rhinez0r

Sharpening A Splitter Blade - Am I Doing This Right?

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I picked up a C.S. Osborne 86 Splitter, but the blade is dull. So I bought some DMT DiaSharp Diamond Stones to fix that problem.

Only issue is.. I can't seem to get the blade sharp! I'm using the 8" 600x, 1200x and 8000x Diamond Stones.

Any pointers?

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interested

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I picked up a C.S. Osborne 86 Splitter, but the blade is dull. So I bought some DMT DiaSharp Diamond Stones to fix that problem.

Only issue is.. I can't seem to get the blade sharp! I'm using the 8" 600x, 1200x and 8000x Diamond Stones.

Any pointers?

Take pics of both sides of blade and of one edge and post them. They vary quite a bit but generally don't need a lot of work to bring back an edge. Then again, it depends a lot on how they were sharpened previously.

Art

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When sharpening, the purpose of a finer stone is to remove the scratches of the courser stone. Stay with the course stone till you get an edge, then move to the next stone to improve the edge.

For a splitter I use wet dry sandpaper spray glued to a piece of glass. Wet the paper with water and simple green, about 50/50 mix. Using two hands work the blade on a circular motion, keeping the cutting edge pressed down. Color the edge with a black sharpie to see where you are removing material and if the blade is warped (every blade I have sharpened was warped at least some). This can take some time.

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Glad to see someone else is a Simple Green aficionado. I've been using it for years on diamond stones and wet dry (or just dry) sandpaper. I still use K-1 Kerosene on the powered diamond wheels, but still clean them with SG. Some think I'm nuts, but others have known that for some time.

As eThon says, almost all blades are warped. Look the attaching system over pretty well before you decide to grind that warp out. Then look again. A lot of machines have blade attachment systems that pretty much squash out the warp (planers are a good example of this) and if you remove the warp by grinding, then something will not be right when you attach the blade. These "warps" are usually quite small and the workholder will easily remove them. If the workholder can't remove them, a new blade is often the cheapest way to go. We have a surface grinder, but even at that, the magnetic chuck will suck the warp right out of a blade (especially when you don't want it to). I guess what I'm getting at is to apply pressure much as your machine will to eliminate any warp. Grinding a warp out is the last resort, and usually not a really good solution overall.

Art

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A well-sharpened splitter blade is a dream to use. A dull one does a terrible job, ruins a lot of leather and is actually dangerous to use.

I think electrathon is on the right track but I take his method a step further. Instead of glass, I use a granite surface plate. Same chunk of granite I use for tooling. Perfectly flat. $42 delivered. No leather workshop should be without one.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/9-x-12-x-3-Granite-Surface-Plate-No-Ledge/G9648?utm_campaign=zPage

I use progressively finer grits of sandpaper up to 600 grit but then I switch over to 3M polishing papers.

http://www.amazon.com/Zona-37-948-Polishing-11-Inch-Assortment/dp/B001BHGC7G

These polishing papers can be used wet or dry and range from 30 down to 1 micron grit size.

I do what machinists call "lapping" the blade, which amounts to moving it in a figure 8 first in one direction and then the other, from the coarsest down to the 3 micron grit. You'll need a loupe or Opti-visor magnification and excellent lighting to see when the previous grit's scratches are completely removed before you move to the next finest grit. NO shortcuts! When you are done lapping you will have a mirror surface. You need to do both sides of the blade. It is time consuming but your time and effort will pay off big time.

As with any other edge, the last step is to strop the blade to remove any micro "wire" left from the lapping process.

Once polished to a mirror surface, the blade will produce super-smooth cut sides and only require a strop now and then. You'll be able to split wider straps than ever before. And, the next time you do need to sharpen, you'll only need to use the finer grits and re-strop to return the blade to the same ultra-sharp condition.

Give it a try and I guarantee you will enjoy a splitter that works better than ever before. Better than you thought it ever could! :)

Michelle

 

 

Edited by silverwingit

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thank you so much for the info in this thread, I learned a lot about the dull splitter I've been struggling with for a while. Thanks again!

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If you have an Osborne 86 the best and easiest sharpener is a Roll-A-Sharp made by Steve at Lacemaster.com.

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Bruce,  Have you tried this thing, and if you have, what is your impression?  Would it work on a Heritage with a straight bevel?

Thanks,

Terry

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Thanks, Bruce.  I did not find photos on the website, but their Facebook page has a number of photos that show how it works. -John

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On 3/18/2016 at 4:05 AM, rhinez0r said:

I picked up a C.S. Osborne 86 Splitter, but the blade is dull. So I bought some DMT DiaSharp Diamond Stones to fix that problem.

Only issue is.. I can't seem to get the blade sharp! I'm using the 8" 600x, 1200x and 8000x Diamond Stones.

Any pointers?

good morning,

hope all is well, this is Daniel with C.S. OSBORNE & CO. We actually have a video on how to sharpen our blades you can view on the following link:

hope this helps you much....any questions please feel free to contact us

Thank you

C.S. OSBORNE & CO

Daniel

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On 3/18/2016 at 10:54 AM, electrathon said:

When sharpening, the purpose of a finer stone is to remove the scratches of the courser stone. Stay with the course stone till you get an edge, then move to the next stone to improve the edge.

For a splitter I use wet dry sandpaper spray glued to a piece of glass. Wet the paper with water and simple green, about 50/50 mix. Using two hands work the blade on a circular motion, keeping the cutting edge pressed down. Color the edge with a black sharpie to see where you are removing material and if the blade is warped (every blade I have sharpened was warped at least some). This can take some time.

That's a great technique for flattening worn stones, as well.

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