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TOPIC: Clamping

Clamping 1 year 6 months ago #9693

  • JameyHoward
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Hey, I have two n00b questions about clamping.

1) What order do you loosen / tighten the bolts? Top first? Bottom first? How far open should the arms be before inserting the knife?

2) I've been trying to use masking tape on the blade (the white stuff we have here in the UK) to protect it but it seems to lower the friction. When I have tape on the blade I can usually wiggle it up and down, which is obviously bad as you need the blade position to be totally constant. I also tried some pieces of thin rubber (cut from one of those round discs that give you extra grip when opening glass jars) but they seemed to be even worse for friction and allow even more wiggling.

So far I've only sharpened knives I don't care about so have gone without any tape on the blade, and without anything on them they seem to clamp properly and don't move / wiggle. And I must admit there have been no marks afterwards, apart from ones that clean off.

But still, I've seen YouTube videos of guys in the US using blue masking tape and assumed it would be the same as the white masking tape here in the UK. I guess not. Can anyone recommend what I can use for clamping protection?
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Re: Clamping 1 year 6 months ago #9694

  • cbwx34
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JameyHoward wrote:
Hey, I have two n00b questions about clamping.

1) What order do you loosen / tighten the bolts? Top first? Bottom first? How far open should the arms be before inserting the knife?

Tighten: Top first, then bottom. Loosen in reverse order. I open the top just enough to insert the knife, and the clamps are parallel, so when I tighten the bottom, it creates a slight wedge.

2) I've been trying to use masking tape on the blade (the white stuff we have here in the UK) to protect it but it seems to lower the friction. When I have tape on the blade I can usually wiggle it up and down, which is obviously bad as you need the blade position to be totally constant. I also tried some pieces of thin rubber (cut from one of those round discs that give you extra grip when opening glass jars) but they seemed to be even worse for friction and allow even more wiggling.

A thin piece of leather has worked well for me, as well as the blue tape. Some have mentioned "Moleskin" working well, if you can get that. Although I suspect if you weren't tightening the screws correctly, that could be part of the problem?

So far I've only sharpened knives I don't care about so have gone without any tape on the blade, and without anything on them they seem to clamp properly and don't move / wiggle. And I must admit there have been no marks afterwards, apart from ones that clean off.

But still, I've seen YouTube videos of guys in the US using blue masking tape and assumed it would be the same as the white masking tape here in the UK. I guess not. Can anyone recommend what I can use for clamping protection?
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Re: Clamping 1 year 6 months ago #9695

  • wickededge
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Hi Jamey,

I normally don't use anything to line the clamp jaws unless the whole blade is super polished stainless steel or has a pristine coating. In that case, I use Moleskin, something like this: Moleskin Strips. I also use it when clamping fully flat ground blades to take up the extra space and keep the knife vertical in the clamp.

For the initial gap of the clamp, I aim for just a little more than the thickness of the spine when mounting the knife. I snug up the top and then crank the bottom to get a firm hold. I do the opposite to release the knife - loosen the lower screw and then the top, always holding the handle of the knife in one hand.
--Clay Allison
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Re: Clamping 1 year 6 months ago #9696

  • JameyHoward
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Smashing stuff, cheers for the quick replies chaps.
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Re: Clamping 1 year 6 months ago #9700

  • JamesBell
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Welcome to the Forum,

Like the others I use the Blue Painter tape, as it leaves no residue.
Most of the time I use a stamp size peace of eye glass micro cloth. it is thin, soft and hold firm.

Do not over tighten the vice, once the top is snug, the bottom is applying a mechanical advantage.
You might place a tape patch on the inside where the bottom bolt pushes against the side.

James
- James
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