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Steel wire and sharpening #11 blades

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Posted · Report post

Two questions. Has anybody tried sharpening dull #11 blades? Can it be done? Since I switched to using aluminum foil, I am using blades at a horrific rate and I can't seem to find a place locally to buy them in bulk. Also what is the thinnest gauge for steel wire. 32 gauge is the thinnest I have seen. I know they sell 42 gauge copper wire for guitar repairs. But steel would be more preferable.

Thanks

Jeff

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Posted · Report post

Yes you can sharpen blades I do it all the time.Get a white Arkansas stone.You can use a sharpie to mark the edges of the blade to see your progress.It will take a few tries before you get the hang of it but it can be done and you should be happy with the end results.You can also try a very fine diamond type hone it will actually work faster.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The smallest size wire I have seen is .005". Small parts carries a lot of differant wires. I buy from them with frequency and love their stuff. Here is the web site - www.smallparts.com Just search "AWX". Lots of sizes. They use to carry as small as .001 but I see it is out of stock.

Edited by Pete J.

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Posted · Report post

When i'm doing BMF I keep a piece of 1500 grit sandpaper nearby. I sharpen the blade on a FLAT surface and keep a good edge for BMF. At a buck apeice or so for a #11 blade it can get pricey. That's why I sharpen.

Gary

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Posted · Report post

As an architect student, sharpening #11 blades is time consuming and you never, ever get a factory edge. i buy 100 pack of those things and just swap them out after about 10 cuts into foamcore board or basswood. if you want the cleanest cut you'll ever get with an xacto, use a brand new factory blade. this has been tried and tested by the masters of xacto knives (architects) haha.

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Posted · Report post

If number 11 blades are costing a buck apiece it's time to shop around and purchase elsewhere :D

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Posted · Report post

I can't vouch for how well they do in foiling,but I know I've seen an ad somewhere about #11 blades made from ceramic. They are super sharp & outlast steel blades 10:1 or better.

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Posted · Report post

Steel music wire - like for pianos and guitars - comes pretty thin, maybe even #80. But it's very, very hard stuff and will ruin cutters. The upside is that it stays straight, so for certain things it's just the ticket, especially if it will be under strain. Case in point: I just used some for a 1/43 gearshift lever; I'd have bent any other wire in the process and it would have always looked crooked.

I have a friend who's a guitarist, so he keeps his old treble strings for me. I've set aside an old pair of trashed cutters just for cutting the stuff.

But brass wire has its uses, that's for sure, and it's available in hair-thin diameters from model RR sources. My local store, The Whistle Stop, carries it.

Even if you have a good method of sharpening Xacto blades, how can you tell whether they're as sharp as new? With new blades, there's never a doubt. They're not too expensive in large quantities; try eBay.

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Posted · Report post

I use a ceramic insulator to sharpen my #11 blades and have no problem with BMF. They are as sharp as new and last a very long time. Just my 2 cents. :lol: Dan

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Posted · Report post

i use a Masahiro stone to sharpen my blades

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I appreciate all the response. In the meantime, I found this.

http://dugnorth.com/blog/2006/12/hobby-kni...-sharpener.html

Made by micromark, but the website appears closed. I am sure this is not nessesary if one could find #11 blades in bulk. I know they are available on ebay, but I always prefer to buy locally. One more thing I was wondering is are the stainless #11 blades more durable than the regular steel blades?

Jeff

Edited by sak

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Posted · Report post

hey man,

about the blades:

you should check your local art supply store for them . I have Asel art supply ( i think they are in california too). They sell 100 #11 blades in a pack for just $20.00.

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