Cariboo Blades
Handmade Working Art
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How to Sharpen Draw Knives, Heavy Duty

This is a short tutorial on how to sharpen Cariboo Blades custom handmade and handforged draw knives.

 

Cariboo Blades Draw Knives

We recover and recycle high carbon steel from older truck wreck leaf spring and old lumber mill head saw blade. The steel is hand forged into heavy duty straight or curved draw knife blades with wide bevels and long handles as one piece with no welds. Heavy duty 1/2 inch thick to 1/4 inch thick blades for peeling logs and shaping logs and timber. From 4 inches to 10 inches of edge.

 
 
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Step 1.

Perform this step first just to clear the bottom edge of the draw knife of any burr. Place the back of the blade flat on your stone. Slightly angle your stroke position.

 

Begin to draw towards yourself. Adjust the angle so that the edge just comes into contact with the stone. 


Very lightly shave the stone

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Follow through as you are leaving the stone. Repeat this step coming down the stone with the blade at the angle that is mirror image to the one shown. Always count the strokes and apply the same number on both angles.

 

Step 2.

Most of the sharpening can be done with a 2.5 cm diameter, 30 cm long dowel (broomstick) wrapped tightly with a piece of 400 grit auto body sand paper and stapled 3 times. Have 3 or 4 sharpening dowels. 240, 400, 600, 800, 1200….The dowel sharpening sticks are great sharpening the hooks on crooked knives as well.

Stay at the same angle, 25 degrees, with each stroke pushing off. Follow through when you are leaving the edge. 

Repeat step I to remove the burr.

If you are using the knife everyday keep your edge sharp. The edge will start rounding with the dowel sharpening stick. Rounding the edge won't be a big problem. A stone in a vise once every week or two just to keep the edge angle flat. On some woodworking hand tools like the draw knife, carver’s slick or adze, a slightly rounded edge is preferred by some to keep the knife edge from sticking in wood.

 

Step 3.

A piece of 6 or 8 oz leather, wrapped tightly on a piece of dowel and glued with contact cement. Rub in some honing compound like jewellers rouge and push the dowel down the knife's edge and off removing the wire edge. Follow through.