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Sharpening blades?

Old 11-14-2007, 07:23 PM
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HIGHSTRUT
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Default Sharpening blades?

I' m wasting a lot of #11 blades when I cover an airframe, they dull quickly. Is there an easy way to sharpen blades other than a honing stone .

Thank you
Bob
Old 11-14-2007, 07:27 PM
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Flying Foot Doc
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

A box of 100 #11 blades....Doc
Old 11-14-2007, 07:33 PM
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dbacque
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

Covering dulls blades surprisingly quickly. The best thing to do is buy the blades in bulk. $10.99 for a 100 pack of Tower Hobby blades gives you a cost of 11 cents each. At that price change them frequently, toss them out, do better work with fresh blades and don't waste your time with sharpening.

Dave
Old 11-14-2007, 07:35 PM
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sscherin
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXJC80&P=ML

Yup box of 100 blades.. cost ya 10 cents a blade..

At that price it's not worth trying to sharpen them.

I can tell ya how to do it using wet/dry sandpaper from 400-2000 grit but you'll need to build a sharpening jig and spend enough on paper to be halfway to a fresh box of 100.
Here's the link for sharpening if you still want to try. It's great for hand plane blades.
http://www.shavings.net/SCARY.HTM
Old 11-14-2007, 08:40 PM
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Live Wire
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

Use it once and thorw it away
Old 11-14-2007, 09:20 PM
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HIGHSTRUT
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

I' ve been buying #11 blades by the 100's for along time, in fact I use the dull blades to add epoxy to the hinge slots and then throw them away. Which reminds me how much epoxy is wasted because it's necessary to mix more than is really needed. I was hoping someone came up with a great way of sharpening them.

Bob
Old 11-14-2007, 11:57 PM
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BankYank
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

Once i read that there not actually dull. The glue has built up on them from the covering and if you clean them in acetone there good as new. Never tried it though as i have about 85 more to go before i order a new box and it's just faster to toss em and grab a new one.
Pat
Old 11-15-2007, 12:31 AM
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Campgems
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

I sharpen then time and time again. I've got a lapidary grinder with a series of diamond wheels stopping at 15,000 grit. Just kiss the blade and it's better than new. A couple of the scale builders sharpen every blade before using it for the first time.

On the covering, I've found that the single edge razor blades work better than the knife blades. The edge is rounded a bit so you don't have a sharp corner to dig in, but other than that, they do a great job.

Don
Old 11-15-2007, 06:45 AM
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rwright142
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

ORIGINAL: Campgems
...On the covering, I've found that the single edge razor blades work better than the knife blades.
Don
Agreed.

Also, if anyone has access to a liquid nitrogen tank, drop a blade in there and it will last forever. hehehe I just happen to have one in my barn... yeah right...
Old 11-15-2007, 09:25 AM
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BillyGoat
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

There is a company selling a set up that sharpens #11 blades. I came pretty darn close to buying one those sharpeners after watching the demo at Toledo one year.

Sorry I don’t recall the name of the company. Maybe somebody with more info will chime in.
Old 11-15-2007, 10:10 AM
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housedad
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?




[link=http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action=Catalog&Type=Product&ID=81619]#11 sharpener[/link]
Old 11-15-2007, 10:15 AM
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spiral_72
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

A fine grit wheel for your bench grinder (if you have s bench grinder already)..... One zzzzzzip, flip it, zzzzzip and that baby will slice through my finger again... AW MAN! time for another band-aid

If you don't have the bench grinder, while it would be a worthy addition to any shop, it'd take a lot of blades to justify the purchase. Although you can sharpen em'..... probably 20 times.
Old 11-15-2007, 11:49 AM
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Rodney
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

A simple hand stone is very inexpensive and it is very easy to keep a good edge on any blade after a very little bit of practice. As mentioned in one of the above bits, it is common to have the sharpened blades better than the new ones. It is also easy to make your own blades from broken hacksaw blades if you have a grinder and they will usually hold an edge even better than the typical #11.
Old 11-15-2007, 12:51 PM
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LSF2298
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

Anyone tried Stainless Steel blades?
Old 11-15-2007, 02:10 PM
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Campgems
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

I used to work with a guy who did a lot of wood lathe work. He was complaining about keeping his tools sharp. I have him a small piece of flat stone, a piece off an old trophy stand, and some thin sheet copper and a tube of 15,000 diamond paste. You use carpet tape and stick down the copper to the stone. Then use a few small dabs of the diamond paste and rub in in with another stone, One with a sort of flat side out ouf your garden will work. Two or three applicaations of the paste and you have a very good flat lap. It is a lot more agressive than an Arkansaaw stone or India stone but gives a finer finish than either. Once the copper is charged, all you will need is a refresh now and then. You can pick up a tube of the diamond at most lapidary shops and some tool supply stores. Getting it on line is easy. For $10 you can get a lifetime supply.

