Sharpening 3-Blade BH on belt sander
Contributors to this thread:
Buffalo1 21-Jan-22
jstephens61 21-Jan-22
WV Mountaineer 21-Jan-22
cnelk 21-Jan-22
Buffalo1 22-Jan-22
Two Feathers 22-Jan-22
Buffalo1 22-Jan-22
Bou'bound 22-Jan-22
Buffalo1 22-Jan-22
Joey Ward 22-Jan-22
Buffalo1 22-Jan-22
LKH 22-Jan-22
WV Mountaineer 22-Jan-22
Tim Hoeck 22-Jan-22
Beendare 23-Jan-22
From: Buffalo1
Does anyone have any experience with sharpening 3-blade BH's on belt sander? Did it work?

From: jstephens61
I’d think it’d be hard to sharpen the same amount on all 3 flats. I’m happy with the DMT diamond stones.

Yes, I’ve done it. My advice would be to buy the finest belt they make for your sander. 1200 grit would be good. Finer if you can find it. Go slow. Dip in water every time you rotate it to prevent temper loss. And see if that works.

The best finish for a very sharp edge is to polish the grind. Think not removing material. More of straightening the edge while polishing it.

I don’t know if it will work but, it didn’t for me. But, I couldn’t find 1200 grit paper when I tried it. I never could get the edge gone enough on the sander. Still having to finish with a steel.

I’ve since bought quality diamond stones and run them to 1200 until the won’t get any sharper, the metal hone them until they do.

From: cnelk
Best DIY way is to buy some 1200 grit emery cloth and glue it to a piece of glass.

From: Buffalo1
It off season and I am brainstorming!

From comments I don’t think my idea is real workable with a belt sander- fast motor rpm and heat on metal destroying the temper of the steel.

I always love avoiding “the manual process” if possible. Sometimes it’s hard to escape the “manual.”

Thanks for sharing.

From: Two Feathers
I use my WorkSharp on my 3 blade Woodsman. No complaints.

From: Buffalo1
Two Feathers,

Are you running 2 blades at a time, perpendicular to the sanding belt?

From: Bou'bound
What brand sander are you running

From: Buffalo1

I used the fine belt on my Work Sharp. Ran BH perpendicular to the belt, sharpening 2 blades at a time and then rotating. The honed, finished sharpness is exactly what I was looking for. I tested on both VPA and Woodsman Elite.

Thank you Two Feathers for the suggestion.

From: Joey Ward
I only hunt with 3 blade heads. Have so for a long time. Snuffers, Woodsman, and for a few years now, VPAs. I've experimented with many different ways of sharpening them. From files, belt sanders, sandpaper glued to PVC, stones, diamonds, Work Sharp, etc........ I sure didn't want to discourage you on your other thread........As I believe personal experience is the better teacher. And looked forward to hearing your results. Kinda expected what you found. ;-)

What works for one person may not be the better option for another. That's one reason I've tried so many different ways.

I've never been satisfied with the results after changing the blade angle. I prefer sharpening them two sides flat. What I use now, and have for several years, is a two sided diamond stick. Course on one side and fine on the other. Then usually finish with polish on leather.

Depending on what shape the head is in, I'll use more strokes with the course side first(heavy at first then lighter as I proceed), then turn and use the fine side(same process continuing with lighter strokes) using fewer strokes per side. Then finish with polish on leather.

It doesn't take long, way less tools involved, and I can do it in the field. I can get the results I'm very satisfied with using this method.

I think many folks don't get the results they want because they use TOO much pressure through the process. NO, they aren't scalpel sharp, but I don't thinkfeel that result is necessary.

Anyway...... no harm or shame experimenting with different tools and ways until you are satisfied. Good way to learn. :-)

Good luck.

From: Buffalo1
Joey- I learned many years ago that experimentation is an essential educational and developmental tool. Some experiments work/ some don't !!

From: LKH
I'm with Joey Ward. I've used a 2 sided diamond stick ( really just a flat stick with two different grinds). I get them quite sharp. Remember that with this method you are maintaining the angle of a 3 blade which isn't nearly as shallow as you can do with a 2 blade but its very strong and won't roll over nearly as easily.

Heck yeah. I’ve got a work sharp and had never considered that. Thanks guys.

From: Tim Hoeck
Buy the sharpening system from RMS. Makes sharpening a 3 blade so easy and sharper than anything other way

From: Beendare
A belt sander works very fast.

The best solution I found for the 3 blades is to lay them over your knee still on the shaft and strop them with a triangle chock stick(about $12) This lets the blades rotate so you get perfect pressure on each bevel.

If they are really dull, I start with just the BH on a long fine flat diamond stone.


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