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Thread: What am I doing wrong?

  1. #1
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    What am I doing wrong?

    I've recently noticed that I really f**king up the geometry of my most used knives (Yusuke 270 gyuto and 210 petty) through my sharpening technique, or lack thereof. When I got into sharpening a little over a year ago, I played with several different techniques, and settled on a full sweep from tip to heel along the entire length of the stone. Recently, however, I've done a couple of Jon's on-line seminars and I now using a traditional Japanese technique.

    Somehow I'm putting pressure from the tip back about a few inches and the factory curve in the tip in being flattened out and it's starting to look like a bird's beak. I have an idea of how to go about making it look better by grinding off some of the area at the transition between the main belly and the tip.

    What's happening can pretty easily been seen in the photos. The top photo is my 270 gyuto in it’s current state. The middle photo is my 300 suji on top (which hasn’t been sharpened much, hence it still has the original profile), middle is the gyuto, and bottom is my 210 suji which is starting to show signs of the same deformation. The bottom photo is my 270 gyuto when it was brand new.

    I'd really love some feedback as to what I may be doing wrong and what to do to correct it. Cheers! mpp




    Shibui - simplicity devoid of unnecessary elements

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I used to have the same problem until I switched to a technique Jon showed in one of his videos


  3. #3
    Dave told us something about fixing this in one of his classes, I don't wanna say something wrong so I'll wait until he comes here and can say it himself but apparently it's a fairly common problem.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zitangy's Avatar
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    Technique: whatever style method you prefer.. it is steel removal.

    a) You need to be aware of your pressure. SInce it became a bird's beak ard the tip, I believe that as the metal around that area is thinner and thus too much metal has been removed. you need to reduce your pressure when teh tip area is on the stones. Alternatively the amount of strokes required required wld be ;less as it is a thinner areaaround that area

    b) When you are sharpening part by part, intersperse it with your long strokes.

    c) I have seen the middle of the knife overgrind as they just keep sharpeining on that particular part too much and wonder what happened.

    Be more aware its not your technique BUT how it i applied..

    have fun

  5. #5
    Senior Member zitangy's Avatar
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    "Be more aware its not your technique BUT how it i applied.."
    how it IS applied..

  6. #6
    This is a super common problem for a new sharpener to have to get past. The issue is bascially that you're grinding away under the pressure of your fingertips (which are behind the tip because you can't push down at the tip - right?) and this is happening because you're trying harder and harder to get the tip sharp but you're applying too much pressure which does just what you don't want - push the tip away from the stone. The answer to fixing this is to do it right.

    What an ass, huh? Yeah that's for sure. LOL

    So what's right? For starters, use less downward pressure on the (over the stone) hand and raise the handle more to reach the tip. That is what you should've done, what you now need to do is to fix the problem and that's pretty much the same thing except you need to grind away overhang (the beak) at the tip by working from the tip to the flat section behind it. Do this from both sides!

    Again this is very common and you're not alone here, I was the king of bird's beak when I started.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    This is a super common problem for a new sharpener to have to get past. The issue is bascially that you're grinding away under the pressure of your fingertips (which are behind the tip because you can't push down at the tip - right?) and this is happening because you're trying harder and harder to get the tip sharp but you're applying too much pressure which does just what you don't want - push the tip away from the stone. The answer to fixing this is to do it right.

    What an ass, huh? Yeah that's for sure. LOL

    So what's right? For starters, use less downward pressure on the (over the stone) hand and raise the handle more to reach the tip. That is what you should've done, what you now need to do is to fix the problem and that's pretty much the same thing except you need to grind away overhang (the beak) at the tip by working from the tip to the flat section behind it. Do this from both sides!

    Again this is very common and you're not alone here, I was the king of bird's beak when I started.
    yeah... light pressure and make sure you're lifting up and rotating enough to reach the tip (but not too far)... use sharpie if necessary (no shame in that at all). Its a combination of heavy pressure and not adjusting properly for the tip that causes this. What does your bevel look like near the tip? I cant see in the pictures, but i'd be willing to wager it gets larger right before the tip and then smaller as it nears the tip of the tip.

  8. #8
    What SHOULD the bevel at the tip look like? Mine seems to get get larger and larger from the start of the curve to the tip, whereas its pretty even before that. Is that normal or should it be even with the rest of the blade?

    Actually I notice that there is an area where the bevel is smaller than anywhere else on the blade right at the section where the tip begins to curve away from the rest of the blade. I sharpen in sections.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by slowtyper View Post
    What SHOULD the bevel at the tip look like? Mine seems to get get larger and larger from the start of the curve to the tip, whereas its pretty even before that. Is that normal or should it be even with the rest of the blade?

    It's normal to see a wider/taller? bevel at the heel (if the heel is thicker) and a progressively narrower bevel towards the tip as the blade thins. Unless you're using a jig (like an EdgePro) the bevel should be the narrowest at the tip because the blade is thinnest there.




    Quote Originally Posted by slowtyper View Post
    Actually I notice that there is an area where the bevel is smaller than anywhere else on the blade right at the section where the tip begins to curve away from the rest of the blade. I sharpen in sections.
    Sounds to me like you're skipping over a section.

  10. #10
    Also on the chefs knife, around 5cm from the tip it doesnt look too smooth.

    Just obcerve carefully where you grind off. If you see its not happening where you want it to be, adjust after every stroke until you find good hand position[and you grind exactly where you should]. Dont stop until you get there. It may take a while, so be patient
    Then remember it and i think the system is similar for every knife, just angles are different

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