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Thread: I was up past midnite....

  1. #1

    I was up past midnite....

    .....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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    New Zealand
    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 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!

  3. #3
    Dream Burls's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    New York
    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.
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  4. #4
    Engorged Member
    El Pescador's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Watch the Jon Broida videos. He does a great job.
    "So you want to be a vegetarian? Hitler was a vegetarian and look at how he turned out."

  5. #5
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Norn Iron
    Yes Jon's videos are the best I think. He explains everything really well and points out a few things other videos miss

  6. #6
    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Amstelveen, The Netherlands
    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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Benuser View Post
    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.

    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  9. #9
    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.

  10. #10
    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.

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