Blade-sharpening expert Brent Beach has developed a quick method of sharpening any type of blade, including clipper blades, using high quality sandpaper laid on top of glass. This method is not new, but is still different from modern techniques for sharpening tools because it works without the use of machines. It's relatively cheap and easy, and a basic jig tool allows you to control the small blade and apply the necessary friction during the back-and-forth motion that will file the edge to your desired sharpness.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 1 piece of glass, approximately 5 x 8 inches or larger
- Bottle of mineral oil
- Small handmade or commercial jig
- 1 piece of wet/dry sandpaper (100 grit) at least 5 x 8 inches with adhesive backing
- 1 piece of wet/dry sandpaper (200 to 400 grit)
- 1 piece of wet/dry sandpaper (600+ grit)
- Towel or rag
Unscrew the blade screws on the head of the clippers using the screwdriver. Remove the screws, and lift off the clipper blade. Brush the blade on both sides, using a toothbrush and following the teeth to remove all trapped hairs.
Unscrew the jig screws by hand or with screwdriver (depending on the type of jig you have), and place the blade inside of the jig slot, teeth out. Secure the blade in place by tightening screws back into place.
Stick 100 grit piece of sand paper onto glass. Glass provides a perfectly smooth and even base for the sharpening. Pour at least a dime-sized amount of oil across the sandpaper's surface at the point where you will begin running the blade back and forth.
Using both hands, run the jig back and forth in slow, steady motions for at least 30 seconds across the sandpaper, spreading the oil with the blade's surface. You may see some filings accumulating with the oil. Lift the jig, and clean oil and filings off with a rag.
Turn the jig over to sharpen the other side of the blade. Repeat back and forth motions over the same abrasive sandpaper for 30 seconds. Lift the jig, and clean the blade with the rag again.
Place the second most abrasive sandpaper (200 to 400 grit) over the first sandpaper. This second sheet of sandpaper does not require adhesive because the grit from the first sheet will keep it in place just fine.
Add mineral oil to the dry sandpaper, and repeat steps 4 and 5 to sharpen the blade more finely. When both sides are sharpened, repeat step 6, using the finest grit sandpaper and repeat steps 4 and 5 for the final sharpening.
Tips and warnings
- When using high grit sandpaper (over 1000 grit), be careful not to over sharpen the blade. This will increase your risk of cutting into skin when trimming with the tool.
- Make sure you have a firm grip on the jig when using it.
- Handle any blade, dull or sharpened, with care.
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