Hand Tools Archive

Re: by the way...
Response To:
Re: by the way... ()

david weaver
Both sharpen relatively slowly, but if you only have to remove wear, I believe a sharpening cycle for me with PM V11 on washita is only about a minute and 15 seconds.

The total overall time, and additional attention makes it about even with 60 hardness O1. I've come to favor an iron that i made, which totally broke the rules. I had an open area and an extremely hot weed torch, which counter-intuitively, resulted in an iron that I don't think was as hot as I'd like. i quenched it, never tempered it, and am guessing at 60 because it's a bit harder than a vintage stanley iron, but not as hard as japanese steel, and it's pretty agreeable on a washita. That kind of agreeability starts running out a few clicks above 60.

I can make a generalization that I'd work anyone with wondersteel under the table if they had a sharpening routine to use with it and I had a washita. that much is true. Most of this stuff is a waste of time, only (as Brian pointed out) to be excepted when wood is really soft and finish is paramount, but that favors carbon steel even more - just harder carbon steel. For chisels, only a person chiseling something with staples in it would prefer something other than carbon steel, unless they're low on the learning curve.

As far as knives go, actual use of most knives (other than machetes) is slicing. carbon steel and a thinner blade profile is extremely hard to beat for that, especially when the sharpening cycle is added. Marine use of a knife, or perhaps oil rig use or something where there's silica and saline - maybe those things are useful for stuff like S30V. Most of the people buying those knives, though, have no clue how to use them, and even less of a clue about sharpening freehand in a reasonable amount of time.

One other situation that I've seen someone mention a situation where S30V is useful - mercenary work where they don't want to pay any attention to a knife. Most of us aren't in danger of that.

Everything else that's related to woodworking, except for things that beginners do, is better (and more efficiently) done with a simple setup. No "master" setup like Cosman has for $1375 or anything like that (and God knows I have about $20K of sharpening stones in my house right now - but not for practical purposes), no devices that need additional honing films on glass, little slices of sharpening stones, etc. And especially once you get into things like carving elements - all of the nonsense about "modern improvements" goes away.

But it takes a little while and a few hundred board feet to see why that is.

It's no coincidence that someone like Brian will tend toward natural stones for fine work and carbon steels. Warren, too. The average beginner shows up here thinking they are backwards or performing some sort of reenactment. They're using it because it works better.

I have all of this sharpening stuff on my bench, but when I actually start a project, it gets cleared off, and the only thing on the utility bench (where the sharpening stuff is) is an IM 313 (which is closed), a washita and a suita. The other stuff needs to be set aside because it's time-sucking play.

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