A few beginner questions

Discussion in 'Sharpening Station' started by jferreir, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. Jun 19, 2019 #1

    jferreir

    jferreir

    jferreir

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    Starting to beef up on my sharpening equipment as I'd like to get better, but have a few questions about maintenance...

    Is it safe/advisable to use a standard Naniwa stone fixer to flatten stones that range from 400 to 6000 grit, or is it better to use an Atoma plate (400?) to flatten the higher grit stones? Is there any danger in using the same stone fixer for both synthetic and natural stones? What about using the same nagura to clean/prep both synthetic and natural? For reference, I have a small handful of synthetics (4), and one small Takeda natural stone (~$60).

    Separately, I find it damn near impossible to sharpen the left side of the knife without switching hands. Would I be developing a terribly bad habit if I continue sharpening by swapping hands for each side? I just can't seem to maintain the angle on the left side when the knife is in my right hand -- I wobble too much, have little control over pressure, and I inevitably dig the edge into the stone! I can get a reasonable good edge when I hold the knife in my left hand, but I don't want to develop bad habits now that I'll have to correct later. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Jun 19, 2019 #2

    Bensbites

    Bensbites

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    1) switch hands if it works for you.

    2) I use an atoma 140 for flattening all my stones, no issues.

    3) when I sharpen the left side of the knife while holding it in my right hand, I use my thumb on the spine to set the repeated angle. Do what works for you.
     
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  3. Jun 19, 2019 #3

    Benuser

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    Very personal point of view: get the Atoma 140 instead. No real problem with fine stones: with the medium-fines ones, the grooves will make them faster. With really fine stones, take another stone or a nagura to get the surface smooth again.
    I don't like the SiC stones. Slow, not staying flat themselves and losing their huge particles, so you you have to rinse very carefully. For the same reason you can't raise mud with them.
    As for switching hands: heavily debated. Everybody does it in its own way.
     
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  4. Jun 19, 2019 #4

    Tristam Douglas

    Tristam Douglas

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    I prefer diamond plates and a huge marble tile I have for dressing stones. Stone fixers themselves need to be kept flat too! The Atoma 400 is a great bit of kit. I use it on all my synthetic and nats.

    Swapping hands for the different sides of the blade is perfectly acceptable technique!

    One thing that really helps is getting your working height optimised. I struggle to hold a consistent angle if the stone is too low.
     
  5. Jun 19, 2019 #5

    krx927

    krx927

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    Like Ben said for point 1. Whatever works for you. Recently there was s thread/poll who flips the knife and who uses other hand. It's very mixed. A lot of very experience guys here are switching hand a lot are flipping.

    I do exactly the same for points 2&3

    When sharpening the right side you can use your index finger to hold the angle, when doing left side it's thumb.

    And those Naniwa flattening stones are complete rubbish, waste of money. Just get Atoma 140.
     
  6. Jun 19, 2019 #6

    Bensbites

    Bensbites

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    Thanks K. Nice to see you active.
     
  7. Jun 19, 2019 #7

    jferreir

    jferreir

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    Thanks for the replies! So the Atoma 140 seems to be the consensus then?

    With regard to technique, I don't think I could use my right thumb to hold the angle without pressing it against the stone for stability -- not a great idea with a slurry of metal! It feels way more natural to hold the knife in my left hand, even though my coordination is still fairly limited. The biggest downside is getting the slurry on both hands, and trying not to transfer it to the handle (taping is a PIA). I suppose I was apprehensive of swapping hands because sharpening technique is almost never taught this way.
     
  8. Jun 19, 2019 #8

    Nick112

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    I bought the atoma 600 for flattening my stones, highest being 8000 grit. It works really sell for me at least. Just my 2 c
     
  9. Jun 19, 2019 #9

    Nick112

    Nick112

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    Once you have the slurry from the one hand, what is the problem being keeping that slurry on the stone when you switch hands?

    Im a newbie to
     
  10. Jun 19, 2019 #10

    jferreir

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    What I meant is that you invariably get slurry on your fingertips as you apply pressure to the edge. When you swap hands, those dirty fingertips are now holding the knife, so you have to be careful not to transfer the slurry to the handle. The bulk of the slurry should and does remain on the stone.
     
  11. Jun 20, 2019 #11

    M1k3

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    Could always wrap the handle with plastic wrap and Ace bandage or something like that. I found for myself, having the end of the stone near me about 1/4 inch higher helped keep my angles better on both sides. But recently I've been orienting my stone at 45° angle instead of directly in line with me. Switching hands is perfectly acceptable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  12. Jun 20, 2019 #12

    SeattleBen

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    Painter’s tape could be used to wrap the handle. Also it might not be that big an issue if you’re using cheaper handled knives as long as you oil the handle.


     
  13. Jun 20, 2019 #13

    Nick112

    Nick112

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    Jferrier ok i see. Yes that is one of the reasons I work with only one hand. Must keep the gear in good condition and care for them
     
  14. Jun 20, 2019 #14
    There's almost an annual "flipper vs switcher" thread. It breaks roughly 50/50. As has been said above, whatever works for you. For Utubers, Vincent from Korin was a switcher though his more recent stuff is flipping. You can find all kinds of stuff on the net - easily to the point of confusion. I stay with JKI and Korin as my primaries.

    I've not used an Atoma flattener but have been very pleased with JKI's diamond plate. If you're in the states it's a good option. Had a DMT XXC when I started - it would eat a stone in a minute.
     
  15. Jun 20, 2019 #15

    jferreir

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    I had no idea this was even a thing, but it's reassuring to know that being a "switcher" is kosher. Thanks everyone! I suppose I could wrap the handles, but I never do -- and probably never will. I oil my handles religiously, so if that helps prevent the transfer of slurry, I think I'm good.

    Thanks again to all!
     
  16. Jun 21, 2019 #16

    inferno

    inferno

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    I would suggest as everyone else you get a dmt/atoma/ez-lap plates, those are all quality brands. for the atoma the 140 is good. for the dmt i think the 325 is good and also the lower ones are supposedly good. and ez-lap have probably one between 150-300 or so. i would start there.

    for fine stones you simply rub 2 together after flattening them to get rid of the diamond marks.

    for sharpening i would suggest learning to use one hand (dominant) mainly. its goes much faster then. but its better if you can use both hands, for different tasks when needed. this takes quite a long time to master though.
     
  17. Jun 21, 2019 #17

    Nick112

    Nick112

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    I prefer the atoma 600 for my 8000 grit stone, just my 2c
     

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