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HELP: My Axes Are Not SHARP! What to do from here?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by KiwiBloke, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. quinton

    quinton

    Nov 4, 2006
    I don't think there's any advantage to shaving sharp, it's just fun to show off. A file and puck, or sand paper is all that is ever needed. I can get an axe close to shaving with that Simonds nucut file alone.
     
    Nbrackett, KiwiBloke and A17 like this.
  2. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    kiwi, keep using the Norton India stone you found of your Father's. That is what I use and it works great. It sounds like you haven't fully apexed the edge and have left a burr. The manner I work that stone is, use the coarse side with mineral oil and take the stone to the ax. Work one side until you feel a burr on the opposite side. Then Change sides and work that side until you feel a burr on the other side, remove the burr.
    Then switch to the fine stone and do the same. That stone is 150 grit coarse side and 400 grit on the fine side. Here's a picture that shows the manner I use the stone. When using the coarse stone I rub in both directions, back and forth. When finishing with the fine stone I rub into the edge only. Use less pressure with the fine. DM
    axeS.jpg
     
    garry3, muleman77 and A17 like this.
  3. KiwiBloke

    KiwiBloke

    389
    Oct 2, 2018
    Good point raised, will be interesting to here opinions on this.

    Quinton is the sandpaper and buffer purely for aesthetics or does it actually continue to sharpen and hone the edge to razor?
     
  4. KiwiBloke

    KiwiBloke

    389
    Oct 2, 2018
    That's why I am puzzled mate, I have filed a bit and it was very sharp and then I took my stone to it and it is less sharp? I would just keep filing it instead but constantly removing more metal then needs to be just so I can have a sharp tool is not worth it in the long run, I'll have no steel left. I have to learn how to do it another way.
     
  5. KiwiBloke

    KiwiBloke

    389
    Oct 2, 2018
    Thanks for the tips David. I have been working the burr from side to side on the coarse stone perhaps 3 times each side and then assume it's time to go to the fine stone and continue to work the burr from side to side once again 3 times each side and then do one last pass with the stone on each side (the burr is still there) and then I take it onto a small piece of leather and strop it back and forth on that a couple of times and the burr is gone. Something has to be wrong there? Did you say that you work the coarse stone until the burr is completely snapped off and then do the same process with the fine? Am I not honing enough? I will do it for about a minute or a minute and a half and then switch sides.

    Also regarding the stone grit I thought that was interesting I looked up the stone and found the same thing 150 and 400 but the finer side feels a lot finer than my Lansky stone which is 600? Is yours new? Perhaps they have changed the grit or perhaps it is made of a different material and my mind is computing that as being finer although it is actually not.
     
  6. KiwiBloke

    KiwiBloke

    389
    Oct 2, 2018
    Square Peg I just had a chat with him. Long conversation short he believes that the full banana or half banana is just not necessary. The difference in his opinion is minimal.
     
  7. KiwiBloke

    KiwiBloke

    389
    Oct 2, 2018
    I saw this blacksmith recommended as providing an excellent product in another thread: https://www.kalthoffaxes.se/shop-online/kalthoff-tljyxa

    This axe's bevel is set to 32-35 degrees. I thought that would have been far to wide?? Most of mine are 10 degrees less than that.

    Also in regards to using the bevel gauge; it provides a V shape but we are after a convex'd bit so how does one navigate that? Does the bevel start as a V and then becomes convex as it meets the cheeks?
     
  8. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    But the center of the bit is much thicker than the heel and toe are. If you have the same grind at all three places then it's leaving a ridge at the center where the bevel ends. This reduces penetration.

    He's welcome to have all the opinions he likes.
     
    KiwiBloke likes this.
  9. Moonw

    Moonw

    Nov 19, 2014
    A burr can give the false impression of sharpness. It is, after all, a very tiny bit of metal that can still cut.
     
    KiwiBloke likes this.
  10. Moonw

    Moonw

    Nov 19, 2014
    From what I remember, this video contained a good explanation of the grinds - why and how they "happen" :):

     
    KiwiBloke likes this.
  11. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    He's correct in that the shape of the cheeks should determine the shape of the grind. The intended use will also change the shape of the grind. And a woods axe will have a different grind than a competition axe which can be touched up after every 60 seconds of use.
     
    Moonw, KiwiBloke and David Martin like this.
  12. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Kiwi, that should remove the burr but not fully apexed in a spot. Or, if it was sharper after using a file and became dull with the stone, then your changing the edge angle. Which is easy to do. Learning to sharpen using the stone in hand method takes time, as there is a learning
    curve. But stick with it as it's worth it. The angle I shoot for is: take a 4"X4" piece of paper, fold this in half, at the corner, that's a 45* angle.
    Fold it again and that's a 22.5* angle. Hold that as you measure the angle for your stone work. That is about the most aggressive angle I can go without the edge curling after a few chops. Good luck and don't throw in the towel. DM
     
    KiwiBloke likes this.
  13. thebrain

    thebrain Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    A 35° bevel would be good for carving but not good for limbing and such it is meant for control of penetration. Also don't worry about a really wide strop most are narrow and just fine. A nice old leather belt has always been a good a great choice, you can glue it to a board of similar width. Buffing compound or if that is hard to find some metal polish(IE chrome) from an automotive store works fine, I used to just dry out liquid chrome polish and use the powder that remains.
     
    KiwiBloke likes this.
  14. FLINT77

    FLINT77

    249
    Apr 8, 2013
    yeah, this is what i was going to say also - when you said it got duller with the stone.

    just go easy on the edge with the stone
     
    KiwiBloke and David Martin like this.
  15. FLINT77

    FLINT77

    249
    Apr 8, 2013
    I agree with this. Sometimes when I sharpen an axe it does get shaving sharp, but that isn't ever really my goal. I figure if it feels pretty sharp, its going to do what an axe needs to do.
     
    A17 and KiwiBloke like this.
  16. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    No, it doesn't need to be razor sharp. Razor sharp is a consequence of my full sharpening routine. But routine maintenance sharpening is just done with whatever fine (not extra-fine) stone I happen to have with me so it's never quite as sharp as after that initial sharpening and it doesn't make a lot of difference. But I at least want an edge that doesn't reflect light. And I want the bevel rolled convexly to the edge without having a ridge from a micro-bevel. And I want the bevel to be polished better than file finish. It should be at least fine stone finished. I think these things improve penetration enough to warrant spending the time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
    quinton, A17, KiwiBloke and 1 other person like this.
  17. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Yes ^ I agree with, at least a fine stone finish. For better penetration and longer lasting edge. DM
     
    KiwiBloke likes this.

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