What's the absolute best way to sharpen the point of my Pointy Stick?
If you're a true knuckle dragger (sans hair on them - knuckles that is, the back of the hand and half way up both arms) then a series of abrading rocks will be your best bet. Start with a pyroclastic rock and work your way through basalt, then granite and finish it off with agate. Or you could buy a set of natural or man made Japanese Point Sharpening Water Stones. You'll need to buy or make a set of water proof containers to set them in water before usng them. If you're one of the recipients of most of the "tax break" George W "gave back to ya" (We kin have Guns AND Butter AND "Much needed tax relief fer them folks who've suffurd eenuf - know wutah mean?" - those earning more than $12,000,000 a year) then look into getting a complete set of DMT's diamond plates for a paltry $900, along with the Sperm Whale oil required to use them properly. Because of EPA regulations - the Sperm Whale being on the Endangered Species List and all - Sperm Whale Oil is getting harder and harder to come buy so expect to pay literally a small fortune for it. If you've got the money, why not buy the best - and if you cause a species to go extinct - well they probably weren't competative enough to survive in the new free market economy anyway so screw 'em.
The prefered sharpening method using "stones" is to establish the primary point angle on the most abrasive stone. This is accomplished by first gnawing / rubbing / whittling / turning a rough point close to the final desired primary point angle. With the point between the tips of your middle and ring finger, bring the point down so that the side of the point is in complete contact with the "stone", at the end of the stone farthest from you. Now, while applying firm downward pressure on the side of the point pressed firmly on the stone, draw it towards you with an even stroke while rotating the point exactly 360 with your other hand. Make sure, during the stroke, that you keep the tips of your fingers in contact with the stone's surface. Repeat this procedure 100 times on each of the fourteen point sharpening stones.
TIP: You'll know you're doing it right if you have no fingerprints, or any meat, on the tips of the two fingers noted earlier. As an incidental effect, your finger tips will become quite sensitive so if you ever wondered if you could be a safe cracker, this may be an opportunity to find out.
To finish off your newly sharpened point, stab it into your leg a few times to knock off any residue from the last stone. BTW - it's best to wear shorts for this step, makes treating the resulting puncture wounds much easier and they'll heal faster if kept exposed to air.
If you're a Normite, go over to the mahogany sharpening station and get out your Delta Pointing Jigs. Calibrate them using the instructions which came with them and fire up you're Delta eleven wet stones and a leather strop wheel Slow Speed Grinding / Sharpening System.
After finishing off your point on the leather strop wheel with the 1 micron diamond polishing paste, perform the "stab it in your leg" procedure, described above, to end the sharpening procedure.
If you follow Tage, rather than Norm., break out your belt sander, slip on a 60 grit belt, clamp it, belt up, in your workbench vise, fire it up and sharpen the shit out of your stick point for 2 or 3 seconds and you're done! No polishing requred. No need to do the "stab it in your leg" thing - ain't necessary.
Oh BTW - you might want to turn off that belt sander now - it's really irritating the shop baboon. He can get downright ornery when he's irritated.
If you're an agnostic you probably have no need for a Pointy Stick. Sorry you wasted your time reading this.
If you're a Scary Point (TM) person you already know what to do.
For those uninitiated, Scary Point (TM) (note: Scary Point (TM) was invented by Swingman.
PLEASE visit his site and maybe he'll drop his law suit) sharpening is done as follows:
On each of the 12 machinist flat 1' x 3' by four inch thick, 218 pound granite mini blocks ( polished flat to within +/-0.000000000000001 inches - or so over their entire length) spray an adhesive on the surface and then glue down either garnet, zirconium, topaz, ruby or diamond "sand paper" - one for each of the following "grits" - 20, 60, 120, 121, 150, 180, 220, 320, 400, 600, 1000, 5000, 10000 and Rediculously Fine. Make sure there are no air pockets under the sheets.
Using the same middle and ring finger grip described above, move the point in a Figure Eight pattern, then a Reverse Figure Eight and finish off with a Figure Seven And A Half, using the entire sheet (see Figure iii). Make sure you're rotating the stick 360 degrees clockwise over the Figure Eight,, 360 degrees counter clockwise over the Reverse Figure Eight and then 720 degrees over the Figure Seven and a Half . If you're really in a hurry you can skip using every other grit - though I wouldn't recomend taking any shortcuts if you want a truly Scary Point (TM)
Note that the SCARY POINT (TM) method DOES NOT REQUIRE THE "STAB YOURSELF IN THE LEG FINAL FINISHING PROCEDURE" - its major advantage over the other methods for sharpening your Pointy Stick. However, unless you enjoy wearing a double hernia truss, it does require purchasing an overhead block and tackle and permanently mounting it to a doubled up ceiling joist directly above your SCARY POINT (TM) sharpening station.