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Nemo

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Hi All,

I am still having difficulties removing the burr, over the week I've focused on technique based on the resources you guys have sent through, but I am still having difficulties getting the knives to hair whittling sharp.

I'll talk you guys through my process in hopes that you guys can give me some additional pointers to help me improve my sharpening game.

So I've gone back to my suehiro cerax 1k stone and I get a small burr on one side then flip to the other side and get another small burr all along the edge.

This is where I am struggling, I think my issues lies with burr removal, I've tried the burr removal method on Jon Broida's video using the 'J' technique, running the knife through a cork and Kippington's method, yet I still can't get the knife any sharper than what it already is.

I mean the knife is sharp, it cuts through everything in the kitchen clean.... just not hair whittling sharp.

I had some Koyo Green rogue that came through the mail today and I crayoned it in into my leather strop, this has further refined the sharpness ( best way to describe it is while slicing through news paper it cuts more a little cleanly and does not tear compared to stropping without compound, not that it was tearing to begin with).

All in all I find Kippington's method leaving my edge with more tear compared to Jon's 'j' stropping method, is there any times you guys can give to help me improve my sharpening to the next level ?
This recent thread on burrs may help?

Edit: I forgot to post the link:


Can you describe what you mean by "more tear" with the KDM?
 
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ModRQC

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Nowadays I've been doing edge leading for most of the burr removal, then light edge trailing strokes at the end, followed by a bit of stropping on chromium oxide (just since that's what I have) or cardboard, then stropping on a kitchen towel. For the kitchen towel, I have one end secured in a vise and I hold the other end taut while I strop. Feel like it does something.

Remembering of @stringer advice. I really need to try this.

I vouch by the jointing. Which to me amounts to master longitudinal trail/lead single motion. Which highest chance of failure results from too much weight applied at any point, and sure won't support any angle inconstency without showing. And which could mean nothing. Quite a struggle to get there still. Sincerely, I've been avoiding any kind of stropping more and more as I got my hands and MM around this. Might go back to the finish stone a fair few times to get where I want. Will strop some SS. From a no man's land of getting to just a good edge and plateauing for a long while, I've been steadily improving on this.

But for this to work can't say enough praise of first deburring right, and how much edge leading motions ensure this. Another struggle that is - my former plateau had to be entirely breached by correct edge leading to even better edges without jointing. Then I messed up some of the advancement trying to do final jointing. And then muddied some gained refinement by stropping what didn't needed to be. Or I guess that now my stropping would need to be refined, IDK.

Latest struggle was Sukenari HAP-40. Required adjustments with stone progression AND some amount of final stropping. Probably some of it is illusory, but first time with conventional ideas in mind was rather of a failure. VG-10 and SG2 are easier dealt with - they mostly require the utmost attention to deburring and to a progression that ensures as much with as little pain as possible. Phantom burrs are a plague to any SS for that matter, but now imagine it on a steel hard enough and resilient enough to just laugh at most waterstones.

For tests I do cut paper and shave some hair but only thing I now care about is final performance on board over a few preps. There seems to be no test properly amounting to that, only a few guiding lights that it's time to go there and see. No steels are exactly the same even when the same neither. Been paying more and more attention to what kind of edge suits the knife on a long run with a given geometry and steel and within my use. Can't do what I do to a TF Mabs with any other White steel I tried - I'll never get any phrasing of "Mabs" and "chippy" to ever make sense to me.

Saying all this thinking I'm an inferior sharpener to any advice given above. But as advice comes: learn to deburr, pay particular heed to heel and tip, learn to deburr and pay particular heed to heel and tip. Deburring is one thing and then deburring is always another. Most edges about right cut most kind of paper. Good edges can shave. Hair popping is difficult but mostly a matter of deburring. Cut paper towel all you want with a fresh edge. I want an edge to catch regular printer paper and still cut it seamlessly. This is a particular feeling, and particularly winning one. I want the sound to reciprocate the grits perfecly. I want to test the whole of the edge in purely push cutting holding only one point of any paper with one hand. I'll entirely shred one to two full sheets of them testing so. I won't shave anything everytime I sharpen a knife nor waste a fresh paper towel. I do not always get what I want but learned to recognize edges that will endure board time beautifully - far from cutting paper involved into this. Yet printer paper tells a lot, prefer it to newspaper for feedback. Receipt paper for testing a final edge. Also give a lot of feedback. Especially 24 hours after with some steels. Board use - I do not always get what I want.
 

big_adventure

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Remembering of @stringer advice. I really need to try this.

