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Forum > Patterns and Notions > How do you sharpen a seam ripper? ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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How do you sharpen a seam ripper?
I paid $20 for this custom made one...
schmammy
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schmammy  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/7/12 8:20 PM

It's a long story, but suffice it to say this seam ripper has been worth the price because of the ergonomic design of the handle. I really, really like this tool. I googled the question about sharpening it and found two suggestions:
1. use a bead reamer
2. use very fine steel wool wrapped around a crochet hook

Haven't tried either technique yet. Thought I'd see if anyone in PR land had experience with this.
bead reamer

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Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet

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arianamaniacs
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arianamaniacs  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/8/12 3:04 AM

I'm having a hard time believing that the steel wool solution would really work in practice.
But before I'd spend $13 to buy a bead reamer and have to do all the work myself, I'd take the seam ripper, scissors and all my knives to a knife sharpener and ask if he'd give me a good price on it all. :)

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jadamo00
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jadamo00
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Date: 3/8/12 7:09 AM

I keep a sharpening stone from my days as a riding instructor when you always had to have a sharp knife on you (Um, to cut LEATHER...).

I DON'T use it for my important kitchen knives or sewing shears, but I do use it for minor shears and it's great for taking a burr off a machine needle.

Two sided oil stones (like mine) run around $30 now.

j.










-- Edited on 3/8/12 7:11 AM --
Invisigal
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In reply to schmammy

Date: 3/8/12 7:42 AM

I don't have a suggestion for you, but the seam ripper sounds very interesting and I'd love to see a photo of it . I have a Havel's with the replaceable blades.
Pam~Off The Cuff~
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Pam~Off The Cuff~  Friend of PR
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In reply to schmammy

Date: 3/8/12 8:17 AM

Just a quick thought...You can try using the long cylindrical "knife steel" included with most knife sets, to "hone" the edge of your seam ripper.

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~Pam

Pamela Erny
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schmammy
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In reply to Invisigal

Date: 3/8/12 9:59 AM

I just looked at the Havel's products online. Had never heard of them before reading your post. I'd love to hear more about how you control that blade...it's so different from a traditional seam ripper.

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Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet

http://chihuahuaonmylap.blogspot.com/

schmammy
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In reply to arianamaniacs

Date: 3/8/12 10:00 AM

Do sharpener folks really do seam rippers? That's a great idea!

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Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet

http://chihuahuaonmylap.blogspot.com/

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to schmammy

Date: 3/8/12 10:20 AM

VERY fine steel wool (at least #00) is so fine that, if I'm not mistaken, it can be used to do the final polishing on varnished surfaces and on fine metal. I don't think it would cause a problem. The super fine (#0000) might actually be too fine to actually sharpen anything.

I think the knife sharpener idea is a good one -- I believe you can get small ones.

...I didn't actually realize that seam rippers ever got dull, though.

P.S. Wouldn't the person who custom made your seam ripper know the best way to sharpen it?



-- Edited on 3/8/12 10:23 AM --
-- Edited on 3/8/12 10:23 AM --

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andye
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Date: 3/8/12 10:48 AM

A lot of the "custom seam rippers" that I saw on etsy and the like had replaceable blades. Are you sure that your ripper isn't one of them?

A pic would help.

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Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

justgail

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Date: 3/8/12 11:05 AM

I'd love to see your seam ripper also.

If it's not a replaceable blade, I'd give the bead reamer a try, gently. Or some very fine sandpaper wrapped around...something, maybe a chopstick? Or take steel wool and twist into ropes to fit in the curve. The trick will be to keep the angle of the cutting edge right.

The knife steel is an interesting idea, but I know the one I have is way to big for a traditional seam ripper blade.

Or you may want to see if the person who made it can replace the cutter part.

edited to add - what about taking it to someone who does saw sharpening. They have tools to fit the small curves of the saw blades. Or in the jewelry section, you can also buy sets of small jewelers files, which have flat, round, square and triangle shapes. Or take it to a jeweler?
-- Edited on 3/8/12 11:08 AM --

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