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Thread: Newish to sharpening, hoping to pass the paper push cut test.

  1. #1
    Senior Member kungpao's Avatar
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    Newish to sharpening, hoping to pass the paper push cut test.

    I'm new to sharpening and looking to finally pass the paper push cut test. I have been working for around 3 months on freehand stone sharpening. I currently have a gesshin 1000 and 5000 grit stone. I seem to be able to pull cut through paper with out a problem after sharpening, but push cuts just aren't happening. My basic technique is to sharpen each side until I feel a burr. After I finish creating burrs on each side, I lightly run my knife in a horizontal swiping motion to remove the burr before moving to the next stone. I then repeat the process and try to strop on an old leather belt after both stones are complete.

    Do I need to continue polishing my edge with higher grit stones, or work with a coarser grit stone before the 1000? I feel like I am starting to comprehend what I'm doing but still fall a bit short. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Bill Burke's Avatar
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    Just keep practicing. if you get the edge right you can push cut paper with a 320 grit edge. A fun thing for you to try is get a piece of college ruled note book paper and cut it into strips two lines wide. take a #11 paper clip and tie a piece of string to it so you can hang it from a doorway at about shoulder height. now put one of the strips of paper in the paper clip so the paper is hanging vertically. take your knife and cut the end off the paper without pulling it out of the paper clip. if you can do this then see how many times you can cut the paper before it gets too short to cut or you pull the paper from the paper clip.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Seth's Avatar
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    You might try passing on the old belt; compressing soft leather which pushes the leather up on a trailing stroke could be dulling the edge. 5000 should be providing a good polish to the edge. Maybe just do a cork instead till you get a better strop material.
    Everywhere you go, there you are.

  4. #4
    I'd suspect bevels are not as good as they could be. Try to be as consistent as you can along the whole edge on both sides. Also use cork or wood to deburr then strop and deburr again. You should be able to slice paper effortlessly with a 1k edge. Then go to 5k. But if 1k edge is not good don't move foreword.

  5. #5
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    i'm with jgraeff with this. consistent angles will give you a consistent edge. even a 500 grit edge will push cut paper, albeit roughly but it can do it.

  6. #6
    Greetings! Practice, practice, practice...
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  7. #7
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    get a piece of crap knife. on your 1k sharpen for 5 minutes on one side, do the other side for 5 mins. flip again and go for 2 mins with less pressure, other side 2 mins. then single stroke push alternating sides each stroke with only the slightest pressure for about 3 minutes. if by this point the knife does not push cut paper, your angles are not consistent enough (and/or not sharpening all the way to the edge). just repeat the whole process over until you get it right, hence using a piece of crap knife you wont care if you wear the hell out of.

  8. #8
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Keep at it, and buy a Sharpee and a loupe.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    All excellent advices, I will just add one more. For push cutting the thickness immediately behind the very edge is essential. Sharpen a relief bevel on both sides, at the lowest angle you're comfortable with, until you almost reach the very edge. Verify the scratch pattern with a loupe. If you don't have one, perhaps you do have a SLR standard lens. Then sharpen as you're used to.
    Would you have a micrometer: reasonable values for the thickness at 5mm behind the edge are .5-1mm.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kungpao's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the advice. I had a feeling my angle consistency was the culprit. Are there any basic tips to help with keeping my angle straight without using the clip on guides? I'd rather be 100% freehand from the get go.

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