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OT: Ice Skate sharpening

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
With a 10 year home for Christmas vacation for 2 1/2 weeks and wanting to go ice skating, I need to touch up our skates. Any tuning tricks using ski tuning tools?
post #2 of 16
I haven't skated in years, but my dad used to play hockey quite a bit when I was growing up. I can't remember ever hand sharpending the blades, but it has to be just a 90 degree angle. I imagine a base/edge tuner would work great for this.
post #3 of 16
No.

The edge is not 90 degrees on a recreational skate.

Ice skate sharpening centres use a stone that spins in the same direction as the blade. The stone creates a "hollow ground" effect, where the sides of the blade are like the sides of a half-pipe. The edges are actually longer than the base of the blade.

The only thing you can use is a stone that you can run flat down the sides of the blade to remove an burrs that are sticking out from the sides. That is the common final step in sharpening skates once they are done with the grinding machine.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
I got a Skate Mate a few years ago and it does deburr (as does a stone), but it doesn't seem to really sharpen the blades, despite the claims. The guide actually feels secure, but the abrasive cylinder doesn't feel solid enough like a stone for hollow grinding. Sounds like there's no replacement for the power skate sharpening.....though with a guide and round stone.....hmmmm.

Thanks
post #5 of 16

sharpening

I've played hockey for a long time and can tell you that any hand sharpener will most likely dull the blade. I've tried all of them and haven't found one that works. Skate sharpening shouldn't be any more than $4, and if it is, they're ripping you off.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
I got a Skate Mate a few years ago and it does deburr (as does a stone), but it doesn't seem to really sharpen the blades, despite the claims. The guide actually feels secure, but the abrasive cylinder doesn't feel solid enough like a stone for hollow grinding. Sounds like there's no replacement for the power skate sharpening.....though with a guide and round stone.....hmmmm.

Thanks
http://www.rainbosports.com/shop/sit...923FB2FE248D4F

But have you thought of using what you have with some Dia-Paste?
post #7 of 16
You will make an ice skate into a pretty dangerous, unsafe thing if you try to sharpen it with ski tuning tools. You will ruin the edges and the profile. Ice skates are not flat: they have a slight curve (speed skates are flat--hockey and figure skates are slightly rockered so that you can pivot on them). You will also likely ruin the upside-down-U cross section that gives the skate blade two edges. Figure skates are a llittle more complicated and require a machine that will sharpen them, i.e. some machines can only sharpen hockey skates.

Yes, there are "hand sharpeners," but no one uses them for primary sharpening--maybe just to get some rust off after some improper storage or something.

Hockey skates and figure skates need machine sharpening, and not the bench grinder in your shop. Take them to a place that sells hockey equipment or to a rink, if you have one. It should only be about $5. A lot of places will do it while you wait. Remember to tell them if you want them sharpened for pond skating or just rink skating.
post #8 of 16
I wonder if speed skates are different. I have sold a couple of hundred diamond stones to a speed skate shop in Europe so they must be using them for something. I'd ask if I could speak their language
post #9 of 16
Yes, speed skates are at 90 degrees. I'm bet it all that the original poster does not have a pair. Otherwise, there'd be no post.
post #10 of 16
Definitely need to have them machine sharpened.

If the person doing the grinding asks for a radius I would go with a 1/2in, it is a good general size. Most shops will use a 1/2in unless you specify a different one.
post #11 of 16
If you hold a skate blade vertically in front of you and look down its length, you'll see that it's hollow ground, i.e., U shaped, with the edges higher than the middle -- just the opposite of a ski with bevelled edges. The sharpener at the rink has a narrow wheel with a rounded edge that makes the U shape. Different wheels can make the U flatter or deeper -- offensive hockey players use a flatter radius for speed, usually half inch, Defensemen use three eighths, for sharper turns, and figure skaters used to have different pairs for free skate and for school figures, not that anybody does that any more. This is different from the lenghwise curve of the skate, or rocker. In any event, you don't want to do it yourself. Get to the rink early, go to the shop, and ask for a general purpose sharpening. As above, should cost $4 or $5.
post #12 of 16
Evansilver,
I believe you have Defence and Offence mixed up - generally D use a more shallow hollow 1/2 - 5/8, whereas offence uses 3/8-1/2. These have little to do with the ability to pivot or turn other the being able to "grip" the ice, just how well the blade can bite into the ice.
post #13 of 16
You're right. For more information than any sane person could want, including some equations, see www.skateny.com/sharpening.
post #14 of 16
Hey Alpinord, still feel like experimenting?
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...04&cat=1,43072
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the input. FTR, I've been aware of hollow ground blade sharpening for years and understand that but the diameters help a lot.

Comprex the sharpener I have is like those abrasives but need some backing like the last link shows. Thanks, it gives me some ideas and I'll try some 'sperimenting. Like ski tuning, I'd just as soon take care of the skates at home versus running into town, dropping off the skates and having to retrieve them later. Unlike my lack of need for a base grinding every year, I do see the value in a good skate sharpening and then maybe do some touch up with an improved & modified hand sharpener. It's an infrequent need, but their nice when their sharp.
post #16 of 16
Wow -- how long does it take for them to sharpen skates? : Most places I go to will do it while you wait. If not, just have them done in one of those machines at the rink/arena. I did that for years with no problems. I don't think it was quite as refined as a good hand sharpening, but they did alright. Make sure whoever sharpens your skates knows what they are doing though...I've had some real hack jobs done by "the after school helper kid". :
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