In November my wife and I made a trip to Little Rock AR to visit family and while there we did some shopping at one of the large sports franchise stores where I found a good deal on a Lansky knife sharpening system. The deal was for a basic system with three sharpening stones of course, medium and fine for about $25. As this system has been on my “want to try” list for a while I bought one. I didn’t find time to try it until around Christmas back home in West MI.
As usual I had to cut up the instruction sheets and put the English versions on the scanner so that I could print them in a language and size that I can read. Then it was time to fit the pieces and verify that all was well there, but it wasn’t.
As you can see the clamp is missing some holes.
With the missing holes I would need to unclamp the knife and turn it over to sharpen the opposite side. This would not be very efficient and it would be difficult to get the edge centered on the blade.
My first thought was to return it and get a new one, but then I recalled that the store was about 900 miles away. So I get out the trusty old phone for a photo and fire up the PC to search for email contacts to the store. The store agreed to return it if I would bring it in along with the original receipt, well I had no idea where that was so even if the store had been across the street this was a poor option for me now.
Back to the computer to locate an email address for Lansky customer service
to send them the photo too. Next day I received an email from them asking for my mailing address so they could send me a new clamp. I complied with little real hope of seeing one. Meanwhile I located the replacement part
on their web site but decided to wait a while before ordering the $12 part. About a week later the new clamp showed up as promised. Thank you very much Lansky
My first knife to get sharpened went quite well but the unit was a bit difficult and clumsy to hold while stoning the edge on the blade. Another trip back to the web site to check out the clamp pedestal options made it obvious that I could make one just as good or better, so this is what I have come up with.
All the parts were from my “scrap” boxes so no real cost other than a little over an hour of work.
The base is optional but works great too and is just a piece of 2x6 pine scrap with a hole that the handle fits snuggly into. The handle is about a five inch piece of 1-1/4” oak dowel left over from a project. The pin was a 3/8” bolt that I cut up to have about one inch of threads and the same unthreaded section. The white spacer is a ¾” long pieces of plastic pipe with a ½” ID and 5/8” OD.
I drilled a 5/8” hole about one eighth inch deep on one end using a forstener bit then a 3/16” hole about 1-1/2” deep in the center of that hole. I then tapped the 3/16” hole with a 3/8-16 tap to match the cut up bolt. Before inserting the bolt and gluing the plastic pipe in place I rounded the edges of the handle. It works great and my knives are now getting new “proper” angles and very sharp cutting edges that will be quicker and easier to maintain in the future.
So far I am pleased with the system and how it works. I am thinking about getting a diamond hone for a finer edge.
Of course now I need a nice case that everything fits into.