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Help fixing the factory edge

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by Oyster, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Oyster

    Oyster Basic Member Basic Member

    272
    Aug 2, 2011
    Could someone knowledgeable please direct me to the best thread/tutorial on fixing/sharpening the factory edge on Fiddleback’s?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. Coach23

    Coach23 Gold Member Gold Member

    65
    Dec 30, 2015
    Oyster likes this.
  3. Panthera tigris

    Panthera tigris Apex Predator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 21, 2012
    A couple helpful videos:

    This is me showing you how to hone a knife with a coffee cup



    This is Murray Carter showing you how to sharpen on a stone



    Fixing the factory edge is going to be the same as fixing any other knife with a secondary edge. Just take it to a stone or a strop. Alternately, send it to me (shameless plug) or another service provider here on the forums ;)

    In most cases the knife is reasonably sharp but obtuse. You can't fix that by honing.

    Andy would probably sharpen it for free. But if you do that, someday, and that day may never come, he may call upon you to do service for him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
    Oyster likes this.
  4. Oyster

    Oyster Basic Member Basic Member

    272
    Aug 2, 2011
    Thank you both!

    I have DMT plates and a strop with black and green compounds. I can get all of my other knives more than reasonably sharp - some which are very hard SS - without any difficulty.

    I now have two Fiddleback’s - my first convex grinds - and both have the customary FBF “recurve” in the first third and it is this area that is causing me problems. The remainder - esp. the tip is extremely sharp.

    I’ll have a look at the links and videos. If that fails, I’ll send them out - although that would be a first for me.
     
  5. Panthera tigris

    Panthera tigris Apex Predator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 21, 2012
    Oyster likes this.
  6. Oyster

    Oyster Basic Member Basic Member

    272
    Aug 2, 2011
    Thanks again!

    On one side of one the knives, for about the last 1/2 inch before the plunge line/ricasso, the sharpened edge just trails off as if whoever was doing the initial sharpening lost interest and called it a day. It was quite a bit of work to profile and center the edge for that portion, but I finally managed.

    These knives are so beautiful and the handles etc are so meticulously worked that it struck me as odd that the initial edge doesn’t seem to get very much attention...
     
  7. adequacy

    adequacy Gold Member Gold Member

    589
    Mar 19, 2014
    Hey @Oyster ! Can you upload pics?
     
  8. Oyster

    Oyster Basic Member Basic Member

    272
    Aug 2, 2011
    Excellent point. I should have taken before/after pics... :-(
    I suppose I could take some pics of their current state. As a newbie to the forum, I still have to figure out how to upload pics (I have linked to imgur before). I’ll see what I can do after work tonight
    After some fiddling with sandpaper, stones and strop, one of the knives is now where I am happy with it and feel any remaining issues will even out with use and further sharpening and stropping sessions. It’s a fantastic pattern, btw. Lil’ Lady. Great compact size for everyday use.
    On the second one, in the area of the “recurve”, you can feel (and see when held against light) that there are shallow “valleys” in the edge that aren’t being cut by the stones and are therefore dull. I apologize for the rather poor and amateurish description but hope I’m making sense.
    I also have yet to read/watch the links that the others kindly shared. Maybe my mistake is to treat these knives like I do all my others.
    Anyway, I don’t mind “working” on my knives - even with the limited tools at my disposal in a big city apartment. It’s a nice respite from office work :)
     
    adequacy likes this.
  9. adequacy

    adequacy Gold Member Gold Member

    589
    Mar 19, 2014
    @Oyster
    Glad you are liking the work on your knives.

    I'd love to see a picture if you can figure it out/ when you get a chance. Let us know if you need help.

    I have had a lot of similar experiences when working on those recurve areas, and they have given me a great deal of frustration. Since those times, I tend to look for knives that do not have this recurve. I don't like it in use and I don't like it in sharpening. This is part of my reasoning for selecting guardless knives, as it makes the recurve issue less prominent or non-existent.

    For tips and tricks when sharpening, try tilting the knife at angle that you normally wouldn't when sharpening. I don't mean the bevel angle. Keep that the same. But try and use odd positions for the blade and your hands to reach those strange spots. If you are using one swooping motion or pass when sharpening, try sharpening the blade in small sections.
     
    Oyster likes this.
  10. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    Are you saying that the edge doesn't meet until half an inch from the guard? I try to keep that distance at around a quarter inch. I can regrind that knife for you or re-edge it if it is that far from the guard. I can have Phillip get you a shipping label if you'd like.

