What are some good tools to have? Answered

I have a drill (2 actually), a dremel, and a hand-held sander. I also have as many wrenches and screwdrivers and hammers (the smaller things) as I need. I have $40 dollars in a giftcard to Home Depot. What tools would be good to have? Look at my instructables if you need to figure out what i would use them for.

Question by freeza36   |  last reply


I'm looking to solder steel nails together, is this possible and how strong will the bond be?

I'm looking to solder the flat ends of nails together to create a crown of nails (headpiece) is solder capable of holding together steel nails in that fashion? If so will they be stuck together well enough to create a relatively heavy headpiece meant to be worn? (approximately 1000 nails)  

Question by phichi   |  last reply


How to easily remove nails from pallets? Answered

I would like to use wood from pallets to maybe make furniture and a fence but it's a pain to get the nails out before destroying the wood. Does anyone have some clever ideas to get the nails out the easy way? Or other uses for pallet wood? Thanks.

Question by Dimitrios   |  last reply


What's the best way to attach nails to each other? Answered

I have a bunch of cut masonry nails and I would like to make a mask out of them. Here's the catch: The design I have in mind requires that they're only attached in the head area (Ex. VVVVV), because I need there to be gaps in between the nails; this also requires that I don't just glue them onto a regular plastic mask. I have some ideas about using hot glue, JB Weld, and solder/welding, but I any advice from people that have any experience in the matter would be appreciated. Thanks!

Question by NunchakuMan   |  last reply


longer rivets? Answered

Alright, so I'm working on a new shield, but the rivets that secure the handle need to be quite long (about 34mm / 1  3⁄8inch). When I try to rivet a nail of that size it tends to bend before I can get a good rivet head going. So any help / advice on how to keep the nails straight or an alternative would be awesome! Thnx, knutknackebrod

Question by knutknackebröd   |  last reply


Tips and tricks for UV curing glue, resin and coatings

Only a few years ago your only option to repair certain plastics, glass or even a broken crystal was epoxy based resin or the good old superglue.You might have already tried one of the 5-seconds-repair pens or tried your own UV curing nail polish art at home.For the later you might be lucky as the resins used here are optimised for the purpose and lights you get with them.Sadly even the best nail polish is no substitude for a glue as the material properties need to be different.One of the most common complaints when it comes to using some UV glue, like Kafuter or similar is that it never comes with instructions.Sould be straight forward but it is not free of problems.For example almost all commercail UV curing glues that you can buy require quite stirct procedures and for the light the right wavelenth(s).Resins and coatings can be even more painful here as they might also require you to stick to the correct temperature.Let's start with one thing you might have encountered already...The glue is definately cured and rock hard but the surface tacky and smeary.Quite annoying if you want to fix a piece of jewellery and can't prevent it from collecting dirt and dust...The next thing you might have encountered is that despite having transparent materials it seems to be impossible to cure the clue.Both problems come down to wavelenght and exposure.UV curing glue is prevented from curing in the presence of oxygen - a factor utilised for example in resin based 3D printers.Uncovered glue is exposed to the oxygen in the air and won't cure easy.The glue or resin below this layer however with fully cure with ease in the absence of oxygen.For the second problem consider that not all materials that you can see through will let UVC light pass through ;)Bonding strenght is another complaint I hear a lot...Be aware that certain things just are no good for UV curing glues or resins.Take the molds you get for that purpose: on the material the glue won't bond!Teflon is another prime candidate here.But in a lot of cases it comes down to surface preparation.Don't be afriad to sand the surface!Not only will the surface area increase but the scratch marks will be invisible once filled anyways.Use sandpaper on your fingernails, then go over with clear nail polish -mirror finish ;)With curing often a problem consider to fully cover the glue.A bit of clear sticky tape, food wrapping foil....If that is not an option then eliminate the oxygen.You can use a container filled with inert (for the glue) gas like CO2 or just place a burning candle in it until it goes out....Either way the amount of oxygen should then be low enough to cure the surface of your glue.Not always is any of the above an option.Then you can still try more power and a lover wavelength.Mercury based lamps for example provide a very broad and powerful light that in most cases will cure within seconds.For a proper surface cure you need a wavelength of 265nm or lower.LED's offering this exist but at prices well out of range for the hobby user.A mercury lamp under high pressure is nothing for short term use and the limited lifespan does not always justify the costs of buying them.Like with most things in life certain inventions can have a dual purpose.Quality germicidal lamp systems for examples often state to go as low or even lower than 265nm.And they come at a fraction of the cost you have with a broadband mercury lamp.Even cheaper is the fre weather forecast.If the sun is siad to be strong enough so you need protection than even the worst glue will fully cure in seconds outside in the sun - tackfree!Don't be fooled and protect yourself!!These tiny LED lamps for your glue stick, the curing thingies for your nailpolish and everything else using UV light comes with warnings.For very good reasons!It might be hidden in the fineprint but you can not really see UV light.The blueish-purple glow you see is on the high end of what comes out and by that in the visible range of your eye.Just because a LED only gives a faint glow you see does not mean the UV light wouldn blind you if you could see it!Even worse for fluoroscent lamps or open cruning systems like those for your nailpolish.Reflected UV light is still UV light and you can still NOT see it!Stories of people getting sunburnt from germicidal lamps in a butcher shop or other people going blind from checking money as their living have a true base...In most cases lamps used well past their lifespan or simply the wrong type of lamp but still: the damage came from UVC light...If you just love creating your own artwork or jewellery with UV curing resins and glues than protect yourself.Proper sunglasses with a stated UV protection for example or just black nitrile gloves for your hands...

