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  • Question about stoning knives.

    I have 3 OCCT knives that I've had for about a year. They've been regularly stropped using a Dunkle Strop and Dunkle dust. One knife got something on the edge where it looked like I tried to cut wire with it. The others were getting smaller nicks in the edge as well. Time to stone and strop.
    I had a piece of glass made about the size of a DMT stone and a variety of wet/dry sand paper. I laid the blades flat and stoned them to where the edges were good. Did a test cut and the edges would roll. I finally figured out I needed a little bevel to the edge as they seemed too fragile with just a straight edge. Lifted the back of the blade a smidge and stoned them again. The test cuts seem to go well.

    My confusion comes most resources I've read telling you you need to get rid of the bevel but in my case that seems to lead to a fragile edge. What gives?

    Thanks!!
    https://www.triadwoodcarvers.com/

  • #2
    Originally posted by PHolder View Post
    I have 3 OCCT knives that I've had for about a year. They've been regularly stropped using a Dunkle Strop and Dunkle dust. One knife got something on the edge where it looked like I tried to cut wire with it. The others were getting smaller nicks in the edge as well. Time to stone and strop.
    I had a piece of glass made about the size of a DMT stone and a variety of wet/dry sand paper. I laid the blades flat and stoned them to where the edges were good. Did a test cut and the edges would roll. I finally figured out I needed a little bevel to the edge as they seemed too fragile with just a straight edge. Lifted the back of the blade a smidge and stoned them again. The test cuts seem to go well.

    My confusion comes most resources I've read telling you you need to get rid of the bevel but in my case that seems to lead to a fragile edge. What gives?

    Thanks!!
    Just a thought to ponder.... but I love the thin blades but you get them too thin ..they break easy. It also depends on how hard your wood is, different knife shapes seem to affect the kind of cut you will get. Right now I am using a dockyard super thin and extremely small chips, she cutting well on the basswood which is really dry. I don't think I could use that tool for my hardwood much at all. Yes you got a fragile edge and it can break but with experience, you learn not all knives nor chisels edges are suitable to use with all kinds of cuts. I change out knives often depending on the cut and the wood. You got a thin blade you can not use it,... for deep cuts.
    . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di

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    • #3
      PH,

      First flat flat is wrong IMHO I generally look for a strop gap at the spine about the thickness of a dime. 11* per side 22* total. You can measure the dearth of your blade and do math if you want to.

      Next:
      This is why I no longer have any OCCT tools. The edges collapse when carving wood. This is why I routinely advise against buying them. The first time it happen I thought maybe I had messed up but all four of their tools I had bought developed the same problem just as you described. Now I get that at 6’5” 280 I may impart a bit more force then the average carver but I don’t own a mallet. A tool sold to carve wood should do so without taking damage.

      No I’m not a metallurgist but my guess is either cheap steal or poor process. Either way the good news is there is a strong market for used OCCT tools. Sell the junk buy some better tools. Life is too short to be fixing poor quality tools.

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      • #4
        Hi rockwell blades can be brittle if the cutting edge is too thin and chip or mico chips along the edge. I am not sure what the degree of angle is but I was taught to hold the back blade about a dimes width off the surface when sharpening or stroping. That has always worked for me. Also when your blade is really sharp you can develop a wire like edge that need to be stroped off. That could have been what was rolling. We all seem to fined what works best for us. I sure there will be other thoughts offered.
        Last edited by Claude; 02-23-2022, 11:11 AM. Reason: typo
        We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi
        https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nebraska View Post
          PH,

          First flat flat is wrong IMHO I generally look for a strop gap at the spine about the thickness of a dime. 11* per side 22* total. You can measure the dearth of your blade and do math if you want to.

          Next:
          This is why I no longer have any OCCT tools. The edges collapse when carving wood. This is why I routinely advise against buying them. The first time it happen I thought maybe I had messed up but all four of their tools I had bought developed the same problem just as you described. Now I get that at 6’5” 280 I may impart a bit more force then the average carver but I don’t own a mallet. A tool sold to carve wood should do so without taking damage.

          No I’m not a metallurgist but my guess is either cheap steal or poor process. Either way the good news is there is a strong market for used OCCT tools. Sell the junk buy some better tools. Life is too short to be fixing poor quality tools.
          Thank you.
          I bought a set of knives when I started that did not serve me well. One developed a hook in the middle of the blade, another the tip bent after doing a stab cut. This is all on basswood. I got the OCCT knives because the price seemed reasonable and they seemed to have a good following. They served well until just recently.
          Thank you for confirming flat is wrong. That should help.
          Helvie seems to be everyone's go-to if you are able to snag one. Any other suggestions?
          https://www.triadwoodcarvers.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Randy View Post
            Hi rockwell blades can be bridal if the cutting edge is too thin and chip or mico chips along the edge. I am not sure what the degree of angle is but I was tought to hold the back blade about a dimes width off the surface when sharpening or stroping. That has always worked for me. Also when your blade is really sharp you can develop a wire like edge that need to be stroped off. That could have been what was rolling. We all seem to fined what works best for us. I sure there will be other thoughts offerd.
            Thank you Randy.
            https://www.triadwoodcarvers.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nebraska View Post
              PH,

              First flat flat is wrong IMHO I generally look for a strop gap at the spine about the thickness of a dime. 11* per side 22* total. You can measure the dearth of your blade and do math if you want to.