    If I ground the plunges 90 degrees then I could get the edge all the way back. It would also weaken the knife and create a stress rizer/snap point. Steel doesn't like interior 90% angles. I see a lot of knives with feathered plunges. Some of these are almost an inch of plunge. I try to keep mine as tight as I can to give strength to the blade and get the edge as far back toward your fist as I can. From the guard there is thicker metal than there is at edge. In order to keep the edge bevel roughly the same width, I work at a higher angle till I get to the edge, then begin using the edge angle. My goal is 15-20 degrees per side. If you are trying to move that edge all the way back to the guard, then you are going to remove a lot of steel from the plunge and your edge bevel is going to get wider, and IMO ugly. No knifemaker I know does this to their knives. Lots of knifemakers remove this issue with an awful choil. This choil not only removes a lot of edge strength by completely removing the support structure in one direction from the edge, but also creates a spot for skins, cloth, string, rope, and strapping to get wedged into. I opt for strength. I try not to sacrifice much of the edge length for it. Certainly a fraction of some knives with gradual plunges. A choil would take up almost as much edge length. Anyway, I wanted to explain the process and my thinking here. All of the steps relevant to this are done by me.
     
    SA Condor, Oyster, adequacy and 4 others like this.
  11. Panthera tigris

    Panthera tigris Apex Predator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 21, 2012
    It is probably the most challenging area of a knife to get just right and there are tradeoffs either way you do it.
     
    Oyster and Fiddleback like this.
  12. swonut

    swonut KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 1, 2007
    just choil it and be done with it.

    My pictures wont post at work,,,,

    [​IMG]
     
  13. adequacy

    adequacy Gold Member Gold Member

    589
    Mar 19, 2014
    Andy, I enjoyed reading your description. It was very informative and I appreciate all of the thought that goes into this.

    That's why I was thinking a photo with a circle around it might be helpful. Either way, I can definitely understand the difficulty in sharpening a recurved area on any blade when using stones.
     
    Oyster likes this.
  14. Oyster

    Oyster Basic Member Basic Member

    272
    Aug 2, 2011
    I just wanted to quickly thank everyone for their responses and advice. I also want to apologize for not replying sooner as I am completely swamped at work. I will try to provide a better explanation and hopefully some pictures as soon as I have a moment to breathe.

    Again, many thanks to all!
     
  15. Oyster

    Oyster Basic Member Basic Member

    272
    Aug 2, 2011
    Just a quick follow-up:

    I spent some time with sandpaper and my strop, following the guidelines provided by the other members. The Lil’ Lady now has an even, super sharp edge and I have to say: I LOVE this knife!
    It is the perfect size for edc. The handle fits my hand (medium on the large side, but not “fleshy”) perfectly. In terms of its dimensions (handle, blade, height, girth etc etc) it has everything I need and nothing I don’t. Nothing is missing and there is no “dead space”. It’s sleek to carry and very capable.
    It was put to great use helping my girlfriend set up shop for the weekend, cutting flowers, opening and breaking down boxes etc etc.
    Even she was impressed. She’s handled a number of my knives and “tolerates” my hobby, but doesn’t exactly share my enthusiasm. I handed her the Lil’ Lady to cut the flowers - lilies and roses with thick stems. We were running late and so her mind was in a million places at once in the rush to get everything ready. But it was clear that even she noticed there was something about this knife when I heard her mumur “ooooh... this is nice”
    I suppose that means I have the okay to buy another one in a different flavor :)

    At this point I’d also like to thank Andy for so generously offering to sharpen the knives. I really appreciate it but, as expressed to another member, my philosophy is that if I’m going to carry a knife regularly, then I have to have the skills (or acquire them) to maintain and sharpen it myself.
    I’ll also add that I share Andy’s dislike for sharpening choils and that I understand his reasoning for why the blade shouldn’t meet the plunge line at a 90 degree angle. While I was able to bring the sharpened edge back closer to the ricasso, it still tapers out and into the guard with the structurally important curves on either side (if that makes sense - as a relative knife newbie I sometimes struggle with the vocabulary).
    Again, thanks to everyone who shared thoughts, advice and encouragement with this newer member.

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
    adequacy, bear71, Dritios and 2 others like this.
  16. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    Excellent! And this description of the structurally important curves makes perfect sense. Its a great way to explain it.
     
    schmittie and Oyster like this.
  17. Oyster

    Oyster Basic Member Basic Member

    272
    Aug 2, 2011
    I have to reiterate how much I like the Lil’ Lady. It’s so compact and sleek - to me it’s a masterpiece in efficient design (with a four finger grip). I live in an urban environment, so being discreet about carrying a knife is important and any excess in length or width will increase the likelihood that I’ll just leave it at home. This one rides very comfortably in my front pocket without drawing unwanted attention.
    What I forgot to mention above, but which Robert @Fiddleback Outpost pointed out in one of his recent videos, is that, because it is basically guardless and the blade sits low relative to the handle, it’s great for push cuts where you want to be able to bear down on the knife as when using a cutting board. This, to me, is one of its greatest attributes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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