Friday, March 12, 2010

Scissors Sharpening Class: Fixing a BAD Set Problem

I shot the video below over a week ago and I've been intending to write about this, but it's been so busy I've had a hard time getting away. Finally things have slowed down just a little, so here is a run down of what brought this video about.

A scissor sharpener called me and asked if I might be able to help him with a problem. He had made a mistake on one of his machines and damaged the blade of one of his customers shears. He said it was bent and didn't feel he could fix it. Seemed like a challenge, so I told him to send it on.

When I received it I saw what he meant! Boy was this shear bent in a bad spot!!! Right at the early entry! In fact, it was bend so badly it almost looked like the shear had a full bend of set in it, but in the wrong direction. I did my best to let you see this in the video below, so I'm going to send you there to view what the blade looked like and what I had to do to fix it. So watch the video now, then read the rest.

If you are receiving this post by email and having trouble viewing the video, click here.

As I said in the video, I had to do some more work to finish this shear; so I went into the sharpening training center and started to resharpen it. While doing so though, I noticed that there was a snake in the blade (this is a bend in the blade that looks like an S) about a 1/4" back from the tip. The blade also looked fatigued so I really didn't want to do a lot of bending on it because I knew it would break. I did a few test passes over my water stone after I bent as much of the snake out of the blade as I dared, but I still didn't have the shear set to the point where I could hone a consistent rideline without causing an unsightly wave. Fortunately, I had a trick up my sleeve, the Ookami Honing Blocks.

These blocks are much more forgiving than water stones and coming in handy when you have a shear with inconsistent set problems. I worked the inside of the blades on these blocks, reformed an acceptable rideline, and then polished and reassembled the shear. It cut well when I was done.

All in all I had about 50 minutes in this shear. A little too long for my taste. If I had run into a shear that was damaged this bad in the field I would have sold the customer a new one. Remember, I often say that there's a big difference between scissors repair and scissors maintenance. Repair takes a lot longer and is less profitable and often a heavily damaged shear just isn't worth saving, but working on shears like this is also part of the fun and learning experience in the business of scissors sharpening. While this may not have been a profitable 50 minutes, imagine if I had been a sharpener trying to get into a salon and someone handed me a challenge like this. When I fixed it, do you think that would carry some weight? You bet it would!

Having the right tools and knowledge is essential if your goal is to become a successful sharpener, and two tools in particular saved the day in this case; the scissors press and the Ookami Honing Block Kit. Concerning the knowledge side of this equation, dealing with a problem shear like this requires sharpening training and/or years of experience. This kind of training is something I can help you with. So if you'd like to find out more about the sharpening training I offer, give me a call at Wolff at 800-888-3832 or email me at Also know that I'm available for sharpening support as well. So please call or email me if you have questions concerning anything I did in this post, or with any other sharpening questions you may have.

If you're in the market for any of the Wolff  sharpening machines, be sure to give me a call before you buy. I know all the best places to buy at the best price! Call 864-381-8697 or email me at

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1 comment:

  1. I read your all story of that day dear that was really a challenge for you to remove bent from that best stylist shears in the end you got really impressive tools which you mentioned above the scissors press and the Ookami Honing Block Kit so i would like to appreciate you on that nice efforts and thank you for all