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Can you use the WE to sharpen a sword?

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Can you use the WE to sharpen a sword?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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  • #54690
    John
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 6

    I’m thinking HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) cutting competitions. We’re talking up to 41 inch+ long blades. If you can, how would you go about doing this?

    I’m sorry if I am reproducing a topic; I did search, but couldn’t find anything.

    #54691
    Modernflame
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 35

    You would need to reposition the sword in the clamp at least a couple of times in a standard WE.  A couple of advanced users on this forum are sporting a “big rigs,” which means that they can sharpen longer knives in one go. I’ll let them elaborate, but I think the sword might still be too long without repositioning. This can be done, albeit with care. If swords of this length are your gig, then the WE might not be the best option for you. Instead, you might consider bench stones, or a water cooled grinding wheel with long blade fixtures. Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    #54692
    John
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 6

    Thanks for responding  Modernflame. I appreciate that. Yes, other alternative may be called for. Just trying to figure how this might work and how practical it might be. I’m not all that fond of the reclaiming. Was wondering if an additional one or two units in tandem might be able to handle it? But boy, that’s getting expensive! Then again, some of the higher end swords can go $2,000. to $3,000. or more I suppose. So it’s all a mater of your commitment, and wallet. I’m also thinking that some of the blades can be up to 3 inches wide, or more I suppose, at the hilt. Can the WE handle that? And, of course, many if not most, taper towards the point. How would you adjust/compensate for that in a tandem set up? And then there’s the profile. Many are diamond shaped. Seems to me that they would just flop over to one side in the clamp. How do you compensate for that? Hmm … might be totally impractical. Hmm … just thinking.

    #54693
    Modernflame
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 35

    The height of the blade is not likely to pose an issue. If you were to build a “big rig” with multiple units in tandem, then neither is the curvature of the blade. In fact, these would easily be taken in stride. The real issue is the length of the blade and the time invested in each sharpening venture. The WE is a precision system, the stuff of knife geeks’ wet dreams. (Yes, that includes me.) However, no system is perfect for every task. The question is how your money is best spent toward your objective.

    #54694
    John
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 6

    Oh, thanks again. So a “big rig” is possible. Maybe even possible for a long sword. Would you be able to point me in the direction of someone who has done something like this? I would like to see how someone else has done it, and discuss with them if they think it’s practical for the purposes I’ve suggested. I’m not worried about the time investment in the sharpening. And yes, how is money best spent for purpose? That’s the question. But not the only question of course. The cheapest and quickest ain’t always the best. It pays to pay sometimes. But that’s what I’m trying to figure out. Yes, if you could possibly think of someone who has done something like this, a “big rig”, and point me in their direction, I would greatly appreciate it.

    #54695
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 73

    Oh, thanks again. So a “big rig” is possible. Maybe even possible for a long sword. Would you be able to point me in the direction of someone who has done something like this? I would like to see how someone else has done it, and discuss with them if they think it’s practical for the purposes I’ve suggested. I’m not worried about the time investment in the sharpening. And yes, how is money best spent for purpose? That’s the question. But not the only question of course. The cheapest and quickest ain’t always the best. It pays to pay sometimes. But that’s what I’m trying to figure out. Yes, if you could possibly think of someone who has done something like this, a “big rig”, and point me in their direction, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Hi John. Check out this thread.

    #54698
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1939

    I’ve done only two long blades but learned a few bits to share.  This last weekend I did an ulu which required two separate mounting positioned, so I needed to do the blending there, too.

    Sharpening long blades in a single vise system by shifting the blade position longitudinally is not all that difficult.  For the best results in matching bevel widths, you’ll want to count the strokes of your lowest grits and repeat it with each shift – very little steel is actually removed by the higher grits, which are probably anything higher than 800.  The overlap area should be one or two inches wide and the start and end of each strokes should be somewhat random in these areas.  You’ll want to mark the vise positions along the blade so that you’ll be able to repeat them if necessary.  I’ve found that I needed to go back and finish/polish the overlap areas again if there are scratches that weren’t erased completely.

    For swords with a diamond-shaped cross-section, you’ll need to get creative to deal with the vise-clamping.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I would cut some very thin wedges which can be double-face taped to each side of the blade.  Hardwood such as maple seems a good choice for me, but I have the woodworking equipment to do it.  The wedges would need to be a little wider than the vise jaws.  At the thick end of the wedge, it would be about a sixteenth of inch (1.5mm) thick, and the length would be dependent on the blade’s geometry.  If necessary, WE makes a set of jaws that allow the Gen 3 vise to clamp blades over 1/4″ thick.

    #54699
    John
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 6

    Thanks OOORobert and tcmeyer. Thought I’d responded to OOORobert last night, but it must have gotten lost in the ether or the last bottle of beer. I’ve checked out the thread and very interesting. Not exactly sure what he is doing there or if that’s what I want to do. I will have to contact him. tcmyer, thank you for all your input, it is useful. I’m talking about 3-4 lb. swords though and a blade length of about 41 inches, not to mention a grip that could be up to a foot long. With just one vice it would seem awkward, especially as you got toward the tip. It would seem that additional support would be necessary. Maybe additionally bolting the WE to a bench top. I’d forgotten about the wider set of jaws. I’ll have to check that out. Thank you both.

    #54700
    NotSharpEnuff
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 102

    John,

    I’ve done one sword about 3 years ago.  It was not a “real” sword, but a replica or something from a flea market.  I did it on a dare, from one of my golf friends.  He travels around a lot of bad neighborhoods and keeps the sword in his work truck.  He would lose in a gun fight but get maximum points for crazy.

    It took me almost 40 hours over a full week to get it done.  As you can see, this was with my original WE100 setup. (see edit below) The sword was so heavy that if I sharpened more than about an inch or two past the vise jaws the blade would shift.  It was about 20″ long and double sided.

    Edit: Just looked at the pics, I had already upgraded from the WE100.  Even with the upgraded vise the blade shifted.

    Ed K.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by NotSharpEnuff. Reason: Clarify my equipment
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    #54704
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 73

    If I wanted to sharpen large swords, I would set up a 3 clamp rail system similar to Marcs’ setup with the clamps about 14 – 16 inches apart.

    #54705
    John
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 6

    Interesting sword. I kind of figured it would shift, so more than one vice in any case.

    #54706
    John
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 6

    I’m not sure if the rail is necessary. Fixed vices might work just as well. Three is what I was thinking and about that spacing. Thanks for responding.

    #54707
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 73

    I guess it depends on the sword. But it would probably be nice to be able to slide the clamps around on the rails for quick adjustments. I guess you could just drill new holes and move one or more clamps here or there if you wanted to bolt the clamps down onto a table or bench.

    #54708
    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 277

    No No No you are all doing it WRONG!

    This is how you do it!

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #54709
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 73

    LOL!! That would definitely cost less!

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by 000Robert.
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