Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
tamtamg

Sparx Skate Sharpener - At home sharpener

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, PBH said:

 

That being said, assuming you use a Sparx or ProSharp every single time there would not be significant changes to the profile over time but it would slightly change over a long period of time. For some, this isn't a big deal as they will adjust as the profile adjusts slowly. For others changing between many sets of steel, like professionals, this could be an issue. 

 

I suppose if I was playing at a high level I'd care. But I've never noticed an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's very difficult to notice this issue because the changes are all very minute over a long time period. The difference between one skate and the next is negligible, so you adjust almost automatically. The fact that over the course of a few months or longer there is an appreciable difference is irrelevant usually, because it happened in small increments.

If, for example, you would use one set of runners for a while and the profile would change over the course of a few months and then you would switch to a new set of steel that had the same original profile as the used pair, you would feel the difference. But in small increments it's pretty negligible to adjust

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, jdfournier said:

I noticed recently my fan no longer runs when I start a sharpening. Has anyone replaced their fan? I haven't check yet how easy it is to access it.

I've replaced it. Basically, the same fan as you can get at a computer supply store. Not sure it's really necessary though unless you are doing a lot of skate sharpenings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question regarding acceptable sharpening.  LS1 steel on my kids' skate is easily chipped.  Have dealt with this numerous times and I'm upgrading their next pair for sure.  But I can never tell when something like this is actually going to affect their skating.  If I brought it to a pro shop, they would just keep sharpening it down until it was completely gone, but with the Sparx, even after 3 passes it remains and I'm not about to go nuts on something that may not affect his skating all that much.  How do you ever tell when it will, because it doesn't always?  Yes I've used the honing stone on it already...

 

https://i.imgur.com/HruwXt5.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/eOenq9c.jpg


And to the contrary, I've done 1 pass to perfectly smooth edges (by fingertip feel & visual check) and it actually performed worse as far as holding a turn.  So it seems there's no way to tell other than to skate on it or just sharpen a whole bunch of times to be sure.  Fire 1/2 ring in case you're wondering.

Edited by rh71el2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Int the middle half of the blade like that, I’d consider giving a few extra passes, and even running the honing stone along the edges before and after. 
 

if it had been towards the ends, I’d be less concerned. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rh71el2 said:

Question regarding acceptable sharpening.  LS1 steel on my kids' skate is easily chipped.  Have dealt with this numerous times and I'm upgrading their next pair for sure.  But I can never tell when something like this is actually going to affect their skating.  If I brought it to a pro shop, they would just keep sharpening it down until it was completely gone,

I sharpen skates for one other family and both pairs of their skates are the cheapest, non removable steel. They're always gouged up pretty bad, especially of they've been outside. To get rid of these imperfections completely you'd be cross grinding a mm off every time.

Also, not sure if this is my imagination but I think the Fire edge is more prone to contact damage. ???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, 218hockey said:

I sharpen skates for one other family and both pairs of their skates are the cheapest, non removable steel. They're always gouged up pretty bad, especially of they've been outside. To get rid of these imperfections completely you'd be cross grinding a mm off every time.

Also, not sure if this is my imagination but I think the Fire edge is more prone to contact damage. ???

I guess that's what I'm asking as far as how much to sharpen until they're acceptable.  Do you just do a specific number of passes and call it a day regardless of how it looks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, rh71el2 said:

I guess that's what I'm asking as far as how much to sharpen until they're acceptable.  Do you just do a specific number of passes and call it a day regardless of how it looks?

I’m probably paraphrasing a bit of an earlier post and adding my own experiences here...  for me it’s all about size and location.  One nick near the back and meh, stone it before you sharpen and let it ride if the rest of the blade is sharp.  An inch long lost edge right in the middle or in the back of the front third of the blade (right about the third of the blade mark from the front), and I make sure it’s gone.  A small one in that range is a bit more judgment but I’d be inclined to stone it and then let it go too.  Probably got through at least half a game with it there.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, hockeydad3 said:

Make the thumbnail test. If it's not sharp, than you have to do more passes. 

You do realize the "thumbnail test" has zero correlation to whether or not the skate is properly sharpened?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, oldtrainerguy28 said:

You do realize the "thumbnail test" has zero correlation to whether or not the skate is properly sharpened?