I vouch by the jointing. Which to me amounts to master longitudinal trail/lead single motion. Which highest chance of failure results from too much weight applied at any point, and sure won't support any angle inconstency without showing. And which could mean nothing. Quite a struggle to get there still. Sincerely, I've been avoiding any kind of stropping more and more as I got my hands and MM around this. Might go back to the finish stone a fair few times to get where I want. Will strop some SS. From a no man's land of getting to just a good edge and plateauing for a long while, I've been steadily improving on this.

But for this to work can't say enough praise of first deburring right, and how much edge leading motions ensure this. Another struggle that is - my former plateau had to be entirely breached by correct edge leading to even better edges without jointing. Then I messed up some of the advancement trying to do final jointing. And then muddied some gained refinement by stropping what didn't needed to be. Or I guess that now my stropping would need to be refined, IDK.

Latest struggle was Sukenari HAP-40. Required adjustments with stone progression AND some amount of final stropping. Probably some of it is illusory, but first time with conventional ideas in mind was rather of a failure. VG-10 and SG2 are easier dealt with - they mostly require the utmost attention to deburring and to a progression that ensures as much with as little pain as possible. Phantom burrs are a plague to any SS for that matter, but now imagine it on a steel hard enough and resilient enough to just laugh at most waterstones.

For tests I do cut paper and shave some hair but only thing I now care about is final performance on board over a few preps. There seems to be no test properly amounting to that, only a few guiding lights that it's time to go there and see. No steels are exactly the same even when the same neither. Been paying more and more attention to what kind of edge suits the knife on a long run with a given geometry and steel and within my use. Can't do what I do to a TF Mabs with any other White steel I tried - I'll never get any phrasing of "Mabs" and "chippy" to ever make sense to me.

Saying all this thinking I'm an inferior sharpener to any advice given above. But as advice comes: learn to deburr, pay particular heed to heel and tip, learn to deburr and pay particular heed to heel and tip. Deburring is one thing and then deburring is always another. Most edges about right cut most kind of paper. Good edges can shave. Hair popping is difficult but mostly a matter of deburring. Cut paper towel all you want with a fresh edge. I want an edge to catch regular printer paper and still cut it seamlessly. This is a particular feeling, and particularly winning one. I want the sound to reciprocate the grits perfecly. I want to test the whole of the edge in purely push cutting holding only one point of any paper with one hand. I'll entirely shred one to two full sheets of them testing so. I won't shave anything everytime I sharpen a knife nor waste a fresh paper towel. I do not always get what I want but learned to recognize edges that will endure board time beautifully - far from cutting paper involved into this. Yet printer paper tells a lot, prefer it to newspaper for feedback. Receipt paper for testing a final edge. Also give a lot of feedback. Especially 24 hours after with some steels. Board use - I do not always get what I want.

tl;dr : Own your own recycling plant to perform all of these tests.

:D
 

shauk

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Nowadays I've been doing edge leading for most of the burr removal, then light edge trailing strokes at the end, followed by a bit of stropping on chromium oxide (just since that's what I have) or cardboard, then stropping on a kitchen towel. For the kitchen towel, I have one end secured in a vise and I hold the other end taut while I strop. Feel like it does something.

I've given it some thought, I'll be trying edge trailing sharpening stroke, followed by edge leading deburring stroke and finish up with edge trailing strop to clean up the edge a little.

Will throw in an update hopefully by the end of the week, the wife thinks I am nuts by now hahaha.
 

shauk

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Keep in mind hair whittling sharp isn’t easy straight off the stone. If that’s the goal tho, stropping most definitely gets you much closer.

