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

  1. #61
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    I've been using the paper wheels for a couple months now and they have more than surpassed my expectations and now I don't know how I ever got along without them. I can put a great edge on a knife in less than thirty seconds with no problem. Another added benefit is that it also puts a mirror finish on the edge which I've always liked.
    44HogPie
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  2. #62
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    if anyone in the states or canada buys a set of wheels and wants help with using them i offer help over the phone. it is easier on me rather than conversing through emails. send me an email with your info and i'll get back to you.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    richardj,
    I got in touch with Mike per your instructions and he sent the wheels out real quickly; got 'em here in NJ in less then a week. He seems like a good guy and I will definitely order from him again.

    Thanks for your help also. Unfortunately it is going down to 4 degrees tonight so I will not be able to try these new wheels out 'til it warms up some. I will keep you posted.

  4. #64
    Sharpening knives with paper wheels is very fast. The average time to sharpen a kitchen knife in good condition is about one minute.

    I use paper wheels a little differently than recommended by the manufacturer. Here is how I modify a bench grinder for safe use of paper wheels. First, buy a dedicated 3600 rpm grinder for your paper wheel system. Changing the wheels too often can introduce wobble in them. Buy a 6-inch grinder to use 8” paper wheels. The extra clearance is needed when sharpening long blades. Buy a grinder with removable guards because the guards will taken off. Removable guards are usually sheet metal, while permanent guards are often part of the motor housing casting. Don't go too cheap - expect to pay $40 to $50. Avoid lights, they make it hard to turn the grinder around as described below.

    I really like using a 6" buffer. Harbor Freight has one for $50, on sale every couple of months for $40. Slim motor and long shafts give you plenty of finger room, easily reversed, no guards or wheels to remove and throw away. Just nearly perfect.

    Normally a grinder wheel turns toward the user and grinding is done on the front. I prefer to reverse the grinder so the wheel turns away from you and work on the top of the wheel with the edge away from you. This allows you to see what you are doing, and debris will be thrown away from you. If your grinder has a removable base, and most do, you can remove it and turn it around so the switch is on the front side.
    paper wheels with angles marked

    Hold the blade level and work near the top for a small angle, down the wheel closer to you for a larger angle. I've marked angles of 0, 15, 20 and 25 degrees on my wheel. When the blade is held horizontal the angle between the blade and the wheel is equal to the angle between the point of contact and vertical (equal triangles). Put zero at the top and position the blade at the angle mark you want to grind before you start the motor. Then turn it on and hold the angle steady as you move the knife.

    Practice a little and you will learn how to hold the blade to get the proper angle. Paper wheels seem to produce a sharp edge even though the angle is not well controlled. Put a good light over the grinder so you can see the burr as it develops then polishes away.

    CAUTION: Safety glasses and other protective equipment should always be worn when using any high-speed sharpening equipment. A final note: Because the wheel is moving off the edge, it can cause a non-locking folding knife to snap closed, so be sure your fingers are safely positioned on the sides of the knife handle.

    PLEASE GIVE CREDIT TO MR. STEVE B. for the above and what he has contributed to so many sharpeners.

  5. #65
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    if you are already using the wheels and getting good results i would stick to the method you are using.

  6. #66
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    Oct 2003
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    Has anyone found any steels the paper wheels have trouble with?

  7. #67
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    maybe cheap pakistan knives or soft steel knives that are incapable of getting sharp. i have been playing with a few cheap knives that i can get shaving sharp but the steel is soft enough for a file to cut into it. one is an ontario old hickory kitchen knife that i experimented with a little. i tried thinning the edge and putting a convex edge on it. i have put a v edge on and it seems to only get so sharp. i have talked to a few other people who have had the same problem even when sharpening with other methods.
    most of my knives rockwell in the 63-65rc range and i can get all of them sharp enough to slice newspaper.

  8. #68
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    Yea, right after I posted I remembered your post in the other forum about that. It seems brand specific though, based on the other post. So, no problems w/ S30V or ZDP or other steels of that nature? I dont know what the grit is made of so I was wondering if they could be cut with whatever grit is used.

  9. #69
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    i was sent a few other ontario knives that had the same results. i have sharpened a few in the past which have done quite well. i figured they might have been made on a monday or friday i have some other cheap kitchen knives that i plan on testing sometime soon. i'm also going to test some bandsaw blade to see how it does.
    i myself dont have any problems sharpening knives made from too many steel types but that doesnt mean someone else might find it difficult. i sharpen so many knives i cant remember them all or the steel they were made of.
    Last edited by richard j; 01-18-2009 at 11:31 AM. Reason: added info i left out

  10. #70
    What ever method you use with your paper wheels - please take RichardJ's advice "if you are already using the wheels and getting good results i would stick to the method you are using".

    I personally have "jumped around" with three methods over the past 14 years and it's not the best way to grow and or stay safe. PLEASE, PLEASE take Richard's advice.

    Trust what Richard is telling us - he has the experience and the paper wheel sharpener's interest at his "core.

    I know three people who have mastered paper wheel sharpening and each of these people (to include RichardJ) have sharpened thousands of knives on their wheels, thousands of knives. Each of these people use a different method - of the three, all are always CAUTIOUS, respectful and very serious when sharpening. One of the three is a lady who started sharpening full time after her husband's death years ago. They had and still have the sharpening venue at Bass Pro's flagship store in Springfield, Mo.

    PLEASE! take Richard's advice and get with ONE method. Richard understands his method and it is as good as any method, I have tried. Richard understands how to instruct and explain it to you. Also it is the easiest method to get the overhead light at the wheel / edge contact - you start requiring more light as you age "TRUST ME" - I will be 76 Wednesday.

  11. #71
    Hey guys, quick question for you that are using the wheels. I am looking at getting a grinder or buffer from harbor freight. Which do you guys prefer a buffer or grinder?
    I have links for both, grinder
    or buffer?
    buffer

  12. #72
    My vote is for the buffer:

    The greater distance between where the wheels mount.

    The motor diameter gives more clearance for the sharpener's hands when doing longer knives.

    May take a look at this http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=37822

    PLEASE look at each one and make your decision in the store if you have a Harbor Freight close.

    Maybe richard j has an opinion or some other paper wheel sharpener will offer a suggestion.

    You will enjoy the results from paper wheels -

  13. #73
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    either one will work. the buffer does offer more clearance but if dont want to spend a lot they have 6" grinders on sale. you can go with an 8" wheel.

  14. #74
    So if it doesnt really matter which. I'll probably just go with the grinder since I dont have one. Then if I need the grinder I can just put one of the stones back on. Oh and by the way I'll be sharpening folding knives 99% of the time, so I wont have to worry much about clearance for longer blades.
    Will you have more clearance with a 6" grinder and 8" wheels, or 8" grinder with 8" wheels?

  15. #75
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    8" wheels 6" grinder

  16. #76
    Thanks richard. I appreciate the help. Thats what i'll be looking for.

    Oh and lucius yes I do have a local harbor freight I will be going by to look at all they have in stock

  17. #77
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    realitycheck, i would go with the buffer after looking at the link you posted. thats not a bad deal.

  18. #78
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    there have been a lot of questions brought up about the wheels. most can be answered by reading through this thread and in my tips for beginners thread found at this link http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=608864
    when you use both wheels to sharpen a knife you will have a v shaped edge. if you want a convex edge, you use a belt sander to form the convex edge and work up a burr. then you go to the paper buffing wheel to remove the burr and polish/strop the edge. since the paper buffing wheel is meant to replace a strop, its a waste of time to go from the leather wheel to a strop. you can maintain this edge with a strop if you are away from your equipment.
    when you notice an edge becoming slightly dull you can give your knife a couple of passes over the buffing wheel and its back to shaving sharp again. i always look at an edge under bright light to see if there is a shine to the edge. to see what i mean but in an exagerated way, get a butter knife and look down on the edge as if you were going to split your nose in half. you can easily see the edge. the same applies to a sharp knife. if you see a shine thats a good sign the edge is dull.
    another question is the shape of an edge formed by the paper abrasive wheel. if you were to measure a short (1/6") section of an 8" circle, it will look flat. if it were say an 1/8" circle instead then you would see the curve. trace out part of an 8" circle, erase all but a 1/16" section and you wont be able to tell if its straight or curved very easily.

  19. #79
    richard you said that when the edge is shiny that is a good sign the edge is dull. I have a question though. I thought that when you use the paper wheel it polished the edge like a strop does. So if its polished isnt that shiny? Or did I misunderstand?
    I probably did. Thanks again, Chet

  20. #80
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    central ohio
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    it polishes the edge on the sides. when you have a polished edge on both sides the edge looking directly down on it will look like here is nothing there. get a dull knife and look at the edge as if you were going to split your nose in half. you will see it shine where its dull. check your email and look at the picture i sent you.

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