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Thread: paper sharpening wheels - when your time is important to you

  1. #21
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    Sorry, don't mean to be dense, but...

    You don't use the wheels for primary sharpening (ie. you use a belt sander initially, then finish with the wheels)?

    Do the wheels convex the edge?

    The reason I ask is I am trying to decide if I should go with a belt sander or the wheel system.

    Again, thanks.

  2. #22
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    go with both. some knives might work better with a convex edge and some might work better with a factory edge. you cant do a convex edge with the wheels and make it look good. however buffing a convex edge with the paper buffing wheel will give you better results compared to leather stropping. sometimes depending on the level of dullness, i can bring an edge back that i put on with just the paper buffing wheel.
    Last edited by richard j; 09-24-2008 at 10:53 AM. Reason: being more specific in explination

  3. #23
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    anyone wishing to learn more about the wheels can contact me for more information. anyone in the us or canada can send me their number and i'll be glad to give you a call.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard j View Post
    honestly i would rather teach someone how to sharpen a knife either by hand and with sandpaper or with the wheels first. if they cant get the hang of it then i will sharpen their knives. my hands bother me when hand sharpening so
    You hit the nail on the head about the hands. For that reason I would prefer not to teach someone to sharpen, esp. to sharpen their knives after they have trashed them. But I don't see myself behind the paper wheels.

    I use the Tormek, sandpaper and then ceramic sticks. How do the paper wheels compare to the Tormek in terms of the 'feel', control and safety? If it's possible to compare.
    "Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig."
    -Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction writer

  5. #25
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    a friend has a tormek sharpener and he likes how the wheels sharpen a knife better. he uses his for wood chisels mainly but if he needs a knife sharpened he comes to me. i have been using the wheels for quite a few years and they are safe when used properly. the tormek is a good machine but to me its slow. the pizza knife shown in my first post would have taken me a long time to do on a tormek. last sunday chuck geyer and joe south stopped in. as you can see by chucks post he's sold on the wheels. i touched up 2of his busse knives last sunday and it just took a few seconds for each one. joe was equally impressed with the results. just as a reminder, not all paper wheels are created equal. i have the cheap ones (jantz supply) and the good ones. saving $10. wasnt worth buying the cheap ones.

  6. #26
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    Hey Richard, first of all thanks for inviting me down to your place for the lessons on sharpening. I was kind of skeptical at first but am a true believer now. I just finished 7 blades in a little under an hour that are the sharpest I have ever done. Mind you these blades had no edge on them to start. Can't wait to come down again when I get your burner finished.

  7. #27
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    i have 3 blades ready to try the burner out on. the wheels are the only way to go for sure. my method of putting a convex edge on and finishing it off on the paper wheel is the only way to go.

  8. #28
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    for anyone thinking of trying to make a set of paper or cardboard wheels, i wouldnt attempt this. it can be dangerous or even deadly should a piece fly off and hit you. some guys might try this but it only takes one time for an accident to happen. why chance it.

  9. #29
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    for thoes of you who have never seen or heard of the paper wheels, there is a difference in quality as far as material used and the final product. there are several other brands out there and i happen to have another brand which is cheaper and was way out of round and balance. the centerhole was oversized so truing the wheel was impossible since each time one wheel was removed to put on the other, it was back out of round and balance. if i had known this when i bought the cheaper set, i would have spent the extra few dollars and bought a good set.

  10. #30
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    I'm sorry if this question has already been asked, but I have not seen it:

    How much metal is removed during the sharpening process with the wheels? If I decide to get the wheels do I need to be concerned about the amount of sharpening I do on the wheels?

  11. #31
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    earlier i had typed a reply but it didnt post .
    the ammount of metal removed depends on how wide the dull edge is. as an example, if you cut cardboard laying on concrete then its going to create a flat spot. its just like any other sharpener only you're using a paper wheel coated with an abrasive. there is one advantage to using the wheels. if you have an edge thats not too bad and you want it touched up, all you nave to do is hit it with the paper buffing wheel a few passes and you're good to go. for a knife that has a decent factory edge, all you have to do is give it a few passes on the paper buffing wheel and its shaving sharp. chuck geyer and macgregor22 have brought over quite a few of his busse knives and they were fairly sharp but they wanted them fine tuned. it only took me about 10 seconds per knife if that to make them scarry sharp. i have a video of my buffing one of his knives. the way i sharpen or buff a knife is the way i have been doing it "safely" for the past 17 years but this is the method that "i" use. culpeper said its easier to sharpen the way he does it. i'll let him explain that since i have never tried it. maybe he can post some picturse or a vid of his method. he holds his knife in front with the edge down and the spine up. he has his wheel rotating the same direction as i do. every wheel has a safety reminder sticker attached to the side of each wheel reminding the operator of what to do and what not to do.
    http://www.myculpeper.com//richardj/2008richardj4.wmv

  12. #32
    PAPER WHEELS

    If you are comfortable using power tools, try a paper wheel system. Paper wheels are safer than buffing wheels and less likely to catch and throw a knife, but you still work with the wheels moving off the edge, like stropping, for safety.

    I've had good luck with this system. The sharpening wheel raises a burr quickly. The honing wheel polishes the burr off and leaves a mirror finish comparable to stropping by hand. Both operations are done with the wheels moving off the edge for safety.

    Using paper wheels requires a little skill, but once you get the hang of it, it is very fast. I sharpen twenty knives at a time for my church's kitchen, and I can do them in less than 30 minutes with this system.

    The most difficult knives I ever tried to sharpen was an old set of Gerber kitchen knives. They were so hard that natural stones hardly touched them. Diamonds would grind them, but I don't have a diamond stone fine enough for a shaving edge. Paper wheels is the only system that has ever brought these knives to a razor edge.

