I recently purchased my first drawknife, a 9" curved-edge model made by
So far I am generally pleased with it, but it's not nearly as sharp as it
I have not invested a whole lot of time in sharpening this thing...yet. I
have a few questions:
1. Should the back be lapped dead-flat like a chisel?
2. should I coble together an elivated holder for my waterstone so that I
can bring the knife to the stone (when dressing the underside of the knife)
Or should I bring the stone to the knife?
I find this to be a really awkward thing to sharpen; any hints would be
Sharpen it like you do an axe. put one handle in a vise, hold the other and
bring the stone to it. Use circular motions. There are two thought on the
back. One is to treat it the same as a chisel. The other is to put a shallow
angle on it. I put the angle on it. Just a couple degrees. It gives the
ability, when working bevel up, to turn the knife enough to get it up out of
They are very, very awkward to sharpen. For mine, I built a jig that holds
the knife, and also serves as a guide to angle the stone properly. Ideally,
I guess it'd have some kinda rollers or something for the stone to ride on,
but I just eyeball it. It's very crude - I just took a hunk of tubafour,
traced the shape of the drawknife on it, and cut a groove with a angled
bottom. The knife sits in there, beveled side up, and the edge is at the
correct angle to the stone if the whole rig is level. It's not perfect, but
for version 1.0 it works well enough.
A rig of that type would not work with a curved blade of the type the OP
has. The traditional method works well and is easy to do. Place one handle
on the bench or in the vise, hand holding the other handle so the blade is
vertical and the edge is facing away from you. Work the stone against the
blade in circular motions just like stoning an axe. Use a long stone to keep
your hand back of the edge.
Waste of time to lap the back any more than needed to remove the wire edge.
It's anything _but_ a precision instrument.
Forget the waterstone and get a nice India scythe stone. That's how they
were generally sharpened. Final hone on a nice ceramic for me. Stone to
the metal for the first, metal over stone to finish. The "jig" for the
first is a vise holding the metal, for second, same vise holding the stone.
Trying to hand-hold is a certain cut.
Now that I have a 320 diamond stone, I might just do it on that next time.
A little bit of sawtooth is no drawback, may be an asset when the knife is
drawn across the work as it shaves .
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