Post by mjclark on Feb 23, 2016 5:19:51 GMT -6
I was asked by Scott in the US to hone some Kampfe and Empire blades for him.
I've had good results in the past but it can be a hit and miss affair, especially if the steel has not been looked after over the decades since these blades were first made.
Having said that, Rolls blades have always come out well, although the edges often arrive chipped:
The Kampfe blades are very variable. Some refuse to take an edge at all whereas others are as good as anything I've encountered:
Presumably there were a lot of these blades in circulation in the early 20th Century and like DE blades, there's a big variation in quality.
And the Empire blades, made by the formidable Tom Beasley:
The steel was originally excellent and the grind is excellent but these blades seem very prone to deterioration - many will not take an edge at all, and others hone superbly.
I started getting exasperated, raised my eyes to the sky and cried out "What would Tom Beasley do to get an edge on these blades?"
The great British sword smith inspired me and I settled on a crude "raising the burr" method with no stropping attachments.
The blades are just honed flat on the stones by hand pushing the spine.
Blah blah spine wear blah blah... but I can tolerate a bit of spine wear for a good edge.
For the Rolls this is a different angle from in the case so when they are subsequently honed in the case a secondary bevel is created which is a good thing!
So 20 laps on one one side of the blade on a Norton India, then flip the blade and another 20 laps on the other side.
This should raise a burr on the edge then knock it off when the blade is flipped.
Then 15 one side, 15 the other, then 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1.
Once this was done I took the blades through a normal progression of Welsh slates, finishing the Empire blades on a FeOx pasted strop, the Rolls blades on 1u film overlaid on the hone in the case, and the Kampfe blades with a bit of palm stropping
This method works well and gets to the good steel quickly.
I'm very interested to hear how others find honing those venerable SE wedge blades...