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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I wonder what kind of stone wheel they are using. Today, with the super hard steels, you almost have to go with diamond stones. So far the hardest blade I have is a Spyderco Para two with cpm s30v. I'm too cheap to go beyond that. I lost a nice Benchmade with 154 steel but I forget how hard that steel was.

All the chrome in the stainless steels was just taking too long to work down to a sharpness that was scary. That's probably why most of my kitchen knives are high carbon steel now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Those and even larger arrangements were the way to go years ago. They were the expensive set up and still work fine. The diamonds are just so much faster and easier now. I remember sitting on guard duty sharpening my Puma, and bayonet along with some of the guys Kabars with only a double sided stone and some machine gun oil from the supply room. I remember ordering a Washita stone also that finally broke in half years later when dropped.
 

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Nope. I try to keep the angle myself. I know that's the answer keeping the same angle, but it's tricky. here is a pic of what i use; View attachment 247140
Look in most old time butcher shops back in the days when they actually cut meat, like from sides of beef, in grocery stores and that 3 sided stone in an oil bath is exactly the only thing they used to sharpen their boning and steak knives with, and a good meat cutter only sharpened his knives once a week. I did that for several years when I was young and we would cut 50+ sides of beef most any week. The key is maintaining accurate and equal angles on both sides, sharpening in the direction of the primary cut, so primarily pulling the edge towards you with the knife handle, equal strokes on each side, using the stones in progression, rough, medium and fine, gray being rough to remove nicks and set angles, med (tan) to smooth the angles and edge, and the fine (white) to really hone the edge. Beyond that, learn to use the steel mimicking the same angles you put on the blade and always pulling as well with the knife handle. The blades they use are high carbon and not that stainless crap you see in many of the gun show knives. Forschner steel was the best there was back in my day, not sure what they have now. Steel the blade any time you feel it start to pull hard. Stainless blades will not hold an edge nearly as well as carbon steel. Never ever use powered sharpeners.
 

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SeeMor, that's the set of stones I have, only the long ones, unless that set is the long ones. Mine are about a foot long.

Frank, I'm definitely a carbon steel blade guy and when I can find them, pattern welded steel blades. My brother-in-law was a butcher the first 10 years of his working life and he pretty much echo's what you said.
 

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Frank, I'm definitely a carbon steel blade guy and when I can find them, pattern welded steel blades. My brother-in-law was a butcher the first 10 years of his working life and he pretty much echo's what you said.
High carbon steel for me too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Folks rarely get to see a butcher work now a days. I'll never forget back in the '50s and '60s running around the corner to pick up what mom had ordered from the local butcher shop. How quick and smooth they were with the steel and how they made their cuts was always a joy to watch.
 

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We have a Mexican market, in town. They have 8-12 butchers and receive whole carcasses.

The counter is well stocked, but they will custom cut whatever you want.

It is fascinating watching them. Even though, my Dad was a butcher (when I young) and I have butchered hogs, deer and cattle. My skills compare to them, as my swimming would compare to Michael Phelps.
 

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Folks rarely get to see a butcher work now a days. I'll never forget back in the '50s and '60s running around the corner to pick up what mom had ordered from the local butcher shop. How quick and smooth they were with the steel and how they made their cuts was always a joy to watch.
I used to love going to the butchers with dad that was located below Heyacks market in Newton. He used to take us into the cooler and let dad choose what side he wanted his meats come from. That guy was awesome to watch.
 

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Before VN I took a job with a Zinc mining outfit in NJ. They had a shop to maintain all the tools needed and to make new ones. The blacksmith there had an old water wheel sharpener he ran with foot pedals. I gave him a machete to sharpen and the edge he put on that would take down a 1" or better sapling with one swipe. I never did run into a deal on one in all these years, but that would have been a great tool for the work shop/garage.
I think I know exactly the water wheel sharpener you mentioned. I have seen them on occasion in local antique stores. They were basically a wooden frame that you sit in and pump the 2 bicycle type pedals that somehow attatched to the grinding stone. It always amazed me at how large the round grinding/sharpening wheels were. Not as big as say a millstone of course but maybe 2' in diameter or maybe a little smaller and 5-6" thick.

Also on the subject of butcher shops, we have a "provision" shop 3 or 4 miles from my house. They do everything in house from killin' to wrapping processed pork chops. I think they only do pork, beef and goats now. They stopped deer processing a few years ago. On a hog they charge a $30 kill fee then $0.50 per pound after skin and gut to cut and wrap. They don't scald the hair off anymore like they used to but now they skin the carcass. You can buy your meat there like my wife and I do or you can bring in your live animal. In the past (when all my kids were still home), I have had several hogs processed there. (I didn't raise the hogs just bought them from local pig farmers). When I go there to pick up my meat order I can't help but watch them through one of the many glass panels. It's pretty cool...They make it look so easy. And the Sawsall is their best friend.
 

