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Thread: Got Sharpening Questions?

  1. #21
    I'd like to hear more about the tip as well.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Rockport, TX
    I've never had trouble with tips. The only time they've given me a hard time is when I am trying to maintain the bevel on someone's knife and it has a really wide(re: acute) tip bevel. I'm not sure what causes this phenomenon, but I've seen many knives from cheapo kitchen knives to a Buck Vantage pro that, after the belly, they just go haywire and the edge gets either very acute or very obtuse.

    I have two methods. One is that I sharpen standing up most of the time, and when I am doing the tip, I pick up my right hip some. This might sound odd, but I sort of sharpen with my whole body--if I just move my arms my bevels will not stay flat.

    The second(probably less crazy sounding) is that I do all of my sharpening by ear; that is, I know when I am hitting the edge or not, by the sound the steel makes on the stone. Perhaps there are stones that provide poor aural feedback, but none I've used do. Especially on Japanese soakers when you get a slurry going--they are very noisy, and I found it very helpful when I was new. Essentially I just maintain the same sound throughout.

    I just realized that we might be talking about something entirely different. I sure hope not.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I also have never had problems with sharpening the tips, as I've just always pretended the knife was laying on an invisible plane that held the angle, so I would have to lift the handle up and twist my wrist a bit to keep it consistent.

    Most of my problems that I've had were in the first 6 months of sharpening, but were usually related to burr removal, pressure allocation, inconsistent angles and lack of intuitiveness in sound/feel that is only learned through experience.

    I remember having my frustrations back then and thought about getting an EP at the time, but decided to continue to keep at freehanding...and then everything just kind of 'clicking' one day. From there on out, the edges I could produce were better than anything I've ever seen and my results were consistently good, and continued to get even better each time. Now everything is just so natural and I can't remember the last time I had any type of real issues while sharpening.

  4. #24
    Senior Member spaceconvoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac J View Post
    I also have never had problems with sharpening the tips, as I've just always pretended the knife was laying on an invisible plane that held the angle, so I would have to lift the handle up and twist my wrist a bit to keep it consistent.
    That's what I do... also, I try to imagine the curved surface of the bevel by itself, detached from the knife. Just keep that parallel to the stone and don't even think about the face of the blade.

    I've never thought tips were a problem, but a lot of people ask about them, and it makes me wonder whether I'm actually doing it right. I don't sharpen very often so it might be a year or two before I see a bird beak develop - I guess time will tell.

  5. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    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.

    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."
    I used to have a similar issue with my cleavers, they'd get sharp on the lower grit stones, and dull on the higher grit stones. Either I was multi-beveling the edge or rolling the edge. I think it was multi-beveling.

    Learning to sharpen on your own, is a challenge. How does all that information on the internet and videos, translate into action? What feedback is important to pay attention to, and what can be ignored?

    In my bumbling stumbling style of sharpening, I try as best as I can to identify an issue and then try to find an answer.

    Watching a Curtis video, he mentioned that he counts down the number of strokes he does on each side the blade. I tried that, and found that I wasn't using my stones to their best advantage. Now I sharpen on a stone, until I can't tell if there is any improvement on the edge, before I move to the next stone.

    Sharpening has been a series of baby steps. I'm either trying to solve a problem or try out an idea from the internet. Failure causes me to think of a new idea. Success means moving on to the next issue. To me an experienced sharpener is one who has solved all sorts of issues and tried a number of ideas.


  6. #26

    Help with a Damascus knife

    Broke out a 1/4 inch chunk on the blade. Can't post a picture. Any special care required to regrind the blade?

  7. #27
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Welcome Kim! Someone will be along with help have stones? What type knife?
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Where on the edge is it broken? Almost always if you chip off the tip you actually bring to top of the knife (non-cutting edge) down to the cutting edge, rather than sharpen the whole thing up

  9. #29

    Dave Martell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Airville, PA
    Don't bother answering this last question. The member asked to be removed from the list so he won't be here to follow up.

  10. #30

    What's your sharpening style?

    Hello Everyone,

    Although "I've been sharpening for years" (more like 4), but I still feel like a beginner (especially compared to people here). Although I have many questions, first I'd like to ask everyone about something I've been curious about.

    When I sharpened knives in the past, I would do a series of edge leading strokes on the stones that would do the entire edge in a single stroke. And save the edge trailing strokes when finishing/stropping. But I've also seen people do edge-leading and trailing strokes both the whole edge and sections at a time (like one inch or so at a time, working their way across the edge).

    I recently picked up a yanagi and I'm not sure which style to use to sharpen it. I've looked at the single bevel sharpening thread by Dave and he doesn't give these specifics. So now my questions. Why do people do the different styles? I feel like using single strokes for a whole edge helps me make a more even edge, but what are other people's preferences?


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