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The Anti-Chrysler
03-30-2013, 03:39 AM
.....discovering that my sharpening skills are the weak link in the chain.
I just got my set of core stones from Dave Martell (thanks for the lighting fast shipping, very pleasant surprise:)) and decided to try them out on a 8" Forgecraft that I'm re-working. I haven't had any problems sharpening my small knives, like my Kai Tan Ren paring or Mac petty, but just a step up to 8", and my bevel is all over the place. It's sharp enough to cut well I suppose, but I just don't like the look of that bevel and I'm a little concerned about how well it will hold up.
Not sure if I need to take a class, or spend a whole lot more time practicing, or what, but I'm more than a little hesitant try sharpening my 270mm Hiromoto or 8-1/2" Shun Fuji. It would be a bummer to f-up a big $ knife.
The main reason for grinding so much metal in the first place, is that it had some really deep pitting.
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b378/tarior/DSCF0573_zpsddc4a037.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b378/tarior/DSCF0572_zps5be2bd77.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b378/tarior/DSCF0571_zps1a9e8c2c.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b378/tarior/DSCF0568_zps50b37745.jpg

Squilliam
03-30-2013, 04:04 AM
Practice, practice, practice! After every stroke or two, stop and make sure you're holding the angle where you want it. Go slowly. Use all your concentration to hold the angle. When I was starting to learn I used this http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/732635-The-first-sharpening thread as inspiration. Having a flat bevel like that isn't really so good performance wise on a kitchen knife, but it is a good technique to learn, as it helps you control angles precisely. Don't get discouraged!

Dream Burls
03-30-2013, 08:58 AM
There are also a s**tload of sharpening videos on Youtube, some of which are very good. I think one of the most important things is knowing how to keep your shoulders, arms and wrists in alignment and consistent through the stroke. Practice by using any kind of wedge to elevate the blade's spine. Use a non-abrasive surface and run it back and forth for couple of minutes. A lot of this is muscle memory and this will allow you to learn where your muscles need to be in order to maintain a consistent angle. Once you get it you'll know. Good luck.

El Pescador
03-30-2013, 10:37 AM
Watch the Jon Broida videos. He does a great job.

stevenStefano
03-30-2013, 10:51 AM
Yes Jon's videos are the best I think. He explains everything really well and points out a few things other videos miss

The Anti-Chrysler
03-30-2013, 11:57 AM
Thanks for the pointers. I'll keep working on it. I think the main trouble I'm having is repeatability-doing the same stroke, the exact same way, over and over. If it's not something you're used to, it's kinda difficult.
This is also the first time I've tried setting a bevel with a stone. This knife was a sharp as the leading edge of a bowling ball, ordinarily I think I would have used a file or a belt to give it the initial bevel to follow. But I want to learn to do it the old fashioned way.

I was watching one that was linked from here (Asian guy, wearing Yoshi slippers :-) ), and his bevels looked machine-made. Amazing.

Benuser
03-30-2013, 12:46 PM
When I started I used a set of corks cut with an inclination corresponding to different sharpening angles, to lay the blade on before every stroke.

chinacats
03-30-2013, 01:16 PM
When I started I used a set of corks cut with an inclination corresponding to different sharpening angles, to lay the blade on before every stroke.

Yeah, I used wood chips w/ corresponding angle, and watch Jon's videos as others have suggested. More than anything is muscle memory; practice, practice, practice.

Cheers

The Anti-Chrysler
03-30-2013, 01:30 PM
I've been watching some videos, and the thing that strikes me is that no two people have the same exact technique. I guess I need to find the one that works for me.

The Anti-Chrysler
03-30-2013, 01:47 PM
Another mistake I think I made was trying to set a bevel with a stone that wasn't coarse enough. It took a loooooong time to get a bevel with the 500 grit Beston.

Benuser
03-30-2013, 02:01 PM
Another mistake I think I made was trying to set a bevel with a stone that wasn't coarse enough. It took a loooooong time to get a bevel with the 500 grit Beston.
I really don't understand. If the blade is thin enough, the bevel is very narrow, <.5mm. A J500 is by far coarse enough to set any bevel. Setting the bevel is nothing more than performing a few final strokes after thinning behind the edge.

The Anti-Chrysler
03-30-2013, 02:29 PM
It must have just been my technique, or lack thereof.

Mike9
03-30-2013, 03:04 PM
Define "set a bevel". Do yo mean cutting edge bevel? Watch the Minosharp video on youtube yet? I put a 2mm bevel on my knives.

cclin
03-30-2013, 03:26 PM
I really don't understand. If the blade is thin enough, the bevel is very narrow, <.5mm. A J500 is by far coarse enough to set any bevel. Setting the bevel is nothing more than performing a few final strokes after thinning behind the edge.

I may wrong, but the blade's choil shot look very thick to me....the bevel should much wider than .5mm, IMO!!

Benuser
03-30-2013, 03:46 PM
I may wrong, but the blade's choil shot look very thick to me....the bevel should much wider than .5mm, IMO!!
You're absolutely right. I meant it in general, not specific to that knife. I should rephrase: after proper thinning, or building a relief bevel, a final bevel is hardly wider than .5mm and just a matter of a few strokes. At least, that's the way I do it.

G-rat
03-30-2013, 06:28 PM
Yeah that choil shot looks pretty thick. I would thin the knife out significantly and I have done this to a forgecraft before. Just lay it flat on the stone (rather than with an angle to set a bevel) and use the same motion you would to sharpen normally. You will scratch the knife up a fair bit but keep going evenly on both sides until you notice a significant difference. It will take a while. Then angle it just slightly to get the knife to taper some (angle it like you would do actually sharpen but not nearly as high of an angle. This just help to continue taper the blade and thin it out more effectively to the edge. Then go back and set an edge. These knives are great cutters when they are thinned out.

Deckhand
03-30-2013, 11:33 PM
Using a magnum sharpie and going slowly will help you see what is happening.

panda
03-31-2013, 12:13 AM
thinning is such a pain in the ass, but the end result is well worth the effort because it WILL perform much much better and you'll never want another knife that's not thin behind the edge ever again.

keithsaltydog
03-31-2013, 12:32 AM
I've been watching some videos, and the thing that strikes me is that no two people have the same exact technique. I guess I need to find the one that works for me.

That's right,that's why I like Dave's DVD & Jon's playlist,both explain why thinning is important,when your 2 edges are meeting,not to round the edge you have etc.Understanding what works & why is key.My tech. is a little diff.,but the principles are the same.

I do major thinning wt. a 140 Atoma plate,600 Atoma to take out 140 scratches.They do not dish & work well.

sachem allison
03-31-2013, 12:37 AM
this is why i only use the 10" forgecrafts, usually much thinner behind the edge than the 8 in ones.

Benuser
03-31-2013, 07:14 AM
Perhaps it's a suggestion to start thinning with limited goals, rather than as one single huge operation.
Once you have a workable edge, build a relief bevel until you almost reach the very edge. The different scratch pattern allows you to verify.
An example: suppose your very edge has been sharpened @15 degree, create a relief bevel, first @12 degree, than @10 and so on. Later on you will blend the bevels with a few strokes.

The Anti-Chrysler
03-31-2013, 11:30 AM
I'm still paying attention to the pointers, just working on some other household projects for the time.