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oops, WE130 won’t work on one of my knifes

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    Mike R.
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    So I am half disappointed, I only got the WE130 yesterday so really still learning. I used my old rusty diving knife to break in my stones and then sharpened a few cheap knives before getting to real work.  So far pretty happy and its worked well. on 3 pocket knives. But I have one knife I really wanted to use this on.  It is 3/4’s double edge, so the only spine I can clamp to is near the hilt and because of the blades curve, I am stuck.    I tried putting tape on the taper but could not get the knife perfectly perpendicular in the clamp.  Any suggestions ? I am only looking to sharpen the blade edge, not the top cutting edge as that is semi-sharp and I like it that way (just for grins in the future could I sharpen that reverse curve top edge ?).

    Because of the blade curvature, I obviously can’t clamp near the hilt where the only useable part of the spine is in order to get the sweet spot.

    • This topic was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by Mike R..
    • Topics: 65
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    Mike R., it’s all part of the learning curve to using the W.E. well.  And yes, that can be both disappointing and frustrating.  Positioning and clamping some knives securely can be very challenging.   Especially since there are so many different sizes, shapes and styles of knives.  Even after years of sharpening experience with my W.E setups, I still come across knives that frustrate me, from time to time.

    The W.E. is nothing more then a well designed, well engineered and well machined bench vise with precision adjustable angle jigs to allow us to sharpen our knives to edge angles of our choosing.  The W.E. works very well for most knives.  Not every knife, though.   Some knives may require clamping adapters or accessories to better facilitate clamping.  Others simply require just some trial and error and intuitiveness on our part to figure out how to position them best for proper clamping to allow sharpening.

    Information for the new users: Our tendency is to try to keep our knives positioned so they are horizontal and parallel to the vise jaw tips.  Knives do not always need to rest down in-between the vise jaws on and in contact with the depth key pins.  Sometimes I only rest the spine on just the rear key pin and slightly rotate the tip up.  Other times I find I need to free hand position the knife so it’s clamped by just the very tips of the jaws.  I’m not suggesting you try crazy positions just that you don’t limit your positioning options.  All that matters is that the knife is clamped stationary and securely.   In that situation I only rely on the depth key to hold the alignment guide to determine and record the clamping position for that knife.  That will allow us to recreate that same clamping position for future touch-ups.

    I generally use a small rectangular patch cut from a real leather chamois towel positioned between the knife and the jaws.  It compresses and helps to hold my clamped knives more tightly.  Recently I have begun to use the W.E. card stock shims that they are including with new setups.   It’s a piece of thin cardboard like a package box from foods or medicines.  Just that little extra thickness can be very helpful.   It can compress and help fill in the slight uneven gaps betwen knives and vise jaws when clamping tapered blades.

    Warning: Do not crank the tensioning adjuster all-the-way to the maximum setting then force the clamping handle locked under excessive downward pressure in an attempt to clamp a knife securely.  This can permanently bend the jaws rendering them unusable.  Apply just enough tension and clamping force so the jaws just begin to flex when locking the vise.

    From your photo of your challenging knife in the original post, it appears your on the right track.  Keep at it.  You’ll get it figured out.  There’s lots of You Tube videos showing all kinds of different knives being clamped and sharpened.  Clay with Wicked Edge has a lot on his channel.  Even though it may not be your exact knife there may be lessons you take away from the videos you watch.

    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    • Topics: 37
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    I’ve done a couple of Buck 120 “Generals” which are very similar, but don’t recall which vise I used.  In either case, the “sweet spot” is limited by the distance from the belly to the side flats, and I don’t recall that being much of a problem.  I think that the “chamois” trick would help a lot and that you’d only need to bite the flat on one ear, with the other ear landing on the crease

    BTW, I’ve taken to abandoning the vise height key entirely, since it’s really only intended to help you repeat an angle.  If you’re going to use a digital gage anyway, why bother?  If you ever touch the micro-adjust screws, the key is useless.  Not using the key lets me clamp the knife anywhere I see fit.

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