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Thread: Total Noob needs help starting to sharpen

  1. #11
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    You have all the info you need in the Chad Ward article and the videos to get started...it really is just putting in the work and getting more practice.

    We've all went through these struggles when starting, so don't feel frustrated that you didn't get it the very first time out...it is a process that you will continue to get better results with over time. Just don't give up on it, I promise it will pay off soon enough.

    The muscle memory of holding a consistent angle is most important early on, so beater knives are fine for this; however, move onto the Tojiro when you feel comfortable--it will feel better on the stones, burr abrasion/removal much easier, etc. than a crappier steel knife.

    Have fun with it!

  2. #12
    FinkPloyd's Avatar
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    1000 grit is not really what I would use to sharpen dull knives. I would start with 400 grit first and then go up to 1000, and higher. This stone will probably suit your needs the best.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonlord View Post
    And don't forget that with a really blunt knife it may take more strokes to raise a burr than they recommend in the videos
    +1

    I suspect this is the core of your problem.

    Feeling burrs: (There are lots of ways to check for one, this is just mine.)

    Hold the knife edge-up and place the your thumb along the left side of the edge. Roll/scrape the pad of your thumb across (not along, obviously) the edge from left to right. Now repeat this motion from right-to-left. If you have a good burr, one direction should feel much smoother than the other one.

    This is because the edge is shaped sort of like the top half of the letter "C". In one direction you are rubbing along the smooth back of the "C", and in the other direction you can feel the inside of the "C" scraping against your skin.

  4. #14
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    +1 to the magic marker technique. That will clearly show whether your properly hitting the edge of the knife while you are sharpening. I prefer marking the entire length of the blade.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  5. #15
    Senior Member Shinob1's Avatar
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    Although I'm new to sharpening, I can say feeling the burr for the first time was a light-bulb moment. The stones you have are medium to fine, so it will take longer on your 1k grit stone to develop a burr. What I did, (I used a King 1k stone), is sharpened on one side until I felt the burr across the whole edge of the knife. You'll definitely know when you have a burr and once you have it going along the whole knife, then switch to the other side.

    Once your comfortable with developing and flipping the burr to each side, you'll be on your way to developing a new edge. Next you'll have to reduce the burr and finally deburr the edge so that you remove any wire edge from the knife.

    All of the videos linked will get you started. My first time out I did okay and produced a reasonably sharp edge. Just keep at it and the more experienced members here can steer you in the right direction if you encounter any difficulties.

  6. #16
    Great comments guys! I went at it with the DP yesterday and definitely improved its sharpness from what it was, but still have some work to do to get it at the desired sharpness. It's helpful to hear that I may need to spend a little more time with these particular grit stones combined with the relative dullness of each of my knives, to achieve the level of sharpness we all are looking for.

    The DP felt much easier to hold at it's angle than the wider angle on the beater chef's knife. I tried the magic marker trick and that was certainly helpful. Again, thanks for the tips folks. I'm just gonna keep at it until I get the right feel! For clarification: we strop at the end (with newspaper/cardboard/leather/etc) to further polish the edge, correct?

  7. #17
    Senior Member Shinob1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhunkyPhilibuster View Post
    Great comments guys! I went at it with the DP yesterday and definitely improved its sharpness from what it was, but still have some work to do to get it at the desired sharpness. It's helpful to hear that I may need to spend a little more time with these particular grit stones combined with the relative dullness of each of my knives, to achieve the level of sharpness we all are looking for.

    The DP felt much easier to hold at it's angle than the wider angle on the beater chef's knife. I tried the magic marker trick and that was certainly helpful. Again, thanks for the tips folks. I'm just gonna keep at it until I get the right feel! For clarification: we strop at the end (with newspaper/cardboard/leather/etc) to further polish the edge, correct?
    Yep stropping is the last step.

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