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old cutlery sharpening


Active Member
I just got asked by a friend to try to sharpen some old cutlery she got from her grandmother. They seem to be in decent shape steel-wise although the handles are starting to deteriorate.


The blades say Solingen, Germany so I'm assuming it's decent steel in them.

Would anyone have suggestion on how to attack this on a coticule? Work a slurry and do half strokes until they seem fairly keen and then do a small dilution series? It's hard to know how good of an edge they will take ...


Well-Known Member
Bart, do use the knife jig with your Tormek, I find it lacking and generally freehand it. It could be that I do not use it correctly; any thoughts?


Well-Known Member
deighaingeal said:
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Yes, I do use the knife jig. It works for me. I use the felt marker tip from the manual to find the correct setting for matching the bevel angle on my knives. I'm not satisfied with an edge (chisels, plane blades, kitchen knives) if it doesn't shave arm hair.

I maintain those edges on a Coticule, but after a couple of touch-ups, my bevels start loosing their flatness, because there's always some wobble in my freehanded strokes. The Tormek rules for setting slightly concave bevels that can ride nicely balanced over the Coticule, for as long as the concave bow offers 2 stable resting points. It's fairly easy to hear and feel that the bevel makes good contact. But these flats grow with each touch-up and once the bevel is flat, that's when I can't avoid wobbling, and soon I'll have to take it back to the Tormek. That's what I do for chisels and plane blades, and also for knives with a wide bevel.

For knives with a narrow bevel. I try to touch up on the Coticule at a steeper angle. Without the Tormek, I can't usually achieve the shaving stage, but still manage to get a very decent edge on a blade. I more or less follow Dennis' approach, with the exception that I also set the main bevel with the Coticule. It's surprisingly fast on the softer steel of most cutlery, other than straight razors. I know Ardennes sells a lot of Coticules to hunters. The typical approach is to hone out visual defects with a coarser stone, but other than that, these guys rely on their Coticule for sharpening.
I which I had a Coticule wheel for my Tormek... :rolleyes:

Kind regards,