Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Knives, Tutorials

Broken Tip

Breaking the tip on a carving knife is inevitable.  It happens because the tip is the thinnest and narrowest part of the blade and takes the most stress and pressure when it is used for making entry stop cuts and for carving in a circular motion.  It can be slowed down by always remembering to begin the slicing action before twisting the point of the blade to make a circular cut. If the tip bends over or breaks do not panic or blame the knife maker.  Simply follow the tip to reshaping the tip of a carving knife described below with a photo tutorial for a cutting edge that curves up at tip.

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Photo # 1 ~ Use a Coarse Diamond Hone plate, using steep angle, reshape the point by rubbing back and forth following contour of the cutting edge desired working on both sides until a burr edge appears (silver shinny edge in photo)    Photo # 12 ~ An enlargement showing the burr edge.

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Photo # 2 ~ Gradually lower the angle of blade down to almost flat continuing to rub back and forth to thin the sides of blade on both sides.  Photo # 3 ~ Continue to lower angle of blade as flat as possible and follow the contour of cutting edge from point back along the cutting edge (as visualized in photo three, four and five) working on both sides) Repeat this step using Fine and Extra Fine Diamond Hone Plates.

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Photo # 6  and # 7 ~ Diamond paddles may also be used starting with Medium, then going to Fine and then Super Fine; working from the point of tip back along the contour of the cutting edge to create a burr edge.  Gradually flatten the angle of the blade in relation to the Diamond paddle surface. Photo # 8 and # 13 show the burr edge as the brighter silver edge.

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Photo # 9, # 10 and # 11 ~ Next after the Super Fine Diamond hone, strop the blade on a leather strop with abrasive compound applied by drawing the blade backwards with the cutting edge trailing as the blade is laid flat on leather strop.  At the end of one direction of stropping, lift the blade up off the leather, turn the blade to the other side and reverse blade direction.  Continue to strop, one side and then the other, over and over again until the burr edge is removed by the stropping action. Photo # 14 ~ An enlarged view of silver colored burr edge being stropped away.

Test sharpness by cutting across the end grain of a basswood block of wood.  All that is necessary to keep carving blade in carving condition is to strop frequently being sure to keep blade flat on leather during the stropping action.

(Note:  repairing a broken tip on a straight cutting edged blade is different in that the back edge is rounded and shaped to meet the tip of the straight cutting edge and then the cutting edge is tuned up with honing on diamond hone and then a stropping action to blend the cutting edge and tip as one.)

This entry was posted on Monday, May 6th, 2013 at 8:03 pm and is filed under Knives, Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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