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Thread: Sharpening tips for a newbie

  1. #11
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    SpikeC's Avatar
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    One thing that I have found helpful in working the tip of knives is looking very closely at the intersection of the knife to the stone before moving anything, preferably with magnification. You can see when the edge just comes in contact with the stone, and by slowly rotating the blade along the edge/stone interface you can see how the knife needs to be positioned to keep the bevel consistent. Watching closely as you move the knife tells you how to approach the stroke.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
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  2. #12
    I'm not really an expert myself, but one thing I will say is I think a lot of people are too hesitant to take their nicer knives to the stones. I more or less learned on my Takeda Nakiri and moreso my Watanabe Petty and neither of them are any worse for it, other than a few little scratches on the blades. At the same time I was always sharpening a Wusthof Chef + parer too, but I found I learned a lot more from working on the other two.

    I think the fear of seriously damaging a knife with a stone is overstated. Understandable though, I mean you are rubbing something that cost a few hundred bucks with something else that cost almost a hundred.

  3. #13
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    This might not apply for everyone, but if you've ever seen Zoolander, this should make sense.
    When sharpening, hitting a golf ball or cooking a meal I always have better results if I "go monk".
    It's amazing how not worrying about something and allowing your body to do it naturally can vastly improve your performance. The same goes for any sort of endurance sport. If I'm halfway through a 20k trail, and I get crampy and my rhythm is off, I know I'm over analyzing, and getting into my own head in a negative way.
    Sometimes, the best thing to do is trust yourself. You might just be amazed with your skills!
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    This might not apply for everyone, but if you've ever seen Zoolander, this should make sense.
    When sharpening, hitting a golf ball or cooking a meal I always have better results if I "go monk".
    It's amazing how not worrying about something and allowing your body to do it naturally can vastly improve your performance. The same goes for any sort of endurance sport. If I'm halfway through a 20k trail, and I get crampy and my rhythm is off, I know I'm over analyzing, and getting into my own head in a negative way.
    Sometimes, the best thing to do is trust yourself. You might just be amazed with your skills!
    Have not tried this while sharpening but I usually go into this state at around the 16km mark on a marathon. Might try to relax and not think too much on my next sharpening job.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelaniePalmero View Post
    Hi slowtyper! I've learned my first sharpening experience from this helpful post. I use the diamond steel because it guarantees the 22 degree angle. Enjoy!
    Hello Melanie, that is certainly a nice way to keep your double bevel edges serviceable. I'm not sure how it is that this diamond rod guarantees a 22 deg angle but most people here sharpen freehand. Thus, the 22 deg angle is irrelevant. As the individual in the video you cited mentioned, a rod is not an ideal tool for sharpening, that is regrinding an edge which must be done periodically to maintain a high level of performance. It is used merely to touch it up.

  6. #16
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    The drive-by spammer drives by again, getting free clicks.

  7. #17
    Sounds to me like you are doing pretty good. Tips, like anything else, come with practice and it sounds like you'll have them conquered in no time.

  8. #18
    i think i need to revisit that video and do a followup... to be honest, the most important thing in that video is not the motion i'm doing, but rather understanding how the right hand height and rotation can help you follow the tip curve... i'll try to shoot a new followup this week if i can find some time

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBroida View Post
    i think i need to revisit that video and do a followup... to be honest, the most important thing in that video is not the motion i'm doing, but rather understanding how the right hand height and rotation can help you follow the tip curve... i'll try to shoot a new followup this week if i can find some time
    I'll be looking forward to that

  10. #20
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Something I found that really put me off freehand sharpening, was starting off at too low a grit. I started sharpening with a 220 grit stone and because it cut so fast, any slightly movement in my hand meant that I was never getting a true bevel and therefore took forever to get a burr. If you start off at about 800ish if you're a beginner I think it will cut fast enough but is still forgiving enough that you should get a pretty even bevel fairly quickly even with pretty beat up knives

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