Topic by Downunder35m 


My roofer drove nails through the drip edge. I can see the holes. He pulled the nails, will this cause water damage? Answered

Neither the ice barrier or the felt was brought down over the edge of the plywood on the rake edge of the house before the drip edge was installed. Will these punctures enable the water to get to the plywood and swell it or cause leaks? This was a re-roofing with a complete tear-off. These holes were in the over hang part of the drip edge, not where the drip edge was intended to be nailed to fasten it to the roof. You can see the holes from the ground. Thanks, Bill

Question by billygale   |  last reply


Help with Leyden Jar Answered

I have seen many of the instructables about building a leyden jar, but I built two and I cannot seem to make either of them work. First I made the glass one. I filled it with salt water and stuck a long nail in through the lid because I couldn't fit my hand in to wrap it with aluminum foil on the inside. I sealed it well with hot glue and taped a very neat, crinkle-less strip of aluminum tape around it, the kind that is used for repairing air ducts. I tried charging it by rubbing around a fuzzy blanket on the carpet. That always produces a big spark, so while my brothers were rubbing their hair on the blanket and carpet, I was holding the metal tape around the glass jar with one hand and touching the grounded screw on the electrical plate with the other hand. When my brothers touched the nail on the top, we both felt a shock but when I tried to discharge it by touching my fingers to the nail and the tape at the same time, nothing happened. I don't think it is holding a charge at all. Next I didn't touch the metal tape at all, and we rubbed our hair on the blanket and touched the nail. But when I tried to discharge it, the same thing: no spark. So I assumed the glass was too thick, so I made the plastic one. This is made out of a Tang powdered drink mix container, I cleaned it, filled it with salt water, and wrapped the inside and outside with aluminum foil, as tightly on the sides as I could. I used a smaller nail this time, but I attached it to the inside aluminum foil with a thin strip of foil. I sealed the nail up and made sure there were no leaks. I performed all of the same tests as last time, but still no results. Can someone please help me figure out where i am going wrong? Thanks :)

Question by Technicolor   |  last reply


Etching a knife blade?

I am concerning etching a knife blade, by using nail polish (or something) to cover the part of the blade I do not want etched and raw  muriatic acid to etch with.  Anyone got any suggestions or recommendations.  

Question by WazIt   |  last reply


How could I make an igniter for a waste oil furnace/foundry?

I am making a waste oil furnace/foundry and don't want to have to use charcoal to ignite it everytime, so I am thinking of buying a 15000 volt neon sign transformer and using nails or tungsten TIG electrodes to ignite it. Would this work? I can't find any places near me which sell tungsten TIG electrodes? I was worried about using nails because I think they might melt from the tempature of the flame. Is that true?

Question by snowluck2345   |  last reply


Whats the best way to cover up exposed screws? Answered

I read somewhere that using vacuum plugs would work. But I don't have any of them. So what would you do?

