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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning novelist & outdoors writer. He has also penned a fishing handbook and a hunting handbook. He is currently working on a bowhunting book.

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January 31, 2019

Lansky Controlled-Angle Knife Sharpening System ~ Professional Precision Kit: Part II

by Bob Banfelder

Picking up from where we left off yesterday, let's home in on one of several controlled-angle honing kits offered by Lansky Sharpeners. The kit I selected will prove more than adequate for not only sharpening knives in general, but will also sharpen serrated blades such as bread knives in addition to fish hooks. Another reason why I selected this kit was its price. The Lansky Professional Precision Kit costs $55.99. That price point sits between their $34.99 to $99.99 models, which is truly a bargain for what you will receive. The honing stone materials in this kit are comprised of aluminum oxide and ceramic.

Lansky Professional Precision Knife-Sharpening Stone Kit ~ (base and post sold separately)

The kit includes simple step-by-step multi-lingual instructions in English, Spanish, Dutch, French, and German; 5 finger-grooved color-coded honing stones with guide rods: coarse 120 grit (red), medium 180 grit (green), fine 600 grit (blue), ultra-fine 1000 grit (yellow), as well as a medium 600 grit triangular hone (brown) — the latter exclusively for serrated blades and fish hooks; 360º rotational flip-over feature knife clamp with angle degree selector: 30º, 25º, 20º, 17º; honing oil; spare screws for clamp and honing stone/rod. All items fit neatly into a molded plastic travel case: 8½" long x 4" wide x 1½" deep.

To the left of the kit you will note an optional two-piece aluminum Lansky Universal Mount: base and post ($9.99). Order it—that's an order! You'll thank me later as the mount facilitates the sharpening process dramatically. When disassembled, both base and post fit neatly into the travel case. You'll note that the base has four predrilled holes for mounting the unit permanently to a work station, or you can secure the base to a surface temporarily with a pair of Lansky Super "C" Clamps ($19.95), making the unit quite portable. I simply utilized a single wood clamp of my own until I decided what I was going to do. Later, I threaded post to base with a drop of Loctite, and with four wood screws, mounted the base to a duck-motif cheese board. Good to go.

In the following photograph, you will note that I set up the guide rods and honing stones. I leave them permanently set up for a couple of reasons. One: those guide rods—snapped firmly back into the accompanying case—become an issue to remove without bending them to a degree. Two: the guide rods and stones must be perfectly aligned before honing, resting flush upon a level surface. In most cases, you may have to bend the rod ever so slightly in order to create a perfect alignment along its entire length. So why bother separating them once they are set? Therefore, I keep them intact. Of course, I had to put aside the Lansky travel case and store the items, including accessories, in a spare case that I had on hand. The case easily accommodates those five (5) one-foot long rod/stone set-ups for immediate use. It just makes sharpening so much easier rather than having to fuss with alignments each and every time you want to sharpen knives. Also, the larger case will certainly hold your angle-selector knife clamp, rods and honing stones, honing oil, as well as all your ancillary items such as a rags, paper towels, painter's tape [for protecting blade within clamp], screwdriver(s), et cetera.

Lansky Professional Precision Kit ~ Temporarily Set Up in Seconds

Lansky's Triangular Serrated Knife-Sharpening Hone

With a Lansky triangular serrated knife-sharpening medium (600 grit) honing stone, you simply push and roll its angled edge between the beveled teeth of the knife's blade. Turn the blade over and lightly de-burr the back of the blade with either the flat part of the stone or, better yet, the 600 fine-grit honing stone (blue color) for better control. The Lansky triangular serrated blade honing stone is also available as an accessory in a fine 1000 grit ceramic.

I ordered two additional aluminum oxide honing stones to round out each end of the spectrum referencing my Lansky Professional Precision Kit: an extra-coarse 70 grit hone (black) for re-profiling seriously dull, deteriorated implements ($5.99); and an exceedingly-fine 2000 grit ceramic Super Sapphire Polishing Hone (light blue) for delivering a factory-style, mirror-like finish ($16.99). Besides aluminum oxide and ceramic stones, Lansky offers sharpening kits and accessories utilizing diamond and Arkansas stones. You can always add to your Lansky Controlled-Angle Sharpening System at a later date.

Permanently Mounted Lansky Base with Post, four (4) position-angle clamp, five (5) accompanying honing stones, vintage 2½-inch Chicago Cutlery paring knife [duck board & knife not included]

Start out by sharpening inexpensive knives then graduate to your finer cutlery once you have confidence. In short order, you will find yourself a cut above the cutting edge of knife sharpening. The Lansky Professional Precision Kit is a great way to begin. Check Lansky Sharpening Systems out at www.lansky.com.

Stay sharp.

Bob Banfelder


Award-Winning Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for fiction and nonfiction from Who's Who in America

Several of My Award-Winning Crime Fiction Novels Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Fiction:
The Richard Geist Three-Book Series ~ Trilogy


Dicky, Richard, and I. A story of madness in the making. A curious mix of a mother's care and cruelty concerning her young son, Dicky Geist, and the precocious boy's metamorphosis into that of a multiple murderer.

