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Sunday, November 19, 2017

GunBlog VarietyCast Radio #170 - Weer'd Underpants


Erin wanted to call this the "Zombie Miguel Episode" but figured that would just confuse people.
  • Beth feels that  RSO's (Range Safety Officers) are basically the black belts of the gun world. She and her husband explain why.
  • Homeless guy beats another man to death in a trailer. Sean looks at his permanent record.
  • Barron is on assignment.
  • Miguel is not so much on assignment as "wandering about Southern Florida, looking for his brain." His words, not ours.
  • In this week's Main Topic, Sean and Erin discuss the dumbest GQ article ever: "Inside the Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns".
  • Pro-gun votes are good, but integrity is better. Tiffany weighs in with her opinion on the matter of Roy Moore.
  • Erin finally noticed that in 169 episodes, she's never once talked about sharpening your knives. 
  • Anti-Gun Researcher Tom Gabor speaks out against Stand Your Ground and whatever else comes to mind. Weer'd brings the facts.
  • And our Plug of the Week is the "Captain Underpants" series of books. Weer'd's daughter LaWeer'da tells us more.
Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play Music!
Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here.
Thanks to LuckyGunner and Remington for their sponsorship, and a special thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

Blue Collar Prepping Transcript:
Keep Your Knife Sharp
I have been doing this segment for three years and I only just now realized that while I’ve talked a lot about knives, I haven’t talked about sharpening them. This is an oversight I intend to correct immediately. 

A sharp knife is essential for safe knife use. Not only does a sharp edge cut more efficiently, but it prevents operator injury; a sharp blade produces a smooth cut, while a dull blade can twist in your hand while cutting or come to an unexpected stop.  

However, sharpening a knife is more art than science. It’s very, very easy to do it wrong and damage your knife and maybe even yourself in the process. Fortunately for us, there are some handy and affordable sharpeners out there which are pretty much idiot-proof. 

My current favorite is the Lansky Quadsharp. Like the name suggest, it has four sharpening angles for different applications:
  • a 17 degree angle, which gives an incredibly sharp edge suitable for filleting and fine slicing, but which is also easily dulled or damaged through hard work;
  • A 20 degree angle, which is less of a razor but is better suited for repetitive or difficult work, such as skinning or kitchen tasks;
  • A 25 degree angle, which is far more robust and is a good all-around edge for outdoor knives;
  • And a 30 degree angle, which is for heavy-duty cutting and chopping blades, like axes, hatches and machetes. 
The use is very simple: Select an angle; put the blade in the slot, and gently -- DO NOT PRESS DOWN -- pull the blade through the carbide cutters. 
There’s no set number of times you should do this; just keep going until it's as sharp as you like or it isn't getting sharper. You can usually hear the sound of the knife change, and the pull will feel different, when the majority of the work is done.

Sometimes a pull-through sharpener will build up a burr line on one side of the blade. This is not unusual; variations in stroke or carbide surface can do that, and I fix this by alternating the direction of sharpening strokes. Just turn the knife around so that you’re pulling away from yourself rather than toward yourself, and a few strokes ought to clean that burr right up. 

However, there are times when you can’t use a pull-through sharpener. Maybe it’s an axe and the blade won’t fit, or maybe there’s a ding or other damage to the edge that needs to be repaired before it can be sharpened. When that happens, you need more aggressive tools. My go-to tool in situations like this is a two-grit puck sharpener. This is less easy than the pull-through sharpeners, so you’ll want to watch the video linked in the show notes, but it’s pretty forgiving for beginners. 

A sharpening puck will put an edge on practically anything; I use it to sharpen my mother’s hedge trimmers, but it will put a working edge -- i.e. not terribly sharp, but sharp enough -- on practically anything. This is fine for tools which do most of their cutting with weight and impact, like an axe; if you want a finer edge, you’ll need go to something different. 

Diamond sharpeners are great for sharpening troublesome knives, but you need to be careful with them. Not only do they require more skill because you are essentially eyeballing the angle and freehanding the sharpener, but they also have a tendency to scratch the heck out of the knife. If you have a knife with an attractive finish or patina along the surface, be advised that diamond work will leave track marks! However, with some practice you’ll soon discover you can quickly fix most knife problems and sharpen them in the field, so don’t be afraid to practice on a cheap knife!

When you become comfortable with estimating angles by eye and sharpening without a guide, you should consider carrying sharpening tools with you as part of your every day carry. After all, if you carry a knife as part of your EDC, you should carry a means to sharpen that knife as well. I carry the EZE-Lap Pen Style Diamond Sharpener and the Speedy Sharp carbide tool. Both of them are small enough to be carried in a pocket, and between the two of them you ought to be able to repair, sharpen and hone any blade. 

Speaking of honing, did you know that you can touch up any blade using just a coffee cup? It’s true. Take a ceramic coffee cup, turn it upside-down, and hone the blade on the unglazed portion of the cup using small, circular strokes. There’s a link in the show notes with plenty of illustrations on how to do this. 

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