Question by powerman666   |  last reply


What is the most common pallet in the United States? Answered

I'm working on a chair design that will be made of one pallet only and that can be build with as less requirements as possible (preferably reusing the pallet's nails). I'm almost finished with the design made of a 42 x 42 inch ISO pallet and the 40 x 48 inch pallet, because I heard these are used mostly thoughout the world. As I live in Europe I don't know if these pallets are accessible to 'ordinary people' in the US. Are there any more common pallets in the US that are suitable for building this chair?  If anyone is familiar with what pallets are used in third world countries (if any specific) that are suitable for building this chair? Thanks, Cas

Question by casvandegoor   |  last reply


welding steel near aluminum, insert wisdom here!? Answered

I have 2 pieces of aluminum that make up a kind of finger hinge.  The two sections are each 3/4" wide pipe each ending in finger joints with a hole drilled through the fingers.  A cotter pin has been used as the hinge pin during the mock up, but now a permanent hinge pin is required and due to space regulations it must be very flush and end on either side with a flat round, similar to a nails head (striking surface).  I was going to merely insert a nail, then put a tightly fitting washer over the other end, and briefly mig weld the end of the nail protruding through the washer too the washer.  The opposite end will have a small thin piece of cardboard as a temporary spacer to ensure a snug but not too tight of fit.  Of course the rest of the aluminum will be shielded from weld spatter.  The weld would then be ground flush.  There will not be a lot of tension put on this weld, but some minor vibration. There will 5 of these pipe section with 3 joints per section each, they will be very close together and require the ability to move independently from each other, so no shared pins. Will a very brief weld cause the pin/nail to heat up to a point that it causes the surrounding aluminum to melt and "horribly" cause the 2 joints to fuse? The 3/4 span is much to wide for a pop rivet and would have to much of a bump on the sides. Bolt and nut would also have to much of a bump, and introduces the destructive effects of a steel thread running through an aluminum body. Philadelphia screws are just too wide for this application Actually peening a real rivet will put to much stress on the aluminum pieces. No I do not have the means to weld aluminum, as this is a solder core wire feed welder, not a true mig. Any suggestions?  I have done similar welds before, but all pieces were steel, not mixed.

Question by iminthebathroom   |  last reply


Non-permanent wall paneling?

So I got the idea from this photo: http://ak-images.jackthreads.com/v1/image/969357/size/jt-product_zoom I was thinking how it'd be neat to put some kind of wood paneling like this around my bed, maybe toss some LED strips along the top for an added effect. I'm trying to figure out a way to do this that won't be too expensive nor permanent (I'm renting my place so I need to be able to easily remove it when I leave). My thought was I could get the wood, stain it and then just screw it into the wall along the corners (or maybe even nail it if it's thin enough?) My alone concern with that are the screws/nails will look out of place, unless I'm able to stain them as well? If anyone has any other ideas on making this happen I'd really appreciate the help!

Question by cardboardlion   |  last reply


Which is the best glue for porcelain? Answered

Recently I dropped the lid of a toilet tank ( I'm a klutz!). I searched for the best glue to use to repair it and the only thing I have found is information for an epoxy to repair fine porcelain. I thought about using Liquid Nail® since it is used for construction but I would like to know if anyone knows a better product. Thank you once again for everyone's help.

Question by blkhawk   |  last reply


Lacquer/Enamel for Brass? Answered

Hey I'm looking for a clear, tough coating for polished brass, to stop it from tarnishing. Initially I thought clear nail polish would do the trick, but it turns out it's not as tough as I thought... it'll rub off in places within about a month, from what I'm planning to do with it. Could anyone else give me a few suggestions/links as to what I can buy/use along these lines? Thanks

Question by .Unknown.   |  last reply


Hi I have black and white photos on bottlecaps and after A couple weeks, they are yellowing and getting dull.

Also Have had some issues with Black and white pictures yellowing also. I have used clear nail polish to seal also have tried Modge Podge and glue.....then  modge podge on one triple thick on another and 3d laquer on another....No matter what they dull after a couple of weeks...as A pendant. And the photo turns yellow.What to do???? Thanks Tara Rose

Question by tarakruegerrose   |  last reply


h a any one know some things about bullets?

