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Thread: General sharpening questions

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
    The hone seems to work, but these knives never seem to get as sharp as when they were new. As a woodworker, I understand the process of sharpening but have never had much success with knives. Keeping the angle consistent on a stone seems impossible.

    I sharpen plane irons, chisels, turning tools, etc all the time. I use natural Arkansas stones with oil, I'm not a fan of water stones at all. I think I'll try the soft Ark on one of these cheap knives and see where that leads.

    Thanks for the replies.
    You don't have to use waterstones on them. Remember, "abrasion is abrasion". Absolutely nothing wrong with Arkansas other than they take forever to remove metal. (generally) You can use a hand held belt sander if it pulls your skirt up.

    Just don't get it in your head that you have to bust out the waterstones, wear a bathrobe, burn incense, and put on your old copy of Karate Kid to sharpen a knife. IT'S JUST METAL.
    If you sweat the small stuff, it doesn't turn into big stuff. - Me

  2. #12
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    Any particular commercially available honing guide suggested? I assume we're talking only about using one only on non-Japanese knives. I'm about to start learning, using a newly purchased starter set of stones from Dave, as soon as I receive his DVDs (on their way), but would like to try first with some inexpensive carbon knives, and a guide might come in helpful, after using the "sharpie" method for determining appropriate angle, etc. A quick internet search shows inexpensive angle guides made by Bates and Taidea, for example. I've never used one, and am a bit concerned about the bottom of the guide dragging along the stone.
    http://sharpeningmadeeasy.com/Juranitch1977Feb.htm

    You can also try those made in japan from ebay, the plastic ones with ceramic on the base.

    I've never used these commercial products, but had great success with my homemade ones. The way of using this angle guide is to apply pressure only on the edge, NEVER push hard on the guide part. Doing so will abrade and damage the guide as well as clogging the stone with the guide particles.

    Practice the feel a bit and you will love angle guides. Pretend like there is nothing attached on the blade spine, that's it! It's just an aid to prevent mistakes from your freehand sharpening.

    And, when using angle guide, you don't need to drag the whole knife along the whole stone, just using a small portion of the stone will suffice.

  3. #13
    It is good to try and be precise, but don't get too caught up in it at first. If you can't hold the blade at the perfect angle, then just pretend you're putting a convex bevel on it. Not kidding.

    Stop putting so much effort into it with the hand that's holding the handle, and try to get that hand to just hold the angle. Use your fingers to put the pressure.
    If you sweat the small stuff, it doesn't turn into big stuff. - Me

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveb View Post
    I started with below to get me in the right ballpark. From there I was able to feel where the knife wanted to be sharpened. Holding the angle steady will come in time.

    http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Kn...3EPPTCYn7w_wcB

    Gotta note that in my experience as you get started you will dull the knife, scratch the knife, scuff the knife, get wire edges, probably get a birds beak or two. But you will not ruin the knife. It's just creating opportunities for learning
    Do you drag this wedge together with the blade?

  5. #15
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    Do you drag this wedge together with the blade?

    No. When I used it I would leave it at one end of the stone. It and a magic marker on edge of blade would help establish initial angle. Did not take long to develop feel for how to hold knife for the factory bevel. It's a beginners tool and for less than 10 bucks a useful one for me. It does not come out much anymore.
    Dave
    Older and wider.

  6. #16
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    If so, then it shouldn't even cost that much when you can simple fold a piece of square paper, for FREE. I sharpen my cleaver freehand by just using that paper guide, when angle-guide doesn't work on heavy stuff. It's a rip-off.

  7. #17
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    Free is good if it works for you...
    Dave
    Older and wider.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by daveb View Post
    I started with below to get me in the right ballpark. From there I was able to feel where the knife wanted to be sharpened. Holding the angle steady will come in time.

    http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Kn...3EPPTCYn7w_wcB

    Gotta note that in my experience as you get started you will dull the knife, scratch the knife, scuff the knife, get wire edges, probably get a birds beak or two. But you will not ruin the knife. It's just creating opportunities for learning
    Thanks for the idea. I have a rolling guide for sharpening my plane irons and bench chisels, and I outgrew it many years ago once I developed the skills to hold the bevel by hand. But the bevel on a plane iron is easy to "feel" when it's in contact with the stone. Knife edges are so small...

    Is there a 15* / 20* version of that?

  9. #19
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    Either the paper guide or coin stacks.

  10. #20
    But the bevel on a plane iron is easy to "feel" when it's in contact with the stone. Knife edges are so small...
    Maybe knives with large bevels would be easier for you to sharpen then.

    Like this : http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/...-wa-gyuto.html

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