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Phenolic disk for knife sharpening?

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  • Phenolic disk for knife sharpening?

    Is phenolic (linen) an abrasive? I'm curious about the possibility of making a grinding wheel out of some 5/8" phenolic I have laying around??
    Thanks
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  • #2
    Not sure if I recall correctly as it has been so long since I worked with the stuff, but I do think it is at least somewhat abrasive but a pretty fine one. I used to cut the stuff up on a band saw and seem to recall that it dulled blades quickly. Could be wrong on that, it's been years.

    If nothing else, you could charge such a wheel with abrasive and then several of them in various grades would probably make a decent sharpening setup. It should work like the "paper wheels" systems that some people swear by for knife sharpening. If you have not heard that term, they are essentially disks made of MDF that are run on a grinder and charged with various grits of abrasive. Google it for loads of info. I've never tried that, but see no reason it would not work as advertised. Seems to me cheap and effective.

    As for your linen phenolic, that sounds like an experiment waiting to happen!

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    • #3
      I assume you don't mean you intend to grind edges, but rather polish and finish? Not sure the phenolic would hold up well to anything but light use. You could charge it with an abrasive, which might be required. I wonder if the fiber reinforcement would cause inconsistent performance?

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      • #4
        It will tend to blunt steel cutters when large quantities are cut, but it has no particular abrasive qualities. It could be used as a lap if charged frequently with an abrasive.

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        • #5
          We “deburr” phenolic with a disposable shop towel, so I wouldn’t consider it to be very abrasive.

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          • #6
            If it is linen reinforced phenolic, it DOES have some abrasive effect. Much more toward the "razor strop" than sandpaper, though. I doubt it would be very useful as an abrasive wheel, but I admit I have not tried it..

            The linen fibres have a silica content (it is made from flax), as do quite a few plant materials, and that has the effect of a fine abrasive. I believe bamboo has even more silica, for instance.
            Last edited by J Tiers; 05-01-2020, 11:08 AM.
            CNC machines only go through the motions

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            • #7
              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
              If it is linen reinforced phenolic, it DOES have some abrasive effect. Much more toward the "razor strop" than sandpaper, though. I doubt it would be very useful as an abrasive wheel, but I admit I have not tried it..

              The linen fibres have a silica content (it is made from flax), as do quite a few plant materials, and that has the effect of a fine abrasive. I believe bamboo has even more silica, for instance.
              Yeah, you could use it like razor strop. MDF wheels loaded with polishing compound have been quite popular in woodworking and knife circles for a while, you could use the phenolic disk in same way but IMO its waste of good phenolic board.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d9LdONYOeo
              Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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              • #8
                I agree. I'm not going to screw with it.
                ​​​​​​I can use any other number of things to polish the edge to razor sharpness. Generally I use leather with diamond lapping compound and then an aggressive automotive compound followed by just the suade side of leather. Gets the knife razor sharp. Now if I can only find a way to keep it that sharp 😁.

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                • #9
                  for final stropping of edge tools, I have adopted common "printer paper" over a flat surface, often times the sharpening stone it's self serves as support. A piece of plate glass is useful as well. My favorite is the surface plate, 6 inches of granite!

                  I've examined the edge condition resulting under high magnification, and am very pleased with both the appearance, and the performance confirms the method.

                  Try it , you may agree.

                  (for "working up an edge", a sprinkle of optical polishing grit/ rouge on a sheet of paper is the cat's meow for speeding up the work!

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