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TOPIC: Knife sharpening

Knife sharpening 19 Oct 2006 17:05 #1

Hey everybody,

First off I would like to tell all of you that I really enjoy this forum and I have learned alot by reading your posts.
I am new to posting on the forum so I will see if I can do it right.

Now to the reason for this thread, the last AMERICAN FARRIERS JOURNAL had a write up on hoof knives, the writer said that if a knife could be sharpened with a stone or file that it was too soft, I would like to know what are some good knives and how do you sharpen yours.

thanks for your input
Layne Giesbrecht
Layne Giesbrecht, CF
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RE:Knife sharpening 19 Oct 2006 21:18 #2

  • Mike Ferrara
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All kinds of knives are sharpened with stones so there is no way that I would agree that a knife that can be sharpened with a stone is too soft. Remember "too hard" means brittle.

A file will bite on most knives but it's going to be slow going.

I would say that if a sharp file won't bite at all then the knife might be too hard.

I'm no knife expert but I've dabled some and if that's what the author said...I'm not buying it. When a knife is hand made, final shaping, sharpening and polishing is usually done after heat treating and guess what's usually used? Yep, sand paper (either on a sander or by hand), stones and even files.

I've used quit a few different brand hoof knives and I've used files, hones, buffers and sand paper to sharpen them. Lately I've been using a file on new hoof knives to get the edge shaped the way I want. I haven't found one that I can't cut with a nice sharp file. After the file I've been using sand paper to get them sharp and keep them sharp. If a knife gets real dull I might start with something like 150 grit but I rarely bother going above 320. If I'm killing time in the shop and decide to spend some time getting some knives sharpened I might go to a 600 grit. I put the knife in a vice, wrap the sand paper around a block or even around a file and go to it.

I may not be the best knife sharpener but the sand paper has been working as well for me as anything has.
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RE:Knife sharpening 20 Oct 2006 00:07 #3

Ringel and Yukon Knives are worth the money. The Ringel's are a fair knife to sharpen, the Yukons are a bear as the are stainless steel. The method Of sharpening I use is as follows:

To rough in the blade I use a Dremel too with a chainsaw sharpening bit. Get a long bevel on the blade, about half the width. Next I use a diamond hone to further smooth the gouges in the steel from the dremel. Finnally I buff the blade smooth. I use A 1/3 hp Baldor buffer Witha 70 ply cotton wheel on one side and (2) 5 ply on the other. This makes a 1" wheel on both sides. The 70 ply gets black jewler's rouge, and the 35 gets white.

When you buff, hit both sides of the knife with the balck first , and the white second. This will produce a mirror finnish, and if done right will shave your arm w/o water..I have my buffer on my rig and try to buff my knives after every 2 or 3 horses. If you keep em sharp, your wrists will thank you.
Corey A. Minnick, CJF
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RE:Knife sharpening 20 Oct 2006 00:18 #4

  • Bo Terry
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After trying numerous things, I've found that the following works for me.

1. I have a 1" belt sander with very fine grit(then worn to nothing) for putting the initial "plane" on my knives. I picked the sander up @ harbor freight for $20.00.

2. I have a 70ply cotton buffing wheel on my second grinder that I use to put the final edge on it. I use the black compound, which is rated for heavy polishing. (You should be able to get this through any farrier supply)

You can go the extra mile by using a less aggressive compound after the black if you want, but I don't see the need. I think at some point, a knife can become too sharp to be practical. I know others will disagree, but I like my fingers too much. ;)

A good rule that I use for sharpness testing is the fingernail test. If it grabs my thumbnail, it's sharp enough. Usually this is more than sharp enough to shave hair off your arm.

JMO,

Bo
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RE:Knife sharpening 20 Oct 2006 00:54 #5

  • Ron Oldenbeuving
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All my knives are Hall brand, the handle size really suits my hands, and I get really nice control. 1 each R/H and L/H drop blade hoof knives (I dont like the double edged ones), 1 medium loop knife and 1 abcess knife (which gets used maybe once a month).

For sharpening the two hoof knives, I use a Swiss-Istor, followed by a fine diamond file (from my toolmaking days). The loop and abcess knives I use the diamond file followed by a small fine super stone (looks like an icecream stick, but is fibreglass impregnated with abrasive material).
Ron Oldenbeuving
Accredited Farrier
South Australia

"What did they go back to before they had drawing boards?" :/
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RE:Knife sharpening 20 Oct 2006 02:20 #6

I use Ringel and Hall. I just have a sharpening wheel on my bench grinder. I use the black compound and I sharpen my knives every 4-5 horses. I can sharpen my knife (both of them) in less than a minute. They will shave hair just fine...

This is the way my mentor has taught me and it works just fine. I find it so easy and quick, I actually didn't even know that anyone sharpened hoof knives any other way. I hit my nippers on the wheel a few times a month also.

I have not been around long enough to wear out a set of knives, but he said they last about 6 months for him (he does about 15-20 horses a day). He will only use Hall knives.

