that.

            They can reach awkward places where straight gouges struggle to reach. I am glad I got them. I had to work on 3x gouges on the stone, and 3 other ones seems ok carving sharp from the packet. The sharpest one among them is the straight skew, which slices woods like razor slicing paper.

            I managed to get hold of 6x medium sized Pfeil set second hand. These look very old from their handles gone dark and aged, but blades are carving sharp. I now know why the Pfeil gouges get good reputation.
            Last edited by kiri; 06-17-2017, 07:50 AM.

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            • #36
              But as you say, all tools will get dull through use, and needing maintenance work, and I am sure the Pfeil tools are not exception. Only advantage is that they come carving sharp from the factory.

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              • #37
                Many of my carving edges got better with use and repeated sharpening and honing.
                I rarely need to us anything rougher than 800 grit.
                Even now, the Pfeil need half a dozen honing strokes every 30 minutes.
                I can feel the edge going away, especially with slow hand work.

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                • #38
                  One of the things I notice about your Narex set is that all of the flat gouges that are 12 mm wide are marked "1/12" regardless of whether straight, skew, bent, or fishtail. Pfeil marks them as 1/12, 1S/12, 1/12L and 1F/12. It is helpful when the marking tells you exactly which gouge you have in your hand - but not critical.

                  I don't put much importance on tools that come carving sharp. The factory processes are still geared to volume and are performed on machines. You will find that hand working each gouge to your preferences will achieve an even sharper edge. I'm sure you are learning a lot about the Narex gouges (hardness, bevel, smoothness) as you rework them and apply them to your carving.
                  Last edited by pallin; 06-17-2017, 04:22 PM. Reason: punctuation

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                  • #39
                    The Lee Valley people told me that they would refer my interest in Narex Carving Tools to their "New Product" committee.

                    The 2 pairs of 1/2" Narex skews that I bought had 25 degree bevels as LV had said in the catalog.
                    After a day or two of form-line carving, I had to admit that 25 degrees is a big angle to push wood open.
                    I scrubbed them down to 20 which seems so common for carving tools. Substantial difference.

                    I'm glad it happened = I found out what the effort was like to use a carving tool at 25 degrees then again at 20 degrees just a few days later.

                    Depending on brand, farrier's hoof knives are in the range of 25 - 30 degrees total included bevel.
                    It's a lot of work to revise those to 12 - 15 degrees for wood carving but well worth it, new or used.

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                    • #40
                      Yes, I think they will get sharper as get used more and through time. Initially I was a bit disappointed by Narex not carving sharp, but I am happy now. They were very fast to work on the stone, then finer stone, and then strop, and were carving sharp. I have not used sand paper for sharpening, but they seem effective, I will try to use them next time.

                      I have no idea about their numbering system. I just look at them, and choose whatever I need for areas of cutting in the wood, and seem working OK. I am now more familiar with the Pfeil numbering system - all the medium size tools have D in front of the numbers, F for Fishtail, A for spoons etc.

                      The Narex set, to my surprise, once sharpened and honed, they seem keeping the edge very long time. I was worried about it because their steel was soft, but they are very good tool. Well made.

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                      • #41
                        Steel can be made so hard that it becomes brittle and chips. Then it is a big chore to repair. Softer steels are easier to keep sharp with honing.
                        The hardest steels that I've found is the Hall (Canada) farrier's hoof knife and the Ukal/Supervet (France) nail knife for sheep & goats. Neither is brittle.

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                        • #42
                          I suppose hard but not brittle steel is good to keep the edge longer, but then it would be difficult to maintain such as modding bevels, and resharpening once it goes dull.
                          Two Cherries tools contain nickel in their steel, and thats why they are hard and keep good edge, but once they go dull, it is dog work to sharpen - I heard from somewhere.

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                          • #43
                            Cr-V alloys are good. The Hall knife steel is hard. Each knife has to be revised from 25 degrees to 12 degrees and then the actual sharpening process begins.
                            I do the first step with a 7/32" Oregon chainsaw file. It's quick but I can do only 2 knives before the chainsaw file is worn out.
                            Here in my village, the files are sold in boxes of a dozen. Six used Hall knives are now at the 1,000 grit stage, 3 more chainsaw files in the dead can.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by kiri View Post
                              Yes, I think they will get sharper as get used more and through time. Initially I was a bit disappointed by Narex not carving sharp, but I am happy now. They were very fast to work on the stone, then finer stone, and then strop, and were carving sharp. I have not used sand paper for sharpening, but they seem effective, I will try to use them next time.
                              I turned up my nose at the idea of sandpaper for sharpening, after all I have some very good rocks and sandpaper isn't very traditional, but then I tried it and let me tell you, it's fast. I don't use it exclusively by any means, but If I need to sharpen something quick, it's faster than Diamond, India, Arkansas. It's especially nice on the inner bevel I use and for someone like RV that uses curved knives, it's about the only game in town aside from round stones/rods.

                              Originally posted by kiri View Post
                              The Narex set, to my surprise, once sharpened and honed, they seem keeping the edge very long time. I was worried about it because their steel was soft, but they are very good tool. Well made.
                              That's what I call Goldilocks steel.

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                              • #45
                                Come to think of it, I tried sandpaper sharpening once about 5 year ago, when I bought a used Opinel No8 Stainless from a bushcraft forum for using it for peeling fruits. It came with badly bruised blade, the previous owner must have used it for prying into rocks or something. The blade was all chipped, and looked bad, edges were all damaged and dull wouldn't cut even bread. I fixed it using sandpaper - it was quick, after the repair the blade looks and works as normal Opinels should.
                                Last edited by kiri; 06-19-2017, 04:53 AM.

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