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Whetstone Options
ithink140
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 12:33:28 PM
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I was watching a TV program recently called Escape to the Country and the viewers were introduced to the working of a water mill.

The presenter asked about a whetstone wheel, and we saw it being used. There was plank made to take a human body lying down over the turning wheel, and the operator sharpened a small hand scythe. Hence the expression, some say, ‘keep your noses to the grindstone.’

I am a country boy and have sharpened most things by hand and machinery, so I was somewhat surprised to note that the wheel in question was turning anti-clockwise toward the sharpener. Now, whenever I have used a wheel stone it has always turned away from me… any thoughts? Of course it depends on what postion one holds the object. The wheel must come from behind the edge to sharpened

I tried to find an image, but failed. Perhaps someone else will be more successful
RuthP
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 12:56:59 PM

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ithink140 wrote:
I was watching a TV program recently called Escape to the Country and the viewers were introduced to the working of a water mill.

The presenter asked about a whetstone wheel, and we saw it being used. There was plank made to take a human body lying down over the turning wheel, and the operator sharpened a small hand scythe. Hence the expression, some say, ‘keep your noses to the grindstone.’

I am a country boy and have sharpened most things by hand and machinery, so I was somewhat surprised to note that the wheel in question was turning anti-clockwise toward the sharpener. Now, whenever I have used a wheel stone it has always turned away from me… any thoughts? Of course it depends on what postion one holds the object. The wheel must come from behind the edge to sharpened

I tried to find an image, but failed. Perhaps someone else will be more successful

The grinders I've used, admittedly not water powered, all turned toward me. Perhaps this is a matter of not wanting the blade pointing at oneself--I never really considered why before.
TL Hobs
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 1:35:22 PM
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Sharpening occurs when the grind is into the blade. Otherwise, a thin edge develops on the blade that is easily bent, thus dulling the blade. When you use a static whetstone, do you cut into it, as if to take a slice out of the stone?

Here is an instructional video showing how.

There is a water wheel powered whetstone near me in a fellow's front yard who invites people to use it as they wish. He has a sign next to it that says, "If you have an axe to grind, do it here."

Angel
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 1:53:22 PM

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I've learned to sharpen my knives, axe, and other tools just like Hobs says; the blade goes towards the stone, whether it's a grindstone or a whetstone.

In the end of sharpening, to get rid of the hem, do some light longitudinal draws on both sides of the blade.

BTW, isn't the saying: "Keep your nose off the grindstone"?



ithink140
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 3:12:25 PM
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Actually it all depends of how you hold the blade or where the cutting edge is. If the stone turns twards you then the blade edge must face you... that's my view, and if the stone runs away from you then the blade's edge is facing away as well. That is the formula I would apply... but then I always had a wheel running away from me so it was never an issue.

In the TV clip the blade was facing the man and the wheel turned towards him just as I explained

No JJ, I think not, it is keep your nose to the grindstone or get to work... or... keep on working... don't slack. The worker used to lay on a plank and lean over the wheel as he sharpened.


.
early_apex
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 3:30:10 PM
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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
I've learned to sharpen my knives, axe, and other tools just like Hobs says; the blade goes towards the stone, whether it's a grindstone or a whetstone.

In the end of sharpening, to get rid of the hem, do some light longitudinal draws on both sides of the blade.

BTW, isn't the saying: "Keep your nose off the grindstone"?



No, definitely "nose to the grindstone", as the title of the picture states. The question here is which way is he cranking, and which direction produces the sharpest nose?
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 3:35:14 PM

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No, ithink. You must keep the blade towards the stone.
(and better keep your nose off the stone as well as off the blade ;-)
Tovarish
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 6:57:33 PM
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Our whetstone is about a 2 foot across and 8" wide., mounted vertically.

It has a centre axle that was mounted in wood, my husband remounted it with bearings and now it turns so smoothly, progress!!

It came out from England 5 generations ago and I now look after it for our daughter.

As a little child I always had the task of winding the wheel away from the blades and pouring the water on the top, and being yelled at by my

father for not winding consistently enough.

Butchering knives, hand shears and the scythe or any blade that was portable were sharpened on the old stone.

Also a small oil stone in a mahogany lidded box for sharpening small blades for finer sharpening.
Tovarish
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 8:26:10 PM
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Just an added thought, winding the stone toward the edge of the blade would have been too coarse even though the stone was fine.

TL Hobs
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 10:40:10 PM
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Ah well, to each his own....whatever works for you.

