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Work Sharp Knife Sharpener

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by ricklee4570, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. jungman

    jungman

    172
    Mar 1, 2009
    If you are considering another guide (performance guide) you might want to consider 10 and 15 degree per side and some tween belts as a group item. The incremental cost of shipping the belts (nill) would make the package more attractive.

    I bought some of the Micro-mesh belts and they do a nice job. Having belts from the manufacturer with a guide, a nice option. Glad you brought your product to market, it's something I recommend to my non-knife nut impatient friends who need an edge more often than I can sharpen for them.
     
  2. JackHammer

    JackHammer Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 24, 2010
    After reading the so far 16 pages of this thread, I'm gonna have to pick up one of these units and a decent cross section of Micro-mesh belts. Now if I could only find a dealer who isn't out of stock.
     
  3. aikidoka

    aikidoka

    24
    Dec 30, 2009
    I've been looking at sharpening systems for awhile now. This one seems to fit my budget and experience (none) fairly well. I have a Kershaw/Ken Onion Spec Bump, CKRT/Ken Onion Ripple and a CKRT/Ken Onion Eros on the way. The Work Sharp should be fine for those once I've gotten comfy with some kitchen knives correct? I'm a bit nervous about not using a guide though. I sure would like to get a polished scary edge on those knives :D
     
  4. Folderguy

    Folderguy

    Jun 26, 2010
    Just practice on everyday knives first and get the feel... in particular, you want to try to achieve even pressure of the blade against the belts so that the amount of steel being sharpened/polished remains as uniform as possible. Also, when you get close to the tip, be careful as you may inadvertently round off the tip. To avoid that let up slightly on the pressure as you get close to the tip so you don't lose control of the blade.

    After 10 or 15 knives you should really have the hang of it.
     
  5. cramsey3006

    cramsey3006

    Aug 2, 2010
    There's nothing better or faster on the market for the money. :thumbup:

    Cordless lithium battery power is all I'm waiting for. Then it has true portability. :D
     
  6. Ben B

    Ben B Gold Member Gold Member

    411
    Jun 16, 2006
    I'll add a couple of thoughts as well. While you are waiting for your sharpener, go to you tube or Google knife sharpening on a belt sander. Watch the technique. It is completely applicable if you use the Worksharp without the guide and somewhat with the guide. For example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLjFjT4vYsM

    Watch how as he gets to the tip, he raises up the handle and pulls it back slightly so that it follows the tip. As Folderguy said, if you use the guide, lighten up as you get to the tip. Also if you use the "intermittent" switch, you can just let go as you reach the tip and let it turn off right as you approach the tip. Rounding the tip is the biggest concern with most sharpening systems, especially powered ones, but you'll see people use the same motion as on the video when they freehand on stones. Practice. Don't use the 80 grit belt at the beginning and go easy on the 220 belt so you don't remove too much metal. With the guide, you'll find that the harder you jam the blade down in the guide, the more pressure you put on the belt so just start with gentle pressure and slide it through.
    Good luck
     
  7. KenOnion

    KenOnion

    739
    Apr 21, 1999
    I have had the opportunity to play with this great little sharpener and think it has lots of potential . It works pretty well for it's intended purpose and think it is a great item to have handy. Us knifemakers with beltsanders and buffers can do a more precision job of sharpening that is obvious . But for the masses who don't have the skills to hand sharpen and for every kitchen with a drawer full of abandon kitchen knives , I think this item fills a need . My hat goes off to you guys for designing and making a nice portable and relatively monkey proof sharpener. Of course there are things I would change slightly that would improve it's performance and versatility but I for one am excited to see this huge step in the right direction.
     
  8. aikidoka

    aikidoka

    24
    Dec 30, 2009
    Ken,

    I've been considering this sharpener for the three Ken Onion designs I currently have. It's great to have your input.
     
  9. JackHammer

    JackHammer Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Well I'm jumping in with both feet. I ordered a Work Sharp unit today from Woodcraft, then shot over to Micro-surface and ordered belts in 150,400,600,800,1200 MX and 2400, 12000 AO. Based on all I've read here, I think I'm covered. We shall see.
     
  10. Noctis3880

    Noctis3880

    Jul 22, 2009
    Probably should've gotten the 320 and 360 belts there:p.

    I ordered one of their 60MX belts but I must've read the grit conversion table wrong because that thing looks more coarse than my P60 belt:eek:.
     
  11. lionknife

    lionknife

    148
    Apr 18, 2007
    Convex grind ,
    Read earlier posts about convex sharpening , with Work Sharp Sharpener , anyone else have more information on convex sharpening with this unit ?
     
  12. Gadgetaholic

    Gadgetaholic

    Nov 5, 2009
    What information are you after?

    Convex sharpening a knife is usually done with a belt sander (from 1/2" x 12 like the Work Sharp to 1" x 42" belt sanders) or with a sheet of wet/dry sandpaper and a softish material underneath (like a mouse mat).

    I have successfully convexed all my knives except my Scandi grind ones using the Work Sharp knife sharpener.
     
  13. cramsey3006

    cramsey3006

    Aug 2, 2010
    The tool automatically puts a convex edge on your blade. It's the whole purpose behind the design.

    It is NOT designed to sharpen a convex blade grind. Not that you can't do it, but it wasn't designed with that in mind.

    Are you wanting to sharpen knives with a convex grind, like the offerings from Bark River?