    I use paper wheels a little differently than recommended by the manufacturer. Normally a grinder wheel turns toward the user, and grinding is done on the front, where debris is thrown downward. The instructions for paper wheels say to use this same rotation but sharpen on top, where debris is thrown toward you. This seems inherently unsafe to me.

    Here is how to modify a grinder for safer use of paper wheels.

    I recommend you buy a dedicated grinder motor for this purpose. Changing the wheels too often can introduce wobble in them. When you buy a grinder make sure it has removable guards, because you are going to take them off. Put a good light over the grinder so you can see the burr as it develops then polishes away.

    Mount the grinder so the top of the wheels moves away from you, and sharpen and hone on top of the wheel with the edge away from you. This lets you see better, and debris or anything caught by the wheel is thrown away from you. Hold the blade level and work near the top for a small angle, down the wheel closer to you for a larger angle.
    paper wheel angle

    If you thought trigonometry was something you learned in school but never thought you'd use, think about this. When the blade is horizontal the angle between the blade and the wheel is equal to the angle between the point of contact and vertical (identical triangles). I've marked angles of 0, 15, 20 and 25 degrees on my wheel. I put zero at the top and position the blade at the angle mark I want to grind before I start the motor. Then I turn it on and hold the angle steady as I move the knife lengthwise. Practice a little and you will learn to see the burr and where to hold the blade to get the proper angle.

    Woodworking catalogs offer a variety of rubberized, nylon and composite buffing wheels for sharpening. These are usually sold industrially for deburring and polishing. They require skill and practice, and they are expensive. I think paper wheels are the best choice for the home knife sharpener.

    Tips for using paper wheels.

    Don't store a paper wheel system in a closed car or truck in hot weather, the wheels will de-laminate and split.

    If the sharpening wheel starts sparking, add more wax. This is first noticeable on carbon steel knives. If you do not have to wipe the knives after sharpening, you are not using enough wax.

    Wiping off the with paint thinner makes it easier and therefore safer. Goo Gone Extreme works for others.

    Hold folding knives from the back, so that if they accidentally close when being sharpened, it won't be on your fingers.

    You can sharpen the serrations of bread knives using the corners, but they will quickly round off. Good use for a second set.

    Add polishing compound to the honing wheel every 4 or 5 knives. The polishing wheel will turn black from the removed steel.
    Last edited by rlucius; 01-17-2009 at 10:36 PM.

  13. #33

    PLEASE CREDIT Mr.STEVE B .

    Thanks
    Last edited by rlucius; 12-03-2008 at 02:47 PM.

  14. #34
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    Well - I talked to Mike for quite some time today and put an order in on some of the wheels. Once I get them in and am able to play with them a bit I'll be able to post a review and some pics.

  15. #35
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    i have talked to steve about sharpening methods and i told him my method. in the 17 years that i have been using the wheels i myself have never had a problem but i suggest new users use the method steve describes. i learned a different way and as always with caution to prevent an accident from ever happening. never sharpen with a distraction if possible. i had to get used to crowds when doing motrcycle club fundraiser parties. here is a funny story about one of thoes partys. what happened the following morning was told to me by a friend who camped out overnight.


    it seems this guy who i sharpened a knife for was totally amazed at how sharp i got his knife. he was walking around the grounds showing people how easily it shaved his hair off his arm (the guy was so hairy he looked like some kind of animal). all this time the guy was drunk and probably shouldnt have had a razor blade as my friend calls any knife i sharpen, in his posession. the next morning he hears a commotion and looks out.

    here is this guy with one arm totally bald complete with razor burns and one arm all hairy except for a few bald spots and some more burns. he thought someone had shaved him while he was asleep but my friend told him what really happened. later on after a few cups of coffee the guy told my friend he sort of remembers what happened. i wish i had been there to have seen this. it sure would have been a kodak moment.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by myright View Post
    Well - I talked to Mike for quite some time today and put an order in on some of the wheels. Once I get them in and am able to play with them a bit I'll be able to post a review and some pics.
    Would you give the email address or phone number of the place you ordered your wheels?

  17. #37
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    here is mike's cell phone number. 1 866 419 4879. remember, he is in california so make sure not to call too early if you are on the east coast. if anyone sends me an email, please include your forum name. the same with mike, he checks to make sure you are a member of the forum.

  18. #38
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    a note about sharpening scissors. right hand scissors are held on the right side of the abrasive wheel. for left hand scissors, hold them on the left side. pinking shears are done in the same manner but may require several passes to sharpen the entire surface. never use the buffing wheel on scissors or snips. when you close the scissors or snips, the burr is sheared off.

    tin snips are done the same way. its best to take them apart if they are large. some snips must be taken apart. after sharpening scissors or tin snips, they might need adjusted. this depends on their use. hair cutting scissors must be loose but not too loose.
    look for signs of damage before sharpening. sometimes scissors that are too tight and sometimes too loose can have a spot where one blade cuts into the other. this spot must be completely removed and the scissors tightened a little at a time until they cut good.

  19. #39
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    Excellent information. I have been considering what method to use to sharpen as I am tired of the "elbow grease" method. I am better informed after having read this thread. Thanks to all who contributed; and especially to Richard J for sharing what some might consider a "trade secret". Thanks also to RLucius for his insight into what logically appears a safety improvement on Richard J's method.

  20. #40
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    when i first bought my wheels i learned how to use them from the guy i bought them from. he sharpened the way i do now. if you can sharpen the knife in front like described then i would use that method also. in the 17 years i have sharpened this way i havent had anything happen when using the wheels this way.

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