The Signing. An account of a clandestine murderous cult monikered the Inner Circle of Friends, led by Richard Geist. Geist and cult members are hellbent on creating chaos and bringing about the eventual collapse of our government.

The Triumvirate. A tale of Neo-Nazism. Three most powerful men covertly control governments around the globe. Fifty-year-old secrets begin to surface referencing Hitler's progeny, the Manhattan Project, and Nazi gold in this mystery within a mystery. It is the genesis of the Fourth Reich.

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series ~ Tetralogy

The Author. A prolific serial killer is the author and architect of a covert operation whose job it is to place government operatives within the ranks of worldwide extremist groups. Justin Barnes, a street savvy Afro-American maverick, searches unrelentingly for the madman who viciously murdered Justin's female cousin.

The Teacher. Justin Barnes, working clandestinely with Suffolk County homicide detectives on Long Island, is assigned to help track down Malcolm Columba's associate, serial killer Professor Clarence Emery. The pair had worked in concert, and Justin is out to stop Emery before he strikes again. A terrifying tale of evil and what it takes to stop it in its tracks.

Knots. Kalvin Matheson, an out-of-work insurance salesman obsessed with immortality and hero worship regarding two notorious serial killers, follows in the footsteps of his two diabolical pals, but with a subtle signature twist, utilizing intricate knots.

The Good Samaritans. In this final four-part series, Justin Barnes, once again, assists Suffolk County homicide detectives as part of a covert operation in tracking down Sep Cramer, a politically well-connected, ruthless serial killer.

**********



Trace Evidence. Inspired by the Robert Shulman Serial Killer Trial in Riverhead, N.Y., Robert Banfelder spent every day for 15 months as a spectator to obtain fodder for this novel.
**********


Battered. Based on a true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband, Robert Banfelder communicated with abused women, one of whom spent 15 years in prison for her crime.

Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water. A concise yet comprehensive angling and on-the-water activities handbook covering spin, bait, fly-fishing, fly tying, clamming, crabbing, kayaking, canoeing, seafood recipes and much more. For novice through experienced anglers. Endorsed by Left Kreh and Angelo Peluso. [black & white photos]

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game. A concise yet comprehensive small and big game hunting handbook covering guns and bows. Includes upland bird hunting, land management, whitetail tactics and much more. Special bonus feature includes stories of big game hunting in Africa and Australia by seasoned hunters. [color photos]

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published. A must-have guide for both novice and veteran writers. This handbook includes tips on how to make money and gain rewards from outdoors writings. Color-coded lessons for easy comprehension

Bull's-Eye! Sage Advice on Crossbows, Compound Bows, Broadheads, Targets, Clothing & Gear with Bonus Feature: Bowfishing on a Budget




January 30, 2019

Lansky Controlled-Angle Knife Sharpening System ~ Homing in on Your Honing Skills: Part I

by Bob Banfelder

Undoubtedly, one of the most important tools outdoor folks can carry afield is not a knife, per se, but rather a very sharp knife. Whether you are an angler or a hunter, the importance of a sharp blade is of paramount importance. From filleting a fish to field dressing, skinning, and butchering a deer, a sharp knife is essential to performing those tasks, including keen kitchen cutlery that will make the grade from counter to serving plate. Carried forward to the dinner table, a sharp knife will make quick work for guests enjoying fish, fowl, and assorted meats. In short, a dull knife doesn't quite cut it.

But what is a truly sharp knife, and how does one achieve such a cutting edge? Some folks equate a genuinely sharp knife as one that can easily cut through a sheet of paper held up before them or, more precisely, effortlessly slice through the thinness of a phone book page held in the same fashion. There are folks who insist that a veritably sharp blade can readily shave the hair from one's arm, while others insist that the hairs should pop off one's arm in a single stroke. Then there are those who demand that a doubtlessly sharp blade should be able to whittle a single hair held in the air. Different strokes (pun intended) for different folks.

If the blades of your knives do not meet the criteria given in at least the first example presented above, you do not have what is considered to be a sharp knife, period. What to do?

There are a plethora of knife sharpeners out there, but there are only a few angle-controlled knife-sharpening systems on the market that meet the benchmark of cutting-edge blade technology. Some systems do it better than others. In general, knife sharpeners are comprised of a number of honing materials: aluminum (alumina) oxide, silicon carbide, diamond, ceramic, Arkansas stones, polishing stones and/or tapes. To add to the confusion, some honing stones use water for lubrication while others require honing oil. Then there are honing stones that are to be used dry. Within a sharpening system, there are honing stones of various grits—generally ranging from extra-coarse to ultra-fine. A blade's condition will determine what honing stone to select for openers. Perhaps a blade only needs a bit of touching up. Possibly it needs a new beveled edge (referred to as re-profiling), and to be sharpened at a specified degree of angle. The last word in that last sentence—angle—is the key to a knife's sharpness.

