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Sharpen by carving?

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  • #16
    Re: Sharpen by carving?

    Originally posted by seangrady View Post

    My theory is that the glacial silt almost acts like the stropping compounds you folks are talking about. It's a very fine abrasive, and has settled/soaked into the outer layers of all the wood I use.
    The problem with the theory is that stropping involves pulling the edge of the blade away from the abrasive while carving of course has the blade slicing into the silt. I think if anything the silt should dull the edge. What kind of wood are you carving.

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    • #17
      Re: Sharpen by carving?

      The driftwood has been mostly black spruce, cottonwood and birch, particularly burls. Lot's of cottonwood bark as well.

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      • #18
        Re: Sharpen by carving?

        Sean,
        If you can keep your tools carving sharp without stropping and sharpening; you're doing better than I ever have.
        Wood found in a river bed, Burls, or cottonwood bark from my experience will all dull sharp tools.
        I carve logs found along the saltwater beaches, but I use one set of tools to carve most of it and finish up with another set.

        If your tools never need to be sharpened, I wouldn't change a thing in the maintenance of them; you shouldn't waste money on strops or stones.

        Nice pictures, Rick

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        • #19
          Re: Sharpen by carving?

          Sounds reasonable to me but I will look for any reason not to stop and sharpen I will just pick up a heaver mallet.

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          • #20
            Re: Sharpen by carving?

            I find when I carve Cottonwood, my tools dull even quicker. I strop more often with more strokes per side.

            Dave

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            • #21
              Re: Sharpen by carving?

              Originally posted by seangrady View Post
              Alright, I was just wondering if perhaps I was missing out on something. I'll look into stropping further and try it to see if it makes a difference for me. Thanks!
              Do you have any tests that you use? Most common one I know of for carvers is cutting across the end grain of a stick of basswood. Clean, shiny cuts with no scratches. Is this what you are getting?
              Terry

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              • #22
                Re: Sharpen by carving?

                I don't have any basswood, yet. Not sure what I have that would compare.

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                • #23
                  Re: Sharpen by carving?

                  newspaper or cigarette paper? Hold it with one hand, slice it wityh weight of blade, and then try and take just a little sliver off.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Sharpen by carving?

                    Sean
                    I feel like my leg is being pulled really hard.
                    I carve a lot, strop a lot, sharpen occassionly. Small micro tools need sharpening more often. The bigger the tool the less it needs stropping or sharpening in my experience.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Sharpen by carving?

                      Not pulling anyone's legs, honest. I've got some stropping compound on order, and will give it a try. I'm guessing now that perhaps my tools are getting dull and I'm just not realizing it. I don't know though.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Sharpen by carving?

                        Sean, I think you will see a huge difference after stropping.

                        Dave

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                        • #27
                          Re: Sharpen by carving?

                          I don't even like to carve a piece of wood that has been previously sanded. I can feel the tools getting dull quickly with just that little bit of abrasive there.

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