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Wet/Dry Sandpaper vs. Sharpening stone

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  • Wet/Dry Sandpaper vs. Sharpening stone

    Hello everyone. My question is can you use wet/dry sandpaper in place of a sharpening stone?

  • #2
    Sure you can. I inspect my carving edges at 10X under a bright LED light.
    I judge whether to begin with 600 or 800 grit 3M wet& dry (dry) automotive finishing sandpaper.
    Then I go 1,000, then 1,200, then 1,500, then I stop.

    I go no further because the scanning electron microscope pictures in Leonard Lee's book:
    "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" show there's no reason to go further. Fact, not speculation.

    I used to use a 2,000/4,000 grit waterstone. I put it away.

    To carve very soft woods like western red cedar and yellow cedar, I need quite sharp edges.
    My final step is a gentle honing with AlOx/CrOx compound on some sort of a strop.
    The strops are box cardboard, file cards wrapped around tubes or dead chainsaw files, even a tennis ball.

    Brian T


    • #3
      Yes to the sandpaper! No to the wet. Especially when I’m traveling so much lighter than my wet stones. In fact if I need to really rework or re-profile a tool, I start with 80 grit paper to avoid making grooves in my course stone. After 600 - 800 I hit the strop.
      Last edited by Nebraska; 01-13-2020, 08:05 AM.
      Living in a pile of chips.


      • #4
        Yes to sandpaper using the scary sharp method, do not use wet dry too often, but use the better sandpapers that wood craftsmen use. Then strop. All my stones are store away, in a place I do not remember where. One of those items I paid good money for and the end results were found by using other methods. Today my go-to method is Tomz machine and the paper wheels on a motor, one of which I put an abrasive on.


        • #5
          On the rare occasion that I actually need more than a stropping I use sandpaper. I usually will get out the paper and go over all my tools about once a year to just make sure the bevel is still where I want it, the only other time I get it out is if I happen to drop a knife.


          • #6
            1500-2000 wet-dry is my choice when finishing a new bought blade or new made one. Then strop with red and or yellow bar.
            Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!



            • #7
              For sure. Generally I prefer stones, but for really small tools, tight V tools, etc the sand paper really comes into it's own. Also good for large scale steel removal. Can work much faster than some stones. Stones are nice because they don't ever rip. For me sandpaper wears out fairly fast too.


              • #8
                Yes you can use wet and dry paper. I use 400, 600, 1000, 2000 in that order. If I need to build an edge, then I start with 240. I recently bought 180 but I haven't had a chance to use that since I haven't made any new knives lately.

                Also: I recently learned something that I had been doing wrong.

                When you strop, you drag the blade across the strop, right?

                Well, I recently read on FB that you do the same for sharpening--drag the blade across the sandpaper. This is to avoid tearing up the paper. Makes sense. So, I tried it.

                I now have two knives a sharp as the OCCT knife I just bought. It took me about 20 minutes for each. These two knives always gave me a hard time in the past. I think it suffices to say that it is easier to hold the angle by dragging rather than pushing into the sharpening medium.

                Also, mark your blade's edge with permanent marker to see if your sharpening evenly across the edge.

                Bob L