First page of the whip archive.

Whip it good

Posted by is9582 on February 29, 2016 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , , , ,

The mild Winter in the South really gave the weeds a strong foothold, rather than getting cold enough to really kill the little buggers. In the last couple of days the weeds have just shot up, and rather than pulling the lawn mower out for these problem plants, I grabbed a grass whip (photo below) I’ve had since the mid ’80s.

 

The cutting head of the whip is somewhat hard to see, in the grass, so I added a couple of arrows to assist.

The cutting head of the whip is somewhat hard to see, in the grass, so I added a couple of arrows to assist.

 

Before heading outside, I looked at the the whip’s edge, and it was pretty dull. By now we know that I can’t let a tool stay dull, once I know about it. Haha. The edge of the whip has a wavy back-and-forth sort of pattern, which looks like it’d be a pain in the rear to try and sharpen, but I’ll share a tip on how I quickly had it back to decently sharp.

I started off using a black Sharpie to color the portion of the edge that I planned to sharpen, much like I do when sharpening a chisel or an iron for a hand plane.

 

Most of the teeth on the side closest to the camera, are covered with Sharpie ink, but I left a few without (at the arrows) to compare.

Most of the teeth on the side closest to the camera, are covered with Sharpie ink, but I left a few without (at the arrows) to compare.

 

Instead of going to one of my sharpening stones, I grabbed two (Coarse and Fine) Dia-Fold diamond hones (which are coincidentally about as old as the whip), since the area I planned to hone had a small footprint. I ended up only using the fine Dia-Fold, as it removed enough material quick enough, and it left a decent surface behind.

 

These are the two Dia-Fold hones I started with, but ultimately only used the Fine (blue handled).

These are the two Dia-Fold hones I started with, but ultimately only used the Fine (blue handled).

 

I start with the hone making contact with the the wavy section, but only the part farthest from the cutting edge, and gradually lowered the hone until the Sharpie was removed from the the cutting area. It was easy to hold the whip and the hone, so they stayed in the same relative relationship, and work my way quickly down the surface. Once I got into the swing of it, I finished both cutting edges in less than five minutes.

 

I used the Dia-Fold hone with it's surface sitting on the whip's teeth, which removed the ink from the inside and outside surface.

I used the Dia-Fold hone with it’s surface sitting on the whip’s teeth, which removed the ink from the inside and outside surface.

 

Now that the grass whip was again ready to slice and dice, instead of mashing and tearing, it was out to work on my golf swing. Oh, I was actually out in the yard cutting the weeds, but there’s no reason you can’t work on your golf game at the same time, especially with the way a whip feels in the hands.

While I was “working on my golf game” one of our city’s refuse trucks drove up to get our refuse. The guys in the truck stopped for a moment, as they were a bit intrigued,  and asked what exactly I was doing. It seemed that they hadn’t ever seen someone that cut their grass with one of these whips, while basically practicing their golf swing at the same time. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they stop at the local garden center, and pick up a grass whip for their house/yard. (*If my buddies at the City happen across this article, it was nice visiting with you today, even though it was only for a few moments.)

As a reminder, always remember to check your tools to make sure they are sharp, before putting them to use, as they can be more dangerous when they are dull.

I hope you enjoyed the article and find a way to integrate a necessary chore with something you enjoy, which can make it fun! As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments.