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How to sharpen Titanium on a budget

Discussion in 'Daniel Fairly Knives' started by Daniel Fairly Knives, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator

    Jan 9, 2011
    I have had a few questions on sharpening Titanium and thought I'd go over a simple and cheap way to sharpen it. It sharpens up very quickly this way and a few dollars worth of sandpaper will keep it sharp for a long time. Most stones will clog so I'd avoid them... diamond is reported to work very well but I haven't tried it yet on Ti.

    Get a pack of wet/dry silicon carbide paper (the black stuff), it is easy to find at any hardware, automotive or large grocery store. I think something like 400 will work to maintain or work up an edge.

    Take the paper and cut off a piece, put it on a flat surface where it will stay in place and sharpen away! It is that easy. Your kitchen countertop will probably do the trick. Use a piece of heavy duty leather or even a mouse pad behind the paper for a convexed edge. A rectangular piece of glass or flat wood and sprayglue to attach the paper makes a nice setup.

    You could start at 220-320 if it is far from sharp but it sharpens quickly in my opinion. If you want you can work your way up to 2000 grit but I wouldn't recommend it, Titanium cuts better with a toothy edge in my opinion. play around with the grits to see what you like.

    Try to keep the burr to a minimum, they are tough to remove. Never use your nice leather strop to remove a Titanium burr, it will contaminate the strop. I like to do an ultra light pass on the paper to remove the burr if the burr is large, usually enough to loosen it up is enough then a few passes through wood will remove it. If you didn't build up a huge burr just slice through some wood and you should be good to go!
     
  2. gooeytek

    gooeytek

    Jul 12, 2011
    carbidization!
     
  3. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator

    Jan 9, 2011
    Or carbidize them! All my Titanium from now on will be carbidized. It has sort of a self sharpening effect and excels especially when used on softer materials, it just gets sharper after time!

    If you are cutting heavy duty stuff you will still need to sharpen them from time to time, I touched up one the other day in about 10 seconds.

    The carbidized edge is hardcore, I noticed my KMG running Gator belts wouldn't touch it, only ceramic removes it. I have heard it won't even sandblast off and I believe it.
     
  4. IMWILSON

    IMWILSON Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2011
    Daniel, you may want to make this thread a sticky. That way it won't get lost.
     
  5. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator

    Jan 9, 2011
    Excellent idea!
     
  6. Papp71

    Papp71

    104
    Jun 30, 2010
    Great info man, perfect timing too. I was planning on asking you about it!
     
  7. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator

    Jan 9, 2011
    Thanks!

    They also sell credit card sized diamond sharpeners, they seem like they would be ideal in the field. http://www.usaknifemaker.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=52&products_id=1622

    Here is another slim diamond "stone," I own the one on the far right in 400 grit, it should work great, I need to find it and try it, lol... you could probably get one for 6-7 shipped.
    http://www.lopacki.com/files/
     
  8. richard j

    richard j

    Apr 1, 2007
    daniel, the paper wheels will sharpen up a titanium knife in no time. zaph1 sent me the mushroom knife he made for his wife and i got it shaving sharp. the slotted wheel removed the burr easily too.
     
  9. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator

    Jan 9, 2011
    I have seen what you can do and I'm impressed!

    I should have mentioned, this is just for those of with little equipment or space. There are a lot of ways to get Titanium sharp, I use my KMG but have been experimenting for my customers. Paper wheels would be excellent!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  10. Gnarly

    Gnarly

    May 12, 2010
    Thanx! for posting this.

    Good to see richard j over here---have heard good things about him & his 'wheels.
     
  11. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    When you Carbidize a Titanium blade, do you use Tungsten carbide or Titanium carbide (both electrodes are available)? Also do you coat one side of the blade or both? I would guess that a one side coated blade would be more self-sharpening.
     
  12. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator

    Jan 9, 2011
    Tungsten Carbide, I only coat one side. I do predominately chisel grinds so this works out great.
     
  13. gooeytek

    gooeytek

    Jul 12, 2011
    I used to sharpen my knives using whetstones (600 and a 1000/6000), sandpaper on a mousepad, and sandpaper on a mousepad on a 2" diameter PVC pipe cut lengthwise (I have a lot of recurves), and a big piece of 8/9 leather for stropping. I enjoyed doing it, but it would take a while to get the edge to where I liked it. A week ago, I got the paper wheel kit and put them on an old craftsman bench grinder that I had. Dizzamn! It's so fast and easy, I've run out of things to sharpen. I even dug up an old Blackie Collins machete and made that scary sharp. It's just a bit difficult to do large blades like that, since you have to watch out for the other wheel. I guess you could always remove the stropping wheel and sharpen whatever you have to on the honing wheel, then replace it and remove the honing wheel and do everything in batches. I really like the paper wheel system though.
     
  14. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator

    Jan 9, 2011
    After hearing this and talking to Richard J about them I just have to get some! They have been on the list for a while, I may have to get them sooner than later.
     
  15. gooeytek

    gooeytek

    Jul 12, 2011
    soooo easy! Not quite sure how well it works for convex edges though, I haven't tried those yet. For the simple bevels, and even recurves, its amazing.
     
  16. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator

    Jan 9, 2011
    Update - You can use a diamond or ceramic setup (rough is good) on the bevel and strop the carbidized side for maintenance on Ti Knives
     
  17. Lycosa

    Lycosa

    Aug 24, 2007
    Great sticky and great advice. Thanks all.
    Rolf
     

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