Edge leading deburring is very effective, as mentioned, and helps to get cleaner apexes with good technique. This does take some time and repetition to figure out and do well tho. Eventually a feel for it develops.


Then strop the hell out of it, compound then clean leather.

I feel like stropping with compound compensate and brings my edge a little closer to my target, for example I can get my VG-10 sharp enough to shave arm hair and cut everything cleanly in the kitchen... just not hair whittling sharp.

With strop (no compound) it cleans and refines my edge and brings it 5% sharper than what it already is... and with compound maybe 10-15% ?

If 100% sharpness is hair whittling sharp for me I'd say I am sitting around 85-90 with compound stropping.

I should also point out that when I am doing edge leading deburring stroke I sometimes run the knife lightly into stone (cerax 1k) and having to redo the whole process again, I think my deburring stroke's angle is a little too high so more practice is needed there.

Hopefully I am able to achieve perfection in my technique and move on to my fancier knive (SG2) :D .
 

Nemo

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I've given it some thought, I'll be trying edge trailing sharpening stroke, followed by edge leading deburring stroke and finish up with edge trailing strop to clean up the edge a little.

Will throw in an update hopefully by the end of the week, the wife thinks I am nuts by now hahaha.
This will make a decent edge if you do it right. I did something similar for a long time (I also did a longitudinal deburring stroke on each side followed by gentle dragging through cork before stropping on diamond loaded balsa).

The next step after that for me was learning to minimise the burr by abrading it with ever gentler levels of pressure. And wow, what a difference that made! Especially on stainless steels.
 

shauk

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For tests I do cut paper and shave some hair but only thing I now care about is final performance on board over a few preps. There seems to be no test properly amounting to that, only a few guiding lights that it's time to go there and see. No steels are exactly the same even when the same neither. Been paying more and more attention to what kind of edge suits the knife on a long run with a given geometry and steel and within my use. Can't do what I do to a TF Mabs with any other White steel I tried - I'll never get any phrasing of "Mabs" and "chippy" to ever make sense to me.

Saying all this thinking I'm an inferior sharpener to any advice given above. But as advice comes: learn to deburr, pay particular heed to heel and tip, learn to deburr and pay particular heed to heel and tip. Deburring is one thing and then deburring is always another. Most edges about right cut most kind of paper. Good edges can shave. Hair popping is difficult but mostly a matter of deburring. Cut paper towel all you want with a fresh edge. I want an edge to catch regular printer paper and still cut it seamlessly. This is a particular feeling, and particularly winning one. I want the sound to reciprocate the grits perfecly. I want to test the whole of the edge in purely push cutting holding only one point of any paper with one hand. I'll entirely shred one to two full sheets of them testing so. I won't shave anything everytime I sharpen a knife nor waste a fresh paper towel. I do not always get what I want but learned to recognize edges that will endure board time beautifully - far from cutting paper involved into this. Yet printer paper tells a lot, prefer it to newspaper for feedback. Receipt paper for testing a final edge. Also give a lot of feedback. Especially 24 hours after with some steels. Board use - I do not always get what I want.


This is what my wife said as well, she's been using the knives and have noticed that my sharpening have gotten 'significantly' better. While our knives are really sharp, she's mentioned that she find the sharpness a 'level' higher than before ( I attribute this to the stropping then stropping with compound). Then again it has now come to a point where she cannot differentiate the 'sharpness' anymore cause I am sharpening the knife every other day (when my stones have dried I re-wet them and have a crack at it).
 

Nemo

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This is what my wife said as well, she's been using the knives and have noticed that my sharpening have gotten 'significantly' better. While our knives are really sharp, she's mentioned that she find the sharpness a 'level' higher than before ( I attribute this to the stropping then stropping with compound). Then again it has now come to a point where she cannot differentiate the 'sharpness' anymore cause I am sharpening the knife every other day (when my stones have dried I re-wet them and have a crack at it).
Wow, are you sharpening several times per week because the knife needs it or just to get practice?
 