Ok so i have a bullet(no powder) with a spent primer in it and cannot seem to get the primer out,im doing this to get the bullet out although ive done it by hammering a nail into a with no primer i cannot get the primer out its a rifle shell rws.308 and is there a easier way to get the bullet out of the shell,i dont have a kinetic bullet puller and cannot be bothered to buy one for a few shells

Question by sharlston   |  last reply


Can you drill dowels on an angle into 2x4's to use as shoe rack?

I have a 30" wide wall area  in my closet. I've been searching for weeks to find the right racks/shelves to use as heels/shoe/cowgirl boot storage. I'd Like to nail finished wood (2x4's?) tho the whole wall after drilling/gluing different diameter/length dowels into them but not sure the (less than) 2" will be deep enough to hold some weight and how do determine which degree angles will work best. I'm an amateur but have every tool needed, so I'm game for all suggestions! Thanks

Question by DELETED_coco_baby   |  last reply


Soldering Help? Answered

So i recently got a 40 watt weller soldering iron. This is my first soldering iron ever, and i have watched many instructional videos and tips on how to use it. I had a bit of trouble tinning the tip but i got the hang of it. I am using Rosin Core Solder btw. Today i went to go practice my soldering a bit, so i plugged in my soldering iron and waited for it to heat up. Once i heated it up i got a damp sponge and i wiped off the old solder. IIRC i wiped it off and then tryed to tin the tip again, but i saw my tip has turned black. I tried to tin it, but the solder just turned into a ball and rolled off the tip, as if the tip was oil and the solder was water. I tried taking off what i presumed was oxidation by cleaning it with the sponge, mr. cleans magic eraser, and my last resort was a nail filer. MR cleans magic eraser turned the oxidation a grayish blue, but the nail filer was the only thing that took off all the oxidation. (i know that any sort of abrasive thing shouldn't be used, but i was angry and confused). I felt pretty happy, but as soon as i put solder on the tip, the tip immediately turned black and the solder rolled off again, making tinning impossible. I tried re tinning my spare chisel tip too and it wasnt so bad, but the solder just rolled off too. Now all i have left is a tinned "mini chisel" tip that im scared to use because i dont want to mess up what i have left. Is there something im doing wrong? I could really use some help.

Question by jaguilar16   |  last reply


guess who bought a jeep

Yeah i bought a new jeep last weekend. i would have gone with something a little more fuel economical but cars ride too low to the ground. (i live in the sticks) plus i figure i can haul stuff with it, women, dead hookers, and general stuff i have accumulated over the years. its an 08 jeep liberty. i got it for less than invoice and the dealer is throwing in free leather seats. other than that tire i had to buy this morning so far i like it. (i ran over a nail and it punctured the sidewall, but i bought tire insurance so it wont happen again) i took a pict of it with my camera at night time with a 15 sec shutter its the only good picture i have

Topic by thematthatter   |  last reply


Electromagnetic induction questions.

OK, this is another one of those questions I should know, but don't.  Mainly because I have never done it before, I have a whim to build an electromagnetic launcher, something table-mounted with a range of around 3-5m (10-15 feet).  I'm not after launching nails through Coke cans. I have been browsing the web, and the designs all seem to be much more complicated than is really necessary for toy. The image below is a scan of my badly-drawn thoughts of how simple it should be. Have I got that right? I plan to use a bunch of capacitors harvested from dead electronics and connected in parallel.  Is there a recommended total capacitance for such a device? If launching a ring, must the ring slide over the ferrous core, or would there be enough umph to launch a ring balanced just past the end of the core?

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Traditionally built furniture - maybe as a contest?

I saw a quite old "home improvement" show from the 80's the other day and was stunned to remember how much we gained in ready to use parts and tools these days.A part of the show focussed on a custom made dining table with a matching cupboard/sideboard.The interesting thing here was that no nails or screw were used.Tongue and groove systems, smart notches and such were used instead with just wood glue.I admit the professionals made it look easy to use a hand planer and chisels to carve out some ornaments and details but the result speaks for itself IMHO.We now mainly use power tools, ready to go parts like metal angles, easy screw systems and so on.Wouldn't it be great to have a contest where people actually build wooden furniture, even if it is just a chair, by using traditional tools only?To misuse the term call it "Organic furniture" ;)

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


How to make a MDF cube (6 sided, fully enclosed)?

