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Best Way to Sharpen a Tanto

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  • #52712
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 12
    • Replies: 160

    I was presented with my first Tanto yesterday and had a few issues with it.  You can see in the attachment that there’s a serrated portion just aft of the first edge.  Because of that, I needed to sharpen a blade that was just a bit wider than the width of the WE stones and presented the first challenge.  I used a bunch of painter’s tape to mask off the serrated portion but still managed to knick it during my stone progression.  Adding to that, the edge was chipped and required me reprofiling it starting with a 50-grit stone.  The second issue I think after I finish is going to be how to keep that acute angle between the two edges, I’m seeing already that it’s more rounded versus a sharp angle at the transition from one edge to the next.  Any ideas?

    #52716
    Mikedoh
    Moderator
    • Topics: 38
    • Replies: 563

    I’ve done a couple of tantos. Treated the straight portion and the tanto  portion as two different blades. Neither had serrations.

    Also, there is no attachment in your post.

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    #52718
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 12
    • Replies: 160

    I’ve done a couple of tantos. Treated the straight portion and the tanto portion as two different blades. Neither had serrations. Also, there is no attachment in your post.

    Attachments:
    #52721
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1939

    Yep, you’ll need to avoid any rolling of the stones at the transition point to avoid rounding that point over.  As Mikedoh says, treat the edges as if they are completely different.  This could mean re-mounting the blade in the vise so as to put the Tanto edge in a horizontal orientation.  No sweet spot required.  Actually, any clamping position that puts the edge(s) where you can get at them is OK.  For any relatively straight edge, the angle will be constant regardless of whether the edge is actually horizontal, relative to the vise.  Even if it’s at 45 degrees, the sharpener will produce a uniform bevel angle.  This means you could, for example, clamp the blade with the Tanto corner well above the vise, with both edges at dissimilar angles.  In this arangement, the Tanto corner would be offset to one side of the vise.

    Am I confusing you?  Sorry… It’s really late and I need to go to bed.

    #52722
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 12
    • Replies: 160

    Good gosh, it is late there!  I tried clamping the knife at an angle so the second edge would be parallel to the table but the vise wouldn’t hold it in place.  Ended up clamping the entire knife down and working that second edge off the front of the sharpener at a 10-15 degree offset.  The worst part of doing it that way is checking the angle at each stone change.  I have to lean the entire sharpener back until the second edge is level, then prop up the stone and the cube and try making adjustment which requires about 5  hands.

    #52723
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1939

    I’m not sure you understood my last comment.  Starting with the blade mounted in its normal position, loosen the vise and rotate the blade to raise the Tanto edge until it’s at a reasonable angle for sharpening, then re-tighten the vise.  From here, you ought to be able to sharpen both edges, but you should check the angles and make adjustments as required for each edge.

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    #52724
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 12
    • Replies: 160

    I understood and wanted to let you know that I tried that.  The problem I had was when I tilted it back, the vise wouldn’t clamp down enough to keep it stable.  I think the vise loses its efficiency when an object is placed in it that doesn’t span the entire clamp.  Maybe next time I’ll try tilting it back and stabilizing the far end with a RAM clamp?

    #52731
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1939

    Yup, that’s a shortcoming for the Gen 3 vises, and why I kept my Gen 1 vise, but I would think you’d still be able to get a good mount by strategically placing strips of tape to build-up the blade at the opposite corner tab or some mid-point.

    If you have a RAM-mount with a gripper, you might be able to get by with only the one corner clamped in the vise.

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