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Keeping An Edge On The Blade

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Rgvmelb, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. Rgvmelb

    Rgvmelb Member

    An on going issuse l've had is keeping a decent edge on my blades. I've got a Dakota V. I've tried the steels that came with it, different sandpaper and a wetstone. Wouldn't be 20 capes in on a brand new hard McKenzie blade now and it'd be lucky to cut a hole in a wet paper bag now! I've tried to maintain it as best l can, but it seldom does much more than frustrat me.

    What am l doing wrong and what can l do to make it work like it's supposed to?
  2. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Sharpening or tuning a fleshing machine blade can be tricky. First off I do not ever put my sharpening steal dry on blade , I dip it in WD40 first , then I put on wheel coming up and lifting slightly a bit at a time . Till the pitch sound wise changes and kinda gets louder , then I dip again in oil and from the backside I lay steal on top edge and lift turning the edge downward a tad bit . I will then dip again and go back to blade side and come up and lift again and listen for pitch to change . Done I get a few hundred capes out of my blade before I send it out to be reground or get a new one . Hope you understand what I’m saying and it helps ya.
    Monte likes this.

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    First off throw your hard blade away! Don’t really know why they sell hard or stainless ( been there used them)
    Let’s ask what do tanneries use? Soft blade. Why? Very easy to keep an edge on them. Lasts if your experienced 200-300 shaves.
    We buy hard or stainless cause of what their selling you edge lasts longer if you hit a bullet or rust issues. This is true but trying to get an edge on either of the two can be a real pain. And once their dull you need to either use Research Manikin blade sharpener ( worth it) or send it out to get reground.
    Now there is a difference on using a tannery blade as that lip is a bit smaller but when I first started using them it was a different world. Peak sharpness, easy tuning and keeping sharp. Drawback is if you hit a good bullet it’s garbage. Tanneries don’t worry cause either that have a bunch on hand or sharpen their own. I keep two at all times with me as I’m lucky I can get one turned quickly from a tannery.
    Now I’m going to advertise for a fellow here DH price at https://www.fleshingmachine.com/
    He’s got great steels and has and sharpens and sells blades . Plus he sells a good video on set up and sharpening your blade.
    Aubrey Young in NC now sharpens blades and he runs a tannery!
    Now you can use some dremal stones to help get an edge back but if you overheated the blade and you lost hardness it’s going to tough to get an edge back on.
    Hopefully this will get you back on track. Learning this part of the trade is tough.
  4. Rgvmelb

    Rgvmelb Member

    Thanks fellas, l'll see what l can do tomorrow. Being in Australia limits the feasible options a lot unfortunately. I'll try the dremel stone l think. I don't want to bin the blade because it's basically brand new. Appreciate the help, thank you.
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  5. Rgvmelb

    Rgvmelb Member

    I gave it a tickle with a dremel bit this morning and it's shaving. This will have to do for now. Thanks again. I'll report back for further instructions when l get a new blade l think!
  6. Rgvmelb

    Rgvmelb Member

    Update. I got a new blade (hard steel) from a fella over here. I also got myself some tungsten welding rods and made some steels. Unbelievable difference! Takes a little bit of trial and error, but wow. I've been shaving quicker and easier, basically no swear words at all directed at the blade or machine now. The only regret is not doing this a long time ago! Thanks again for everyone's help.
    Megan :) and Frank E. Kotula like this.