I have scrap pieces of 5/8 MDF that I want to make 10inx10in decorative cubes (6-sided) with. I don't have any tools, so I will have to take them to a hardware store to have them cut, which they charge $1-2/cut usually. I need 7 or 8 cubes. I am thinking that a butt-joint is the easiest option for me, as I can easily glue & brad-nail... Since woodworking is not my forte I am feeling really stupid trying to figure out the measurements of the cuts I need. I do understand that 4 sides should be cut to 10in, but what about the other 2 (top/bottom)?  PLEASE help!!! :) I'd like to use the MDF I have as I've already purchased it, but if there is a different material that would be better suited to this project please feel free to comment. I am planning on painting them & displaying them in my home, so it will have to have a smooth finish.

Question by meggs   |  last reply


Does anyone know how to sharpen very dull cuticle nippers without making them worse? Answered

I have several pair of very dull cuticle nippers and hair cutting scissors that could use a fresh edge on them. These are small sharp "plier type" instruments the manicurist uses to remove the excess cuticle from around the nail beds of your fingers and toes.  The 2 pieces do not come apart so I need to sharpen them with the jaws wide open, and the use of a very small sharpening instrument. If anyone has a system that works with the use of hand files or a rotary tool I would like to know how this is done.  I don't have a lot of space to work in so I'm limited to the simpler methods. I've tried a whet stone, that was a disaster, I'd be willing to try this again, as long as I know what I'm doing so I don't make them worse than they were when I started. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated and welcome.  Thanks for helping out.

Question by SQUEEKY1   |  last reply


DIY BED UPCYCLED CLOSETMAID CUBEICALS? I have ClosetMaid 4-cubby Cubeicals, want to make bed platform for queen?

I'm concerned that the Cubeicals are not sound enough structurally on their own, wondering if I need to somehow beef up their sturdiness?  I have a futon frame to scavenge for bed slats, etc, am needing more storage space under bed.  I'm in love with the "Nail-less, glue-less almost screw-less fire finished bed" by Tazo, and if the cost of materials to transform the Cubeicals into a workable bed frame is similar to his bed, I'll just make it instead.   I have two 4-cubby Cubeicals, but only want one cube of height for under the bed (the bed is about 12" thick already, and the cubes are about the same...  I would love some advice on how to proceed, if the cubes can be made safe, etc.  They have been moved a few times and are a little on the wobbly side already at this point, so they definitely need SOMETHING to beef 'em up if I use them.   I'm fairly handy, but don't have a lot of wood working tools... I can prob borrow what I need as long as it's not super specialized, etc.  Also, I'm on a budget.  like, a tiny budget :) Thanks in advance, I really appreciate any thoughts on this! zre013

Question by zre013   |  last reply


how can i fix up my old metal trunk / get rid of that smell ?

i have always loved scrappy old trunks so i was excited to find this , im told its an old military footlocker . i think its an awesome piece , but it smells like nasty . its really only the inside that smells bad , the outside just smells like old metal , ive scrubbed it down with baking soda and dishsoap and left it day after day open to air out in the sun , still stinks lol.  the inside was lined with this fabric that was caked in dust and grime i removed as much of the fabric as i could and in doing so i discovered that the inside is some kind of wood backing and im not sure what to do with it . im not familiar enough with rebuilding things to take apart the trunk and be able to put it back together properly ( to remove the wooden backing ) so i figured id just have to clean it the best i could and seal it somehow to get rid of the awful smell.  any suggestions on how i could do so ? what to use?   im open to any other suggestions as to how to get rid of the smell , or any other suggestions in general =) also what can i do to get a working key ? locksmith ? thank you ! *******************UPDATE******************************** wow who knew id get so many answers so quickly ! i appreciate them all !    i think im going to do several of these things  bleach soak , kitty litter , lots of sun , and sealant !!   and i think i will be putting up an instructable of how it goes =)     i have already given the trunk a bleach/dish soap scrub and soak  which worked well , cut the odor in half  . though there was alittle incident when family members dumped the water and closed the trunk so rust around the nails surfaced and mold began to spore , so i had to scrub and bleach again but it seemed to remove most if not all of it . it looks and smells alot better so far  thank you all

Question by angelsalvaje   |  last reply


Upper Part of Window won't come down and its covering the screen?

