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Thread: Got Sharpening Questions?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Here's one for you Dave, what's the skinny on stropping single bevel knives? any order to the proccess?
    This is controversial for sure. Even I hate to tell people to do this because of edge rolling issues, many will do more harm then good. I think for the majority of people a really fine stone will yield better results.

    OK that said, the safest way to go is hard felt or a leather with very little give. the felt is nice because you can lean on it and not round over the edge where leather you have to use a lighter touch.

    As for the actual process it's the same as double bevels.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo View Post
    Dave,

    Why am I still a terrible sharpener after 6 months of practice?

    Thanks,

    Jack

    The Million $$ question.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by stereo.pete View Post
    Dave and experts,

    When I wash my knife after use I use a scotch-brite dish sponge and I use the dark green coarse side. Could the extra coarse dark green side be causing my edges to go dull so quickly from very little use (home cooking)?

    The sponges I use look like this... http://www.cleansweepsupply.com/pages/item-mmm74cc.html

    I can't say for sure that they're dulling your edges but I'm going to guess that it's probably not so good for them.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by steeley View Post
    Dave awhile ago you were talking about sharpening the tip of a knife
    that you taught in your classes .
    Ive seen Jon vid I just wanted your take on it .
    your method that is.

    I had a big problem early on with sharpening tips. I did the usual method of lean harder which does nothing more than make a flat (or bird's beak) behind the tip. To conquer this I came up with the idea to stop (at the tip) when I see a black streak form on the stone - then (holding the angle/handle raised) I lift the knife off of the stone, raise the handle about 1-2 deg more, and then hit the stone again while pushing the tip down into the stone and flexing the knife. It sounds stupid but works very well for not only keeping correct angles and coverage but in making a super pointy tip. The day I first did this made tip sharpening problems disappear for me.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo View Post
    Why am I still a terrible sharpener after 6 months of practice?
    Because it takes closer to 6 years.
    I really am related to Tony Clifton.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo View Post
    Why am I still a terrible sharpener after 6 months of practice?
    Not sure if you were just being a bit funny or looking for a real answer here.

    Can you narrow down what your main problem as been: consistent angle? wrong pressure? burr removal/wire edges, etc?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac J View Post
    Not sure if you were just being a bit funny or looking for a real answer here.
    My problem is consistency from session to session, which breeds impatience and tempts me to buy a jig.

    When starting out, I wanted to be much better at it than I was, so I learned some bad habits. I tried the magic marker trick a half a dozen times, but hated how it messed with the color of the swarf and gave up on it. Then I spent a good deal of time retraining myself, slowing down, paying more attention to the stones and the steel, and have gotten much better. Still, there are days when I sharpen my work knife and get ****** results, and other days when I sharpen it and get that spooky edge that makes your arm hair tremble in fear. Couldn't tell you what the difference is from day to day, but on the days that I'm "off," it's pretty damn annoying.

    An example... after getting my CCK I spent quite some time trying to "open it up," and at the end of the session I had an edge just barely sharper than it was out of the box. Just couldn't get it right. But the next day after work, I was supposed to meet a friend at the bar for drinks and to loan him the cleaver. Since I'd beat it up at work that day and was already late, I gave the Bester 1200 a quick soak and then took the CCK to it. The burr popped up like nobody's business, I flipped it a few times, removed it, and then stropped a few times with chromium oxide for a bit of polish. 5-6 minutes tops I think? The edge sung when you thumbed it. It was stupidly sharp, off just a 1.2k.

    I can't tell you why I did a better job when I was in a rush to meet someone for drinks than when I had all night. A skill this temperamental "doesn't compute."

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo View Post
    My problem is consistency from session to session, which breeds impatience and tempts me to buy a jig.

    ... I tried the magic marker trick a half a dozen times, but hated how it messed with the color of the swarf and gave up on it.
    Jack,

    The key to consistency is to know what it is that you're doing, and that's the reason for the "magic marker trick", it just makes it easier to see what's happening to the bevel you're working on, and allow you to correct the angle. The point is to get immediate feedback for what you're doing - this is how learning happens.

    If you don't care for the color of the swarf when you use a magic marker (although I don't see what the swarf color has to do with sharpening), then try wiping vinegar along the edge of your CCK with a Q-tip to force some patina there. You are using a 10x or better loupe, right? The naked eye just won't cut it (pun intended) to see if you are hitting the correct angle.

    Now the whole object of this exercise is to develop what is called "muscle memory", which is what is needed for consistency. As has been duly noted elsewhere in this thread, it's something that is gained over time, and six months is probably not sufficient, especially since you haven't been getting adequate and timely feedback.

    Or, as you say, you could buy an Edge Pro. It won't get you any cred with the freehand folks, but you will get a sharp knife, every time.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Rick

  9. #19
    GoogleFu San steeley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    I had a big problem early on with sharpening tips. I did the usual method of lean harder which does nothing more than make a flat (or bird's beak) behind the tip. To conquer this I came up with the idea to stop (at the tip) when I see a black streak form on the stone - then (holding the angle/handle raised) I lift the knife off of the stone, raise the handle about 1-2 deg more, and then hit the stone again while pushing the tip down into the stone and flexing the knife. It sounds stupid but works very well for not only keeping correct angles and coverage but in making a super pointy tip. The day I first did this made tip sharpening problems disappear for me.
    Thanks Dave

  10. #20
    I am going to ask a question, that I think many would benefit from the answer.

    After sharpening free hand for a couple of years (with pretty good results) I still struggle a little bit with a tip on a gyuto, particularly, when I am trying to put a microbevel.

    Dave, what do you think (as somebody who must have struggled with this yourself at one time) would be a good approach to deal with this problem?

    Funny, I post this and see your response quoted.
    M


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