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  1. #1
    Paul_BB's Avatar
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    X-acto knife sharpening

    Hi everybody,


    I would like to sharpen my x-acto blades.

    I found on the web japenese sharpening stones.
    I think I will buy two stones: one 600/1000 grit and another one 3000/8000 grit.

    But before sending out my money I would like to have your advice.


    Thanks,
    -Paul
    "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

  2. #2
    snir2001's Avatar
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    I'm using only the 3000/8000 grit with great results.

  3. #3
    Paul_BB's Avatar
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening



    So I only need the 3000/8000 grit. Thanks for the advice.

    I found the Kasumi stone:
    http://www.everten.com.au/kasumi-whe...-30008000.html

    And the Wüsthof stone:
    http://www.paulsfinest.com/Wusthof-S...wood-case.html

    Interesting to learn that the Japanese standards 3000/8000 grit corresponds to the European standards 1000/2000 grit.


    "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

  4. #4
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    Water stones are very soft and require regular flattening. They will easily gouge when you hold the blade at even a very slightly wrong angle. When I say gouge I mean you will take a thin slice off the stone, they are not like hard Arkansas stones, then you must use a diamond stone to flatten it. They really are not the right tool for the job. If you are dead set on sharpening exacto blades you would be better off buying two small diamond stones or one double sided like this: [link]http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/6-Double-Sided-Dia-Sharp-Diamond-Stone-P129C3.aspx[/link] To polish the edge buy a piece of leather and some polishing compound.

    I am a stringed instrument builder by trade, so I spend many hours sharpening plane blades, knives, chisels, gouges, etc. The best advice I can give you is take the money you were going to spend on stones and buy exacto blades in bulk. It's just not worth the time or money sharpening exacto blades. Throw them away when they get too dull to perform the task at hand. I have two #11 knives, one has a fresh blade. When that one loses it's edge I put it in the other handle and throw out the dull one. I bought a pack of 100 blades for $25 about 4 years ago and still have 30-40 left and I've built 9 planes since then. The two stones you linked to cost about $200, at the rate I go through blades that would be roughly 48 years worth of blades.
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  5. #5

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    I agree with smithcreek It is cheaper in the long run, both time and dollar-wise, to buy bulk blades and just throw away the dull ones. Just cutting iron-on covering for a medium sized airplane will use up 6 to 8 blades. Covering material seems to dull blades faster than balsa

  6. #6
    raptureboy's Avatar
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    If what you believed to be true was false would you want to know the truth?

    "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free".

  7. #7
    LesUyeda's Avatar
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    If you really want to extend the life of the blade, a piece of 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper works just fine for a hone. A little spit on the paper, and a few swipes, and you have a new edge. When you have worn the blad down too short, start on a new one.

    Les

  8. #8
    Paul_BB's Avatar
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening


    ORIGINAL: smithcreek

    Water stones are very soft and require regular flattening. They will easily gouge when you hold the blade at even a very slightly wrong angle. When I say gouge I mean you will take a thin slice off the stone, they are not like hard Arkansas stones, then you must use a diamond stone to flatten it. They really are not the right tool for the job. If you are dead set on sharpening exacto blades you would be better off buying two small diamond stones or one double sided like this: [link]http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/6-Double-Sided-Dia-Sharp-Diamond-Stone-P129C3.aspx[/link] To polish the edge buy a piece of leather and some polishing compound.

    I am a stringed instrument builder by trade, so I spend many hours sharpening plane blades, knives, chisels, gouges, etc. The best advice I can give you is take the money you were going to spend on stones and buy exacto blades in bulk. It's just not worth the time or money sharpening exacto blades. Throw them away when they get too dull to perform the task at hand. I have two #11 knives, one has a fresh blade. When that one loses it's edge I put it in the other handle and throw out the dull one. I bought a pack of 100 blades for $25 about 4 years ago and still have 30-40 left and I've built 9 planes since then. The two stones you linked to cost about $200, at the rate I go through blades that would be roughly 48 years worth of blades.
    Thank youvery much for the enlightenment.

    I want to sharpen my exacto blades for two reasons:
    - the 1st one is that my wife also wants me to honeher kitchen knifes very very sharply (I hope she does'nt have a hidden agenda regardingmy staying in life)
    - the 2nd one is that I am reluctant to throwing away steel blades. Maybe am I getting old but I feelthis throwing away is a waste, I just can't help it.

    I'll follow your advice and will buy a diamond stone.

    -Paul
    "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    Another point to remember is that all hobby knife blades now available are not "Xacto"or Xacto quality.
    Some of them are not as sharp to begin with, or re-sharpen well. Definitely throw-aways.
    The Xactos - and equally good X-Cell blades no doubt will cost you a bit more, but they are well
    worth it.

  10. #10
    Paul_BB's Avatar
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening


    ORIGINAL: LesUyeda

    If you really want to extend the life of the blade, a piece of 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper works just fine for a hone. A little spit on the paper, and a few swipes, and you have a new edge. When you have worn the blad down too short, start on a new one.