Bought a home in November. After crazy requirements for my bank loan and township requirements, the past owner hired his nephew, and let's just say, he went a little paint crazy. Yes inspection wise and walk through wise we opened the windows. (These are the old chain windows)  I honestly don't remember if the top part of the window were pulled down to test. But I know the bottoms opened at one point. I moved in, and since it was winter, I never thought anything about it. Fast forward to today....dying to open some windows. Got the bottoms up with resistance and then realized the screens were pulled all the way up to the top behind the upper window with a lock on them. Went to pull down the top part of the window to get the screen and they won't budge at all. Can't pull the screen down from the outside because of the lock. This is only on 5 windows on the first floor and 1 in the upstairs bathroom. The two rooms downstairs that are the problems are my living room and dining room, yet we did not have a problem with two very small windows that frame the others . (same age and type of window, just half the size in width)We were able to do my bedroom no problem. Got chisels and putty knives etc....they aren't budging. I heard to also try on the outside since they may have been painted out there too. I also heard they may be nailed or screwed in. All of the windows appear to be the same type and age (the house was built in 1930...unfortunately I do think they are original to the house) We will try from the outside and also check for screws. My fear is that it is just the age of them. Any other ideas???? A side question that may sound stupid? If I can't get them down, is there any way to get temp screens already made to put in on the bottom since I can't get the ones that are there down? We have heavy duty screen that we used to redo my porch door after my dog put a hole in it...I'm very close to stapling it up to the windows or something because I'm already feeling hot and claustrophobic !!! : )

Question by catem   |  last reply


Solar Filter for Telescopes

Having seen some predictions of increased solar activity over the next two years, I decided to make a filter so I can check it out with my trusty telescope. To start out, I constructed the rig shown in photo A, and practiced with it by cutting disks of plain glass. Make a table like that in photo C so you can make a continuous score on the glass, without stopping. Put oil on the wheel of the grass cutter. Be sure that the surface you work on is flat. You can skip this if you want a square filter. After scoring, your glass should look like that in photo B, with a uniform and even cut. Next, put the scored glass on a soft surface like a mouse pad, with the scored surface wetted with water and face down. Press on the back of the score with a dull nail to start a crack. By continual pressing you can watch the crack propagate all the way around. Then, make 8 radial scores from the circle to the edge of the glass and propagate those cracks in the same manner as the disk. When you do it right, you get a result like photo D, where the pieces were separated for illustration. When you get good at this with regular glass, you can cut the mirror into a disk. With the mirror, you score the glass on the side that has the metal coating. Or, you can just cut the mirror in a square instead of a circle. Photo E shows an uncut and a finished cut mirror. The mirror came out of the back of a discarded projection TV. Some of the mirrors are plastic films, some are second surface, some are first surface glass but the metal coating is too thin. There are many variations, but you need to find a first surface glass mirror that reduces the light level by 12 stops (as measured by a LunaPro SBC light meter). Photographically, this is like reducing the light level from F1.4 to F64. This level of light reduction will be hard to find. WARNING: Use of a mirror with a thin reflective coating can result in eye damage if used to view the sun through a telescope. I have access to a smaller commercial filter to use as a guide. This filter produced a bright blue image of the sun, so I added a red filter at the eyepiece. This combination produced a normal yellow image of the sun. There were no significant sunspots visible, so I didn’t bother taking any pictures. The Filter is mounted to a screw-in lens cap.

