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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting tired of compromises in my life. Along with gray hair comes impatience, especially to mediocrity. I want stuff to work, for me, not the public. That's why my customized bikes have luggage racks, who cares what the public thinks?

As you know, two things happened last week. I polished a Squail for a client and I bought some insane polishing paste. Now I'm going to expand that theme to me.

Here's what I want in life from an edged tool. I want a jackknife, not some Rambozo spec-ops toy, colorfully photographed in quasi-combat scenarios by a poser in TK magazine. I slice food and cut open UPS boxes.

It'll be my knife, so "insanely toasty sharp" is not a safety hazard, it's a joy.

I like ergo handles that are a tad toothy but comfortable. For example, I used 30LPI checkering on my pistols, not 20LPI.

I hate corrosion, a useable knife has to live in the real world, not a video game. I'm going to have to slice through the mayonnaise if my wife wants half my sandwich, UPS boxes get wet and muddy, and if my EDC is the closest knife it must slice through the acid of a lemon or tomato.

If it breaks, it breaks. You don't mourn, you re-order. It costs 72 bucks.

Now, as sloppy of a bevel with which that original Squail came, it could be fixed, and now I know which stones. While supposedly 440C, it cut like 440A, a minor glitch--I figure "bend but don't break (maybe)." I like linen micarta for a comfortable but solid grip. Titanium won't rust, even in sea water.

I'm also thinking of a re-profile at no less than 15, but no more than 18 degrees. In other words, I'll be able to shave with it, but not constantly worry about chips and dings.

I have my new paste/emulsion. I bought some new Naniwa stones. I found some old polishing tapes they don't make anymore, and I have cornered the market on thick, Victorian era glass that enhances every aspect of the final shine.

I will not stop until this cheap EDC folder rivals my Hattori. I'm going to re-build it into the perfect EDC, then I'm going to stuff it into my jeans and forget about it.

Crazy? I would ask you to consider a line from Hunter Thompson's book on The Angels. He saw a biker thunder off on a beautiful machine, and he was struck by the dichotomy. Thompson wrote, "It's hard to image such a mechanically perfect device in the hands of a maniac."

The knife comes this week, and I'll post the pictures in progress.
 

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Sounds like excellent philosophy to me! Then again, I'm a cranky, opinionated, old fart who thinks that other than having another guy's hand up your backside, Walter the puppet is a fine role model.

Just don't let the wife sell this one right out of your pocket. Tell her this one is dedicated to reminding you of how sharp, good looking, and what a fine companion she is. Parting with it would be like giving up a part of her and you would never want to do that. Just be sure to keep an eye on the proximity of her firing hand to that Bulldog. ;)

I won't go near that obsession you have with to the tools and the process of seeking the holy grail of edges. :D But, I am looking forward to the photos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just don't let the wife sell this one right out of your pocket.
No, it's already covered. I'm buying this one from the company so it will be "mine."

Besides, other than a professional sushi chef or someone with muiy bushido experience, this type of edge is downright dangerous. I wouldn't let this one get sold, nor would I loan it to someone, even if they used it in front of me.

An edge somewhere about 15,000 doesn't give you that "pain" signal that you've been cut. A misstep with this one at 640,000 and you'll see blood and feel faint before you find the wound.

I cannot wait for that little brown truck...:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So far, no UPS truck. But that has not stopped me from gathering the tools I want to use on this project.

I'll admit upfront that I steal from everyone. I intend to use stuff from Edge Pro (it really helps in cutting a uniform bevel), but also stuff from Keith at Hand American, and specialized stones and emulsions from Ken Schwartz.

I would guess this represents about 2/3s of what I'll need. I have some other Schwartz stones that might be required. I want all of the wire edge out, and I want that edge to shine!

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Finally got the shipping UPS shipping notice.

The Squail will arrive Friday, December 6th.
 

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Post pics of the progression please. I would love to see what the edge looks like right out of the box, for starters!
 

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Great, I'm looking forward to a detailed description and pics of how you get the edges uniform before the real polishing begins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great, I'm looking forward to a detailed description and pics of how you get the edges uniform before the real polishing begins.
Considering that we blade-heads are fewer here, I'm thinking of a step-by-step tutorial of sorts.

I'll start with a picture of the knife as it comes from the factory. Then tape it, and show a few shots of the shaping. I believe these knives are serial numbered, so I'll show a picture of that to tie the blade to the finished piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
LOL - we believe you!
I appreciate your Canukian belief in your fellow man, but this is the internet. Half of the people talking to you live in their mom's basement. Heck, I play a grizzled old biker on the 'net, yet I'm actually a fourteen year old female cheerleader.