I sharpen my knives by cutting into the stone and keep them razor sharp. That's the way I learned to do it. If you drag a blade away from the edge and make it sharp, then by all means that is what you should do.

As a kid, my family went to town on Saturdays for shopping, etc. If my knife was dull, I could take it to the old-timers on the court house square, what I called the "Spit and Whittle Club" and let them trade me out of my new Barlow knife for one of their used ones. Theirs were razor sharp, which was something that I was not able to do with mine as a kid. This way, I always had a sharp knife and they always had something to do.

Tovarish
Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 1:17:14 AM
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TL, from memory the stone was spun both ways depending on the bluntness of the blade, but it was a long time ago.
ithink140
Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 4:52:18 AM
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TLH We seem to be talking at odds. I agree with your version, but I am talking of a turning wheel, you seem to be referring to a flat stationary stone or sharpening block. From my experience a sharpening wheel turns away from the edge to be sharpened.... but there we are.
Ray41
Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 6:54:45 AM

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The large round sharpening stones that Tov mentions are still to be seen somewhere around nearly all of the Oz shearing sheds as they were mainly used to sharpen the blade shears for the shearers.
As shears work on the same principle as scissors, that is, one edge only is sharpened, the stone was 'turned' toward the person who held the blade cutting edge down and, the water was dripped so that the rotation of the wheel carried it onto the contact point of the blade and wheel.
You can also see that you are getting the right 12* angle on the cutting edge by looking down at the contact point.
I still have in my possession two pair of blade shears which I used to shear my stud rams.
There were altered from how they came out of the factory by a long since deceased blade shearer. He stretched the bow, which springs the shears to the open position, as they were always set wrong, and added leather knockers(fixed where the heel of the blades close so as to not jar your hand).

ithink140
Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:13:08 AM
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In this example the wheel turns towards you, but the real point is where you put the blade so that your blade does not go into the wheel. You can sharpen whichever way the wheel turns. We always had the wheel turning away from us. I concede either way works as long as you place the blade at the correct point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jUbaZOQ-fQ

See 1.50-2.03 minutes
Tovarish
Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 6:41:37 PM
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Thats it Ray, my Dad also sharpened all the wood chisels, they were a Jack of all Trades in those days.

Hand shears were used for crutching and fly strike too, so portable.

I have the greatest admiration for our previous generations work effort and skills usually with limited formal education, such a joke in its self.

How many of us could actually do any of these jobs now?

ithink140
Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 7:38:08 AM
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How true Tovarish. I count myself fortunate in that I have had a broad
experience of country skills.

I have set in huge trees by axe...sharpend the axes with file and stone.

Used a binder... worked with and sharpened scythes... scythed down grass and corn,

Loaded sheaves and made ricks... baled.... worked with a thresher... mowed... ploughed... at night sometimes.

Done ditching...laid drains.... built cesspits done hedging... milked and cared for stock.... felled great trees and grubbed out walnuts... oh and used the sheep shears that Ray posted and much, much more.

This is not boasting but rather delighting in my past.


PS. We used to drive sheep by road past Lord Benyon's estate and on to Theale... about 5 miles... in order to dip them. We also burnt the lambs tails off in the field. Now of course they use elastic bands and stop the blood supply to make the tail drop off.


Tovarish
Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 9:47:40 PM
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Fascinating ithink, so similar and yet so different are our rural backgrounds.

Binders were wonderful implements, we cut a lot of sheaf hay, to further cut into chaff for the horses.

The sheaf hay was then 'stooked' in the paddocks to dry (like little tee-pees) carted to be built into stacks for eventual cutting into chaff.

Australia pre mechanization was not on the sheep's back as is commonly told, but on the horses backs.

I was riding, 'shifting' sheep from 7 years old onwards over main highways and a rail line to the sale yards, with my sheep dog and thought nothing of

it, driving trucks and tractors, thats just what we did as farm kids.

ithink, there are a few things you never admit to being able to do and one of them is milk a cow!

Ray41
Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 7:02:44 AM

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The best period of farming/rural life has gone. It was in the period from 1940 to 1980.
We had all the skills from the previous era and were moving into a period where droughts combined with low commodity prices forced the sale of many family farms which were amalgamated into large impersonal tracts of industrialised animal and cropping 'factories'.

