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  • Sharpening blades with a speed skating jig and stones

    Going to sharpen my goalie skates with a speed skating jig and stones, like this: Sharpening jig for ice speed skates - YouTube

    Positives related to the idea:

    Time and money:
    1. Will save time, and therefore money, relative to driving to and picking up from skate sharpening places.
    2. Will save additional money by not paying $8 per sharpening.
    3. No more risk of wasting time and money with inconsistent sharpening when someone pushes the skate funny against the wheel or doesn't take the care to have the wheel's centre lined up exactly with the blade's centre or any of the other causes of poor sharpenings.
    4. Second hand jig with stones, including one of marble for the final pass, cost only $45.

    Blade similarity:
    5. Now that goalie blades come off of skates, it is simple to slip the blade into the speed skating jig.
    6. Goalie skate blades are slightly longer than player skates and a little shorter than short track speed skating blades, and both goalie skates and speed skates can be used with little rocker, so the difference between goalie skates and short track speed skates might not be too much.

    Movement similarity:

    7. Blades without hollows slide over the ice faster, (I think that is why speed skaters sharpen on a jig with stones without hollows), therefore improving speed on t-pushes and maybe other skating maneuvers.
    8. Look at the photos or videos of short track speed skaters going around corners and look at the angle of their bodies and legs and blades to the ice. It is similar to ours when doing recoveries while down in the butterfly. So the edge from speed skating style sharpening might be able to bite into the ice sufficiently to do our movements. In fact, because speed skaters have their entire bodies in a line above their blades, they may put more pressure on their edges than we do.

    Negatives of the idea:
    1. Goalie blades are thicker than speed skating ones, but I'm not sure whether that is a positive or a negative.
    2. Maybe there is one I haven't thought of yet.

    So, I've bought a speed skating jig and some stones and am going to give it a try.

    Hopefully it will work.

    If it does, a bunch of skate sharpeners are not going to like this idea.

    But, only time and experience trying it will tell.

    Anybody else tried it before?
    Last edited by Winore2; 08-31-2013, 09:36 PM.

  • #2
    I don't think this is going to work out for ya.

    1. I would thing it's going to be very difficult to get an even edge using that technique, near impossible really.

    2. not sure what style of play you have, but once you go down to your knees you will be done for re-positioning. A flat hollow like that will be useless for a B-Fly push or recovery.

    How much was the jig?

    Good luck though.


    • #3
      $45 for a nice metal tool box, jig, and four stones, including one of marble for the final passes.

      I think the way the blades are held on the jig forces the blades to be perpendicular to the stones (two ro three stones are used for each sharpening), so I think it would be difficult not to get an even edge, if even edge means a 90 degree edge. I think the stone stays on the blade the entire way, end to end, so I don't see how it could do anything but a 90 degree edge on all four edges all the way along.

      Punch "short track speed skating" into google images and look at the angle of those blades against the ice. Looks the same as our angles when we push to reposition in bfly while down. How do you figure the absence of a hollow will hamper when they seem to be pushing at similar angles?

      I thought maybe our blades begin wider may be a relevant difference, but if only one edge touches the ice, while at an extreme angle, how much blade is above the ice shouldn't matter.
      Last edited by Winore2; 08-31-2013, 10:14 PM.


      • #4
        Have you considered a portable skate sharpening machine?

        Edit: screwed up over what I thought pricing would be. Thought it would be around 500+, then checked and black stone sells them for 3 grand...

        If all else fails and you can't think of anything else. Though you could offer sharpenings to others around.
        Last edited by kedjlng3; 08-31-2013, 10:22 PM.


        • #5
          Well we will have to see whether it works first.

          It certainly works for speed skaters. I'm told that at meets you often find the kids with their jigs out sharpening their own skates before races.

          Their blades are thinner than ours, so I'm not sure whether their entire blade is beneath the ice surface on corners. If not, then I don't see where there would be a difference between the two.

          I think we may also have to sharpen them more frequently, because it is a 90 degree edge, and the actual edge may have to be sharp to work.

          On ours the hollow may mean the edge can get dulled down some and the entire edge may still dig down into the ice. Assuming that on a hollowed blade, the entire blade on one side of the hollow is beneath the ice's surface when we push while down.
          Last edited by Winore2; 08-31-2013, 10:45 PM.


          • #6
            as long as the two blades are held at the same height, equally, all the way down the blade. otherwise the stone will slant either left or right, giving an uneven edge. The speed skates look like they first sit on a "ledge" prior to being clamped in, thus will always be equal heights. but the blades of a hockey skate once removed from the holder doesnt have a flat top, but a hook for it to lock into the holder, so Im just thinking it may be more difficult to be sure they are at equal heights in the jig. only one way to find out.

            But I still dont think you'll like a flat hollow.

            I bought a Wissota sharpener for around $850, one of the best investments. The rink here charges $10/sharpening for goal skates, so the machine pays for itself in a few yrs with just me, but I also sharpen others as a side business and have made over a $1000 the first yr.


            • #7
              Yes, I added metal pieces to the jig's ledges so now the goalie blades sit on the metal pieces. Has the effect of raising the jig's ledges uniformly.

              Yes, I hope the flat hollow isn't like stepping onto the ice with blade protectors on. Doing that led immediately to some serious pain.


              • #8
                No hollow? Shouldn't goalies now use same hollow as Elite players? I use a 7/16" hollow, I don't think I would be able to play without any hollow.

                The flatter your blade is, the faster you skate forward, but the less you can spin, change direction and do small movement in your footwork. So, nothing good for backside recoveries, butterfly pushes, short T-pushes, etc.

                Yes, easier shuffles, but that's it.


                • #9
                  My son and I have been using 3/8"cuts. So it will be a change.

                  But I keep looking at those photos and those legs and skate blade on ice angles look to me like ours while down: Ye Li Photos - ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup Day 1 - Zimbio

                  Their longer blades would have more steel biting the ice, so maybe our shorter blade lengths will make a difference in the ability to push while down on the ice.

                  Yes, haven't seen anyone on speed skates skate backwards or skull.

                  But didn't most goalies use 1" hollows back when they all wore leather pads and didn't do the butterfly in its current form? Those guys were probably better at the finer points of skating and footwork than current goalies because they had to maintain angle and depth all the time. Couldn't resort to drop and block and sliding around. I think I read that Neums hadn't sharpened his skates in quite awhile.

                  Anyway, it is all theory and speculation until I sharpen a pair of blades and try it out. It will be a few weeks because I had two hernias removed and screens put in two weeks ago and my kid has tryouts starting this week, so I don't think he will test it until about two months from now when tryouts are completed.
                  Last edited by Winore2; 09-01-2013, 11:42 AM.


                  • #10
                    Won't work well for hockey, you'll have no grip, especially since you are using 3/8/ The bottom of the blade will be flat and the edge will be at a 90 degree angle to the ice. I think you won't like it but who knows.

                    Hardly any goalies even use 1" anymore, that doesn't work well for blfy style. What your proposing will have way less grip than that, in the 2" range.


                    • #11
                      Naysayers are correct. With the blade at 45 degrees or smaller angles to the ice they push well for butterfly sliding. Anything above 45 degrees and it is as though one is stepping on a puck. Can get speed while above 45 degrees, but can't control the direction or at least someone of my relatively low skating skill can't.