Archive for June, 2011

2011 BLADE Show in Atlanta, Part 1 – The Sharpening Party

June 23, 2011

So much happened at the 2011 BLADE show in Atalanta, that I don’t know where to begin without sounding like a schoolgirl at a sleepover party! 😀

I should probably start with what happened leading up to the Blade show. Ken Schwartz from Precise Sharpening flew in a couple of days earlier and we had a little sharpening get-together with John F (aka the Hone Ranger), Greg D, a well respected Japanese sword polisher, and his very good friend and sword enthusiast, Ron C.

John immediately earned a life-long invite to our cocktail parties by bringing his own microscope, complete with a portable computer screen! He said it tends to scare a lot of the local business away, though… It definitely had the opposite effect on us. John broke out his Edge Pro Pro model and we started sharpening stuff. I was playing with Ken’s Japanese Natural stones, and John wasted no time putting the nicest edge Ron’s  EDC has ever seen  on it with some Shaptons Pro stones for the Edge Pro (sorry, I forgot what kind of knife it was). I should probably mention that John does a great deal  of his sharpening business on the Edge Pro, and his whole approach is super-professional and friendly. (The 2 gallons of Arizona Iced Tea he brought didn’t hurt either!) 😀

John “Hone Ranger” using the Edge Pro Pro model

With the 1K Shapton Pro stone

With the 1K Shapton Pro stone

Greg brought 3 Japanese Katanas, each in a different stage in the polishing process. This was an extremely cool moment for me. I had always wanted to see a Katana up close. Pictures in books are too small to see the details, and the detailed pictures, often in black and white, don’t show enough of the larger picture. We’ll get to that later.

3 Katana

Greg’s 3 Katana

We also had a Skype video call from a very good friend of ours from the knife forums, Michiel in Belgium. My computer was the virtual Michiel, with the camera pointed so to get a nice long shot of the kitchen where we were working. It was like he was really there, interacting with all of us, and even having his own side conversations!

Greg D, left and John (Hone Ranger) in the back

Ken Schwartz, left, Ron in back, and Michiel’s avatar, right 

After a pizza break, Greg took center stage, setting up his sword polishing station on the back deck. Like I said earlier, this was a big thrill for me. Greg gave an amazing demonstration covering the majority of the polishing process. I must admit that most of the terminology being thrown around made my head spin, but the process had me totally captivated and on the edge of my chair the entire time. The biggest question posed in the end was “How do we incorporate sword polishing techniques into knife sharpening and visa-versa?” This is definitely something I will be thinking about from now on.

Greg showing the different techniques

Greg showing the different techniques

Foundation polishing with a 1K Shapton Glass Stone

Foundation polishing with a 1K Shapton Glass Stone

Polishing at the later stages

bringing out the grain of the steel

Finished polish (different sword)

Finished sword 2

Finished Sword

Finsished Sword

Finsished Sword with better lighting

Of course, we couldn’t help ourselves with the swords, and had to have a little play time with them…. 😀

Ken Killing himself

Ken Killing himself



Part 2:  What happens in Atlanta…