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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
15 mins

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Book of Whittling
The first and most important rule of carving is that your knife must be sharp. The Victorinox Swiss Army Knives are among the few pocketknives that I’ve found to be sharp enough right out of the box to do decent carving. However, as with any good- quality knife, you will need to know how to sharpen and hone the blades in order to do the most precise and detailed carving.
There are all kinds of methods and devices for sharpening knives. I will share with you my own very simple sharpening system, but feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. Like any method or system, mine takes a little practice, but it does work, and I’ve been satisfied with it for quite a few years. The price is pretty good, too—practically nothing, after a very small initial investment.
If I’m starting out with a totally dull knife, or even a new one that’s not sharp, I use a two-sided sharpening stone to start the process (see Step 1). Then, follow Steps 2–4 to hone, polish, and strop the blade so it’s ready to carve. If I’m starting with a blade that only needs a touch of sharpening, I’ll start with the finest grit of wet-or-dry sandpaper (Step 3) and finish with a few strops on the leather. Either way, be sure to wash your hands after sharpening and honing your knife. The gray residue on your hands will end up smudging your carving project.

Posted by Fox Chapel Publishing Published See Fox Chapel Publishing's 13 projects » © 2021 Chris Lubkemann / Fox Chapel Publishing · Reproduced with permission.
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  • How to make a techniques. Sharpening And Honing Tools - Step 1
    Step 1

    SHARPENING TOOLS
    (left to right): Two double-sided sharpening stones; wet-or-dry sandpaper in 320, 400, and 600 grits; block for the sandpaper; and leather strop with stropping compound. One stone is sufficient; I just happen to have two and both snuck into the photo.

  • How to make a techniques. Sharpening And Honing Tools - Step 2
    Step 2

    With the blade not quite flat, move it across the coarse side of the stone using a circular motion. Then, make a few slicing motions across the stone. Don’t lift or turn the blade as it goes across the stone. Flip the stone to the finer side and repeat.

  • How to make a techniques. Sharpening And Honing Tools - Step 3
    Step 3

    Place wet-or-dry sandpaper on top of a block of wood, and repeat the sharpening motions you used in Step 1. Be sure to turn the blade over to get both sides.

  • How to make a techniques. Sharpening And Honing Tools - Step 4
    Step 4

    Go through the grits from coarser (lower numbers) to finer (higher numbers). Even
    if your pieces of sandpaper are virtually smooth, they’ll still work to polish the edge of the blade. I have used some of my little beat-up sheets for ten years and they are still working!

  • How to make a techniques. Sharpening And Honing Tools - Step 5
    Step 5

    Finally, strop (wipe) the blade on a piece of leather. The rough backside of an old leather belt works fine. Apply a little bit of stropping compound to the strop. With the blade flat against the strop, stroke it away from the edge a few times on each side. Wipe the blade clean, and you’re ready
    to carve.

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