For what it's worth.

by the way, I keep a small pocket hone on my bench for sharpening the knife blades. It's not as good as the above trick, but I had it from my days as a machinest. Used it for touching up lathe bits and such.

Don
Old 11-15-2007, 02:33 PM
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

Wood carving was my previous hobby before I discovered airplanes. Invest in a black arkansas stone (hard) and make you a leather strop from an old belt, impregnate with white rough and you are in business, with a little practice. Wood carving chisels have to be RAZOR sharp, the softer the wood, the sharper they need to be. With a little practice, you won't be buying as many blades.
I generally use new ones for covering, sharpen them and use them for building. But one on my sharpened blades is a lot sharper than the ones you buy in bulk.
The leather strop needs to be undyed leather-you may have to go to Tandy leather and buy a piece of scrap leather, use the smooth side for stropping, have one that is treated with white rough and one without for that really sharp edge. I glue mine on a scrap piece of wood, it only needs to be about 1" wide by 4-6" long.
Old 11-15-2007, 03:29 PM
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

I use razor blades most of the time. They seem much sharper than 11's.
Old 11-15-2007, 05:17 PM
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pmw
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

I use a "slightly used" blade to rough cut the covering. I keep it fairly sharp by dragging it lightly across 600 grit sandpaper frequently. But, I always use a new blade when I do the final cuts in the covering. If I have them available, I prefer razor blades. If you notice the painting segments of American Hot Rod or American Chopper, they always use razor blades. They last longer than #11 blades.

Paul
Old 11-15-2007, 05:38 PM
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Tired Old Man
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

I've been using a fine Arkansas stone for sharpening #11 blades for years. I bought a box off 100 blades almost 8 years ago and still have not gone through the box yet. That's with a lot of building and covering jobs. As noted, covering, especially Ultracote, dulls blades quickly and sharpening rather than tossing makes a lot of $$ sense. Takes about as long to sharpen one as it does to change it.
Old 11-15-2007, 11:07 PM
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John Sohm
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

I took Dave Platt's advice years ago and purchased some #11 scalpel blades. Those bad boys are really sharp and seem to hold their edge a lot longer. I also like the fact that the handles are flat and don't roll off the bench skewering my thigh or instep like your typical X-Acto style handle does. I know there are ways to prevent that but with the scalpel handles, you don't need to do anything.

As for that sharpener that was pictured in the link shown above, I believe the name of that item is the Edger. I've seen them every year for about the past 10 or 15 years at the annual WRAMS show held in February in White Plains, NY.
Old 11-17-2007, 10:52 AM
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

As someone else mention already, I sharpen my #11 exacto blades using #400 wet/dry sand paper. I do not remove the blade from the exacto knife handle. I keep a 3/4 inch wide by 4 inch long strip of the wet/dry paper handy, place the strip on a flat surface, and rub both sides of the blade against it. The blade lasts years and years. As an added bonus, when I'm "stropping" the blade I sometimes think back 65 years ago and see my father stropping his shaving razor (the folding knife type) on his stropping leather strap.
Old 11-17-2007, 11:35 AM
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

I have been using double edge razor blades for years for covering. Way sharper than #11's. After using these, #11's seem like cutting with a butter knife.

Mike

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Old 11-17-2007, 11:59 AM
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Rodney
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

A properly gruond and stropped #11 is just as sharp as any razor blade if not more so.
Old 11-17-2007, 01:29 PM
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

The way to re-sharpen scalpel blades is to rub the BACK of the blade tip on the sharpening stone reducing the blade length slightly. This changes the blade shape slightly from its triangle shape . This way you do not sharpen the factory sharpened part but merely reduce the blade length until a new tip is formed further down the blade. The small diamond whetstones are quite cheap in very small sizes now and could be used for this.
The Retractaway scalpel blade holder from Swann Morton is by far the safest scalpel. The blades are the normal No 11 or 10A etc and are held just as firmly as the simple holders. Well worth the slight extra cost.

If you wish to obtain suitable fine abrasive powder to use on a leather strop then a handy substitute is a the white liquid type slightly abrasive bathroom cleaner ( such as Cif in England ) Allow some of the liquid to dry out to a fine powder and mix with oil and apply to the leather. I suppose you could use the liquid itself but it would rust your tools. A leather strop used with this very fine abrasive powder is the best way to put a fine edge on carpenters tools such as chisels, planes etc but its probably not worth honing scalpel blades if they are available cheaply.
Old 11-18-2007, 12:19 PM
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Default RE: Sharpening blades?

I touch up my blades with a broadhead sharpener sold by Cabela, Bass Pro, or any other archery dealer.

fredsedno

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