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Archive | Sharpening and Maintenance

How to Fit a Nylon Sheath with Hard Insert to Your Knife

I have owned countless versions of nylon sheaths over the years and never thought to try this. TOPS Knives released a video that shows how to fit their sheaths to their knives to minimize rattling and improve fit. However, this should work with other nylon sheaths too.

Sharpening Your Edged Tools Outdoors

innerbark outdoors logoInnerBark Outdoors is a YouTube channel that deserves your subscription. They generate excellent reviews and outdoor skills tips including this latest video that shows how to sharpen your knife outdoors both with proper sharpening tools and without. This is the best video that I have seen on this subject.

J. Willard Heritage Tools Update

A handful of you contacted me regarding my previous post on J. Willard Heritage Tools. It seems that the “A Good Axe” Perk sold out shortly after the earlier post was published and those I heard from were disappointed to have missed out.

J. Willard Axe 1

Well, I have good news. J. Willard Heritage Tools has opened up 6 additional slots for the “A Good Axe” Perk. The perk includes a restored axe, lifetime hanging and grinding/sharpening of any wood handled tools, and free shipping on any axe you purchase from J. Willard Heritage Tools. This perk is a tremendous value for a vintage axe that will be of better quality than anything you can buy at a big box hardware store right now. It costs less than a similar axe from Gransfors Bruks or Wetterlings, comes with the grinding/sharpening/hanging service, and it helps build up a business that is restoring a part of our heritage to usefulness

Don’t miss a chance to fund something very cool and get a nice perk in return. Check out J. Willard Heritage Tools indiegogo campaign.

J. Willard Heritage Tools

Walk into any hardware store and check out their axes. I can tell you exactly what you will find – axes made with poor quality steel that is too soft to hold a proper edge, too thick through the cheeks to ever cut well, lacking a finished edge, on a handle that is either soul-less fiberglass or bottom of the barrel hickory with terrible grain structure. We have all heard the saying, “They don’t make them like they used to.” I suspect that whoever coined that term, was talking about axes.

J. Willard Axe 2

Thankfully, there are still plenty of high quality vintage axe heads left from a time when America knew how to make them and there are still people who appreciate them. Most importantly, there are still people who know how to sharpen and hang them (to hang an axe is to fit a new handle), restoring them to usefulness.

One such person is Jeremy Dillon of J. Willard Heritage Tools. He restores vintage axes and resells them on Ebay. His restored axes come ready to work and they often sell at prices similar to what you might pay for a hardware store axe. These axes have already served as tools to a previous generation and with a little care they can serve the next generation.

He would like to expand his operation so he has started a crowd funding campaign with a pretty modest goal of just $1700. There are some VERY nice benefits available to backers including lifetime sharpening and hanging of any wood handled tool (very valuable), a restored axe along with lifetime sharpening and hanging, a day of forestry training from Jeremy, and more.

Check out J. Willard Heritage Tools on Ebay. Consider helping out on their indiegogo crowd funding campaign.

J. Willard Axe 1

Flexxx Strops

A good strop can help a novice sharpener achieve shaving sharp edges and it can help a skilled sharpener split atoms. The best strops that I have personally laid hands on are those from Flexxx Strops.

Flexxx Signature Field Strop

Flexxx Strops makes several different sizes and shapes to fit various intended uses and budgets. Their Signature Series uses 8-10 ounce leather and contains several very functional and very affordable designs.

The Flexxx Strops Pro Series offers the kind of quality and features that people who spend a lot of time maintaining their edges require like thicker, 12 ounce leather.

Flexxx Pro Field II

All Flexxx Strops come pre-loaded with black and green Bark River Knife and Tool stropping compound unless you specify otherwise. I have used the BRKT compounds for years and they just flat work. The black compound cuts fairly aggressively and is perfect for maintaining an edge or to knock down the burr left by your sharpening stone. The green compound polishes the edge to a very high level of sharpness and is best used after you strop on the black compound.

If you have ever wondered why you can’t seem to bring your edges to shaving sharp like the old timers, it is because they know something you don’t. You need a strop! Check out the full line of strops at Flexxx Strops.

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