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  1. #1
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    Default Tip for Honing "Twisted" Blade

    One of my straights has been frustratingly difficult to hone because of a "twist", I would call it, in the blade. I am familiar with the "rolling x" pattern some have used with a normal bench stone, but I've never had very satisfactory results with that method.

    I've had GREAT success with my Spyderco "Sharpmaker" with my folding knives, so that got me thinking-----if I hone my straight using just one rod at a time, the twist in the blade will not have near the impact that it does when a larger portion of the blade is in contact with the stone. In other words, since just a small section of the blade is touching the hone at a time, the twist farther down the blade won't hold the edge off the hone. A little imagination and visualization should make this clearer I hope. If not, just try it and you'll see what I mean.

    To make a long story short, it worked great---I honed in the normal fashion, but since there was is such a short section of blade in contact with the rod at once, the twist over the length of the blade doesn't cause any problems. The beauty of this method is that you are not changing the spine/edge geometry or angle, just as with a normal non-twisted blade.

    This has worked better than I could have hoped and if you have a blade with any twist that gives you problems, give this a try.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    Rather than even a "small section" of the blade and spine touching the rod, the blade would only be touching the rod in two points. As small as you can get. Absolutely even bevels and hone wear as well.

    I experimented with a similar method over a year ago. I used 1" wood dowels and varying grits of PSA and non-PSA honing films all the way to the .5 micron chrome ox film. I have to hand it to you. I did not get satisfactory results. Bar none, this method ensures that no matter how "twisted", warped, uneven, unflat a razor is, the bevel and spine on both sides will be honed evenly. It's the edge quality I couldn't get to be where I needed it.

    IIRC at the time Randy Tuttle had cautioned that finesse is needed to hone this way since the weight of the blade is magnified on the two points of contact much greater than when the blade's weight is dispersed across the length (or most of the length) of the blade on a flat hone.

    In theory, I thought honing on a cylinder or rod would be the ultimate hone since you could evenly hone ANY razor with any type of problem, no matter how severe and have both the bevels and the spine make total contact with the rod for the entire stroke.

    Why it didn't work for me I can't say. I probably didn't experiment enough with it.

    Chris L
    "Blues fallin' down like hail." Robert Johnson
    "Aw, Pretty Boy, can't you show me nuthin but surrender?" Patti Smith

  3. #3
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I haven't tried rods. ChrisL posted about 1 1/2 Nortons awhile back and I got a set and used those to good effect with warped blades. Then Randydance (Tuttle) pointed out that I could have saved the $$ and turned my single grit Nortons on edge and used them as they are 1" wide. Glad I have both though. Any real HADict is glad he has more rocks .
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  4. #4
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    Just to clarify for those who may not know----the Sharpmaker "rods" are actually triangular in cross section and can be set in the "base" to use either a corner or a side of the hone. So the way I set it up, I use the flat sides, which are actually about 1/2" wide. I think this gives a little more of a refined edge and in the "Spyderco honing progression", this comes after using the corners of the stones (which actually are slightly rounded--not sharp). It is important to use VERY LITTLE pressure since the pressure is concentrated in such a small length of the blade rather than across the whole blade as with a 3" wide stone. That said, I cannnot say enough about how pleased I am to have finally arrived at a good way to hone "non-perfect" blades where the edge and spine are not "co-planar".

    Hey, Chris---Just a thought, but I'd guess that you might have had trouble because you used paper abrasives backed with wood. I AM definitely familiar with this sharpening method, but when you enter the realm of straight razors, we're talking about edges that are so fine (or we HOPE) that the combination of abrasive paper and wood together still has too much "give" to it, even though you may not feel it, and this ends up blunting the edge just enough to ruin it. The paper with wood backing has enough "give" to "wrap around" the edge just enough to keep it from coming to a razor-sharp apex. Try it again VERY LIGHTLY with rods, not sandpaper/dowels, and I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised!
    Last edited by AverageJoe; 02-18-2009 at 12:57 AM.

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    ChrisL (02-18-2009)

  6. #5
    Coticule researcher
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    My troubleshooter is a Coticule strip, 1/2 inch wide and 8 inch long. It's lapped flat. It works like a charm.
    I also experimented with an oval shaped diamond honing steel for kitchen knives, and had pretty much the same experience as ChrisL.
    It also work to hone on the side of a Belgian Blue or any synthetic hone, as long as it's not a combination of two grits.

    But is does seem necessary to have at least some flat surface to spread out the honing action to the bare minimum.

    Bart.

  7. #6
    crazycliff200843 crazycliff200843's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart View Post
    But is does seem necessary to have at least some flat surface to spread out the honing action to the bare minimum.

    Bart.
    Is that because if you don't keep the razor at the same angle (perpendicular to the rod) all the way through the pass that it creates different bevels/angles?

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