This is one of my favorite subjects in the world, which i guess goes to show what an odd ball i really am.. I just commented about what a strange and wonderful world our Gunsluts is, and maybe this is the sorta thing that makes it that way..
Some things in life can't be defined in normal parameters.. A group of liberals sitting around talking about sharpening knifes is sorta hard to imagine.. yet im guessing you guys are with me on this one, putting an edge on a blade.. a real edge, not a burr ridden edge that "feels" sharp, but a razor to scalpel sharp edge that you honestly dont feel when your cut, is a true form of artistry, and can be one of lifes little pleasures..
So with that in mind.. lets talk about it. Let me say as an opener that in the last 30 years that i have been "serious" about this subject, I've noticed when ever the subject comes up, and i bring up some pointers, i get that, hold on bubba, im an Alpha fuck'n male.. I know how to sharpen a knife attitude.. and good on ya if you do.. but if you will listen for a bit i might be able to take you from sharp to razor edge.. to razor to scalpel edge.. for real..
In 1980 i was given a tri stone sharping kit.. sure you've all seen them or have them.. For reasons unknown to me, i fell in love with putting an edge on a blade.. this progressed to buying a number of hard Arkansas stones..and as it was before the age of the Internet, doing research was difficult, it started with a lot of reading, conversations with others, the usual stuff..
At the same time i was camping with the same group of guys every weekend, and i would take my stones along (obvious, but talking about the sharping ones dummies) .. Like all of life, getting positive reinforcement, (and free beer and doobies) goes a long way toward making you excel at a field..
So pretty soon i started stropping with leather, this believe it or not is not half as easy as the old barber throwing the straight razor up and down a couple of times.. and as a matter of fact that's exactly how i finally learned how to do it.. i talked to three of four old time barbers.. I've always cut my own hair (#2 clipper) so i would go into a neighborhood shop, look for the oldest guy there, and just tell him i was really into putting on an edge.. That did it.. Every man likes to share something thier good at.. (hence this post kids).. and i was soon doing scalpels. period !
Last night i came on and couldn't stay, and here's Vaq, Greasy, Lucky, Run's, and all my bro's talking about this and i just about shit a brick cause i couldn't join in.. OK.. by the steps.. and finally huh...sorry.. yes ol greg does run on a bit..but man i love this topic..
The whole thing starts with angle, runs 20 degree thing is on the money for all around knife, and 25-30 for an edge that lasts longer or gets harder use.. When i was going for scalpel i would drop down below 15 degrees.. but that's a different story. 20 degrees is a good rule of thumb.. runs also said don't worry about "drawing" the blade a circle will do the job.. yes and no. a circle works, but not nearly as well.. to get the best edge pure and simple you have to do the "slice" thing.. a lot of this is lubrication..(I'll leave the obvious female jokes aside) but it's just as important.. You have to keep the stone really wet to keep it the shavings off it.. Lets try to do this by the numbers..
1) the hardness of the stone.. the softer the stone the more it will grind the blade, rule of thumb is to continue harder and harder stones till the blade starts to "roll".. you can absolutely feel this..
2) After you have an edge that can shave the hair off your arm, your now getting close..
3) At this point you really have to have a good hard arkansas stone.. focus on dropping the angle little by little each time (always doing slices) till you feel the edge "roll"..
4) The blade should now be sharp enough to easily shave hair..and will feel real sharp..that's not the edge.. this is so cool..this is the point where it gets fun.. your feeling the burrs, and as soon as you deburr you start getting into real sharpness...
5) Your now at the point of stooping.. and this takes a couple of different finishes of leather. the best thing to do is what i did... go to an old barber shop, and ask if they will sell you one of thier old ones.. they usually have three of four belts.. the old razor strap now has a "positive" purpose.. OK, guess it always did, but now a fun one..
6) The trick on stropping is actually pretty difficult, and a matter of practice.. the one thing i can tell you is don't do it the way you see it done on the screen.. never "roll" the blade.. again your going from softer to harder leather..and when you come to the edge of the draw "lift" the blade dont roll it..
7) After the burrs are off.. you go to paper.. drawing not slicing.. then you go to flat glass...
At this point you should have a scary sharp edge.. this is where you can easily shave with it, and do a bit of minor surgery should the need arise.. enjoy.. I progressed to the point of having a home bussiness in Tucson "Ed's Edges".. and to this day, love...ya think.. the subject.
a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
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