View Full Version : Mousepad + sandpaper

04-19-2013, 09:23 PM
You don't hear much about this anymore for general edge maintenance even though Chad Ward recommends it.

My question though is has anyone tried this for general thinning of knives as opposed to waterstones? It seems like it would be a lot more forgiving of beginner mistakes than a set of (expensive) waterstones :- ). It works pretty darn well for maintaining an edge of course as Chad Ward pointed out in his great book - but he doesn't mention it as being equally good for general thinning way up the blade.


04-19-2013, 09:44 PM
i did..

i couldnt get the right moves down. it did work on an axe tho.

04-20-2013, 02:18 AM
I've only used this once to make my Becker camping knife to have a nice convex geometry, so I can't say that I'm an expert. But, I remember spending good 2 days of mindless edge trailing swipes. It was recommended to me to only use edge trailing strokes, which slows the the process considerably (I'd say by a factor or 5 to 10, time-wise). I can see that if you are not thinning the whole blade width, but just 1/8-1/4 inch or so from the edge, it could work out well. Do you prefer the mouse pad method?

04-20-2013, 02:33 AM
Not really, I mostly use an edge pro pro, I just was reading Chad Ward's book so I tried it with some high grit wet dry sandpaper I had lying around on a swiss army knife which are always convex out of box, worked real well on the edge so I was simply curious why nobody ever mentions it for thining and now your post explains it..

04-20-2013, 03:06 AM
I do it at times when needed or prefer not to be at the kitchen sink.( sharpening station)

1. it has a big surface area and hence great for thinning of the whole blade.

2. I use low grit when I have to scrape off ( say at 45 degrees) to remove a small chip. Great also to round the spine

3.Which mouse pad? I look for the correct backing to give the desired level of convexity. Leather for gentle convex and say about 3 inches of a phone book for greater slack. The unidirectional strokes gives better control. For up and down strokes, I wld secure the sandpaper. IN any event, long strokes wld inherently give some convexity as the angle tends to be raised when you push away. I prefer short strokes as it more intense when it is closer to you as the pressure wld be higher.

4. I prefer the Micromesh sandpaper as recommended by Will Catcheside as it is cloth backed adn last longer. The equivalent of 1600 grit is part my stropping kit. Cut to same size as my piece of leather which will be used as a backing. Also a great great for removing light scratches and scuff marks.

Its all a function of realizing how much steel we need to remove on the knife and use whatever material of teh same level of abrasiveness that can remove the said amount of steel required.

have fun and a nice week-end where ever you are..


04-20-2013, 05:16 AM
When thinning you're removing steel behind the edge, with the mouse pad you'd hit the edge at the same time so you'd be fighting yourself to some extent IMO

04-20-2013, 11:13 AM
TB is right. You may thin with sandpaper, but make sure to have a harder underground to stay away from the edge. I use P120 on linen with a cedar cigar box to have the height I'm used to.

04-20-2013, 12:02 PM
I've used sandpaper on glass, same setup for stone fattening. When I did the mousepad method, it destroyed my edge, almost re profiling. Use a harder substrate as others recommend

It is fun, so have a good time.

04-20-2013, 04:46 PM
Agreed -- sandpaper on a soft surface will destroy your edge unless you only use light trailing strokes. It will not be effective for thinning.

04-20-2013, 07:02 PM
I have used the mousepad and sandpaper for sharpening and it worked out great but I think it would be a bit time-consuming for thinning

04-22-2013, 11:16 AM

wld be easier on the eyes if you watch it in full screen mode. BAsically the man is saying that you convex the secondary bevel. At no time is the edge touching the abrasive material .You cant add metal to a flat bevel or concave.

I still think that a rounded primary edge is possible with a few light strokes as after an acute angle sharpening say at 15 degrees, being very very thin, a few light gentle strokes will change the geometry

btw there are more you tube videos if you do a search on convex grinding.

figure out what you want to achieve and "micro grind" correspondingly with teh right materials and backing to attain it hopefully.

I suppose the objective in this video is a better cutting performance. IF sharpening is all about being the smoothest cut might just as well sharpen at 10 degrees adn spend abit more time honing or removing nicks and chips..

have fun

04-22-2013, 11:31 AM
All things being equal (and they rarely are) a fully convexed blade will generally be stronger, and it works especially well cutting some materials. I have a couple of kitchen knives that are fully convexed, and they feel very different in use from a typical beveled grind -- very buttery, if that makes sense. There's a smooth, polished feel that I like for trimming meat (esp. silverskin) -- somehow I get cleaner cuts and more control. A fully convexed edge is not nearly as good, though, for something soft like slicing tomatoes, which benefit from a edge with more bite.

And, of course, any hand-sharpened knife is going to be convexed to some degree, especially if (like me) you finish on a strop.

Even with my fully convexed blades, though, if I need to thin behind the edge, it's a lot faster and easier to do with a water stone. I then follow up on sandpaper/strops to refine the convex arc.