Salem High School hockey information and statistics from the first season to the present

Ron Chisholm's Skate Sharpening

Skate Sharpening Process

Presented by:   Ron Chisholm - a dedicated hockey fan, parent of four players, past player and coach of many years, and expert skate sharpener since 1983.

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Skate Sharpening Process

The following is a step by step description of the process that I normally go through for the sharpening of a pair of skates.

  • Inspect the Blade

    Check the blade for nicks and stripped edges.  Also check the skate for defective/missing rivets or cracked blade holders and steel.  

  • Hone the Edges of the Blade

    Remove minor pieces of debris caused by nicks and stripped edges.  Wipe clean.  In the case of Black Edge steel, a regular hand hone is not to be used before or after sharpening as this can cause the carbon coating to be removed or damaged.  These blades only require to be wiped clean.  Honing with a leather strop or a "gummy" stone is acceptable.

  • Mount the Skate in the Holder

    The skate is clamped into the holder with the heel to the left (My machines all have clockwise rotating wheels).  This allows for the imperfections in the blade finish to be pointing to the rear.

  • Adjust the Skate Holder Height

    Adjust the height of the skate holder based upon the thickness of the skate blade.  Height adjustment is required to assure that the center of the blade is aligned to the center of the curvature of the grinding wheel.  This is done using a height comparator tool, which has been calibrated for the grinding wheel on the particular machine used to sharpen the skates.

  • Dress the Grinding Wheel

    Dress the wheel for the desired radius of hollow or other form dressing such as the flat bottom dressing types.  This should be done in accordance with the customer's request.  Choices may be discussed if the skater is unsure.

  • Sharpen the Skate

    Clean uniform passes are made from heel to toe, following the existing contour of the blade.  The number of passes required may depend upon the condition of the blade.  More passes are needed if the blade requires repair of badly nicked or stripped edges.  If the blade edges are very uneven, additional passes may be necessary to get them level.  Apply a light coat of blade dressing directly to the blade prior to the final pass.  The dressing allows for a slow final pass, which gives the blade a smoother finish and will further reduce the friction between the blade and the ice.  Note:  If the blades are severely damaged by pitting or rust, it may be necessary to cross grind the blade prior to normal sharpening.  This is not normally required and should only be done in extreme cases.

  • Hone the Edges of the Blade

    Wipe the blade to remove any excess blade dressing.  Hone each side of the blade to remove any burrs caused by the rollover of the steel in the sharpening process.  Wipe clean.  Again, note the restrictions mentioned previously for honing of black steel coated blades.

  • Inspect the Blade

    Check the edges of the blade for any remaining burrs along the edge; visually check the blade finish for smoothness, and check the edges for sharpness.  

  • Check for Level Edges on the Blade

    Using an edge check level gage, verify that the edges are level.

Additional Sharpening and Skate Information

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The information on this site has been collected from official scoresheets and from on ice observations.  As such, the final statistics are not to be construed as official or sanctioned by the Salem High School Athletic Department or by the NHIAA.  However, much of this information is not available from any other sources.

2022 Ron Chisholm & Associates
Salem, NH

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