Sharpening my khuks

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Sep 2, 2004
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I've read all the convex stuff and given it several tries. I'm not giving up, but its just not working for me :mad: I know, practice practice practice. I plan on that, but would like to at least sharpen up my Khuks.

Other than using the burnisher, or being a convex edge guru, how do people sharpen their HI products that seem to come with reasonably good edges, but not really sharp?
 

Steely_Gunz

Got the Khukuri fevah
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In the past before i stropped and did the full convex thing, I found that i could put a nice working edge on a khuk with a whetstone then followed it up with a butcher's steel. This is how i used to sharpen my trailmaster before i found HI. I can get an edge that will shave and slice paper, but not like Dan and the gang's scary sharpness.

Of course, then there is always the lemons into lemonade approach. Just say that a razor sharp edge is not really desired when used for a working edge. Say you leave them on the dull side for this reason:)

Good luck
Jake
 
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Steely_Gunz said:
In the past before i stropped and did the full convex thing, I found that i could put a nice working edge on a khuk with a whetstone then followed it up with a butcher's steel. This is how i used to sharpen my trailmaster before i found HI. I can get an edge that will shave and slice paper, but not like Dan and the gang's scary sharpness.

Of course, then there is always the lemons into lemonade approach. Just say that a razor sharp edge is not really desired when used for a working edge. Say you leave them on the dull side for this reason:)

Good luck
Jake


That works good for the WWII and chanpuri. I would like my other HI stuff to be at least paper cutting sharp. :)
 

Steely_Gunz

Got the Khukuri fevah
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You could always duct tape razor blades to the edge:)

Jake
 
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Not that I can get super deadly, head severing edges... but...

I use ceramic rods and a small strop (4.5" x 0.75"). I find the smaller strop is easier to control with my buttery fingers. The ceramic rods are really slow to reprofile though.

My biggest problem when learning how to sharpen (still an ongoing process) was getting a correct bevel to begin with. Not being CNC'd, khukuries usually have uneven edge geometry, lumpy or wavy edges or other fine things. You can do your thing with the mousepad and have no success because you're grinding on the shoulders of the edge and not the edge itself.

Get one of thems fancy eye loupes that jewler's use (10x). It might help to be able to look at the edge every now and then.

I think the problem with the one you're trying to sharpen is that the edge is reasonably sharp with it's current bevel. You're trying to put a shallower bevel on it and only grinding away at the shoulders and never touching the actual edge.

I figure if you keep doing what you're doing, eventually you'll grind away the old shoulder and get to the edge. Then you put a burr on the thing blah blah blah. If there is an uneven bevel you may be able to get a burr on one part of the blade and not another. Again, you just have to grind down the thicker part until it is the same as the rest of the edge...

The slow working ceramic rods I used were part of the problem. It took so long to get to the actual edge, I thought I was getting nowhere.

Your milage may vary. :confused:

Of course I'd listen to everyone else first. If you're still in a state of desparation, read mine.
 
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Oh oh oh...

The same thing for stroping. Watch to see that you're stroping the edge not the shoulders. I can feel the rough toothy unstropped parts with my fingernail. My fingernail is calibrated to 0.002". +/- 0.001" :D
 
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I run a wide marking pen down the edge so that I can see at a glance what I'm taking off and where.
 
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If I planned to chop down trees or cut brush, I'd want a convex edge. This is the sort of edge that is normally put on axes, since it holds up well to chopping. I am not currently interested in chopping any brush, and I don't have a thin belt sander.

It is easier to use whetstones to put a razor sharp bevel shaped edge on a knife. You can alter the angle to suit the intended purpose, with a more acute angle better for slicing. Since I see Khuks as more for keeping, looking at, and as potential weapons, I like a nice, sharp edge. I do not want a convex edge on my knives, and so I don't worry about trying to get one.

I have no trouble getting a quick shaving sharp edge with a stone like a fine Norton India or 1000 grit ceramic waterstone, followed by a soft Arkansas (Norton). I use a gouge cone shaped India stone for the curved area near the cho. If I were sharpening a scalpel or a wood chisel or plane iron, I'd go to a much finer stone, or perhaps strop as well.

I don't strop, and find that the knife edge will shave hair and do some nice slicing and dicing.

A more acute edge angle is probably better for a blade that is intended as a weapon, but a blunter, convex edge is preferable for a tool.
 

Daniel Koster

www.kosterknives.com
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Bruise - have you tried diamond rods? I think that would work better for reprofiling, etc. Then follow with a butcher's steel. Then fine ceramic rod.

That, to me, seems the easiest approach.
 
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Daniel Koster said:
have you tried diamond rods?

Are those those doohickies that have plastic handles like balisongs?

I've seen em' somewhere. Never thought of trying them. Do they have different grits... say 1 carat, two carat?

Sounds expensive.
:confused: :rolleyes:

How long do they last?
 
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Japanese swords are a fully convex shape, but with no secondary bevel at all. Proper sharpening - really polishing - of them involves taking the entire convex surface down. Not a very easy process, and it requires considerable skill - and proper polishing stones.

You can certainly get a very sharp edge with a convex shape. It is just so easy to put on a secondary bevel with stones, and alter the angle to suit one's purpose.

I might want a convex edge shape for a mortise chisel, but not a plane iron for a smoothing plane, or for a paring chisel. It is all about what you want the edge to do, and how much time you want to spend with sharpening the edge. I would spend more time on a plane iron for working very hard wood than a kitchen knife. I can not see the logic of stroping the edge of a kitchen knife, but I might go to an 8,000 grit stone (or a very fine black Arkansas and strop) for a plane iron.

If I had a belt sander (1 or 2" belt), I would probably prefer a convex edge.
I just enjoy putting on a sharp edge with bench stones, and find that a secondary bevel is quick and efficient. I use finer stones and/or a strop when I work with tools that require a very fine edge. A coarser knife edge is OK when you want an edge that is not quite as sharp. There are times when I prefer having a slightly rougher edge, as when slicing veggies. I would use a finer stone for a boning/fillet knife, and a coarser one for a chef's knife for cutting up a tomato.
 

Daniel Koster

www.kosterknives.com
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Diamond rod - you can buy replacement rods for the Sharpmaker, etc....just use one of those. Yes they are expensive, relatively.

A DMT folding diamond hone is pretty good too, about the same price....~ $30
 
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