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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it's my own fault. I shot my mouth off at the gym over the SCHF15 we polished last week, and a biker friend of mine came over (in a snow storm) under the pretense of checking the blower in my gas fireplace. Casually, he asked about the 15, and like the Mediterranean malcontent I am, I showed it to him.

Then his wallet came out. And he started peeling off tens until my guilt stopped me. After the blower was blown out, cleaned, lubricated and replaced, the Schrade left in his jacket.

I was a knife down. Fortunately, I'm OCD and always prepare for the worst. After a cookie and a latte' to assuage my grief, I had the SCHF14 out, inked, and shaped. I'm now soaking the intermediate stones.

I'm going to grab a light dinner, watch "Almost Human" and begin the sharpening phase. I've learned a lot about the alloy from the former Schrade, so I've selected different stones--more lower grit Edge Pro stones, and then an initial (stone) polish with the Schwartz 'Green Brick.'

If Coast-to-Coast is interesting, I might even finish the paste and emulsion polishing tonight.
 

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Yes, yes, I'll get one. It's on my list of "wants." But only after I purchase my belts and compounds to support my sinful ways.

Btw, I'm a big fan of Almost Human myself, though I have to catch in Hulu the next day.
 

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Well, it's my own fault. I shot my mouth off at the gym over the SCHF15 we polished last week, and a biker friend of mine came over (in a snow storm) under the pretense of checking the blower in my gas fireplace. Casually, he asked about the 15, and like the Mediterranean malcontent I am, I showed it to him.

Then his wallet came out. And he started peeling off tens until my guilt stopped me. After the blower was blown out, cleaned, lubricated and replaced, the Schrade left in his jacket.

I was a knife down. Fortunately, I'm OCD and always prepare for the worst. After a cookie and a latte' to assuage my grief, I had the SCHF14 out, inked, and shaped. I'm now soaking the intermediate stones.

I'm going to grab a light dinner, watch "Almost Human" and begin the sharpening phase. I've learned a lot about the alloy from the former Schrade, so I've selected different stones--more lower grit Edge Pro stones, and then an initial (stone) polish with the Schwartz 'Green Brick.'

If Coast-to-Coast is interesting, I might even finish the paste and emulsion polishing tonight.



Congrats........I think.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I'm taking a little break over a five-alarm amaretto latte' as I finish folding laundry.

I am already polishing, I think I'm just shy of 20,000 grit. I did test cut through the side of a sheet of newsprint, and it did indeed slice, although careful inspection revealed the paper had a "fuzzy" cleave.

It already looks pretty, just a touch "milky" in harsh light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The second one was easier.

Just shy of 11:30PM CST now, and I just finished the knife. It went a little easier this time.

One of the problems with a high polish knife is the smaller flaws I call "whisker marks." It appears to be a slight scratch, but down a few layers--like a piece of glass is covering a scratch in a chrome bumper.

Since this is a modestly priced knife, they don't spend a lot of time on the bevel, although this one was better than most. Making the bevel uniform would require shaping, but the Schwartz Diamond Plate is quite aggressive, leaving obvious tool marks.

Since I also needed something aggressive to take out the existing aggressive marks, I reasoned that coarse or medium Edge Pro stones might be a better choice. Lots of magic marker and water later, the tool marks were out, and I could make the transition to paste and glass with a Schwartz Green Brick.

Granted, I did find a few whisker marks, but I would stop and switch back to Mothers products, fix the mark, and go back to glass.

I'm really falling for these Schrades. They are inexpensive and deliberately made to look a hundred years old. But they polish beautifully, excel at food prep, and most of the survival guys think they make great campfire knives.

Remind me to give my wife 17 bucks tomorrow, I think I'll keep this one.

Edit: Oh, and I used two of Ken's emulsions. I began the high-end polishing with the 0.3 micron emulsion, and then finished with the 0.025 micron version out to 640,000 grit. I wish you guys could examine this edge. Other than a Japanese yanagiba, this is one of the sharpest knives I've handled. And considering the price point, I would still lend it to a sushi chef just to watch his reaction!

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
...you guys ought to see this thing in real life...

Just like with guns and cars, I think knives have surges of innovation. Up until Bob Terzuola and Ernest Emerson started making hard use knives, the Buck 110 was the gold standard for working knives.

About ten years ago I saw a slip-joint folder that actually had pieces of twisted iron as furniture. The blade looked like it had been "pre-dinged." It struck me that the first scratch on any new toy--pistol, car, or knife--was the real heart-breaker. You either fixed the damage or learned to live with it. Granted, it's not abuse, like batoning through hardwood, but you pay good money for something and then foolishly mark it up.

But here was a knife that spared you from that, it was the cutler that dinged it!

However, EDC knives are necessary tools. I've got errands to do today, and I'm going to carry this SCHF14, most likely to eat with.

I think this series of knives is so good that it denigrates them to label them tactical or survival knives. In reporting that I wonder is modestly priced, pre-dinged knives that take fantastic edges is the next big thing. Heck, even a kid with a paper route can afford 17 bucks and a whetstone.

One knife related forum has a group called "Delmarva." While they post on-line, they do meet for dinners. If we had such meetings, I'd pass this knife around, and I'll bet 2/3s of the guys would buy one upon returning home.
 

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Well done, as usual.