What many a knife-sharpening system fails to address up front, if at all, is that it requires—more often than not—time and patience to execute a near perfect edge. I'll qualify the phrase, near perfect, because perfection personified requires skill that only comes after considerable practice. Initially, there is a learning curve; nothing dramatic. After that, to do the job right, you will need a good degree of patience. A diamond honing stone will make a sharpening job go a bit faster, but by the same token, the stone will wear far quicker than an aluminum oxide honing stone.

Note: Diamond honing stones should only be used on hard blades such as tungsten carbide and ceramic—not steel.

Keep in mind, too, that you will be moving from one grit level to another. If your knife is extremely dull and/or damaged, you may likely start with an extra-coarse stone followed by coarse, medium, fine, and ultra-fine grit stones until you reach near perfection. The satisfaction you will receive when obtaining a very sharp edge will prove rewarding. Again, patience and practice are your watchwords.

With the right honing and polishing stones, including stropping compound(s), you can achieve a super-sharp mirror edge—sharper than even a quality factory-edged blade produced from a manufacturer. This is not hyperbole; this is a fact. I'll continue in tomorrow's Part II report, covering in detail a knife-sharpening system kit that won't break the bank—costing considerably less than systems out there charging several hundred dollars. You'll be pleased to learn about a particular Lansky Controlled-Angle Sharpening System Kit that will not only sharpen traditional blades, but also serrated blades and fishing hooks as well.

Top to bottom: Knives of Alaska-Alaskan Brown Bear Skinner/Cleaver & Cub Bear Caping Knife Combo Set ~ 4 Dexter Russell Fishing Knives ~ Leatherman Multi-Blade Tool ~ Popper Lure ~ Lansky Serrated Knife/Hook-Sharpening Hone ~ Lansky Controlled-Angle Sharpening Clamp/ Base and Post, Gerber Muskie Fillet Knife

Stay tuned.

Bob Banfelder
www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for fiction and nonfiction from Who's Who in America

Several of My Award-Winning Crime Fiction Novels Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Fiction:
The Richard Geist Three-Book Series ~ Trilogy

Dicky, Richard, and I. A story of madness in the making. A curious mix of a mother's care and cruelty concerning her young son, Dicky Geist, and the precocious boy's metamorphosis into that of a multiple murderer.

The Signing. An account of a clandestine murderous cult monikered the Inner Circle of Friends, led by Richard Geist. Geist and cult members are hellbent on creating chaos and bringing about the eventual collapse of our government.

The Triumvirate. A tale of Neo-Nazism. Three most powerful men covertly control governments around the globe. Fifty-year-old secrets begin to surface referencing Hitler's progeny, the Manhattan Project, and Nazi gold in this mystery within a mystery. It is the genesis of the Fourth Reich.

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series ~ Tetralogy

The Author. A prolific serial killer is the author and architect of a covert operation whose job it is to place government operatives within the ranks of worldwide extremist groups. Justin Barnes, a street savvy Afro-American maverick, searches unrelentingly for the madman who viciously murdered Justin's female cousin.

The Teacher. Justin Barnes, working clandestinely with Suffolk County homicide detectives on Long Island, is assigned to help track down Malcolm Columba's associate, serial killer Professor Clarence Emery. The pair had worked in concert, and Justin is out to stop Emery before he strikes again. A terrifying tale of evil and what it takes to stop it in its tracks.

Knots. Kalvin Matheson, an out-of-work insurance salesman obsessed with immortality and hero worship regarding two notorious serial killers, follows in the footsteps of his two diabolical pals, but with a subtle signature twist, utilizing intricate knots.

The Good Samaritans. In this final four-part series, Justin Barnes, once again, assists Suffolk County homicide detectives as part of a covert operation in tracking down Sep Cramer, a politically well-connected, ruthless serial killer.

**********



Trace Evidence. Inspired by the Robert Shulman Serial Killer Trial in Riverhead, N.Y., Robert Banfelder spent every day for 15 months as a spectator to obtain fodder for this novel.
**********


Battered. Based on a true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband, Robert Banfelder communicated with abused women, one of whom spent 15 years in prison for her crime.

Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water. A concise yet comprehensive angling and on-the-water activities handbook covering spin, bait, fly-fishing, fly tying, clamming, crabbing, kayaking, canoeing, seafood recipes and much more. For novice through experienced anglers. Endorsed by Left Kreh and Angelo Peluso. [black & white photos]

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game. A concise yet comprehensive small and big game hunting handbook covering guns and bows. Includes upland bird hunting, land management, whitetail tactics and much more. Special bonus feature includes stories of big game hunting in Africa and Australia by seasoned hunters. [color photos]

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published. A must-have guide for both novice and veteran writers. This handbook includes tips on how to make money and gain rewards from outdoors writings. Color-coded lessons for easy comprehension


Bull's-Eye! Sage Advice on Crossbows, Compound Bows, Broadheads, Targets, Clothing & Gear with Bonus Feature: Bowfishing on a Budget


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