Topic by ShutterBugger   |  last reply


Sharpening a concave blades like Kukri or similar

Every now and then you have someone approaching with the odd job.This time it was in the form of an old Kukri / Gurkha knife.Wasn't expecting this when I was asked a few days ago if I could sharpen some old knife so it can be used for camping.The knife had a few marks from hitting hard stuff or maybe the occasional nail.But the worst was that for as long as guy had that knife it was only "sharpened" using a belt sander.You know, these tiny machines advertised to give your (kitchen-) knife the perfect edge.We could now argue about the pros and cons of having a knife edge that is literally rounded.But once it was done so many times that the edge really looks rounded it becomes obvious why this method only works for thinner blades.Adding to the problem was the fact that the belt used was just over 1.5cm wide.Appereantly so it is easier to do the concave part of the blade.Lets just say lengthwise it looked like someone created a wave pattern LOLThere was nothing "straight" on this nice blade anymore.Now, if you look up how to properly sharpen thise Kukri knifes then you can find all sorts of really useful tips.One I really likes was to use some eraser and toglue sandpaper on it.Small and flexible enough to cause minimal damages to the curve towards the handle.Another nice one is to use half round diamond file, preferable of a finer grit in the 600 region.Should work fine - if you plan to invest an awful lot of money on such a file.I however like things quite often done the old fashioned way.The oldest trick in the book....Whether you are using chisels and work on wood, just love to keep your knifes sharp or go on long camping or hiking trips - sharp knifes and tools just become your thing.The main thing everyone tells you is a super flat surface for whatever is supposed to sharpen your blade.For the normal stuff that is fine and good and you only need to flatten out your stones every now and then.But what about these odd jobs?Imagine you would need to sharpen a long paper cutting blade on some machine.Might be over a meter long and it has to stay with a perfectly straight edge.Back in the day this task was not done with some very expensive stone of large size....Instead sandpaper of various grit was used on a flat steel surface.I actually prefer a small pane of glass and tape my sandpaper on it.Hard to find anything finer than 1000 or 2000 grit but you might be surprised how well this stuff polishes onces clogged up a bit.Its all about the right level of wetness...Anyways, for our Kukri in question I decided it is time to do the same but in a way that does not harm the blade, constantly cut into the eraser and still is solid and "flat".If you still work with a sickle then you already know where I am going here ;)I used a small diameter spray can as my surface to hold the sandpaper.Of course a piece of PVC pipe, round wood or similar would warok the same way....Sticky tape does not work well with sandpaper unless you use double sided stuff.But it is enough to wrap one round on the top and one on the bottom of the sandpaper on the can to hold in place.So much for the basics....If you know how to sharpen a knife then you also know that there is a prefered way of doing it.Depending on the blade and stone in question you literally try to cut a thin slice out of the stone with every stroke.Either stright or with a cutting motion.This works fine with sandpaper on a flat surface, not so much however on a round surface.Try it and you see how you cut off the sand from the paper and constantly ruin your edge.The only way to do it is to move with the edge.You start from the heel and stroke to the tip.The can is used likea sharpening rod and shall always stay at a 90° to the curve of the blade.Takes a bit of practice to find the right grip to hold the blade while moving and twisting the can but well worth it.The rounded surface only allows for a very thin area of the sandpaper to work on the edge.I started with 120 grit!!!It left a trail of destruction on the edge, at least in the rounded up section....Once I only had a very thin bit left on the edge from the old sharpening I switched to 240 grit until a flat edge formed.As the Kukri was a disaster this process still tok over 4 hours to complete.That blade was properly hardened too...The start of the finnishing was done by jump right to 600 grit paper.The first can was just slightly smaller in diameter than the concave bend in the blade - perfect to smooth out those nasty bumps.But with a burr forming now on the edge and minor mishap with angle of the can towards the curve of the blade would mean cutting into the can while sharpening the concave bit.Meant I used my emergency insect repellant can as I did not like the idea of hoping my pepper shaker would start leaking while sharpening ;)If you blade is not too damaged you can of course start right away with a smaller diameter.The process is the same as before.Move along the blade and keep the can at the 90° angle towards the curve.Once you feel a burr forming on the side turn over until you have a bur on the previous side again.Repeat until all the marks from the coarser grit are gone and the edge has a uniform shine.Switch to a finer grit and go as high as you can here.I had to stop at 1000 grit as my supply of 2000 and 4000 grit is out.Hints and tricks along the way....It really helps to do this sandpaper sharpening under running water.The paper won't clog up, you won't risk a losse grain making really deep marks...But on a bad blade this can take several hours and would do it with a small aquarium pump or so and some gloves.A fine but stiff brush and soapy water however do wonders to clean up used sandpaper!I prefer to use these re-used pieces before switching to a finer grit.In most cases they are already finer than the next grit and create a nice polish that makes the visual confirmation