Topic: speedy sharp

Has anyone used a "Speedy Sharp" on their reed knives?

I am trying to learn how to make oboe reeds; in the meantime (which may be a long time) I have been getting reeds from various makers online when I found this:
http://goodtoneguild.net/com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=8&flypage=browse_2&product_id=30&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=29
My first thought was "And here I just bought the Landwell book and a whole bunch of sharpening stones!" (I do like buying all of the paraphenalia around oboe playing; sort of like a pot head and their stuff)
But then I couldn't seem to find much information on the "Speedy Sharp" knife sharpener. Sure looks convenient. And, um, "Speedy"
I don't have super expensive knives and don't have much time now or in the next several years to devote to reed making so I don't think wearing out the knives will be a big factor for me but I don't want to ruin them right out of the box either.

V2

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Re: speedy sharp

Dear V2,

The speedy sharp is basically a carbide bit on a handle. The hard carbide bit (9+ on the Mohs scale) of the speedy sharp literally pares off the softer steel of the reed knife (5-ish on the Mohs scale), creating a new burr. It is much like using a potato or carrot peeler.

Pros:
1. Very fast and relatively easy to use.
2. Inexpensive.
3. Light and easy to store.

Cons:
1. It creates a coarse edge/burr. Sharpening stones can create much more refined and consistent edges/burrs.
2. Can misshape the edge very quickly. (In capable hands it could shape very quickly, but it is difficult).
3. It is really designed for quick fixes for kitchen or outdoor knives.

Personally, the brute force involved in using one metal to rip off the surface of another turns me off when used in the context of sharpening reed knives, and I have found sharpening stones to be the most versatile and effective when sharpening reed knives - and I sharpen A LOT of reed knives as well as others.

Most sharpening equipment will work, although results will vary greatly. With that said, you could very well use the speedy sharp for your day-to-day use and get decent results, but it is recommended that you periodically reshape the knife using your sharpening stones in order to keep the integrity of the knife intact in the long run.

Sharpening is so enjoyable when it is successful, but not when your labor produces no results. Good luck!

Tom Blodgett
President
Jende Industries, LLC
www.jendeindustries.com

Re: speedy sharp

I just started making oboe reeds too and I have found that the book "The Art of Oboe Playing" by robert sprenkle and david ledet is very helpful for some of the starting tips.  You should look into it.

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Oboe-Playing-Techniques-Reedmaking/dp/0874870402

Jason Brackett
PYWE - Oboe
"Peace, Love, Oboe"

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Re: speedy sharp

I actually have a copy of "The Art of Oboe Playing" from the 1970s; my instructor gave me that and Barrett's to start out with. Both classics!
But I really like the Shalita book that I downloaded online and Jay Light's book better for reed making. Not that I have had a lot of success but I am getting some results. Mostly just focussing on the process.
For me it's almost a ritual; like Zen meditation with cursing.
See I have all of the "stuff" except making more the time to put butt to chair and knife to cane
Thank you Tom Blodgett; I did get a wide variety of stones (for now I like the water stones- maybe part of my Zen approach- with a few light finishing strokes with a hard Arkansas stone) and would hate for a cheap plastic gadget that looks like it should be sold on TV to take their place.
Although I was tempted.

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Re: speedy sharp

V2,

You're very welcome! I don't make reeds, but I am all about the knives and the sharpening. I also have my own reed knife sharpening book that is specifically designed to be used with sharpening stones. Here is a link

http://www.jendeindustries.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=JENDE&Product_Code=2008&Category_Code=REKNIVES

I have a similar tool to the speedy sharp that came out a few years ago. It has a class cutter on the other side. Tools like this always make me raise an eyebrow.

A word of caution about sharpening stones - it is imperative that all of your stones be kept consistently flat over time. All water stones wear. They not only wear at different rates due to the grit level (coarse stones wear faster than finer stones), but they also vary depending on the abrasive materials and bonding matrix used by different manufacturers.

Also, If you have a water stone that is finer than #2000 grit, you don't need to use the Arkansas stone.

Tom Blodgett
President
Jende Industries, LLC
www.jendeindustries.com

Re: speedy sharp

Agree with Tom here. The Speedy Sharp is just that, fast, but caution is essential. I have used it to good advantage on single beveled jointer blades, very hard steel. A feather touch is best & too much will remove too much steel. The knife needs to be sharp to begin with to use this tool. Talk with Meg at GoodTone to get her ideas on  this sharpening option. Not sure what kind of  knives she uses but know from her website that she likes the Speedy Sharp. I prefer crock sticks followed by a touch-up on a burnisher for knives already sharp; I take off steel using the Scary Sharp method  (available at Woodbutcher website), IOW wet/dry sandpaper affixed to plate glass. I go from 320 up to 2000 grit, sharpening dry. Eliminates the need for water stones, concomitant mess & the flattening requirement.

Best,

john

Best,

john

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