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Pilgrim
posted
I don't know why I wonder about such things but if I were a long hunter about a ka-zillion miles from walmart er sportsmans warehouse, how would I keep a razor sharp edge on my knives. You always see some dude in the movies useing a big ol rock but they ain't nutting in my yard you could use. I've seen a lot of pics of peoples gear but nothing to sharpen a knife.
 
Posts: 82 | Location: north georgia | Registered: 12 April 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Free Trapper
Picture of LeeRoy
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I believe that is what a long hunter would have done, pick up a hard, fine grained stone and touch-up the edge of his cutting tools.

I believe that wet hemp, sand and water is what
built Rome.

LeeRoy


Keep your powder dry.
 
Posts: 171 | Location: Southern Nevada | Registered: 14 January 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Good question. I don't know. But do guess there were a lot of very dull knives in use back in the day. Guessing again, maybe they used two knives like sharpening steels against each other. Really, I dunno. Confused
 
Posts: 1487 | Location: Mountain Home, Arkansas | Registered: 08 October 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
Picture of Hanshi
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I'd think the old timers could identify and cut good rock as well as anyone today.


*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
 
Posts: 3506 | Location: Maine (by way of Georgia then Va.) | Registered: 26 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pilgrim
Picture of Laughing Bear
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I've been watching some dvd's from Mark Baker. He was using two stones he picked up from a crick. So next time you're hoofin'er down a stream, keep your eyes peeled. If ya see one that is sorta flat with fine grain, try it out. If it works well enough, shove it into your bag.

OR...Cheat. In the final analysis, the only person who cares what you use is you, so vote your conscience.

And that's all I have to say about that.
 
Posts: 61 | Location: Edmonton, Alberta | Registered: 16 March 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Deercop
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I'm curious now as to what they find in the way of whetstones when doing archaeology studies. I know grinding wheels show up pretty often at forts and settlements, but never paid attention to what might have been identified as whetstones.
I picked up some flat stones along a river near Magazine Mtn. in Arkansas a couple of years ago that works as well as a store bought stone. A little one goes in my shooting pouch, a bigger one stays in camp.

Hey Laughing Bear..I passed through Edmonton last week on my way home from Alaska. Man! you guys got some rain! Wish I could have brought some home with me.
 
Posts: 649 | Location: Clovis, New Mexico | Registered: 21 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pilgrim
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Just found a video by ML Knives using a creek stone to sharpen a knife. Purty much answered my question. I tried to copy the video to here but it's a no go. I'f you haven't seen ML Knives web site check it out cause the ol boy does some nice work.
 
Posts: 82 | Location: north georgia | Registered: 12 April 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Greenhorn
Picture of Swanny
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A few worn whet stones have been recovered at NWC / HBC sites.

River stones - yep

A few years back I attended a seminar on smoke-tanning moose hides by an Athabascan elder. She used a file exclusively on her knives, and literally used them to shave the hair off moose hide.

Swanny


“A good dog is so much a nobler beast than an indifferent man that one sometimes gladly exchanges the society of one for that of the other.” (William Francis Butler)
 
Posts: 28 | Location: Two Rivers, Alaska | Registered: 23 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
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Better question, or maybe the answer to your question. What did they use to sharpen their razors?

My guess is a lot more whetstones were carried around they we think.


anything worth shooting is worth shooting once.
 
Posts: 126 | Location: Demokratik Republik of Washington | Registered: 29 September 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
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quote:
how would I keep a razor sharp edge on my knives.


Razor sharp? You can use a river rock, it works rather well. To get a knife "razor" sharp, or your straight razor for that matter..., you would use a razor strop.

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3843 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
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Being in Arkansas good ones are easy to find. Picked up some good ones along Lake Michigan, as well. Used some of them this morning preparing to butcher a deer.

Fiddlesticks


As long as there's Limb Bacon a man'll eat! (But mebbe not his wife...)
 
Posts: 4816 | Location: Buffalo River Country | Registered: 23 October 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Walkingeagle
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'Sticks my old friend, were you fortunate enough to get yourself a deer? Is there a story or perhaps a few pictures to share?
Walk
 
Posts: 342 | Location: Alberta, Canada | Registered: 15 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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I was watching a couple Chilleans butcher a ewe one time and one of them touched up the knife on a river rock, done a good job too. No reason to think people didn't have whetstones.
 
Posts: 507 | Registered: 14 August 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Free Trapper
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I've found many locations here on the lakeshore where outcropping of slate has been deposited, and washed smooth. I have collected many different sizes and shapes, and often wondered if the smooth, flat rocks would give an excellent finish on your knife blades?


" You do with your scalp as you wish and don't be telling us what to with ours."
 
Posts: 158 | Location: lake champlain, vt | Registered: 03 January 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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quote:
Reply

quote:
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quote:
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How about a good old fashioned file?
 
Posts: 459 | Location: Yuma, AZ......Soon to be WA.! | Registered: 19 October 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pilgrim
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Anyone who has actually skinned a buffalo or a beaver would know the importance of keeping your skinning knife sharp.

No doubt the old trappers had and used files and sharping stones. I don't believe you would find many dull knifes in their possession.
 
Posts: 51 | Location: North Texas | Registered: 26 October 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
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I've got many different densities of stones in my collection. Have found that certain stones work best on certain steels. Don't know much about various sorts of steel, I just experiment until 'this stone works with that knife the best'. Don't know if old timers went to that trouble, but I get a kick out of it. one of the stones finishes up the blade on my hatchet really well, too.

'Eagle, I've not seen a legal deer while carrying a muzzleloader. The 2 I've got were with a single shot ca'tridge rifle, so I've not mentioned them here.

Butchered 5 deer so far. Wouldn't mind a couple more. Wife loves to help me. Kept all knives sharp with my river and lake whetstones.

Fiddlesticks


As long as there's Limb Bacon a man'll eat! (But mebbe not his wife...)
 
Posts: 4816 | Location: Buffalo River Country | Registered: 23 October 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
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I didn't read through all the reply's so sorry if this has already been brought up.

Files were a very common item on any farm, blacksmith shop etc., and very available to the working man. They also show up on trade ledgers all the time.

A nice file works great to keep a good working knife sharp, as any piece of sandstone will.

Rio
 
Posts: 140 | Registered: 18 March 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Josh Crain
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I've made a few whetstones from a slatey kinda rock and also from a piece of granite. They both seem to work quite well. I've always got my eyes peeled for more stones I could use. As to files, I fine that they all leave the edge just a little too rough for my liking. Almost like a serrated edge.


"Return unto me, and I will return unto you," saith the Lord of hosts.
~Malachi 3:7b
 
Posts: 297 | Location: MI | Registered: 18 August 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pilgrim
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I once watched a man sharpen his knife with a file and it would shave the hair off your arm. I've also read that blacksmiths made files by raising one tooth at a time with a chisel but I don't know how advanced they were in the 1700's.
 
Posts: 82 | Location: north georgia | Registered: 12 April 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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