I have just recently come into ownership of some older drawknives that are
in dire need of some tlc. The largest of the bunch is 13" across, and I
was wondering what most here use to sharpen theirs?
Has anyone ever used the "scary sharp" method on a drawknife, or is it
best to use the traditional oilstones?
Thanks in advance :)
I use a grinder or file, depending on the blade's form, to set the bevel, then
follow up with a contoured sanding block papered with increasingly finer grits.
Sorta "scary sharp" Be careful to keep your mind on your work, and you won't
get cut. DAMHIKT. Tom>
Work at your leisure!
I'm curious... having done a good amount of work with a draw knife, I have
to wonder why anyone would want an edge like scary sharp can put on a blade.
Draw knives need not be any sharper than what a file will do for you. Think
about what you're doing with it - shaving bark. Super sharp edges are not
the right edge for every tool. Think also about where you're pulling that
damned thing to... as you sit astride the log you're shaving...
If the knife isn't sharp and you try to pull it through a sticky
spot you can hurt yourself pretty good when it pops free. There's
a reason all those guys were wearing a plank on a rope.
Dave in Fairfax
That's why you skew it a bit and slide lengthwise through those kinds of
spots. Cuts like butter. You as a turner should know the value of sliding
past the fibers as you cut forward.
Of course, there are those who dig in bevel up and yank like hell. They
could probably use body armor.
I was thinking of the comment about it not being necessary to
sharpen drawknives because they're only used for debarking. Mine
are nice and sharp and are no probelm at all to use. When trying
to work through a knot with a dull knife and yanking, I could see
hari-kari as an outcome.
Dave in Fairfax
He made that same joke on his 20th (just checked) anniversary show
in the year 2000, explaining how care was needed with the drawknife,
etc, down to the "that's what happened to my half-brother".
Maybe it's an older joke than I thought?
Some years back I was a trainer in a pack'n house. We used a variety
of draw knives. Sharpening was basically the same for the various
types. The grind was at about 25deg. After that two stones were
used. A medium grit stone and a white arkansas stone. The medium
grit was used in a circular motion flat on the ground bevel to smooth
it out. The arkasas was used on the bevel side at a slight angle
sliding it over the curve of the blade and back again, done in
sections so as to maintain a constant angle. Then the same was done
on the back of the blade but flat against the blade, much like a
chisel. This pushed the wire edge back and forth till it was gone.
To maintain the edge a good quality steel was used by holding it
vertically and sliding it across the blade which is held horizontally.
First across the bevel side at the stoned angle, flip knife, then
across the back at like 1 degree above flat. Finish the steel on the
bevel side. #80 grit emery is stroked the length of the steel to put
vertical grooving in it. This works just fine to bring a rolled edge
up. Also, we used soapy water for a lube. With care, a razor of a
blade can be had.
I'd guess that woodworking draw knives can be sharpened the same way.
I'm yet to try but when I do I'll try this pack'n house method first.
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