of your right angle and angle of attack easy.A kukri is a working blade!It is mot meant to make fish filet or shave you legs.It is somewhere between axe, big bowie knife and hatchet.That mean if you would dare to give a 8° angle either side of the edge you would have a pretty damn wide edge...Stick to the original in width but keep it nice and flat.It is good compromise between cutting sharpness and durability when for example chopping wood for your camp fire.DO NOT USE A BELT SANDER!!I said it before but have to repeat it again as there is people using a big belt sander with enough free space to add a set of wheel that creat the curve I got from my spray can.The guys in India that make these knife do this blind folded....It takes years of practise to get the steady hand required not to cut through the belt.The beginners start in reverse, meaning the belt runs towards the edge.These guys only to the basic forming of the edge with really coarse grit.Basically to remove the marks from the forging.After that the pro takes over the blades and he has the belt running towards the edge!If you are silly enough to try it at home be prepared to have the belt flying in your face very violently!!The reverse sanding can't be used to finnish a blade as you never get a proper sharpness and flatness right on the edge.So just stick to manual and take an hour or so longer but then be able to enjoy a cold drink when done.You need surprisingly little sandpaper in terms of clogging up and getting useless until you get to the finer grits.If you use a wooden dowel or similar then make it a bit longer and add strips about 6cm wide of sandpaper.This way you have all the grits you need in one place and can take them with you to keep your blade sharp ;)If you glue it onto the stick it is also quite easy to give it quick brush clean when done.The really tricky part starts from about 800 grit onwards.Every mishap on the concave part can mean damage to your paper or to your edge.When using stone most beginner think that using a lot of pressure is a good way to remove the material quickly.In reality however it is just a sure way to wobble the blade over the stone, especially if the blade is not fully straight.Sandpaper can be more aggressive than your stones as in our case you only work with a little area and every time you turn the can only a little bit you have a fresh piece of paper working instead of a slurry building up.This mean you really do't need much pressure at all.It is the repetition, not the pressure that gives you the edge if you don't mind the pun here. ;)For a real working knife stopping at 1000 grit once you do single strokes either side of the blade is sufficient.The tiny burr left will disappear quickly during use and the Chakmak can be used for a quick refurbishing after every longer use.Should mean you only need to get the sandpaper out once you edge actually started to get blunt again.The final stroke....There are those people that don't have a kukri to go camping...Some people like to collect them.Restoring an old kukri can be done like with any other knife.That is until you want a razo sharp edge that is also highly polished.This is quite possible with the original edge width on the kukri.But of course you can only go so far with sandpaper....Modern technolgy provides us with the solution in several options.Firstly we have the ceramic sharpening rods.Unless you can do with kitchen variety thickness you need to pay a lot of money.A short 8cm diameter rod can set you back over 100 bucks with ease.Especially if you want something that provides a mirror like finnish.And alternative that is often available relatively cheap is a ruby rod.They can often be found with slight damages that make them useless for laser applications.Even burnt out rods are still fine as long as they are not cracked.It is quite hard (literally) to give them a satin finnish but I found that good quality sandpaper is sometimes capable of doing it.I like one side smooth and the other half of the rod with a satin finnish to prepare the edge.On the budget there is quality wet and dry sandpaper as commonly used in paintshops.If used dry the finer grits tend to clog up on such a wide edge.Once you have a piece of 1000 or finer grit that is fully clogged up you can use to give the edge a final polish.With this you won't even need a leather strop anymore but as said it takes a lot of practise so you won't cut the paper in the concave area.The steel rod....If you happen to have a hardened steel rod, like from a motion rail, small drive shaft or a big drill then give it a try.When using a drill:Of course use the end of the drill, not the working part ;)Also make sure it really is motth as any burr from the chuck or such will cause deep scratches on your blade.If it starts to feel sticky after a few good stroke you know the drill method is working.If it continues to feel very smooth and you don't see any polishing effect at all if tried on a small area only then you blade is of really good quality.But then again you would have confirmed that already by the ongoing swearing during the endless hours trying to remove some material from the edge...A word of advise for the first time user of a kukri:Although a good kukri is hard to damage without hitting a stone or metal, you can make blunt very quickly.It is top heavy blade and requires a steady hand when working on other things than meat.Chopping into some wood and letting the blade slip can deform your edge.A little mishap can be fixed with chakmak but not if hit hardwood badly a couple of times.And tempting as might be to use it as a small hatchet or axe to split your kindling:Never hold a piece of wood and then hack into it from the top with your kukri!Not only can you miss the wood and hit your hand, the wood can also split far easier or in unexpected directions!If the kurki is sharp you then have a good chance to loose a finger or two!

Topic by Downunder35m