Your speed skating performance and development is directly related to the skating blade sharpness. By having good, sharp edges you will have better control, balance and speed no matter what level of skater you are, presently. Below are the simple steps:
3 Simple Steps:
- Setup speed skates in jig
- Grind speed skates (skate in jig)
- De-burr with micro cutting tool (skate in hand)
1. Setup jig with both skate blades locked in to underside of clamps (see photo).
The other option is to let the skate shanks (horizontal metal part that holds the skate blades shown in “red”) sit on the jig frame. The key is to keep the blades perfectly level to each other for grinding. The blades should rest against the back aluminium support bracket and extend ½” past the other clamp end holding the back heel of the skate blade.
2. Grinding the top of blades is to create burr.
The key to sharp skates is having burr on the edges once you grind with the “coarse” stone side. You can feel the burr on side of skate blade by lifting the finger tips upward. Grinding is done “diagonally” for two reasons: create metal burr quickly and maintains the grinding stone flatness. If you push the stone “up and down” the length of jig, it will eventually groove the stone and will result in uneven grinding of skate edges for others. The criss-cross directions ie. “X” will give you hatch marks. Next step is to flip the jig 180 degrees and grind the “X” pattern again. This will maintain even burr and grinding of the blades. Once burr is created, proceed with the “fine” stone side and perform the same criss-cross pattern. But, you only need 10-15 strokes back and forth to reduce the hatch marks created by the coarse stone. Flip the jig 180 degrees and repeat fine stone grinding. Final 10-15 strokes will go parallel with the blades for the scratch lines to be parallel.
With stone, grind diagonally against blades in a criss-cross formation “X”, then flip 180 degrees and repeat, per direction of pointed finger.
3. De-burring can only proceed when you have burr consistently on ALL edges and full length of blades.
With the micro metal cutting tool (available from the club for purchase) this will remove the burr off of each blade edge. This process occurs with the skate removed from the jig and setup comfortably against your body for proper support. With the de-burring tool, push or pull towards you 5-7 times with even pressure. KEEP the cutting tool perpendicular to the blade at ALL times for even and consistent cutting of the burr. Complete all sides and wipe. Feel and check the sharpness at edge. Congratulations, you have now completed the sharpening of the speed skates.
NOTE: IF you hit a nick on edge of blade, whereby the cutting tool stops, you need to use the side of this tool and “push” the nick in the blade away from your body. Do this a few times until it is removed.
Sharpening Jig – Available from I Love Speed Skating
10″ DMT Diamond DuoSharp Sharpening Stone, 325x and 1200x
This stone has a blue dot indicating that it is a Coarse stone with a 325 mesh and other other side with a green dot indicating that it is a Extra Fine stone with a 1200m mesh.
Lee Valley Tools
1180 South East Marine Drive
Vancouver, British Columbia V5X 2V6
Phone: (604) 261-2262
Lee Valley Tools
1401 United Boulevard
Coquitlam, British Columbia V3K 6Y7
Phone: (604) 515-8896
Deburring Tool – available from the club