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  1. #1
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    sharpening

    I'm pretty new to sharpening (have been working at it for a couple months) and have been getting reasonably good results with my current setup of 3 water stones that I bought for sharpening woodworking tools several years ago, but never really used for that (2 labeled 'Splex Japanese water sharpening stone', 800 and 1200 grit, and one labeled 'Suehiro Ohka water finishing stone', 6000 grit). I have been working mostly on my older knives, a mix of Sabatier and Dexter carbon and Forschner and Henckels stainless, most of which have seen a lot of use since last being sharpened.

    So, the end results have been decent, but it feels like it is taking me a looooong time to get there, sometimes 45 minutes or more per side on my coarsest stone to raise a burr. I use sharpie to check progress and it looks like I'm hitting the bevel pretty consistently. Once I raise a burr on each side using the coarsest stone, progression thru the remaining stones goes a lot faster.

    So I guess my question is, can I speed up this process, and if so, how? Is this just a matter of putting in more time on the stones? Would upgrading one or more of my stones likely help (getting a coarser stone, maybe, or replacing with something that cuts faster)? recommendations?

  2. #2
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    You could increase the angle that you grind at. If your knives have an edge angle of around 20 degrees a side, as those probably came with, and you are grinding at 15 or so, it would take a long time to get to the burr.
    Once you have gotten to that stage you should not have to go through that again for quite a while. It sounds like you were thinning them behind the edge!
    Spike C
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  3. #3
    800 is not really the most useful grit to repair edges or the places on a blade where there should be an edge.

    So If it is the first time you did sharpening in 20 years, then yeah, it can take 45 minutes.

    If it is restoring an edge lost a month ago however, then theres a problem. I would say wobble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeC View Post
    You could increase the angle that you grind at. If your knives have an edge angle of around 20 degrees a side, as those probably came with, and you are grinding at 15 or so, it would take a long time to get to the burr.
    Once you have gotten to that stage you should not have to go through that again for quite a while. It sounds like you were thinning them behind the edge!

    ah...thinning behind the edge was going to be my next question. I don't think I'm doing that yet, as I've been trying to stick with the original bevel and verifying using sharpie. have stayed pretty consistent as far as removing the sharpie marks where I think I should, and not in other places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bieniek View Post
    800 is not really the most useful grit to repair edges or the places on a blade where there should be an edge.

    So If it is the first time you did sharpening in 20 years, then yeah, it can take 45 minutes.

    If it is restoring an edge lost a month ago however, then theres a problem. I would say wobble.
    20 years would be a stretch...but these are definitely not month-old edges I'm working on. I suspect the beginning edge condition is a contributing factor here.

    If that's the case, would a coarser stone be likely to cut this time down by much?

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    If the steel has been steeled a lot, it has been fatigued, and should be removed. I guess your blades are thick behind the edge, have fatigued steel, AND you're not always reaching the very edge. I would start to build a relief bevel at 10 degree per side until you've a burr. So you're sure the old steel has been removed.
    Sandpaper is a cheap and effective way to do this - grits P120-240-320.
    From this point you may start to set your bevels at some 15 degree per side. Use the P320 to start with.
    Don't overpolish your soft stainless, it's counterproductive. Stop after a few edge trailing (stropping) strokes on your J1200.

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    I think 15 degrees is a bit much for these blades.....
    Spike C
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    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeC View Post
    I think 15 degrees is a bit much for these blades.....
    I guess you mean 15 degree per side it's too acute. As always, it depends.
    For the carbon Sabatier, just give it a try. Some hold it, others don't.
    For the others, it's probably a little too acute.
    It's very easy to correct in function of steel and use. And the result after an increased angle will be a strong convex edge.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by crimedog72 View Post
    20 years would be a stretch...but these are definitely not month-old edges I'm working on. I suspect the beginning edge condition is a contributing factor here.

    If that's the case, would a coarser stone be likely to cut this time down by much?
    Diamond plate would eat metal from that kind of "softee" in no-time.
    Straight after you could use 800 grit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bieniek View Post
    Diamond plate would eat metal from that kind of "softee" in no-time.
    Straight after you could use 800 grit.
    I will give this a shot.

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