plingboot

Sharpening a new skiving knife

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I've just bought a CS Osborne No 479 skiving knife and would like some advice on how to go about sharpening it.

I don't yet have any stones or guides, but have the items listed in THIS video added to my amazon shopping list, just in case. Don't think the chisel honing guide is going to suitable though.

Edited by plingboot

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I've watched that video, and IMO it's more complicated and involved than you need

I haven't used your knife, or any other Osborne tools, but I would expect that a knife from such a reputable maker would be more or less ready for use (though I'm willing to be corrected). All you need is a fine stone and a strop. The stone can be any type you want - 

Oil - Not as popular (fashionable?) as they were, but they do the job. Fairly cheap to buy, but because they've been around for so long you can find them secondhand. See if there's a second hand tool stall on your local market. Just ask the stall holder, they're friendly enough. Ordinary general purpose oil like 3-in-1 is OK

Diamond - Probably the easiest to use. Good ones are expensive

Water aka ceramic - A bit messy. You can get various combinations with different grades & prices

Make your own strop from oddments, it's just about the easiest bit of leatherwork you'll ever do Take a piece of wood about 12" X 3", though it doesn't need to be precision carpentry by any means. Cut a piece of 2 to 3mm veg tanned leather slightly oversize

Place the leather flesh side down on the bench (so you're gluing the grain side to the wood); apply glue to the leather and/or the wood; general glue like Bostik or UHU, or PVA wood glue is OK; place the wood onto the leather and weight it down - a few books, or a small toolbox, or a couple of saucepans of water. Leave it overnight to set. Next day trim the leather to the wood. Treat yourself to some proper stropping /honing compound, I use Veritas 05M08.01 from Axminster Tools. A 170g bar will last you for ages

It will take a while to break in the strop. When the colour changes to black you know it's working because that is the steel that's being removed from the blade

There are loads of sharpening videos on YouTube. Play around with the Search box for sharpening knives; using  an oilstone etc; making, & using a strop. Watch as many as you have the stamina for, you'll see how things are done, how they're used, and work out your own technique

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Hmm, I'll keep those in mind, especially the one about sharpening videos online. Thanks!

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On 3/8/2019 at 5:11 PM, zuludog said:

fine stone

I picked up a great Arkansas stone from a secondhand tool shop for £5 UK / $6.60 US, so its well worth looking.

Never did get on with the new fangled, everything changes, diamond stones (even Mrs HW did not want one as a mothers day gift - I told her it was diamonds and everything!)

The comments on a strop are spot on too. Mine has two flesh sides (one each side) one with a carborundum mix, home done, the other is just Flesh side out, but very tight horsehide, as a final polish.

H

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How is your sharpening coming along? Sorry I'm so long in replying.

Give us an update and I'll do my best to post whatever help I can. The folks here have helped me so much I feel guilty not paying it forward.

What sharpening supplies do you have on hand now, and what is your budget for sharpening stuff? (Like "minimal", "I'll buy stones, but keep it cheap," "Hey, let's make a hobby out of learning to sharpen everything in the house!" )  The latter is what I did and no looking back. I've passed on those skills to all 3 of my kids, along with stones and knives. Now I get lecured when my kitchen knives are not up to snuff.

 

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Sharpening, IMHO, is a bit like edge burnishing or saddle stitching -- there's a lot of approaches to the same destination, beginners find it harder than they think they ought, and once it "clicks" you wonder how you ever found it difficult. (This latter aspect also manifests itself as "why are you finding this difficult" once the trials of learning have been forgotten.)

I've been sharpening tools since I was in primary school, and rarely had much money spare so had to make do with what was around. I've sharpened with natural rocks, broken grinding discs, cheap oilstones, second-hand stones, paving slabs, old bricks, files, sandpaper, all sorts of things. Ruined a few tools along the way but I'll dare say that while I'm no expert I'm pretty competent these days. Here's the secret: most things that are slightly abrasive will work. It's the proper technique that's key and that can only come with practice. Use what you got and works for you. For me that's usually a cheap double-sided oilstone slathered in whatever oil I have lying around. Then a fine stone if I'm feeling fancy (dunno what it is, some local stone I was given years ago in Asia), and a strop. Lots of stropping. With compound. Using this method I can take a knife from "hammer" to "razor" in a reasonable amount of time. Nowadays I have a felt wheel on a motor, which is a fantastic timesaver but a major hazard to the untrained or inattentive. If the bevel needs redefining I'll start with my belt grinder, at about 150 grit.

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I use granite, quartz, or glass with varying grits of sandpaper. 

I think that is the most cost effective method I have seen.

I do have a 1x42 Kalamazoo belt grinder that I use on punches, pocket knives and similar stuff. That was a great investment. 5 minutes every couple of weeks to keep my EDC in good shape.

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On 3/8/2019 at 12:11 PM, zuludog said:

 

Place the leather flesh side down on the bench (so you're gluing the grain side to the wood); apply glue to the leather and/or the wood; general glue like Bostik or UHU, or PVA wood glue is OK;

do some people glue the leather the other way??  having the grain side up and the flesh glued to the wood?

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5 hours ago, beltbuckles said:

do some people glue the leather the other way??  having the grain side up and the flesh glued to the wood?

Mine are grain side up. I'm not saying I'm doing it right or why, but it seems to work fine.

I never understood or heard why people put the flesh side up?

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6 hours ago, bikermutt07 said:

I never understood or heard why people put the flesh side up?

I to, am not sure why some people put the flesh side up, but could it be because it would hold more compound in the fibres on the flesh side?

My strops are both flesh side down.

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Mine are and have been since 1983 flesh side up, pared smooth, one with tallow on and carborundum (finest) rubbed in. the other jewellers rouge rubbed in, the final one, rarely used now the knoves are sharp, was an intermediate, with just tight flrsh and no rouge.

1 carborundum

2 flesh

3 rouge

now almost always rouge only.

Have a leather stropping wheel for an initial polish on new blades.

H

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