I decided it would be a good idea to make at least one last video relating to the subject of how I sharpen Carving Knives See here for the original article. I always do my best to choose my words so the reader can envision what I’m talking about, but I know that some people are more visual learners. With this in mind, I made a relatively short video this morning and just posted it on Youtube. Just in case the player below doesn’t get along with your viewing system, the quick-link for the new video is: https://youtu.be/QLukWL0wC5Y
There is one thing I want to include, that I didn’t record in the video. Obviously for a knife (or any tool) to be sharp, both sides of the blade must be equally honed, as whichever side is less refined will be the limiting factor in actually getting the tool sharp. Most will have one side of the blade that is the most easy to hone, and its just a matter of finding what works best for you, when working on the “other” side of the blade. You can either leave the actual blade pointing in the same direction as when working the first side, and just flip the knife physically over, but that puts your finger in potential danger (either on one side or the other, in the flipping scenario), as the cutting edge will face them on one of the sides. The other option (which I use) is to hold the handle on the first pass, so the tip of the blade is pointing to my right, with the cutting edge upward. When I work the second side, I rotate my wrist so the tip of the blade is now pointing to my left, while again keeping the cutting edge upward. This is a safety net of sorts, since I might move forward slightly with the hand holding the sharpening media, and even if I were to move so far forward that my rear fingers contacted the blade, they would only touch the spine of the blade.
I hope this helps clarify how I’m sharpening blades with a hollow-grind. As I referenced in the first article, I use a similar process when I am honing other blades that no longer have a hollow-grind remaining, or have flat bevels from the maker. Let me know if there is anyone that is interested in me making a video where I show the steps and specific techniques I use on a knife with flat bevels.
Thank you for checking out this article. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
@LeeLairdWoodworking – InstaGram
@LeeLairdWW – Twitter
Today I went back and looked at the progress I made, starting the blending process of the contours yesterday. I knew yesterday, I was just getting a feel for the tool, since it was the first time in use, even though I’ve had it for a while. I decided to see if I could get a better “feel” for the tool, and remove some of the excess material towards the center, which I would have to remove at some time, anyways.
I just freehanded the area I wanted to remove, with some white pencil, since the majority of the top has a somewhat dark, test-dyed finish, and it was hard to see a regular pencil’s marks. The only exception was at the bottom section, where I went back and drew another line, outside the initial line, and that’s why there is still some of the white pencil line remaining. Here are two photos I took, after vacuuming all the dust, and boy does the Holey Galahad create dust. The first is a bit more top down, and the second at a lower angle to better feel the shape.
|Top down view of blended guitar top.|
|A bit more laid back to better show top’s shape.|
I found something that makes the Holey Galahad easier to use for me, and allows me pretty darned good control. If you buy a Holey Galahad, you’ll see the information regarding placement of the guard on the angle grinder. For safety, I’ve followed their recommendations. When I used the tool yesterday, it seemed that the guard was somewhat in the way of my sight line, which kept me from really getting into a groove. Today’s experience makes that all moot. I found I like to tip the angle grinder over on it’s right side, with the body of the angle grinder almost horizontal with the work piece. In this position, I can easily see the portion of the wheel that contacts the wood, and by rolling the tool into this position, it makes the contact patch fairly small. If I were trying to hog off a lot of material, and didn’t have tight constraints, I’d move the angle grinder’s body down around 45 degrees, so a wider section of the wheel was working. For this work, being so precise and really not having that much wood (at least for this beast of a wheel) to remove, my positioning works perfect. After working for a couple of minutes, I found one other revelation: working the tool so it is flowing away from me is, for some reason, easier to control and judge exactly what I’m doing. Just to be clear, when I was initially working more “towards” myself, it wasn’t coming straight towards my body, but more like working from the upper left, diagonally down toward the lower right. Now, it is a bit more in line with my body, and since it is moving away, the safety concerns aren’t the same. Also, using this method, I was comfortable working up very close to the router-made rabbeted edge, which is the target final surface (minus some minor hand work).
Yesterday, I was glad I’d picked up the Holey Galahad, and it seemed more like it’s job was primarily a roughing tool. Today, I’m finding this CAN be that roughing tool, but it also capable of working in a fine sculpting capacity. I still intend to follow behind this tool, with the tools I mentioned yesterday, but I’m thrilled at the extra capabilities I’ve found. This is from a woodworker whose primarily projects are flat and linear, and not from a carver. Knowing King Arthur also has the coarse and fine grits available as well as the full range of flat disks, really opens up the possibilities.
Let me know if you have any questions about any part of this build.
As I’m gathering speed on this project (even though it probably doesn’t feel like it), I’m trying to do something on the build each day. Today I thought it was time to initiate some of the shaping for the top of the guitar. As many will know, some Les Paul guitars have a carved/shaped top, […]
Like many of you, I sharpen on a very regular basis. I’ve tried most of the different sharpening media that is presently available, along with some that are not so readily found any longer. I’ll share some of the results, and hopefully answer the title question. When I first got into woodworking, I purchased three […]