The period of the well know foundation Merino sheep studs is over, as are the well know cattle studs. The great Uardry Merino Stud has just been 'disposed' of.Brick wall
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2012/12/08/552589_stud-stock.html


The paddocks are ploughed with 400hp tractors pulling ploughs covering 40/50 feet. The headers are now cutting 40 foot widths and travel at 10 mph+.
Motor bikes roar around the stock creating stress and do nothing to build the skills needed for good stockmanship. The horse is slowly disappearing though I have seen articles where the vast northern cattle properties are reintroducing horses as they stress the stock less and employees become better stock handlers.
I have mustered paddocks and walked sheep 20 miles into the holding paddock for shearing. Most of our horses then were chaff/grain fed and so well bred they were capable of winning horse races in major centres. They often covered 50/60 miles a day during shearing. We then used them to play polo or polo-cross when we got a spare weekend.
Sadly, those beautiful animals we lavished so much care and attention on(and dare I say love) are also gone.
A days lamb marking would start at daylight, drafting off the lambs, marking anything from 1000 to 1500 lambs before lunch so a to give the ewes and lambs time to mother up.
Sadly, those days are gone also.
As a kid I can remember the traction engine travelling from farm to farm towing all the gear and threshing machine all ready to tackle those huge haystacks of sheaves of grain bearing straws.
Could always milk a cow Tov. Best effort depended on just how good the house cow was. We share milked, that is the calf was locked in a pen at 5pm and the cow was milked at 5am, the calf got the days milk. Best cow I milked I could get 4 gallons in 20 minutes.
Gees, better stop, getting to nostalgic.
ithink140
Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 7:45:50 AM
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I think you are right Ray.

When I ran my timber business I bought a Bedford QL from an army surplus sale.
I had only done 3000 miles. I fitted a very long wooden bed on it and a winch.

During one harvest a huge estate advertised, named Black something
Estates... can't recall... for someone to cart bales into Dutch
Barns... I got the work thereby making full use of my vehicle. We had
a geat fall that year in more ways than one.

Farm work in times past was hard work but so satisfying... I love the tiredness
that comes from hard graft and the joy of a well earned sleep that is oh so sweet.

I always remember the excitement at harvest when was not involved, but there to shoot
rabbits. As less a less standing corn was left they began to bolt. I always loved harvest time
and have some great memories. I liked your Aussie poem now here is an English one.



LOOKING BACK


I remember when I was a boy the sky at night was black like ink; or so it seemed.
An opened bejewelled bracelet, the Milky Way, stretched across the firmament,
Twinkling stars covered the sky like a richly sequined darkened dress.
Light now hides the beauty of the sky at night; the majesty of God’s might.

When I was young the soaring Lark rose from many fields; not just a few
Then we picked wild flowers to take them home; but now alas that is a sin.
When I was a boy the Roadman stopped by for tea, then worked his country route
Then the fields and hedges seemed greener and life appeared on nearly every shoot

When I was a child harvest time was a social affair, a time to share
We drank cider under the hot noon sun and stuffed ourselves with currant bun
It was fun; and when all was done we slept the sleep of a righteous one.
Now man with his great machines mows down all my happy dreams

When I was a boy the present ruled supreme, the moment mattered more
Now I am old I travel through the past to seek that distant shore
When I was young every day was a happy one; or so it seems
But now such days are fleeting ones and happiness is found in dreams

When I was a child we made up fun, we tied sticks to our bicycle frames
We raced each other down muddy tracks laughing, full of joy, outdoors was our toy
I when I was young we grew up slowly, our youth was long, our roots so strong
I miss those days, those peaceful ways when life was so secure.

When I was young we used to sit under the mighty oak, me and my folk
Then the sky was full of life and songbirds everywhere sang their songs
When I was a boy our milk came by horse and cart, the milkman stopped for tea
The pace of life was slow and easy. I miss those ways those halcyon days

Now I am old and shadows walk with me of past pursuits and ways of life
And soon my dreams of memory mind, my comforters, will die you see
As there beneath that mighty oak my ashes feed the tree, the tree is me
With the past there my remains will be where I belong
Then the wind amid the branches will sing my song, when I am gone.
Ray41
Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 8:20:59 AM

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I have started a new thread in Literature for Aussie poets.
Looking Back is a beautiful nostalgic poem.
It would also be a bloody good piece of poetry to start a new thread in Literature.
Poems from the English countryside.Think
Over to you.


The pace of life was slow and easy. I miss those ways those halcyon days

Now I am old and shadows walk with me of past pursuits and ways of life
And soon my dreams of memory mind, my comforters, will die you see
As there beneath that mighty oak my ashes feed the tree, the tree is me
With the past there my remains will be where I belong
Then the wind amid the branches will sing my song, when I am gone.


