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Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

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  • Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

    A question for people who use abrasive papers (sandpaper) for sharpening and honing. What do you use for a flat surface to mount the papers?
    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

    All kinds of things. Length of laminate flooring. Lid of my carving tools box. Slab of granite countertop cut off. 3/4\" aluminum tubing, dowels, chainsaw files. Stick the papers down with a tab of masking tape at one end. Office filing cards for the CrOx honing compound.

    For the bigger tubes, a wrap of electrical tape at each end.
    Brian T

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    • #3
      Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

      plate glass works too
      Buffalo Bif
      bflobif.com

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      • #4
        Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

        heavy piece of plastic anything hard & smooth, flat or curved. . .JoeB
        . . .JoeB

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        • #5
          Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

          This is a repost from an older thread.

          I have several power systems that I use sanding belts/discs with but I also do a lot of sharpening by hand and most of the time I use sandpaper.

          To start, I cut a sanding block that is 1.5\\\" x 1.5\\\" x 5 3/4\\\". The length allows me to cut 1.5\\\" wide strips from the width of a full sheet of sandpaper. If you want to cut your strips lengthwise, you could make your blocks longer. Width of block is personal preference. You can also buy sanding blocks from the hardware store.

          To cut the sandpaper strips, I use a piece of plastic as a template and clamp it to the sheet, then snip off the strip with a pair of scissors.

          I cut slots in ends of the blank (you can use a handsaw, bandsaw, or whatever you have) which allow me to attach the strip to the block. The strips are attached with wedges made from a yardstick and sanded into a wedge, which I use to jam the sandpaper into the slots.

          For heavy sharpening, I clamp the block in a vise. For lighter sharpening, you can easily hold it in your hand.

          When sharpening I always drag the blade away from the edge and never push the edge forward into the paper. This prevents cutting the paper and allows you to draw out the blade to a very fine edge.

          Depending on how dull the blade is, I start with 80, 120 or 150 or higher, then work upwards and finish with 2000 grit. I then strop. So a typical pattern for a very dull knife would be 150, 220, 400, 600, 1000, 1500, and 2000.

          To keep track of the sandpaper, I store it in a hanging file case.

          Overall this is a very economical way to use sandpaper for sharpening. It is portable and you can use the strips over and over. It’s a good idea to mark the grit on the back of the strips after cutting to help keep track of them.


          hones1b.jpg
          Terry

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          • #6
            Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

            Thanks for sharing, enjoyed your post Norman. . .JoeB
            . . .JoeB

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            • #7
              Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

              Originally posted by Nomad View Post
              When sharpening I always drag the blade away from the edge and never push the edge forward into the paper. This prevents cutting the paper and allows you to draw out the blade to a very fine edge.

              Depending on how dull the blade is, I start with 80, 120 or 150 or higher, then work upwards and finish with 2000 grit. I then strop. So a typical pattern for a very dull knife would be 150, 220, 400, 600, 1000, 1500, and 2000.

              I tried this method but it was not for me. Carving gouges will dig in and cut the paper if you aren\'t very careful and I don\'t want to sharpen only with a pull stroke.

              That is a lot of grits. I usually only need 3 but then I use bench stones and sand paper makes it easy for lots of levels of grit. Water stone users do a lot of grits is seems like, but oil stone users get by with 2 or 3.

              There are so many approaches and whatever works for you is the one to use.

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              • #8
                Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

                Nomad,
                Thanks for the really good ideas.

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                • #9
                  Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

                  I use the 1500 grit on the back of my strop for quick tune up of my edge if I think it needs a bit more than just a strop. a suggestion I got from The Deepwood Ventures site. it works well. I still prefer stones for preparing a knife or carving tool.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

                    CB, that\'s basically what I do. Had to learn to judge the condition of the edge to decide which grit to start with. Inspect in bright light = either back up again or move up.

                    Yesterday I put quite a \"ding\" in a 1S/12 (skew.) Left a white scratch in the western red cedar. Guessed that I should start with 10X on 600 grit to pull off enough metal to get behind the bent part. Danged if that didn\'t work! 800, then 1000 then 1500 to smoothing things out. Carving sharp edge again on the CrOx/AlOx strop.
                    Brian T

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

                      Originally posted by Robson Valley View Post
                      CB, that\\\\\\\'s basically what I do. Had to learn to judge the condition of the edge to decide which grit to start with. Inspect in bright light = either back up again or move up.

                      Yesterday I put quite a \\\\\\\"ding\\\\\\\" in a 1S/12 (skew.) Left a white scratch in the western red cedar. Guessed that I should start with 10X on 600 grit to pull off enough metal to get behind the bent part. Danged if that didn\\\\\\\'t work! 800, then 1000 then 1500 to smoothing things out. Carving sharp edge again on the CrOx/AlOx strop.
                      RV, just curious - do you go above 1500 as some folks do with 4000 and 8000 stones?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

                        No. I have a couple of 4k waterstones. Lazy sod that I am, I wanted to know just how little can I get away with? How soon can I stop, hone and get on with carving?
                        For practically everything, I can stop at 1500 grit 3M W&D automotive sandpaper and hone after that. I get edges good enough for smooth hand work in very soft wood.

                        After maybe 30-40 minutes carving, I can feel the edge going away, the gouges and other edges just get harder and harder to push.
                        Then all that\'s need is a dozen honing strokes. A few wipes on a really dirty leather glove gives good results, too!!!
                        Brian T

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

                          On the subject of how fine a grit is needed, this video on Youtube gives food for thought. I know it is about woodworking tools rather than carving tools, but the thinking is the same.
                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbAo4RpM7oM

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

                            Agreed, where the surfaces might even be fine sanded between coats of finish!
                            Back in my spoon & fork carving marathon, I needed a spoke shave for rounding off the handles. Bought a $15 Samona. The edge was 28 degrees. Why, I don\'t know but thought: why mess with success? A week later, I bought a second one to have two set, one thick and the other thin. You could hear them sing in the birch.

                            The key step was always a touch of honing, I treated them like any other carving tool. I made a 12\" handle to hold the blades for tune-ups.

                            Probably the most discouraging thing that you will ever see about edges is a set of electron microscope pictures, pages 32 & 33 in Leonard Lee\'s book: The Complete Guide to Sharpening.

                            The sharpening process for steels gets to the point of just shredding the metal. Honing makes small shreds!
                            Brian T

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                            • #15
                              Re: Sharpening With Abrasive Papers

                              Originally posted by Steev View Post
                              On the subject of how fine a grit is needed, this video on Youtube gives food for thought. I know it is about woodworking tools rather than carving tools, but the thinking is the same.
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbAo4RpM7oM
                              This is a good one too. And he says the magic words \\\\\\\"convex bevel.\\\\\\\"

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki8tt-VjwqI
                              Terry

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