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My grandfather taught me to sharpen knive's back in the 1950's. All there was then was oil stones. For a lot of years that was all I used and just wasn't a problem getting sharp knives. Then in Germany about 1968 I got one of those new Arkansas stones. Seemed to work as well as an oil stone! Lot's of sharping systems since then and I don't like any of them My son seem's to like the one's that drive a belt with a motor. Most these new systems I simply can't figure out I think. /at any rate I've got a few of these system's laying around and never use them anymore! Back to the beginning with an oil stone. Couple things, when my grandfather taught me to sharpen, when you rolled the knife always the edge goes over the top at the end of a stroke and pull the blade, don't push it. Touch up when done with leather strop. Then got a custom knife in the early 70's and it came with a sharpening system hat was really nice. Learher folded over a thin wood block with 400 grit paper attached to it The maker told me to pull the blade and don't push it then finish off on the leather. The reason he said to pull rather than push was it was easier to maintain the edge angle! I'm back to oil stones these days and some times finish on a fine Arkansas but gonna make me one of those leather tools the gunsmith gave me again one of there days. Paper wore out I simly rip it off and there's a new piece under it!

Something I read or heard or was told years ago is that a knife blade can e to sharp. Problem being the edge ends up to thin and doesn't hold an edge long enough.
 

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I think I know exactly the water wheel sharpener you mentioned. I have seen them on occasion in local antique stores. They were basically a wooden frame that you sit in and pump the 2 bicycle type pedals that somehow attatched to the grinding stone. It always amazed me at how large the round grinding/sharpening wheels were. Not as big as say a millstone of course but maybe 2' in diameter or maybe a little smaller and 5-6" thick.

Also on the subject of butcher shops, we have a "provision" shop 3 or 4 miles from my house. They do everything in house from killin' to wrapping processed pork chops. I think they only do pork, beef and goats now. They stopped deer processing a few years ago. On a hog they charge a $30 kill fee then $0.50 per pound after skin and gut to cut and wrap. They don't scald the hair off anymore like they used to but now they skin the carcass. You can buy your meat there like my wife and I do or you can bring in your live animal. In the past (when all my kids were still home), I have had several hogs processed there. (I didn't raise the hogs just bought them from local pig farmers). When I go there to pick up my meat order I can't help but watch them through one of the many glass panels. It's pretty cool...They make it look so easy. And the Sawsall is their best friend.
While stationed in Germany I lived on the local economy. Every year the landlord had a butcher come in to do the pig he'd raised. Pig was killed then put in a troth of water and the hair was shaved off the body. Hoff's came off, scrotum and hair inside the ears. Everything else was used. Intestines came out and were washed out and used for sausage. Kidney's were saved and fed to kids, supposed to be good for them. After butchering all the meat was left out to season a while before wrapping and putting away.
 

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While stationed in Germany I lived on the local economy. Every year the landlord had a butcher come in to do the pig he'd raised. Pig was killed then put in a troth of water and the hair was shaved off the body. Hoff's came off, scrotum and hair inside the ears. Everything else was used. Intestines came out and were washed out and used for sausage. Kidney's were saved and fed to kids, supposed to be good for them. After butchering all the meat was left out to season a while before wrapping and putting away.
That sounds like what i used to remember. There was a family farm across the street that raised and butchered meat. The dipped the hog in a huge vat to scald the hair and everyone (including me usually), would gather around it that could to help scrape the hair off. I don't recall them ever shaving it just scraping. And like your experience nothing went to waste but the squeal.
I also remember helping them pull the meat (after cooking it of course) from the hogs head for Brunswick Stew. All the head meat went in...tongue, even the eyeballs. Best stew I've ever eaten and I've eaten a lot.
This is making me hungry, I'm going down the road to the BBQ place and pick up a qt of stew.
 
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I've used a Lansky set for over 25 years. I've tried various others, but I always seem to come back to the trusty Lansky. I don't have a steady enough hand to maintain a proper and consistent angle. I've now upgraded to the Lansky diamond stones and it was worth every penny. Quickly gets my blades scary sharp, and the edge lasts a very long time with only a periodic stropping, especially with the higher grade stainless steels. Doesn't work as well for longer fixed blades without repositioning the guide.

These steps I developed by trial and error were key for me to get my knives scary sharp on my Lansky. Keep working with the coarse stones until you get a burr. You can feel the burr with your fingernail. The burr should be felt the entire length of the blade. Then flip over and repeat. Then swap to a finer stone and get the burr and repeat process again...and so on. When done, I remove the burr by passing the blade over a piece of wood, and then I strop. It is foolproof for me. Even my son can sharpen his knives with this method.
 

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I had one of those tri stone deals for years. That plus a few other stones here and there. Switched to a Lansky diamond set and stuck with it for years. Stones were small but it took less effort to be consistent and the stones cut harder steel much better. Still took a while to get a good edge though. I actually went all in last year and got a wicked edge system. Personally I'll never go back. Much faster to sharpen or reprofile the edge. Touching up an edge is really fast and simple since you can match the angle exactly every time. Makes it easy to get a mirror edge and have the angles perfect on both sides.
 

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I also purchased the Wicked Edge WE 130 (very expensive with additional stones etc), upgraded from a KME system. I like being able to sharpen on both sides without moving the knife and repeatability the next sharpening, it is time consuming to get a razor sharp edge tho. I feel whatever system works for you is the best system.
 

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Back in the 60's there was a sharping gatget, that was pretty cool. Have not seen it in years. It was cylinderal. About 2 1/2 in. in dia. It was like two wheels with a stone between them.. You put the knife blade between the stone and the wheel. Then rolled it back and forth. Right side, then left side. It worked well. Would really like ti find another one.
 
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