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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Would you sharpen a high quality sword with one of these? Reply to topic
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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 01 Dec 2012

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sat 22 Dec, 2012 4:03 pm    Post subject: Would you sharpen a high quality sword with one of these?         Reply with quote

Any reason why one shouldn't do it or is this some good stuff?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZDnqetw-4E
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Josh Wilson




Location: WV
Joined: 01 Nov 2010
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 138

PostPosted: Sat 22 Dec, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

After watching this, I wouldn't see why not...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru-0GwYGUzY
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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 01 Dec 2012

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sat 22 Dec, 2012 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good point, but I wonder if it wears the steel out to fast, if it's always grinding away bits of metal. or maybe I have it wrong.
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Johan Elder




Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Joined: 26 Feb 2012

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat 22 Dec, 2012 7:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a thread on this from the SBG forum.

http://forum.sword-buyers-guide.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=84

Couple of methods of hand sharpening but if you scroll down a bit you'll see 2 videos of how to use that style of belt grinder.
I have a similar belt sander, but I have yet to do any of my swords, even though I have an H/T bastard that has a poor secondary bevel that needs to be shaped up. I've honestly hesitated a bit as somehow the idea of my swords being razor sharp makes me a bit nervous. Slightly paper cutting sharp has worked well in the cutting I have done so far.

I suppose it could be possible to overdo it, but if you are just grinding it enough to sharpen it, then it won't be worse than using a stone.
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Alan Schiff
Industry Professional



Location: Las Vegas
Joined: 06 Oct 2008

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Sat 22 Dec, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've used a similar belt sander to sharpen a number of swords, and I know that is the method that MRL uses for their sharpening.

Hope that helps,
Alan
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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 01 Dec 2012

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sat 22 Dec, 2012 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Elder wrote:
There is a thread on this from the SBG forum.

http://forum.sword-buyers-guide.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=84

Couple of methods of hand sharpening but if you scroll down a bit you'll see 2 videos of how to use that style of belt grinder.
I have a similar belt sander, but I have yet to do any of my swords, even though I have an H/T bastard that has a poor secondary bevel that needs to be shaped up. I've honestly hesitated a bit as somehow the idea of my swords being razor sharp makes me a bit nervous. Slightly paper cutting sharp has worked well in the cutting I have done so far.

I suppose it could be possible to overdo it, but if you are just grinding it enough to sharpen it, then it won't be worse than using a stone.


If I got a sword as sharp as that guy got his knife, I admit, i would be a tad bit nervous handling it too. My goal wouldn't be to get it THAT sharp. The reason I am interested in that belt grinder is the easiness, quickness and consistency of the sharpening. I was just wondering if there was some sort of drawback to using that machine because everyone I have heard of or seen sharpening swords does it manually, so I thought maybe there was a good reason for that as opposed to using a machine.

Thanks for that link.
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Robert Brandt




Location: Virginia
Joined: 11 May 2010

Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sun 23 Dec, 2012 4:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is exactly how I sharpen my swords. It's a good way to blend an appleseed edge profile. I also do minor shaping this way with coarser grits. The degree of care escalates as the value of the blade escalates, of course. I have not sharpened any one of a kind blade this way. With great care though I would if I felt the need.

Like anything, it does take practice. It is a little harder to maintain a consistent angle moving a 4' sword than a 10" knife across the surface. A slip can put horizontal scratches across a highly polished blade than would then require alot of hand polishing to take out. For than reason, I'd suggest starting on less valuable swords.

History was certainly far more complex, varied, and intriguing than the blanket of generalities that we so often lay over our handful of surviving data points.
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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 01 Dec 2012

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Brandt wrote:
This is exactly how I sharpen my swords. It's a good way to blend an appleseed edge profile. I also do minor shaping this way with coarser grits. The degree of care escalates as the value of the blade escalates, of course. I have not sharpened any one of a kind blade this way. With great care though I would if I felt the need.

Like anything, it does take practice. It is a little harder to maintain a consistent angle moving a 4' sword than a 10" knife across the surface. A slip can put horizontal scratches across a highly polished blade than would then require alot of hand polishing to take out. For than reason, I'd suggest starting on less valuable swords.


