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Benjamin DeCorsey

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  1. Basically the title. Wondering if folks here use a strop at the final stage of honing a knife edge, or if you go through the finest stone and leave it at that. I’d also be interested to hear any reasons you have pro/con stropping.
  2. Much better indeed! This is a huge improvement. Roger Hill has been telling you all the right moves. Next is for a few swipes on the 1500, alternating sides of the bevel. Watch for the scratch-mark pattern you make on the bevel. You're looking for an even stripe of smoother scratch marks at the edge and at the heel of the lovely hollow you've made in your knife. As soon as those stripes run the complete length of the edge on both sides of the bevel, move on to the 8000. It shouldn't take much. It's all about keeping that bevel flat against the stone as you move the blade into the stone, following the blade's curve. Next is the 8000. You should see those scratch marks you just made get polished out, maybe even to the point of a mirror polish. When those polished stripes run the whole length of the blade, you win. Now go carve a bridge. Learning to sharpen a curved knife like that with just youtube and a bunch of people talking at you from the internet is a tough way to start. Good on you for sticking with it, that knife is almost there.
  3. I am curious if anyone here has either moved to a new country or travelled for an extended period of time and needed to relocate the contents of their shop. Obviously things like workbenches and bandsaws wouldn't be worth shipping, but what did you move with? What tools were easy to pack up and ship, and how did you do it? What about some smaller but heavier items like surface plates or bending irons? Any packing advice? What did you decide wasn't worth it and sold or left behind and replaced in the new country? What would you do differently if you were to do it again? I'm going to be relocating after next year and I'd love any advice I can get for how to travel with the tools of the trade.
  4. These look great. They appear to be as fast as the clothespin-style and far less clumsy to use. How much for a set?
  5. I use three different thicknesses of blue tempered spring steel shim stock from McMaster-Carr, .01", .015" and .02". For each different shape of scraper, I make one of each thickness. The .02" is a coarse, heavy, meat-eating scraper, particularly good for first passes on maple or removing lots of material. The .015" is an all-purpose, medium scraper, used 90% of the time. The .01" is a fine, finishing scraper, good for the final passes on maple and spruce and producing a perfectly smooth surface. Heres a link to the shim stock I bought: https://www.mcmaster.com/#shim-stock-sheets/=16rdr8y then click on "spring steel." One sheet in each thickness is enough for a lifetime supply of scrapers. I first grind a 45º bevel all the way around the edge of the scraper. This bevel angle makes for a very sharp scraper capable of producing a thin burr and leaving a perfectly smooth surface. Then I hone that bevel using 1000, 4000, and 8000 grit water stones, including a few strokes on the flat between grits to remove the burr. Take care to hone all of the grinding marks off and produce a burr around the entire cutting edge with the 1000 grit before moving on to the polishing stones. It can be tricky to hold such a small surface at 45º at first, but it will get easier with practice. Make sure to finish with a stroke or two on the flat side using the finest grit at the very end. Finally, I turn the burr with this burnishing rod from Ron Hock: http://www.hocktools.com/products/sb.html I never put a handle on it and it works for me just fine. Use a low, raking light so that you can see the burr appear as it is being produced. Use your eyes and steady even pressure to turn a small, consistent wire edge all the way around the scraper. An easy mistake to make is to use too much pressure or to go over the same area more than once, which will produce a burr that is hooked too far, making the cutting angle too steep. Half the battle in learning to scrape is just getting the things sharpened properly. A beautifully honed, razor sharp scraper that bites greedily into a thumbnail and produces ultra-thin shavings (not dust) will make this a joyful, satisfying task. A dull, improperly tuned scraper will make for a source of endless frustration. I'm out of the shop this week, but I will post pictures of the shapes I use when I get back.
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