Scissors Sharpening Question

Discussion in 'Tools' started by quilter, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. Nov 27, 2007 #1

    quilter

    quilter

    quilter

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    Hello Everyone:

    I hope no one will think this is off-topic, but I desperately need help from some experts on scissors sharpening. To get to the point, short of buying a professional $800 machine, how can I make my scissors razor sharp?

    I am a serious quilter and I use scissors constantly on fabric. I dull my scissors rapidly and have not figured out a satisfactory way to sharpen them. So I have 2 piles. The 6 or 8 pairs that are sharp (and usable) and the 3-4 pairs that are dull (and not usable). We're talking scissors that are 20-30$ a pair.

    I have tried all the DIY tips that I can find: cutting aluminum foil (doesn't work), cutting sandpaper (doesn't work), a small $2 Fiskar sharpener that you draw the blades through (doesn't work), I tried a old-fashioned electric machine that rotates some kind of rough honing surface and holds your blade at a certain angle (doesn't work). I tried using a steel like I use for my knives, but maybe I wasn't doing it at the right angle (didn't work).

    Can anyone help teach me how to do it or recommend a machine, say under $100 that will do it for me? :(

    Thanks very much, :)
     
  2. Nov 28, 2007 #2

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Welcome Quilter:
    Janie is trying her best to get me into quilting with her.
    To sharpen scissors I would open them wide open, place the handles in a bench vice (use a wooden vice or pad the handles with wood or several layers of cloth) use a 6' Mill Bastard File with a handle on it to file away from the cutting edge at the same angle that now exists. As you file away from the cutting edge, also move the file from tips to hinge of the scissors. File away from yourself with 1 or 2 fingers on the leading end of the file but light pressure. You will need to take the scissors out of the vice and turn them around to sharpen the other half.
    Never sharpen, file or sand the wide part of the blades that are together when closed. Quality scissors have a nut to tighten on the hinge to keep the cutting edges rubbing each other. A loose hinge will keep the sharpest scissors from cutting satisfactorly.
    Let me know how it works for you, I know it works for me.
    Glenn
     
  3. Nov 28, 2007 #3

    quilter

    quilter

    quilter

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    Thank you for the best and clearest advice I have received. I'll try it tonight. One question: is it possible to do this using the same steel that I would use for sharpening knives?

    P.S. Some of the most famous quilters are men. Of course the women are better at it. ;)

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_312194.html
    and
    http://www.how-to-quilt.com/articles/4006-men-quilting.shtml



     
  4. Nov 29, 2007 #4

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Hello Quilter:
    No, the steel is for knives only. The file will cut away some metal and leave a 'razor sharp' edge.
    Believe me, women are better at anything they set their mind to. We guys have too much to prove so we complicate things too much.
    Glenn
     
  5. Nov 29, 2007 #5

    travelover

    travelover

    travelover

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    Gee Glenn, you usually aren't so judgmental......... :D
     
  6. Nov 29, 2007 #6

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Hey Travleover:
    Not judgemental, its a proper name for the tool. It has a long story behind the name. BTW it is supposed to be 6" rather than 6'.
    Glenn
     
  7. Nov 29, 2007 #7

    travelover

    travelover

    travelover

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    Pullin' your chain.........;)
     

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