              Next:


              No I’m not a metallurgist but my guess is either cheap steal or poor process. Either way the good news is there is a strong market for used OCCT tools. Sell the junk buy some better tools. Life is too short to be fixing poor quality tools.
              Sell the junk buy some better tools. Life is too short to be fixing poor-quality tools. I do not have OCCT knife thank goodness!!!. Great information although! This is my main pet peeve with wood carving. Bad tools. After watching on TV, Forge on Fire, you can see how easy it is to make bad forged steel affects the quality in all ways.
              . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di

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              • #8
                I'll go along with usually raising the back of the blade about a dime when sharpening or stropping. I however, disagree with the OCCT tools being junk, I have three of them that are my constant use blades without a problem. I also have a Helvie that the blade is fine and has a lower degree of bevel but I don't like the handle on it and haven't gotten around to smashing off the handle yet and making a new one. I suspect your problem is in your sharpening and not the knife.

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                • #9
                  For a cutting edge to hold up to the pressures of carving there has to be enough metal supporting the edge. This means sharpening is a compromise between sharpness and strength. You could probably form a knife blade with a 1 degree bevel, but it wouldn't survive the first cut in wood. Setting the bevel angle by raising the spine of the blade by a dime's thickness only works for a blade of a given width. For a wider blade that approach reduces the bevel angle.

                  I recently bought a couple of very nice pocket knives. Were they honed flat? Definitely not. Were they intended for carving? Probably not. The bevels were less than 1/8" wide, so the angle was greater than 10 degrees. I tried changing the bevel angles to what I would use on a carving knife. Neither knife would hold an edge longer than a day.

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                  • #10
                    Interesting. I have had nothing but good luck with Mike's knives AND tools. 90% of the tools in my box are OCCT which is what I bought after I sold the junk I bought when I first started 20+ years ago.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PHolder View Post

                      Thank you.
                      I bought a set of knives when I started that did not serve me well. One developed a hook in the middle of the blade, another the tip bent after doing a stab cut. This is all on basswood. I got the OCCT knives because the price seemed reasonable and they seemed to have a good following. They served well until just recently.
                      Thank you for confirming flat is wrong. That should help.
                      Helvie seems to be everyone's go-to if you are able to snag one. Any other suggestions?


                      There are a lot of OCCT fans out there so I fully expect some blow back. Diobsud Forge in my opinion are the best carving tools I have ever owned or touched.

                      Diobsud

                      These fine knives are forged from high carbon steel. They are hand hammered so that the grain structure is refined, ground and hardened to a full Martensite hardness to give them the best combination of edge holding and ease of sharpening. They are then honed to a razor edge. Use caution as they are very sharp. Handles are of premium straight grained Maple with an oiled finish. This is a Western made tool unlike any other you have used and we guarantee you will be more than pleased with your purchase. Use a strop or "Powerstrop" to keep them sharp.

                      Unfortunately they went out of business in 1999 so these are and eBay item only. They will set you back $50 to $90 per tool. By religiously looking at listing for used tool I have spot Diobsud knives and gouges mixed in with junk tools and have several that I got for free or made a few buck after sell off the junk they came with. The knives have thick blades and sometimes that is what you need and they hold an edge like nothing else.

                      I have a couple helvie knifes and their thin flexible blade have uses as well. Fully recommend them.

                      The third knife I recommend and buy whenever I can get a good deal where made by BK Thurman Custom Knives. The last one I picked up was on eBay with 11 other knives. I got the set for 175 selling them individually I sold the other ten for 240.

                      To me it is worth the time to have the tools I really want.





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                      • #12
                        I wouldn't hesitate to recommend OCCT knives or gouges. I also like Helvies and Drakes, even though I had one Helvie get a chip in the blade one time. They figured it hit a knot in the wood, but they replaced it anyhow, even though I had not asked them to. I also have some Ramelsons and Inferior Tools made by Harold Enlow out of umbrellas and LazyBoy springs and they also work just fine. My personal experience has been that it has usually been my fault when tools get damaged, often by trying to do something that the tools wasn't intended for. And I also own some tools I would not recommend. I keep them to remind me to stick with brands that work and not to get fooled by pretty handles or too-good-to be true deals. I still use my Flexcuts on occasion, but their "mallet" tools are not to be compared with my Pfeil tools.
                        'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

                        http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
                        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-...61450667252958
                        http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

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                        • #13
                          Brian T's suggestion worked great for me when he suggested the use of a loop to "see what you are doing". He uses a X10 magnifier with a bright LED. I use a X30, X60 w LED and I can now 'see' the edge quality. If I get some grit embedded into my strop I can 'see' the results in the edge. I have used Helvie Knives for the past 12 years and they have only been stropped - 'never stoned'. here is an example of the magnifier
                          John
                          ​​​​​
                          "Quality is not expensive. It is priceless!"

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                          • Claude
                            Claude commented
                            Editing a comment
                            @johnvansyckel: where did you buy that magnifier?
                            Claude

                        • #14
                          I have three OCCT gouges that are a pleasure to use.
                          Arthur

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                          • #15
                            I do not know any one with OCCT knives that are unhappy with them. Many in the carving group here have them. When ever we have a thread about "what knife", OCCT are always part of the list of names you read. My list is Helive, Drake and Deepwood Venture. After I found Drake palm tools I just never have felt the need to try another. I have been real happy with them. A few years back I added a small set of Auriou mallet tools. They became my choice. I sold most Pfie tools to a fellow carver. We all want high quality tools that fit our stile of carving and fits our grips as well as our pocket book. The great thing is there are a nice selction out there that will fit us all. And this forum is such a great place to read about that group of tools. While we all have our choices. The list of names you see seem to be consistent ,most of the time.
                            We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi
                            https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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