Applause Applause
Tovarish
Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 6:50:04 PM
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Our beautiful an practical 'Australian Stock horse' is now a show horse instead of a work horse.

The Australian Whalers were the horses of the Australian Light horse and re-mounts for the Indian Army, their breeding is an on going fascination

for me.

My Grandfather and Father were both Light Horsemen, in WW1 & WW11 until mechanization to tanks, that level of horsemanship can never be equaled.

Your posting is spot on Ray, and I am proud to have had such a childhood with the freedom we had, and sad for the children of today with

so many restrictions.

Ssssh, dont tell anyone, but I could too Ray.

What about bag sewing Ray, and loading the hopper, I loved that job, and never got much better with my needlework!.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 7:18:44 PM

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I can milk a cow, Tov ;-)
Shhh
Tovarish
Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 7:51:02 PM
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You would make a very versatile Jackaroo JJ.
TL Hobs
Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 11:06:49 PM
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Aye, we miss the good old days, when we used to milk the moose, brand the seals and herd the walrus. A Polar bear was good for plowing ice for keeping the salmon cold in summer and the candlefish kept the spring fires burning. Those were the days.

Now, all we do is fire up the gas stove and go to Safeway to buy meat to put in the fridge.

It ain't the same.

Tovarish
Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 11:14:48 PM
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I imagine milking the moose would rather be like milking the Hereford cow wouldn't it TL?

Sorry if we have bored you.
ithink140
Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 5:46:09 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo

Oh aye... we were brought up in a shoe... all 46 of us.. can't stand the smell of leather
Our family were the sole of the party, oh aye them were the days. We were lucky to get a crust of bread for our dinner ... but we were happy. Todays kids ave got no idear.

Ploughing witha polar bear? We were so poor we used an impoverished mouse with one leg and that were a gammy one.
ithink140
Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 6:57:52 AM
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We had a white Shorthorn on a farm once worked on, Tov, that gave 11 gallons a day early in her lactation ... machine miked of course. We used to steam them up... start feeding them more and more cake
as they got nearer calving. The calves were taken away from the mother shortly after birth but we made sure the calf got the colostrum.

I can feel now, as I think of it, the strong suck of a calf on my two fingers.
ithink140
Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 7:00:06 AM
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Thanks Ray, but I'll let your thread run and keep out of starting a new thread on poetry.
I know very little about Australian poetry and will keep tabs with your thread.
Tovarish
Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 7:05:53 AM
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My post was a punn ithink, following TL's tongue in cheek comment on the moose he milked.

Hereford cows are a beef breed and particularly known for their bad tempers.

I do sincerely hope Ray does not leave the Forum but I support all he posted on the Aussie Poetry topic.
ithink140
Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 7:37:15 AM
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A farmer I once worked for used to be one of the country's leading Shire horse breeders. I love these animals and it is quite a sight to see these great beasts galloping in a feild alongside a road.Some breweries still use them to deliver beer.

Romany
Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 7:58:25 AM
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I love the Shire horses too: are these the ones descended from the old war horses of the Middle Ages or were those a separate breed. Does anyone know?
ithink140
Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 8:33:54 AM
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I think they came from Dutch stock and from there to the Old English Black horse. Other breeds had an input before the Shire, as we know it, was formed as a breed. It is said they carried knights in warfare but that was probably the Great Horse and not the Shire as such.
Tovarish
Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 7:11:30 PM
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Could be Purcheron horses your were thinking about Romany?

The heavy horses used in Oz were Clydies or Draughts.
Tovarish
Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013 12:05:03 AM
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Sorry all, I have a brain cramp, I have often wondered why such heavy horses were used in the UK by the Knights of Old.

Beautiful as we know they were, but the reason was to carry all the armour, quite simple when you eventually have that light bulb moment.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 6:29:16 PM
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Tov, - there used to be a brewery in Oz, with Clydesdales they used as part of their ad. campaigns. They used to ride into town pulling the old beer barrel carts. (with the obligatory buxom lasses in German costumes) Did you ever see them? Magnificent.(The horses: not the buxom lasses)

I was devastated when my mother who, as I've mentioned before, used to breed horses and hounds, burst my bubble about the knights on their steeds. But then, once, I picked up (or tried to) a chain mail jacket - my knees buckled. So when I realised that they wore that lot all over...before tunics and armour...and THEN those enormous and incredibly heavy weapons.. it made me realise they needed horses not for speed and maneuverability, but for strength and girth. What impressive animals!
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