a reply to: skalla
For sharpening the blade, I use a two stage process, ordinarily speaking.
I have a device made by Plasplugs, a company which I believe no longer exists, which consists of a motor, a spinning grinding wheel, and several
attachments which are used for purposes ranging from chisel and drill sharpening, to knife and scissor sharpening.
However, my favourite way to use the device, is to leave the attachments off, and merely use the grinding wheel on it. We have a larger, more
powerful grinding wheel, but the wheel on the device I am talking about, is oriented so that it spins from left to right, rather than toward oneself.
It has also been worn down, so that the wheels outermost edge, does not have a harsh corner, but a soft, rounded feel. This makes it perfect for
putting an edge back on a tool, or at least, starting that process. By applying the blade to the wheel at the correct angle, and drawing it back and
forth against it, a decent start can be made on producing an edge. All that is required to make use of the device when the blade itself is somewhat
curved, is familiarity with the heft and feel of the object, and the sound the metal makes against the wheel when one is doing a good job.
There is a particular pitch, slightly different for each tool, which indicates that one is putting the correct pressure on the blade, and the right
angle against the wheel, to get a nice start on an edge, and that is largely a trial, error, and observation issue in my experience.
The next stage, is the whetstone. Now, I have a block stone, rather than a rounded one, but it is pretty worn also, which means it has both flat
planes which are great for straight sections, and it has dull corners, which makes it pretty damned good for running around a curved edge. Before
applying the metal to the stone, I place the stone in a vice, to make sure it remains stationary, then I coat the stone in washing up liquid. I do
this, because the washing up liquid captures the particles lifted from the surface of the stone, and the blade itself, and keeps them all in place and
acting as a part of the honing process, rather than just building up at the ends of the stone when one pulls the blade along its length.
Then I just set about working the blade on the stone, until I can pass the tool through a piece of paper without any tearing happening, just a
smooth, straight slice, using nothing but the tools own weight, and a backward pull.
I like the idea of a longer handle. Not to the degree of turning it into a weird halberd or something, just so a nice firm two handed grip can be
taken upon it. That would be great for when my buddy has barbecues at his place. He usually has a whole heap of wood that needs rendering into
kindling and main fuel sized pieces before the cookout begins, and I would love to see how the finished article would perform in that regard if a two
handed grip could be put on it, but I think I will leave further musings on structural modification until I have established how well the current
handle will stand up to oiling and so on! If it is not broken, I do not intend to go fixing it too much!
edit on 22-6-2014 by TrueBrit
because: Grammatical error correction.