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

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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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’sย  EDC has ever seenย  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 dealย  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!) ๐Ÿ˜€

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, rightย 

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…. ๐Ÿ˜€

Ken Killing himself

Ken Killing himself



Part 2:ย  What happens in Atlanta…


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7 Responses to “2011 BLADE Show in Atlanta, Part 1 – The Sharpening Party”

  1. YTReich Says:

    Wow!! Great job Tom! I wish I could write like that. GREAT photos!

    I’m not going to tell all about Atlanta, you do a much better job, You can say anything. I’ll own up to whatever… ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Jende Industries Says:

      Thanks, Ytriech! The only thing you’ll need to own up to is how much fun we had, and how amazing you are at sharpening! The rest “stays in Atlanta” ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Michiel Vanhoudt Says:

    It was fun to talk to you guys. I wish I was there for the sword polishing.

  3. Leo James MItchell Says:

    I wish I weren’t so stinking decrepit, then I could go to the blade shows with you guys for some fun and to further my education in the sharpening skills.
    Great pictures and write up Tom…but I still haven’t seen a pic of you or Mark or Rob…these guys are still faceless. Post some shots if you have them please or maybe PM them to me!
    Good stuff Tom. Now to bed…I think tonight I will listen to some Chicago for a change.


    • Jende Industries Says:

      Hey Leo!
      I know you were with us in spirit! We’ll have to take the BLADE show on the road up to Canada one of these days.
      I’m the guy in the end of this entry yielding the sword, ready to strike! However, we got some proper pictures in Atlanta, and they will be in the next installment which I have already started writing up. It’s going to be a long one ๐Ÿ™‚
      Stay strong, my friend, and we’ll talk again soon!

  4. 2011 BLADE Show in Atlanta, Part 2 – What Happens in Atlanta….. « Jende Industries Blog Says:

    […] Jende Industries Blog The Ramblings of an Obsessed Sharpener « 2011 BLADE Show in Atlanta, Part 1 – The Sharpening Party […]

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