You are right. But if the rest of the blade is sharpened properly, you could get an impression of how much of the nick has been removed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, JV23 said:

I’m probably paraphrasing a bit of an earlier post and adding my own experiences here...  for me it’s all about size and location.  One nick near the back and meh, stone it before you sharpen and let it ride if the rest of the blade is sharp.  An inch long lost edge right in the middle or in the back of the front third of the blade (right about the third of the blade mark from the front), and I make sure it’s gone.  A small one in that range is a bit more judgment but I’d be inclined to stone it and then let it go too.  Probably got through at least half a game with it there.

As above. Small nicks don’t do much harm, but an inch or so of damaged edge probably isn’t good. Mind you, I’ve seen worse damage done by some sharpeners. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Leif said:

As above. Small nicks don’t do much harm, but an inch or so of damaged edge probably isn’t good. Mind you, I’ve seen worse damage done by some sharpeners. 

Wow  where do you live?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, oldtrainerguy28 said:

Wow  where do you live?

England. I saw one skate with a step along the length of the blade hollow. The skate wasn't high enough in the holder when sharpened, so the wheel created a step. It's not uncommon to see a BAT gauge tilt significantly one way at the front of the blade, and the other way at the back of the blade. A few nicks in a blade are insignificant in comparison. I used to only go to sharpeners I could trust, before getting a Sparx of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

COVID has made the sharpener closest to me close down, and the only other guy that I trust is 45 mins away without traffic. I think I'm ready to take the plunge. 

Any quick tips or Discount code available? As extras I'm thinking of getting the cover, the edge checker and the Goalie Blade holder (would this work on normal blades too? As I am usually a player and play goalie only on occasion).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Howdy,

Original machine here vs. the current one, but I would assume this all still applies...

Absolutely make sure to get an edge checker.  I do skates for friends, some of which have been sharpened by a Sparx prior to me and its very common to have them have uneven edges.  The alignment tool gets to somewhere near, but without an edge checker you can't actually know for sure if your edges are level.  So my main tip is to actually check the level after you run a pair of skates and adjust based on what you see.  For me, the adjustment will stay true for the same grinding wheel and most others.  I've definitely had a wheel where I needed to make 3 to 4 clicks of adjustment when I used it however.  I assume the center of that wheel was slightly off the center of the other wheels.

As to the Sparx edge checker vs. others... I have both a cheapo ebay one as well as the Sparx.  I would say that both do a reasonable job, but the Sparx one "feels nicer" and is easier to use.  The spring loaded clamp is easier than a thumbscrew and the crossbar is a little longer, which highlights height differences slightly better.  But it also costs $100 or whatever more than the ebay one so...

I have the cover and like it.  Its nothing magical but it fits well and I didn't have to break out the sewing machine.  Again, on a budget a pillow case laying on the machine will do the same job, just a little more finicky to put on and won't look as good.

One non-Sparx accessory I really like is the Speed Skate that Wissota sells.  https://wissota.com/product/speed-skate/
This helps get a more mirror finish and while I've not scientifically tested, does indeed seem to help glide.  You can't do a "finish pass" on a Sparx like a good sharpener can with a manual machine and I feel like this gets you closer to that type of finish.

Mark

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Howdy,

One other tip... I actually ran a pair of older cheapo skates the other day that apparently had the sides of the runner not perpendicular to the edge / parallel to each other.  I didn't think to use machinist tools to actually measure the difference, but the edge checker read way out with the skate facing one way and pretty good with the skate facing the other (and no, this doesn't happen with other skates).

So my general tip is that when you see something wonky, question your assumptions a bit and do things like (in my case above) measure with the skate in the other direction / using the other side of the blade as the reference point.  Stuff like that often SHOULDN'T matter, but QC is a thing that can vary.  Similarly, it took me way too long to figure out that the center of one grinding wheel I had was slightly off the others and that's why I was having to adjust the machine to get level edges...  I initially thought the skates I was using that wheel on were different in some way, which didn't make any sense.

Mark

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven’t you read all of the posts in this thread? Please do so. 🤣

Being serious, I second Mark’s comments apart from the Wissota polisher remarks as I haven’t tried it. I have the original machine, and I do two passes each week to refresh the hollows, skating about 7 hours a week. Wheels are pricey, the starter pack might be worth trying, although in my case I skate on 7/16” and 5/8” included in the starter pack is too shallow. Your Black Friday holiday is coming soon, perhaps they’ll have a Black Friday deal. Then again, it might be best to just buy now given the distance of your sharpener from your home.

I was given some wheels including two 5/16”, I don’t see myself trying those ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 218hockey said:

Are they ever. And just went up in price too. Wow. No aftermarket, no bundle deals, nothing.

They are even more spendy in the UK and Europe. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...