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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: Getting rid of the secondary bevel on a H/T Viking.         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I just bought a H/T Viking as a project piece (new grip, re-do the scabbard, other touches) and one of the first things I want to do is get rid of the secondary bevel.
Would it be possible to re-shape the edge into an apple seed form? Should I use a file, stones or just sand papers?

Any tips appreciated,

Ian

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2011 10:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

European (medieval) swords were generally shaped/sharpened on grinding wheels, then likely honed with hand tools (no idea what kind). I wouldn't think you'd want ot get rid of the seconday bevel, but maybe you want to reshape it to be more historically correct instead of the nasty thin machine ground thing you have on that sword now. You might want to get a small grinder from Harbor Freight ($40) and a series of belts that end with a leather honing strop. The only problem with that is your bevel would be sharpened perpendicular to the rest of the sword, making the edge shiny and quite distinct.

Once sharpened the sword would be periodically honed. I have no idea how, but probably also on a wheel and then perhaps a strop. You can actually see a distinct edge in period swords, such as this example in the Metropolitain Museum of art:


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Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 1:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, wheels and strops are cool, but I think that the majority of the swords was sharpened by much simpler tools. A medium sharpening stone moved lengthwise is enough to make a good cutting edge with little effort. A fine sharpening stone moved same way will make a paper-cutting edge. Same technique is used for sharpening scythes. And it is actually the way I was sharpening my knives until I bought myself some good large stones that allow to move the blade across the stone (at 45 to 90 degrees to the edge) rather than moving the stone along the edge. Same stones can be used to create convex (apple seed) edge. Stropping is needed if one wants to make his sword razor-sharp. That of course makes cutting much easier but I don't think that it was a norm for European swords.
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Julien M




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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 3:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've done it on several windlass before,using a file, and it was fairly easy.

I believe the hanwei tinker might have a better temper, and being harder this might prove too much efforts. In any case, if you plan on removing that secondary bevel, you will leave file/grind marks on the blade, and I find that correcting that requieres much more work than removing the bevel itself. The tinker viking is peened, so dismounting the blade to redo the finish won't be an option.

Stone are also a way to go, but getting a small belt grinder and using a slack belt (without the guard behind allowing the belt to be a bit flexible) is probably the quickest and easiest solution to get an appleseed edge. Use 120 grit at slow speed. Wrap some masking tape on the blade below the guard to remind you were you want to stop...again you don't want to get too close to the hilt in order to redo the finish properly. Then using 120 grit sandpaper or higher, lenghtwise, you should overcome the sideway grind marks. Then go finer to refine the polish.

J
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all for your insights.

Julien, right now I'm thinking about using a file to remove the material and then fine sand paper or steel wool to polish. I imagine this will take many hours though.

Was using the belt sander difficult? I've read that it is easy to remove too much with a belt sander, did you find that the case?

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Julien M




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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian Hutchison wrote:
Julien, right now I'm thinking about using a file to remove the material and then fine sand paper or steel wool to polish. I imagine this will take many hours though.

Was using the belt sander difficult? I've read that it is easy to remove too much with a belt sander, did you find that the case?


No I did not find it especially difficult, but I had done a few hours of rough grinding before getting into that...Without a doubt and even with a tiny grinder like the one recommended above, you can definitely ruin your blade in no time with a belt grinder if you don't use it properly. I takes a bit of time to build the confidence to do edge refinements like that so unless you have some piece of scrap metal to train on I would not suggest you go down that road after all.

Try the file as a first step. It might work even if it's slow. As said, it all depends on the blade heat treatment, and the file might not bite at all..then you'll know for sure. I would have suggested you try it on the tang, to see what's what (the tang is softer than the blade usually, so if you can't bite into that forget about the blade), but that's not an option here.

edit: by the way use EXTREME caution when working on a factory sharpened blade with a file, the cutting edge is never too far from your knuckles and a clamped sword with it's tip sticking out is a hell of a hazard. I did pierce one of my trousers while doing such a job a few years back, and I could be singing with a very high pitch voice now if I had been less lucky!) Just cloth damage this time, but I did cut myself slightly quiet a number of times while doing the job...

To clean up the marks made with your file, I would suggest 80 grits flap wheels, they worked well for me and saved me a lot of time when I did not have access to a belt grinder. Clamp your drill on a table an work lenghtwise from tip to top. You should end up with lines going downwards, then start the sandpaper increasing the grit as you go.

J
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:
Ian Hutchison wrote:
Julien, right now I'm thinking about using a file to remove the material and then fine sand paper or steel wool to polish. I imagine this will take many hours though.

Was using the belt sander difficult? I've read that it is easy to remove too much with a belt sander, did you find that the case?



edit: by the way use EXTREME caution when working on a factory sharpened blade with a file, the cutting edge is never too far from your knuckles and a clamped sword with it's tip sticking out is a hell of a hazard. I did pierce one of my trousers while doing such a job a few years back, and I could be singing with a very high pitch voice now if I had been less lucky!) Just cloth damage this time, but I did cut myself slightly quiet a number of times while doing the job...
J



Yeah, I've done that before! Leather apron or something might be a good idea.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian Hutchison wrote:

Julien, right now I'm thinking about using a file to remove the material and then fine sand paper or steel wool to polish. I imagine this will take many hours though.