    If you've read the posts on convex sharpening and read this thread, I'm not sure what else we can tell you. :confused:

    As for Scandi grind blades, I wouldn't try to use this tool on the primary bevel myself. I have found that after sharpening the bevel on a stone, using the 6000 grit belt and a couple of light passes results in a spectacular secondary bevel.
     
  14. lionknife

    lionknife

    148
    Apr 18, 2007
    Cramsey3006,
    Want to sharpen Bark River , Blackjack knives , your statement automatically puts a convex edge on your blade , then , it is not designed to sharpen knives with a convex grind seems confusing to me , at first glance . I think you sense my problem . A convex edge is hard for me to picture ,if a Work Sharp Sharpener will do it automatically , my problem is solved . Your help is appreciated . (Any help for that mater) . Much thanks .
    Lionknife
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  15. KenOnion

    KenOnion

    739
    Apr 21, 1999
    I'm curious , What do you plan on doing with the 1200-2400 and especially a 12000 grit belt ? I cant imagine a purpose for such fine belts for sharpening. I do think anywhere between 300 and 600 grit are useful and 220 for re establishing secondary bevels and 150 for working out a nick in the edge.
     
  16. Ben B

    Ben B Gold Member Gold Member

    411
    Jun 16, 2006
    Ken. Cool that you're posting on this thread - thanks for that. What I'm finding with the higher grits is that they mostly only polish. I've also found that I can lose a little sharpness with them, similar to when you strop and get the angle wrong. But when you get it right it does seem to refine the edge.
    I'm sure part of ordering the higher grits is peoples' experience with stones, especially Japanese waterstones in very high grits. Is there anything fundamental about belt sharpening that would make the high grit belts of no use or is it mostly diminishing returns?
     
  17. cramsey3006

    cramsey3006

    Aug 2, 2010
    There's always a lot of confusion with convex edges vs convex grinds.

    When we (as in many people on BF) talk about a convex edge, we are talking about the actual cutting edge itself. Any grind type can have a convex edge. Flat grind, hollow grind, saber grind, scandi, etc. The sharpened portion of the edge will have a very slight curvature to it, instead of being a straight angle. This reduces the drag on the shoulders of the edge allowing it to cut more efficiently. You can restore the sharpness by dragging the blade backwards with the edge against your sharpening media (stone, leather strop, sandpaper, powered belt, etc), stropping it sharp.

    A convex grind means that the blade itself has a slight curvature to it, either from the spine to the edge (full height convex grind) or from the shoulder of the grind to the edge (partial convex grind). There isn't a defined edge on a blade of this type, as the grind to the edge is continuous. These are generally sharpened with a leather strop or fine grits of sandpaper with backing to allow the abrasive to slightly flex to the curve of the grind. Again, you are pulling the spine of the knife towards you to sharpen, but with a convex grind, the angle is usually lower than what you would use to sharpen a knife with a convex edge, meaning no secondary bevel on the blade.

    Your Bark River and Blackjack knives are convex grinds with no secondary edge bevel.

    Of course, I do have to admit that I've seen convex grinds with secondary bevels. They seem to be getting more popular.

    You can sharpen any type of grind with a power tool like the Worksharp or a belt sander, but it will take some practice to get it right. When I say that the Worksharp isn't designed to do convex grinds, what I mean is grinds with no secondary bevels. This tool is designed with having an angled bevel on the blade. For a blade with no bevel you can take the guides off, hold the angle as shallow as it needs to be and go to it. I don't have any blades with a convex grind, so I can't tell you how effective it is to sharpen with the Worksharp.

    For knives like yours, if it were me, I'd invest in a good leather strop system with different strop compounds.
     
  18. lionknife

    lionknife

    148
    Apr 18, 2007
    Thanks cramsey3006 , good job of explaining convex grind and convex edge.
     
  19. KenOnion

    KenOnion

    739
    Apr 21, 1999
    Well with a Japanese water stone you are working a slurry on the top of the stone to refine your edge and you also have a flat hard surface to essentially lap your edge in . Belts that are super fine grit usually don't last very long before loading up and unlike a waterstone you are not working a slurry on a hard surface and you are not using water to keep your stone from loading .And you are especially not breaking the grit down in a slurry to keep the edges of your abrasive sharp and clean.
    Try this , Use the 320or 400 grit belt to set your edge bevels and when you are satisfied that the knife is sharp then load up either a strop stick or a paper wheel or better yet a leather wheel with Tormek PA-70 honing paste( this stuff is the best I have ever used green rouge wont cut nearly as clean as this stuff) and strop only one side of your knife preferably the burr side if you have one established . It shouldn't take long before your knife becomes a razor .If you are using a wheel one or two light passes is all you will need . By stropping only one side with a great honing paste you will not get edge roll but you will have one side of your edge mirror polished but the other side will have little micro serrations from the belt which will give your edge the bite you want .And when the belt gets dull , toss it . Otherwise you will just gall your edge and wont have nice clean uniform micro serrates I don't recommend stropping both sides of a knife unless you are just gonna use it for shaving or for wood chisels. You need the bite and those micro serrates will give you that .
     
  20. Ben B

    Ben B Gold Member Gold Member

    411
    Jun 16, 2006
    Great information. A couple more question if I may. I will try exacly what you've described. Does it matter which side of the edge should have the bite and which the polish, say for a right-handed knife. Would this same technique be suitable for kitchen knives? Finally, do you think it would work to load a worn belt with the Tormek compound and use the Worksharp for those last light passes? One again, very cool that one of the masters is taking the time to educate us to get better, sharper edges. Thanks.
     

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