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Will Butchers sharpen knives?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Zammo, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Zammo

    Zammo Settler

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    Just wondering if a butcher would sharpen knives?

    I have 2 knives that have just became so blunt I can't seem to sharpen them anymore. I've tried using a sharpening block with various grits on it and also a Japanese sharpening stone and the knives are just ridiculously blunt, so if possible I thought i'd let a professional sort them out.

    One of them is a real cheap hard steel (an Enzo trapper blade that I made up), so that's probably the reason I'm finding it so difficult to sharpen.
     
  2. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    Sounds to me like you need to be grinding some, then sharpen & hone to where yo want them. Butchers will never let their knives get dull and are therefore very adept at honing to that edge that you need to cut meat, not often, if ever, needing to grind. Cost you nothing to ask, though, and you may get lucky.

    I don't think the steel used in Enzo Trappers is 'real cheap hard steel', though, I think I'd just get a very course stone or one of those diamond block things and put some sweat into getting the edge geometry to suit what you want to do with the knives.
     
    crosslandkelly likes this.
  3. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    To me it sounds like your angle keeping is off, you do not produce a edge and keep it so you can then hone it, but you ‘grind it off’ to dullness again.

    It may be a sacriligious thought ( on this Forum) , but have you tried one of those kitchen knife sharpeners, one of those with two metal discs or stone discs/rods?

    The best way to learn to hold the blade at an angle is to do the sharpening movement really slowly, time and time again, until you develop a muscle memory.
     
    #3 Janne, Jul 2, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  4. Insel Affen

    Insel Affen Settler

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    I had one which was very blunt. So I took Mors K advice and used a flat 1.5 inch wide by 12 inch long piece of wood (like a paint stirrer type thing). Use double sided sticky tape on each end and both sides (about 4 inches). Then cut some wet and dry (400, 600, 800 and 1200) and stick them on each bit of tape. You can use it as a file and it brings out a decent edge.
     
  5. Zammo

    Zammo Settler

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    I've got a sharpening block that my father in law picked up from Aldi (I think) it has 200, 300, 400 and 600 grit). Similar to this:

    https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/cht...IcaEBXmONiUq8zOjEk-bszqNE8Vq7MdxoCqLoQAvD_BwE

    I also have a Fallkniven DC4 sharpening stone. But my technique is either really bad (more than likely) or the knives I have are so blunt they need a really serious sharpening session.

    I have a kitchen knife sharpener buts its a pole with a serrated edge, could give it a go I suppose.

    The trouble I find with the Enzo trapper blade is that its so wide it just feels like I'm trying to cut something with a blunt chisel when I try to use it.
     
  6. Zammo

    Zammo Settler

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    Just gonna reply to my own post, lol

    I just spent 20 minutes sharpening the Trapper going through the grits, then did a bit on the DC4.

    I did the paper test before and blade managed to slice through paper with a bit of pressure then after I'd finished my 'sharpening' did the paper test again and it wouldn't cut though paper at all.

    So seems like my sharpening is actually having an adverse effect!

    I don't know what the hell i'm doing wrong, I position the blade on the sharpening block and then tilt it so the block is just touching the grind and run it down (with a fair amount of pressure) on each side 20-30 times before moving to a different grit and repeating. Normally I don't use the DC4 and then just finish once I've gone though all the grits, but either way it just doesn't get sharp.
     
  7. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    Try less pressure, and relax your body while you sharpen; like most skills it won't happen properly for you if you're tensed up. That diamond block thing, used wet and on the 200 grit side, will remove a lot of metal quickly.

    Cut yourself a wedge that corresponds to the angle the knife needs to be at in reference to the flat diamond face and just push it up and down on something like a bit of melamine or mdf or something; it'll give you a feel for the angle you need to be at and also a visual reference of the same, that'll make it easier to get ba start at the job. Go slowly, apply very little pressure to start with and use a sharpie or marker to colour the blade so as to see where you're removing metal and where you're not, then adjust accordingly.

    Don't give up on it, you've been through the worst bit now, and let us know how you get on with it.

    I'm presuming the blade is a scandi grind? Principles remain the same but the scandi is easier to do.
     
  8. gonzo_the_great

    gonzo_the_great Forager

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    The sharpening technique does depend on the type of grind it had/you want.