Oh, and I found a one of Ken's "Snow White" stones for the project, I forgot I had it. One of the biggest concerns on a project like this is "whisker marks." You have to keep your incremental steps up the polishing grits close in size, or the finer stone will not remove all of the tool marks.

You get something that looks like scratches under glass. There's a white chunk of stone in the picture of materials. That's a piece of nagura. You rub it on the wet waterstone and it makes a fine mud, and that helps.
 

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Looking forward to the tutorial. I may have to go lie down and swear to never touch another knife after due to feelings of inadequacy and perhaps exhaustion at the time and energy expended.

I think for now I'll just aspire to go from good ol boy shaving sharp to producing scary sharp in the near future. I'm going to have to relearn the whole process anyway when I step away from the old oilstone "... like slicing off a thin layer to stone" method. Maybe work towards a what's left of my life goal of creating a super polished edge someday on one or two personal favorite blades. I'm thinking one of them should be my great grandad's straight razor. So make that one folder, one fixed blade, and the razor. That should take the rest of my functional life just to get halfway to near to even trying such a thing.

Oy. Bad, bad, bad influences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
As for razors, all you need is a 3x9 fine grain Shapton waterstone. let me explain.

I have a 12,000 grit Shapton that comes in a plastic box. The box (on mine) is the stone holder, but setting it on a damp rag on a kitchen counter works fine, too.

The spine of the razor is the guide. Set the razor flat and stroke...

BTW, not all the grits are this expensive. It's like a cab ride, the farther you go the more the cost.

http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Shapton-GlassStone-30000-Grit-P224C84.aspx
 

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Tourist, I've got to tell you, half (truthfully probably more) of what you say rolls right off my bald head. But I have truly been looking forward each night to see what you might be working on or even just posting about each night. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jon, most of what I do is actually +800 years old and documented in numerous books and on YouTube. There ain't no voodoo.

Even the Edge Pro fixture is a modern rendition of the little stool and wedges used by the ancient togishi polishers. The Edge Pro is a wedge flipped upside down.

There is a bit of patience and artsy-fartsy needed. Most metal is not as uniform in thickness and density. Hammered steel is "lumpy." The grind on one side might be slightly different from the other. The taper from the handle to the tip (called the "distal taper") might not be done at constant diminishing angle.

I use a big lighted loop and a lot of magic marker. I spend lots of time during the shaping portion.

But Jon, it's a piece of steel and a wet rock...you can do it, too.
 

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it's a piece of steel and a wet rock...you can do it, too.
That's like Rembrandt telling me it's just paint and canvas. LOL

I'm pleased when I get a nice 1200 edge on my blades, and you're going for 640K?!?? That's almost like having an edge so fine, it's almost not there. Where does the edge stop, and the air around it begin? :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's almost like having an edge so fine, it's almost not there. Where does the edge stop, and the air around it begin?
Believe it or not, I've been discussing this very description with other tinkers for years.

Right now we have this scale:

Dull. Utility sharp. Sharp. Very sharp. Scary sharp. Spooky sharp. Toasty.

What we don't have is something for this +hundred thousand grit edge.

I offered the phrase, "The Corona." That's the halo around a sun or star that you cannot see but will set anything aflame. It's a good idea on these edges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
...or Dark Matter. It might, or might not be there.
*sigh* I did have "the talk" last night with my wife--you know, the only woman in the world who hasn't thrown me out (yet) and is the bookkeeper for my company.

I told her that I intend to hand over the fee when the invoice comes so all our books tie out, the knife is to be mine. I was very open with the concept, and told her that a knife costing me 72 bucks, and polished as discussed here, could easily go to kid in his mom's basement for over 500 bucks. In fact, I know two guys now.

(Obviously there's more to this than just a buff. The grips are checked to make sure they're square. The handle has no rough edges. Damaged fasteners are replaced. The pivot is checked for wobble and end-shake and repaired and/or adjusted. The scratches are polished out, etc.)

Granted, there is a big difference between jackknives sharpened with stones used on Samurai swords and jackknives sharpened better than Samurai swords.

You married guys will understand when she gave me that "Oh, aren't boys cute with their toys" smile.

But there's a practical side, as well. Do we want "Dark Matter" edges in the world? Idiots cut themselves with my stuff now. Even Ken makes sure this polishing compound goes to clients he knows, mainly guys who service upscale commercial kitchen knives.
 
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