How to Sharpen a Scorp Knife

Any tool that is used a lot around the workshop will dull over time. It requires routine maintenance and in the case of any knives, they require sharpening. Ask a chef what is a dangerous knife, and they will tell you a dull one. It is the same with woodworking knives, a dull one carries more risk than a sharp one. If you have a scorp knife that just isn’t sharp enough anymore, you should consider sharpening it. A dull one will only hinder your work and risk possible injury. If you don’t know how to do so, just read this step-by-step guide on how to sharpen a scorp knife. 

To sharpen a scorp knife, you need to use sandpaper attached to a dowel. Using various grits of sandpaper attached to a dowel, it is considerably easy to sharpen a scorp knife that has a rounded edge. Gradually taking the grit of the sandpaper from fine to super-fine, you sharpen the inner bevel of the scorp knife. For the outer bevel, you need to use sharpening stones or whetstones. In the last, you need to use a leather piece attached to a dowel for stropping. You can also add a polishing compound for a well-polished edge.

A scorp knife is a great tool for scooping out chunks of wood similar to a hook knife. The added thickness of the blade and the shape of the scorp knife make it easier to scoop out wood at various angles. Making bowls, spoons, and cups is much easier with a scorp knife. With an almost circular shape blade, it digs deep into wood allowing for quick and easy removal of wood.

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Sharpen a Scorp Knife

Sharpening a scorp knife requires getting fine grit and super fine-grit sandpaper. You will also need a sharpening stone of the same grit as the fine-grit sandpaper. Lastly, you need dowels and a leather piece for stropping. If you can get your hands on a honing or polishing compound that will be great for finishing touches.

Step 1 – Attaching Sandpaper to Dowels

You need 1-inch thick dowels for this job, anything thicker than this might not work. Cut out sandpaper the circumference of the dowel, it should be half its length. Apply glue of your choice to the back of the sandpaper and the surface of the dowel. Now wrap the sandpaper around one end and then tack it down with staples. Do this with both the fine-grit sandpaper of around 400-600 grits and super-fine grit sandpaper of around 1000-1200 grits. When you are done with the sandpaper, do the same with the leather with its suede side facing up.

Step 2 – Sharpening the Outer Bevel

With a sharpening stone, start sharpening the outer bevel. You can use a little oil or water on your sharpening stone if necessary. Then start to sharpen the bevel in a curve, do this with a 600 grit sharpening stone and then slowly move to 800 and lastly 1000 grits.

Step 3 – Sharpening the Inner Bevel

Using the sandpapers attached to the dowel, start to slowly sand in a push motion on the lower bevel of the scorp knife. This is the cutting edge of the blade, so you need to work on it considerably. Take your time to sharpen the inner bevel as it requires precision and work. First start off with the fine-grit sandpaper, presumably 600-grits that you have attached to the dowel. With a push motion, keep sharpening the edge.

One way to know you are sharpening properly is to use a marker and cover the edge of the blade. When the marker completely vanishes, do it again a few times so you know that you are covering the whole edge properly. Once you are done with the 600-grits, time to move to the 1200-grit sandpaper. Repeat the same process as before, and use a marker for reference if necessary. 

Step 4 – Stropping the Edge

Now that you are done with the sharpening process, it is time to remove the burr that has formed on the edge. This burr is basically the material that you have taken off to sharpen the scorp knife using super-fine abrasives. The finer the abrasive you use, the thinner the burr will be. To remove this burr you need to use leather for stropping. This leather will pull off the burr while making sure that the edge stays sharp. First strop the outer bevel using push motion, then the inner edge of the blade.

Apply some polishing compound on the suede side of the leather for a finer and well-polished edge.

Now that your scorp knife has become sharpened properly, test it on a piece of softwood. Also, once you have sharpened any knife, you can strop it again for honing and retaining its edge. You can strop and hone the edge around 7-10 times before it requires sharpening again. Of course, the times between sharpening the edge again will differ according to its use.

How Often Should You Sharpen Your Scorp Knife

Once you have fully sharpened your edge, you must be wondering when you will have to sharpen the blade of your scorp knife. Well, the answer is not as simple as a few months or half a year. In a normal use case scenario, the edge will be sharp for at least half a year or so. However, if your use of the scorp knife is more frequent than normal, then it would be best to sharpen it as soon as you feel like it is struggling to bring good results.

You can hone your scorp knife around 5-10 times before you need to sharpen it all over again. Using leather for stropping and applying the polishing compound, you can hone the edge of the blade and keep it working for a considerably long period of time. When it no longer carves into the wood even after honing and stropping, it is time to sharpen the blade again.

Scorp Knife Maintenance

  • Proper Storage: As with any bladed tool, you need to store your scorp knife in a safe place away from other tools. While storage, if your scorp knife hits another tool, its edge might chip or get dull. This is why storage is very important for any bladed tool. You can make a leather pouch specifically for storing your scorp knife.
  • Honing: After using the scorp knife once and storing it away, when you are about to use it again, it is a good idea to hone its edge. Honing the edge will get you better results when you use the tool as it is. It also helps retain the sharpness of the edge for a longer period of time. This helps reduce the frequency at which you need to sharpen the edge of the knife again.
  • Cleaning Up: Whenever you are done using your scorp knife, you should clean it up properly. Cleaning up a tool is part of its maintenance, as otherwise, it might become rusty. If you aren’t using your tools for a long time, you should still take some time to clean those up. This way no dust accumulates over them and rust cannot form on their surface. If it is stored properly, then you will not need to clean it up a lot unless you have finished using it. 

Final Thoughts

Any tool will get dull with frequent use, whether it is a chisel or a wood carving knife. A scorp knife is no exception, and sharpening it is extremely easy. People might get confused since it is a circular blade and looks like it is hard to sharpen. However, it is far from the truth as we have shown in our step-by-step guide on how to sharpen a scorp knife. 

Martin Swizz

Hi! This is Martin, I like to research, experiment, and learn new things related to wood carving and other kinds of woodworking.

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