Michellleatherworks

Help! Sharpening French edge skiving tool

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Hello all!

So I had an incident with my French edge skiving tool the other day..  I recently moved up to using top grade hides and the level of toughness compared to the Tandy special is amazing!  But... That being said my edge tool is no longer refined enough to cut the high end hides and I ended up slipping off the leather and getting a nasty gash on my finger.

I like to keep my tools sharp and up too this point I thought it was sharp enough.  I strop the bottom edge and use Dremel buffer wheel with green compound to get to the hard to reach upper edge.  Upon closer inspection I realized the top bevel isn't even and I need to do some significant material removal to true up the edge.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can't modify the bevel without ruining the tool? Any sharpening and honing tips would very much be appreciated! 

Thanks and God bless!

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I assume that it's straightforward enough to work on the bottom of the tool with stones, if necessary,  and a strop in the usual way. But as you've mentioned the problem lies with reaching the inside of the tool, and the bevel

Depending on how much metal you need to remove, start by clamping the tool in a vice and working on the bevel with a needle file. You would probably only need a flat file

You could then make up a narrow file or 'wand' by gluing wet & dry paper to strips of wood that are just the right size to fit inside the tool, and polishing the bevel

Alternately make up strips of wood as above, but glue them to some scrap wood to make raised strips that the edger will fit onto. Remove the edger from the vice and sharpen it on these homemade 'stones'.

In both of those cases, work your way from about 400 to 1200 grit in in increments of 2 to 300; lubricate the paper with water, perhaps containing a small amount of washing up liquid/dish soap, or clear window cleaner. Only work the tool away from the edge

Then follow up with a small strip of leather in a similar way

Have a look at this video - 'How to sharpen French Edger' by Leathertoolz

I would not be tempted to use a grindstone on your Dremel as it would be so easy to go to far and damage the edge or burn the steel

I remember reading one leathercraft book which described a French Edger as 'probably the most dangerous tool in the workshop'.

Edited by zuludog

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Thanks for the info Zulu.  Sounds like that is the way to go.  I have to agree about it being one of the most dangerous tools.. Aside from round knife :)  

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Here is a couple of videos that may help too

Just remember to keep your free hand behind the cutting edge, many experienced people have a healthy respect for this tool.

 

.https://youtu.be/hbQZt_VduEI

https://youtu.be/dej8BH1DFgs

 

Hope this helps

JCUK

Edited by jcuk

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Over the years iT FOUND IT TO BE a worthwhile investment to get a collection of stones to just fit inside of my french edgers

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Jcuk has posted a link to one of my sharpening videos.   I thought this might also be of use

 

 

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On 7/11/2019 at 5:17 PM, Michellleatherworks said:

Hello all!

So I had an incident with my French edge skiving tool the other day..  I recently moved up to using top grade hides and the level of toughness compared to the Tandy special is amazing!  But... That being said my edge tool is no longer refined enough to cut the high end hides and I ended up slipping off the leather and getting a nasty gash on my finger.

I like to keep my tools sharp and up too this point I thought it was sharp enough.  I strop the bottom edge and use Dremel buffer wheel with green compound to get to the hard to reach upper edge.  Upon closer inspection I realized the top bevel isn't even and I need to do some significant material removal to true up the edge.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can't modify the bevel without ruining the tool? Any sharpening and honing tips would very much be appreciated! 

Thanks and God bless!

I use this to strop my french edgers.

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.2.0.0.25442e8dmFv5qh&id=561196909516&_u=r2pk7i5fa6b3

Never had to repair the edge before but I'm guessing I could probably do it on this with low grit sandpaper.

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It may be more worthwhile to invest in a better tool rather than spend a lot of time on a cheap tool? If it is a cheaper tool.

Kevin Lee from Crazy Cut Leather has some nice french edgers for about 40 bucks.

.02

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