    A 600 grit block is good for putting the grind on a knife. I use those to take a knife from a rough grind on a belt sander, to a final grind. Then sharpen it on 1500-3000 grit.
    On a scandi grind, you can 'feel' the correct angle and cut/sharpen it on a block by hand. But for multiple bevels/micro bevels etc, you probably would need a simple jig to hold the knife at the same angle for every stroke. Otherwise you risk rounding off the edge. Which it sounds like you may have done?

    I only work on scandi grind knives.
    But I do touch up the edges of my kitchen knives on the block, using feel and guesswork. The results on those are useable , but nowhere near professional.
     
  9. dwardo

    dwardo Maker

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    Get a mag glass to see what effect your technique is having on the edge. Also make sure you have an angle that suits the profile which on a kitchen knife is steep. Use your thumbnail to feel for a burr on one side of the edge.

    There really is no magic to sharpening if you do the basics right and keep consistent you will get there. Also practice on other people knives first ;)
     
  10. Bionic

    Bionic Forager

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    If you’re struggling to see where you’re going wrong it can be helpful to “paint” the edge of the blade with marker pen then have a few strokes over the stone. Hopefully when you look you should see where the pen mark has been removed and that should help you to work out how to modify your technique :)
     
    Robson Valley likes this.
  11. Buckshot

    Buckshot Mod
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    Maybe have a word with some of the guys on here near you and see if you can go round to see how they sharpen?
    I know you're in London otherwise I'd offer
    Maybe there's a local meet you go to for the day?
    A jewellers lens is a great boost as it allows you to see exactly what the edge is doing.
    Also don't forget you should be shaping the blade with the most course stone/ grit and then only smoothing out the peaks and troughs with the subsequent medium and fine stones
    Best of luck
     
  12. Zammo

    Zammo Settler

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  13. Wayne

    Wayne BCUK Welfare Officer
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    If you would like to pop down to Amberley at some point I’d be happy to teach you the finer skills of sharpening.

    No reason why you shouldn’t be able to achieve scary sharp results. I’m fairly busy running courses but if you drop on an email we could arrange a day.
     
  14. Fadcode

    Fadcode Full Member

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    No mention of stropping the blade on a piece of leather, which will remove the burr off the blade, I have never had to regrind a scandi yet, I keep them sharp with a simple leather strop, Obviously if the edge has been badly curled or chipped then a regrind would be necessary but if the edge is straight then a leather strop is your best bet, otherwise a few minutes on a hard piece of wood covered in wet and dry should bring the edge back, if you use grinding stones you will ruin the edge and would need to go to finer and finer stones to get back to a good edge.
    The Enzo Blade doesn't look right, its not the normal scandi grind, possibly a flat grind turned into a scandi, the ricasso is too far from the handle, the geometry just doesn't look right.
     
    #14 Fadcode, Jul 2, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  15. oldtimer

    oldtimer Full Member

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    I bet I'm not the only one on this forum who has ruined a good knife by poor sharpening technique when starting out.

    There is plenty of information on YouTube but it varies in quality enormously. It really would pay to get someone to show you otherwise you will just go on repeating past mistakes like me.
     
  16. Buckshot

    Buckshot Mod
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    You're certainly not Old Timer, I've done exactly that myself! probably the best reason to get a cheaper knife to start with before splashing out on something nicer if you wish
    From those pictures it looks like you're putting a secondary bevel on them which will effect the angle of the edge. the two sides will be coming together at a much more obtuse angle than the design intends if it's a single bevel design as these are (i think in the case of the Enzo anyway)
    that can effect the way the knife feels as it cuts.
    are you coming to the moot?
    there are lots of very talented people there who would be very happy to show you.
     
  17. oldtimer

    oldtimer Full Member

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    i should have mentioned that Paul Kirtley, Ray Mears and Mors Kochkanski have good YouTube clips on sharpening.
     
  18. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    This is the technique that's always worked for me on my scandi's. Just take your time.
     
  19. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Get one of those kitchen sharpeners I mentioned and see it they work better than your hand sharpening.

    After all, all you need is a sharp edge, correct?

    Keep one knife to practice on hand sharpening. Then you can give away the kitchen sharpener!
     
    #19 Janne, Jul 2, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  20. Mesquite

    Mesquite Anyone for sailing?

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    Whereabouts in London are you Zammo?
     

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