What grits do you use on your swords, from start to finish? Do you strop them afterwards?
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Herbert Schmidt




Location: Austria / Europe
Joined: 21 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 25 Dec, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I admit I didn't read all the comments here but I would NOT recommend it. For one simple reason: heat.
The blade gets hot quite fast and if the blade is very warm, the edge is beyond quenching temperature.
What you are doing is you are fooling with the hardening. You will get a sharp edge but you also might ruin the edge holding capabilities.

Never sharpen without water. So when using a turning stone or a belt, water should always be used to cool the blade.
Overheating is really an issue here. I'd say - stay away from it and use either a water stone or something similar.

Herbert

www.arsgladii.at
Historical European Martial Arts
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Robert Brandt




Location: Virginia
Joined: 11 May 2010

Posts: 34

PostPosted: Wed 26 Dec, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher B Lellis wrote:
What grits do you use on your swords, from start to finish? Do you strop them afterwards?

The grit will depend on the sword. An already sharp sword I usually just touch up with 1000 to 2000 grit. If I am blending an edge, I may start with 800 grit. Shaping the blade profile I will go all the way down to 240 and work up from there. I own a leather strop belt, but I have never used it. It was one of those purchases that sounded good at the time. You can get your blades darn sharp without stropping.

In my limited experience, just sharpening with fine grit belts will not typically generate enough heat to temper the edge. There is alot of mass in a sword blade and relatively little material being removed if you are doing it properly.

History was certainly far more complex, varied, and intriguing than the blanket of generalities that we so often lay over our handful of surviving data points.
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Wed 26 Dec, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If your changing the edge geometry/or sharpening something for the first time then you need such an aggressive approach. As mentioned you need to keep the steel cool. Keep a bucket of water handy and keep your fingers on the blade... as soon as it gets too hot to handle ~200 degrees or so dunk it in the water until its cold again.

For a knife or sword that is already at the appropriate geometry and is just a bit dull just use a sharpening stone of appropriate grit to touch up the edge. Most times all you need is a strop.

Stropping: all you need to make one is a bit of leather, a piece of wood and some glue.

Go to the hardware store and get a bit of hard wood like maple, glue a piece of leather (old belt) to it and get some polishing rouge (the red bar stuff over where they sell buffing wheels) get the leather wet and apply rouge by rubbing it all over. Move the blade up and down the piece of leather away from the edge (not cutting into it). This will polish the edge of the blade. If your really serious you can get micro sandpaper and stick it to a piece of glass but that is usually reserved for wood and leather carving tools to get them "crazy sharp" which is not good for swords.
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Wed 26 Dec, 2012 8:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

a belt sander is one of the most useful tools i've found in my shop - but it takes a little time to use it correctly. the first video showed i don't agree with the degree of bevel for that type of knife. you only use the slack of the belt to make a rounded edge which is more suitable for choppers rather than cutters. there should be a flat section of the grinder that the belt rides over that will provide a backing to make a flat grind on the edge.

if you ever want to use a bench sander for putting on a edge - remember that as soon as the metal is too hot to hold with bare hands - you have to put it down until to cools. a bench sander removes a lot of meat probably more than a bench grinder because it contacts more surface area, the belts just don't hold up as long as a grinder wheel does. thats why i use mine to refine lines for a short period of time.

as for how sharp your sword should be - it doesn't need to be relatively all that sharp to do it's job. as long as the bevel on your edge is consistence and angled correctly, a relatively dull feeling blade will do a lot of damage. reason is that that blade does not cut dead with a sword but you attempt to run the edge through the cut. i don't really see the need to go all the way down to 1000 grit paper. i've made razor edge knifes from 600 grit, but the type of bevel helped to achieve that edge quality. a hollow grind will allow you extreme edges for good cutting quality, flat grinds are a happy middle ground that allow a good quality edge with strength, rounded edges allow for blunt force edges that withstand a lot of use but is difficult to maintain the qualities of sharpness offered by hollow and flat grinds.

if you sharpen by hand, continue to. when using any kind of power tool their a trade off. for me its control. i can control how much steel i'm removing better by hand sharpening than with any kind of grinder. and loose fingers on any kind of power tool can cause a nasty slip that results in injury, damage to the blade or bevel shallow spots etc.


on the safety front, remember that if you are going to attempt to put an edge on a blade using power tools, anything with an potential edge is dangerous. a power tool can grip steel from your hands and throw it at you with enough force to cause serious damage. safety glasses are a MUST in every stop with any rotary power tool - or a face shield. and long welder gloves preferred. i can't count how many times i've had to dig metal shavings out of my forearms when using my grinder.
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