    Les
    I have already tried sandpaper (400 & 600) but to no avail. Can you describe the way you do it ?
    "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

  11. #11
    Paul_BB's Avatar
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening


    Thanks for the link raptureboy.
    "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    I sharpen my blades all the time using a fairly large assortment of stones,do not know for sure what the grit size is. The blades I use most are those I made from old hacksaw blades as they seem to hold and edge much better than the X-acto. Just break the blades into required size with a cold chisel and anvil and then shape on a grinder and stone to the desired edge. You can shave with most of them. Make the handles out of scrap hardwood.

  13. #13
    snir2001's Avatar
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    there is another good way.
    make friends with people working in the hospital and get yourself surgical blades... they are the best!

  14. #14
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening


    ORIGINAL: Rodney

    I sharpen my blades all the time using a fairly large assortment of stones,do not know for sure what the grit size is. The blades I use most are those I made from old hacksaw blades as they seem to hold and edge much better than the X-acto. Just break the blades into required size with a cold chisel and anvil and then shape on a grinder and stone to the desired edge. You can shave with most of them. Make the handles out of scrap hardwood.

    Boy, do i feel lazy. lol

    skeeter
    \"It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission\".

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    I also sharpen my blades. Can be done as fast as hunting a new blade and changing it. I use a stone that belonged to my dad.

    As to covering, I used to cut covering on glass with xacto blades and of course dulled a great many. I now use a rotary cutter and seamstress mat, which seems superior.

    I also agree with use of two knifes with red tape around the handle of one indicating it is reserved for use where it won't be abused.

  16. #16

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    Here are some of the blades I made. I used to do a bit of wood carving on small stuff and needed special shaped blades.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    The late George Aldrich had a special pocket knife he used only to cut out tissue numbers, and trim. It had a long pointed blade which he had ground, sharpened, whatever, so that the taper from the cutting edge went straight to the back of the blade, a much narrower cutting edge angle than usual. He sharpened it with oil on 600 grit wet or dry sand paper taped own on plate glass.

  18. #18

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    The best way I have found for sharpening small blades is to use wet/dry sandpaper held in place on a hard surface( i use 1/4" glass) using contact adheasive. I starting with 800 grit and work thru two or three finer grits up to 8000 grit. When the edge shines like a mirror you are able to shave with the blade. Yes it's a lot of work but their is a certain satisfaction in the completed blade.

  19. #19

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    Another reason health insurance is so expensive. I know hospitals are thieves but why add fuel to the fire?

  20. #20

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    I heard of cheap modelers but this takes the cake.

  21. #21
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    My mom gets me a nice stock of surgical blades. You can always just rehone the blade often (with leather and some polishing paste) or go to the local walmart and pick up a nice supply of wet/dry sandpaper so you can sharpen the blades easily.
    Gws Slow Stick Brushless

  22. #22
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    I had been buying bulk blades while my daughter was in college for architecture and making lots of models. Lately I have been building a lot of RTF Flat Foamies for sale and I must say that painted EPP foam seems to really dull blades. Cutting the bevels really shows how sharp the blades are. Just for the heck of it I tried a few of the sharpeners I had for the household knives and I found one that did a good job.

    Smiths Two-step Knife Sharpener
    This .sig intentionally left blank.

  23. #23

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    I have been sharpening knives, chisels, and x-acto hobby blades for years with my Baldor buffer. I use white rouge and buff off the edge. The blades are sharper than new!!!! My pocket knives will shave the hair on your forearms clean!

    If the blade has a nick in the edge, you must stone it out. But the buffer, even if is a cheap "chink" import buffer; the results are all the same. You end up with a blade that it incredibly sharp with very little sharpening effort!

    You should not be able to see light "glinting" off the blade if you look straight on the edge. If you see the slightest bit of light on the edge looking straight at it: your blade it still dull.

    Don't cut yourself!!

  24. #24

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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening

    Paul BB, I respect what you would like to do. Unfortunately, our culture here in the US leads us to a lot of disposables. A friend of mine transferred to the UK for work, and was surprised when she went to Tesco and tried to find paper towels that we use by the trillions every year. None were to be found because they use cloth towels and wash them when they get dirty. Maybe someday we'll get back to that standard!
    Mike
    Waco Brotherhood #215/Ultra Sport Brotherhood #126

  25. #25
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    RE: X-acto knife sharpening


    ORIGINAL: ma_mulcahy

    Paul BB, I respect what you would like to do. Unfortunately, our culture here in the US leads us to a lot of disposables. A friend of mine transferred to the UK for work, and was surprised when she went to Tesco and tried to find paper towels that we use by the trillions every year. None were to be found because they use cloth towels and wash them when they get dirty. Maybe someday we'll get back to that standard!
    In France we are like the Japanese: we don't use towels. But unlike the Japanese we have dedicated young women who wipe our a.. each time we defecate. This helps keep the unemployement low. I must agreewith youthat this is amatter of culture.
    "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."


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