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Old 06-24-2007, 02:37 PM
Busik12 Busik12 is offline
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I need help with sharpening lino cutters

I started to cut my linoleum yesterday with a new cutting set from EC Lyons. The veiner began to get dull (there is a lot of carving involved) last night, and after sinking it into the linoleum today, I knew that it needed to be sharpened. The set came with a sharpening stone, but after using it, I dulled it even more! How should I be sharpening the veiner?

Thank you.
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:45 PM
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Printmakerguy Printmakerguy is offline
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Re: I need help with sharpening lino cutters

Hi Sundu!

I wrote an article on that very subject- http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/36273/536/

Hopefully, It'll help!

Are you using a strop while to work to keep the edge honed? It makes your edge last a LOT longer if you do!

-Andrew
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:34 PM
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Willamette Willamette is offline
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Re: I need help with sharpening lino cutters

Ideally the stone should only ever be used if the cutting edge is damaged, as in a drop or accidentally pushing the edge into a harder object causing a nick or dent. The best method for maintaining an edge is to use a leather strop with a little bit of very fine abrasive in the form of a rouge or fine powder.

I use a long and narrow strop offered by Woodcraft to maintain the edges on all of my carving tools. Strops are not real cheap, but they really do work. The compound I use is called Yellowstone Honing Compound also at Woodcraft (links below). The bench version would be adequate for your needs and will work with Vs, veiners, chisels, knives, and gouges.

The compound is rubbed back and forth a couple of times over the leather to "charge" it, then you make multiple passes of your tool on top of the leather, trying to maintain the proper bevel angle of your specific tool. Always have the cutting edge pointed away from you and pull the handle towards you while maintaining the angle required. Your strop should be parallel to your arm as you do this. Never push the cutting edge into your strop, you will cut the leather and ruin it. At the completion of a pass across the strop, lift the tool up and off and again place it at the opposite end of the strop for another pull stroke. Usually about 10-20 strokes are all that are needed to maintain your edges.

Charging is only required if your strop is not removing any material. The best method for learning if you are removing material or not is to color the bottom edge of your bevel with a Sharpie marker before starting. As you proceed with the strop the sharpie will be removed first, then very small amounts of metal, the sharpie will show you whether it's cutting and where, so it can help guide you on your progress. If no progress then charge the strop, if uneven removal of sharpie is occurring then adjust the angle you are holding for the bevel on your tool. Once you get the hang of this it will only take seconds to do when you notice it dulling, but will increase the life of your tools as well as reduce fatigue and improve safety.

http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=241
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=7334
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:12 AM
Busik12 Busik12 is offline
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Re: I need help with sharpening lino cutters

Thanks to both of you.

I seemed to have really did something awful to my carver, but after sharpening it and basically re-shaping some parts after reading the guide, it seems to be much sharper, but still not great at all when it comes to cutting the linoleum. I will have to keep trying, but thankfully I had another spare carver that finished the job last night.

I do not have a strop but I will be getting one soon.
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