I'm sure we all have some very modestly inexpensive folders in the drawers or tool boxes, that are little gems in disguise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm sure we all have some very modestly inexpensive folders in the drawers or tool boxes, that are little gems in disguise.
We should start a thread on that. Have the knife knuts sharpen their inexpensive folders, post 'em and then use 'em for EDCs.
 

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We should start a thread on that. Have the knife knuts sharpen their inexpensive folders, post 'em and then use 'em for EDCs.
My Case mini-trapper is in my pocket as usual and that Rough Rider Elephant Toe is in my watch pocket. Had to move my bike key to my main pocket though.

Stropped it a little last night and it cuts well. Then again that's one thing I love about thin bladed traditionals. They cut.

I couldn't help myself. I popped a sub-$10 bid on two more RRs w/free shipping that sort of jumped at me. I already won the Little Barlow with yellow synthetic scales. Will go good with my Case yellow handle Slim Trapper w/carbon blade. I have a decent chance of winning the other. That closes in a little more than an hour from now. It's a smooth tobacco bone Canoe.

Yeah, I know, another $10 on top of those two and I could have ordered a SHCF14. I will, I will. Gotta get the proper belts and compounds first and a better stone or two.
 

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Man I love seeing these pics. Something I've always wanted to do, and tried, but just do not have the skill or patience to develop.

But gotta ask, is this done completely freehand, or do you use some form of jig to help keep your angle?
 

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Amos there is a really good outfit in California to get stones from.

You need to check out japanwoodworker.com. All of their stuff is top notch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
But gotta ask, is this done completely freehand, or do you use some form of jig to help keep your angle?
I use Edge Pro fixtures, Hand American products, Schwartz stones and pastes, and Shapton freehand stones.

I do recommend that those first cuts to make the bevel uniform should be done on an Edge Pro. A long expanse of edge (like a Chinese cleaver or a slicer) might be done with Schwartz's full-size unit called "The Gizmo."

I recommend that because if the initial work is crooked it will be frustrating to do anything else. On the back side of an Emerson, or a yanagiba concave side (Urasuki), the work is done freehand.

The Corian fixture from Hand American is a bit of both worlds. It has removable attachments mounted to those flexible sheets used on refrigerator magnets. I have stones, glass and thick felt.

I also use a 3x9 Shapton in 12,000 grit. This is a great stone for freehanding, and even for straightening the damaged edges of a barbers' razor.

I must admit to a bit of "body English" I call 'Sicilian syncopation.' If I'm working with the Edge Pro and it needs a touch of love from a freehand perspective, I look over my shoulder to check if Ben Dale's drone is watching me, and if not, I freehand the edge right on his fixture.

Now, I must admit, the Japanese traditionalists have long since branded me a heretic. And you know how easily I bruise, I'm deeply hurt and will probably never get over the guilt and shame. But I run a business, and the client paid for a perfect knife. If that means I do an Edge Pro bevel with a Schwartz stone, polished on a Hand American fixture with custom emulsion, then that's what the client should expect and demand.
 

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Thank you for the info. Obviously the end result of your knifes are a skill far beyond the tools used. Keep the pics coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you for the info. Obviously the end result of your knifes are a skill far beyond the tools used. Keep the pics coming.
My position on sharpening and polishing is that if you like precision and have a modicum of patience, then it's just a matter of using good tools. My impetus for taking "the curse" was that I don't like mechanics or gunsmiths scratching my stuff.

I am surprised--considering the demographic of retired baby boomers looking for retirement jobs--that there isn't a polisher on every street corner. I mean, look at all of the Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's, and Gander Mountains out there. Many have inhouse gunsmiths, why not sharpeners?

If this interests you in the slightest, I'd call Ben Dale at Edge Pro and ask about the tools and a recommended business plan. Ben is a great guy, and he'll spend quality time with you introducing you to the end of your anonymity.

Once you know how to polish, your phone never stops ringing...LOL
 

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God bless the heretics for they are the seekers of truth.

The beauty of an artisan tradition is that is geared towards producing the finest end result or product. When the strictest adherence to the tradition becomes only serves to erode the original thing that was valued.

Ip and Bruce Lee were heretics in a lot of traditional eyes.

Or maybe your just being part of a new tradition that blends old and new, east and west, all in the pursuit of excellence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Or maybe your just being part of a new tradition that blends old and new, east and west, all in the pursuit of excellence.
I'd like to think so, for an Edge Pro is simply a modern togishi's work-station flipped upside down. The traditional polishers used wedges to position the stones, Ben Dale has an adjustable swivel-head stone arm.

I do believe that waterstones are the key. I think they are finer grained, and create a superior polish. And while the polish is pretty to look at, we must remember that the "edge of the edge" is more refined, as well.

Only two clients in twenty years have ever asked me to leave a knife rough. One man liked to use a "finishing stone" he had used for years, and he came to see me twice per year to make the bevel uniform from repeated touch-ups. The other client just didn't believe a polished edge was as strong, and paid me to put a substandard edge on a knife with more potential.

I tell the detractors that sushi chefs are some of my best clients. But unless you're sitting on a tiny footstool, half naked and soaking wet, using stones called "The Kiss of the Chrysanthemum" or "The Shadow of Edo" or even "The Wrath of the Dragon," they just label you an unschooled hack.
 
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