Ben House

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since Dec 27, 2015
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forest garden hunting woodworking
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Recent posts by Ben House

I have 21 hens and one rooster, at least 10 of my hens have no feathers on their backs, they do not have mites or other parasites. And the hens do not need to be forced by the rooster. In my flock the hens usually get down in front of the rooster when they are willing. Happens pretty regular, Its natural.
3 weeks ago
Eating strawberries from the vine, while weeding in the cool of the morning.
1 month ago
I live in the woods, but I do burn almost all the burnables. Mostly paper products. I've been to the landfill many times, I don't like what I see there. I'd rather burn what I can and let the earth filter it out than to bury it all for thousands of years. Our local recycler (a single stream place) closed because the press found out they were working the mentally disabled, sorting. Now they are out of a job and nobody in our county is recycling anymore.

I've had problem neighbors in the past, my view on property is this: they can do what they want it's theirs. Pig farm, junk yard, etc.

Here lately the bad neighbors moved out and I've started semi-fresh, I learned from my mistakes and now I am neutral and they all know it. I'm honest with them, but I don't tell my neighbors everything I know. And I try and get along as well as can be.

The Bible says a soft answer turns away wrath, and I believe it.

I hope it works out for you, not being so close helps a lot. Move to the country?
1 month ago
You can use water on your natural stones, but once you use an oil its an oil stone. The old timers used spit, no really.. Spit makes an excellent cutting fluid. I wouldn't use a vegetable based oil, unless you can find one that doesn't gum up.

Water does work on a new Arkansas stone as long as its never been used with oil.
1 month ago

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Very interesting. We use very different abrasives, and yet the techniques are similar. I use a push-away, pull-toward style and like you "feel" when the edge bites the stone. Though sometimes there is no edge at all so I "feel" where the angle should be for that blade, the sweet spot, and build from that. Hard to explain, you just learn to feel it. And I also put on a back bevel, polishing off the hard angle created by primary sharpening to reduce cutting resistance.

I haven't had the pleasure of working with natural stones. Except, in a bag of thrift shop stones, I found one that felt completely different on steel than synthetics. I'm pretty sure it's a natural stone, though it's straight grey and you can't tell by looking. But I trust my instinct.

If you were sharpening a chef knife on a smaller stone, would you sharpen individual zones in straight lines or use a circular motion?

I tend to stick with the technique I usually use, I don't care for doing circles because I think it feels like you can easily get off-angle. So with a large knife I will work areas, and then run long strokes still slightly diagonal down the whole length to blend the grind. I sharpened an antique French Chef knife a few weeks ago for my mother in law and it was dull, but it came back very easy and got scary sharp. Really nice knife, great blade.

1 month ago
I went and looked at some of the options out there, this place has a nice pocket set for under $10

The third selection down the page, never ordered from them but I used to carry a small stone like that for my case pocket knives.

I pick up whetstones at yardsales for a dollar or so all the time.

1 month ago
I recommend a simple natural stone, they can be had for around $20 or less at your local hardware store. Not the artificially made stones, but a real stone cut from the earth. They usually have a mottled appearance light and dark grey my best stone has lots of character in the stone. And I recommend a cutting oil, I like RemOil (gun oil) its thin enough to give good bite and a good corrosion inhibitor.

The technique with a good edge bevel is to rock the bevel until the edge barely contacts the stone, pull the blade towards yourself cutting diagonally across the stone. After a while you can hold the blade in the same angle by habit. Alternate sides.

When it feels sharp, roll the bevel back slightly so that the edge is not contacting the stone and take a little off the cheek, the same way, alternate sides and draw the blade towards yourself keeping the same angle. No need to bear down hard, just the weight of the knife and your hand.

1 month ago
I am a blade smith/blacksmith. I don't even know how many blades I've sharpened in the last 18-20 years. But I only have simple oil stones sitting on my shelf, three are medium to fine Arkansas stones and one is a ceramic of some sort I use to finish the edge. The Arkansas stones are your typical Case style of stone, the ones you can buy at the hardware store (Ace); about 6 inches long, 1/2 inch thick and an inch and a half wide. They are the same on either side. I used to have a Norton course stone that I used for re-profiling the edge bevels.

Shaving sharp is good enough for me on an axe or knife.

1 month ago
I've always called the big heavy ones "Grub Hoes" but Lehmans sells something like what I'm thinking, only they call it a grape hoe.
1 month ago