I'd say more like a few hours, at most. This might depend on just how polished you want to go.

File, draw file, stone or sandpaper, and done! For something that starts off reasonable, it doesn't take too long.

For something that starts off less reasonable, it will take a bit longer. But I found that, e.g., doing the edges on a DSA viking sword, which had started off blunt, and been "sharpened" (butchered, more like) by the previous owner, and throwing in thinning and lenticulating the originally diamond profile thick tip, was still only a few hours (perhaps a small "many" for hurried or impatient people).

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 6:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good to hear Timo, previous discussions had led me to think it might take approximately 20 hours of filing/polishing.
'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 9:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What you have with a secondary bevel is a well define bevel/ridge line and what you want to do is to round that ridge line so as to blend it with the main bevel.

If the blade is already very sharp you want to touch the actual edge the least possible.

What I would do:

A) Use a diamond hone touching just the ridge line going along the blade. Doing it freehand and loosely should give you a rounded surface rather than another flat plane.

B) Using an abrasive sand paper of the same grit size as the main finish ( Albion type finish for example ). Wrap some of this abrasive paper around a small diameter steel rod or just tape it over you diamond hone rod.

Use on the ridge line overlapping into the main bevel and getting as close as you can to the edge but trying to not touch it.
( You will dull the edge a bit but it shouldn't take more than a few light passes at the end with the diamond hone to get it fully sharp again ).

NOTE: The abrasive paper wrapped around a few times will give you a flexible surface that should round any remaining ridge line and blend perfectly aesthetically with the main bevel finish. Retouching the edge may give you a very narrow secondary bevel but I think one would see this on any sword given a quick retouching of the edges even in period and still be considered to be an apple seed edge.

Even if there still remains a secondary bevel it will be almost impossible to distinguish from the main bevel.

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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 11:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian, do you plan on cutting with this sword? When I get a new HT sword, I generally do a lot of cutting (some might call it abusing the way I do it) with it until the edges are pretty well shot. Then when I redo the edge it comes out looking very historically accurate, ground-out nicks and all. I look at my swords as tools, and think nothing of wacking helmets, shields and other blades with them. The more I cut with my swords, the less picky about finish and grind-marks I become. I find a well-used sword to be the most beautiful of all.
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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PostPosted: Tue 31 May, 2011 8:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Jean, with everyone's advice I've got a much better understanding of how to go about this.

Scott,
Yes, I definitely intend to 'play' with the sword a bit before I start re-working it. I also agree that at this price-point I see it as a utilitarian object that you can get some enjoyment out of rather than a work of art (e.g. a Barta) so I wouldn't be too distressed by any blemishes either.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian Hutchison wrote:
Thanks Jean, with everyone's advice I've got a much better understanding of how to go about this.




Note that my method, at least for me, works to create an apple seed edge on a sword with a defined secondary bevel and with a lot more work put an edge on an unsharpened Del Tin for example if I don't want that secondary bevel. ( At times I really don't care to take the trouble if the sword would get a lot of use, but it's worth while for a sword that will be used little or not at all but where I want the apple seed edges ).

Note again: This method is also for re-sharpening and getting back to the " look " of an apple seed edge after a quick touch up with the diamond hone. In other words regular maintenance of the apple seed type of edge.

If one is just restoring the edges it should take very little time and is mostly just hiding the transition from primary to secondary bevel aesthetically from a fresh re-sharpening. Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Julien M




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 7:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Jean,

Can you post a pict or link of that "diamond hone"? I asked about it a couple of years ago I remember, and bought one or what I thought to be one (kitchen knives stuff). I really messed things up with it at the time. I have other means to sharpen a sword now, but I'm still looking at an easy and quick way to touch up the edges. I was thinking of a small portable set of stone to be run down the lenght of the blade...but I'm curious about that diamond hone of yours too.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 7:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:
Hey Jean,

Can you post a pict or link of that "diamond hone"? I asked about it a couple of years ago I remember, and bought one or what I thought to be one (kitchen knives stuff). I really messed things up with it at the time. I have other means to sharpen a sword now, but I'm still looking at an easy and quick way to touch up the edges. I was thinking of a small portable set of stone to be run down the lenght of the blade...but I'm curious about that diamond hone of yours too.



Basically a round rod with diamond abrasive imbedded in the steel used for field knife sharpening.

The are many brands and some use flat hones in a folding handle and bench versions of stones.

The round rod types seems the best for me for the job under discussion when the rod is moved along the edge rather than moving the sword over a fixed sharpening stone.

I have been using this EZE-LAP one for over 30 years and it works as well today as when it was new, here is a link and pic of it.
http://www.knivesplus.com/eze-lap-sharpener-ez-m.html
Other of their products:
http://www.knivesplus.com/EZELAP.HTML

Other brands and types available but I like the robust brass handle on this one.

I have another type that tapers from around 1/4" to 1/16" and that can be useful for getting into tight corners or for sharpening the serrations of a serrated knife.

I guess you probably used or tried to use a steel used for kitchen knives that usually is only hardener steel that burnishes the edge or straitens a rolled over edge.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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