I bought 2 Ringel's on my Veterinarians advise (he is a personal friend and does a lot of difficult farrier work). They are really nice, but I've been using a Hall also and its great (and MUCH cheaper).

My $0.02 (I'm a rookie)

Troy Morgan
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RE:Knife sharpening 20 Oct 2006 13:55 #7

Thanks to you all for your advice, I have been using a diamond stone to sharpen my knife but am looking into some sort of sharpening system like a buffing wheel on a bench grinder. The AFJ article made me think that maybe I was missing something. :confused: Thanks again for your replies.

Layne Giesbrecht
Layne Giesbrecht, CF
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RE:Knife sharpening 20 Oct 2006 14:46 #8

The knife I use is a JH FORGE [URL=http://]http://www.jhforge.com/[/URL] I am not sure I inserted the hyperlink right :confused: but this is a very good knife with a wide blade that has a hoof pick built into the back side of the blade. Thought some of you might be interested in this knife. I believe it is also sold on the HOPE FOR SOUNDNESS site.

Layne Giesbrecht
Layne Giesbrecht, CF
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RE:Knife sharpening 20 Oct 2006 19:37 #9

  • Red Amor
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Pinehurst forge have great loop knives and double tapered diamond sharpeners
might be a tad bias but I think they are the best ever
http://www.loopknives.com/
Mark Anthony Amor
If we want anymore excrement like that outta you we'll squeese ya head :eek:
Mind how ya go now ;)
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RE:Knife sharpening 20 Oct 2006 20:13 #10

  • SlowShoe
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There was a great artical on the internet about sharpening with a bench grinder and setting up the wheels so you can sharpen your hook as well. I cant even think of the site now. But they had a bunch of nice articals, one that stands out in my mind was about punching and tapping the lateral branch of a hind shoe for extra traction on the event course.. Anyone recall this site?
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RE:Knife sharpening 21 Oct 2006 06:06 #11

  • SlowShoe
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RE:Knife sharpening 21 Oct 2006 12:49 #12

That wheel looks a little too aggressive for my liking.

That one is stone? A grinding wheel? On a $100 hoof knife?

You could take a blade down pretty quick I bet with one of these babies.

The one I use is made out of cloth and it has burlap threads throughout it. I can sharpen my knives in about 1 minute and they are razor sharp. I think I would be afraid of messing my knives up on a stone wheel.....

Heck, I don't know. Just sharing what I was taught. Seems to work extremely well for me.

Troy
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RE:Knife sharpening 21 Oct 2006 13:01 #13

  • Ron Oldenbeuving
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Heavy_Horses wrote:
That wheel looks a little too aggressive for my liking.

That one is stone? A grinding wheel? On a $100 hoof knife?

You could take a blade down pretty quick I bet with one of these babies.

The one I use is made out of cloth and it has burlap threads throughout it. I can sharpen my knives in about 1 minute and they are razor sharp. I think I would be afraid of messing my knives up on a stone wheel.....

Heck, I don't know. Just sharing what I was taught. Seems to work extremely well for me.

Troy
Stone grinding wheels are not all hard, it depends on what bonding agent is used to hold the grit together, you can get really hard bonding agents, or you can go as soft as a rubber bonding agent, which is probably the case in this instance, because a rasp tang was used to dress the wheel. A hard wheel would require a diamond to dress it. It's also dependent on the grit of wheel you use, I would suggest that a fairly fine grade would be best for this application. And you certainly wouldn't use all your weight on the knife when sharpening.
Ron Oldenbeuving
Accredited Farrier
South Australia

"What did they go back to before they had drawing boards?" :/
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RE:Knife sharpening 21 Oct 2006 17:52 #14

  • Bill Adams
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I think the fellow in the article only mentioned the file not the stone, and in the context of a preimum blade.
I like the Delta knifes and use a dremmel with a conical stone and then a dimomd hone.
I took an old knife and ground the hook off and made the blade real narrow for those tight places that need to be cut sometimes. I keep it in the other pocket.
As to my genral skill at sharpning, I usaly have to heat the knife before atempting to slice butter.
Bill

A rightous man regardeth the life of his beast. Proverbs 12:10
I don't give a damn for a man who can only spell a word one way. Mark Twain
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RE:Knife sharpening 22 Oct 2006 04:45 #15

3-MILE FARRIER SERVICE wrote:
The knife I use is a JH FORGE [url="http:///"]http://www.jhforge.com/[/url] I am not sure I inserted the hyperlink right :confused: but this is a very good knife with a wide blade that has a hoof pick built into the back side of the blade. Thought some of you might be interested in this knife. I believe it is also sold on the HOPE FOR SOUNDNESS site.

Layne Giesbrecht
I've got a couple myself, like them. American made. I bought the "Spud" model too. Took me a bit to get used to it. Glad I broke down and tried them. There is a loopknife version now. I wish he made the "Spud" in a mini version.

Julie :-)
Julie Plaster
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