Compounds are available to 10000 grit
and beyond! Donít have a strop? There are a number of
sources, but you can make your own. See
Jim Thompsonís tutorial
on making your own strops. Very easy to do, so make several,
taking note of the profile needed.
See the illustration on the
right for how much compound paste to use at any given time...
just a little bit at the end of the knife. An important thing to
remember when stropping - When the compound gets black and shiny
scrape it off and recharge the compound.
Bent knives follow the
same procedure as a straight blade, but extra care must be taken
to maintain the angle of the blade relative to the abrasive
surface because the leverage you have is not directly in line
with the blade. Start with a 600 or 800 grit wet/dry sand paper.
Lay the knife flat on the edge of the paper. Lift the back of
the knife slightly about 5 to 7 degrees so as the edge that is
to be sharpened is resting on the sandpaper. Slide the knife
away from the cutting edge. Do this two times on one side then
turn the blade over and repeat the process on the other side of
You will have removed metal from up to about 1/16Ē
from the cutting edge, which is normal. The key is to keep it
almost flat on the paper and rotate from side to side. The
pressure you put on the paper should be light but firm. After
you have a good edge with the 600 or 800 grit paper repeat this
process with 1000 grit paper and the then with 2000 grit paper. You may want to go to an even higher grit for a finer edge.
Strop the blade on leather to clean off the burrs after
Stroke back and forth on each side until you get the
desired results. Caution: Do not raise the back of the blade too
high or you will remove the cutting edge with just a couple of
strokes and put shoulders on the blade. Double Edge Curved Blade
Start with 600 to 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper.
Rip the paper
sheet into ľís. Wrap one of the ľís around a dowel that
will fit on the inside of the curve or hook on the blade.
Lay the paper & dowel flat on the blade. Lift the paper &
dowel up 5 to 7 degrees toward the cutting edge then stroke away
from the edge.
Do the same number of strokes on each side until you have
achieved the desired edge. Remember to do the same number
of strokes on each side for even wear.
Repeat the same process
with 1000 and 2000 grit wet/dry
or sharpening stone. You may want to go to a higher grit
for a finer edge. Strop the blade on leather to clean off
any burrs at the end of your sharpening. While some may
deem it overkill, a 10000 grit brings the tool up to a super
Just like chisels and plane irons, donít forget the backs!
Mike Komick and
Preferred Edge Carving Knives and Supplies