Kawa

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Don't forget knife sharpening isnt something you pick of youtube alone.
You have to practise, make hours.

It's easy to learn, hard to master.

My suggestion is you pick a new variable/method and try that for a while. Doing 4-5 different deburring methods in a short while, or even on the same day, does't make you good at one.

I think patience and practise are keywords here.
 

Pie

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I feel like stropping with compound compensate and brings my edge a little closer to my target, for example I can get my VG-10 sharp enough to shave arm hair and cut everything cleanly in the kitchen... just not hair whittling sharp.

With strop (no compound) it cleans and refines my edge and brings it 5% sharper than what it already is... and with compound maybe 10-15% ?

If 100% sharpness is hair whittling sharp for me I'd say I am sitting around 85-90 with compound stropping.

I should also point out that when I am doing edge leading deburring stroke I sometimes run the knife lightly into stone (cerax 1k) and having to redo the whole process again, I think my deburring stroke's angle is a little too high so more practice is needed there.

Hopefully I am able to achieve perfection in my technique and move on to my fancier knive (SG2) :D .
I’d say your percentages are about right. You get those last bits of sharpness from stropping. But that does tell me about how clean your (and mine as well) edges are. Technique could stand to be better, as it’s possible to get to hair whittling with little or no stropping.

At the end of it, practice is really all we can do - which you seem to have no issue with :). Keep at it, you’ll have a series of “ah ha” moments, and eventually reach your goal. All the best!
 

Delat

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This is what my wife said as well, she's been using the knives and have noticed that my sharpening have gotten 'significantly' better. While our knives are really sharp, she's mentioned that she find the sharpness a 'level' higher than before ( I attribute this to the stropping then stropping with compound). Then again it has now come to a point where she cannot differentiate the 'sharpness' anymore cause I am sharpening the knife every other day (when my stones have dried I re-wet them and have a crack at it).

If you’ve been sharpening the same knife every other day for a while, then it’s probably due for a thinning.

What do you mean by “hair whittling” sharp, exactly? If you’re referring to the hanging hair test where you basically cut a hair by tapping it against the blade, or pulling it one-handed (i.e. no pressure) across the blade, then VG10 may not be capable of getting there.

I’ve only ever gotten carbon steels to that level, but maybe more experienced sharpeners than me could do it with stainless. I personally don’t find that level of sharpness distinguishable in the kitchen, and consider it just a sharpening flex - definitely a good flex though.
 
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ian

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I always thought "hair whittling" was when you could slice a bit off the side of a piece of hair, not cut it in half. Like what you do when you're whittling.

Good luck with that. 😃
 

ModRQC

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tl;dr : Own your own recycling plant to perform all of these tests.

:D

Paper used is going to the recycle bin anyhow. At a couple of sheets a couple times a week at worse, or a month at times, there's more than that just going there without getting cut. Can't reuse old paper towel to cut it can you? So that's a waste to me. Shaving is all well but... testing the whole length of the blade? That's a forearm fully shaved before long. Receipt paper, get a "roll" of that every grocery. Going to recycling anyhow. So yeah, printer paper, newspaper, receipt paper, if one uses any of them long enough, they start to reveal a lot, and there's always some under hand going to waste anyhow. I prefer newspaper for stropping.

I'm not entirely sure what you're aiming at there. You need to test that edge at some point, and going to cut food already is all well, but what if I don't need to right now, or what if I discover something I wasn't aware of? I sharpen on the kitchen counter, so yeah the station is all wrapped up and away if I'm cutting food. Bit late and untidy to get it all out again in mid prep. Not like I'm cutting paper for days satisfied with myself.
 

shauk

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Wow, are you sharpening several times per week because the knife needs it or just to get practice?


For practice!

Don't forget knife sharpening isnt something you pick of youtube alone.
You have to practise, make hours.

It's easy to learn, hard to master.

My suggestion is you pick a new variable/method and try that for a while. Doing 4-5 different deburring methods in a short while, or even on the same day, does't make you good at one.

I think patience and practise are keywords here.


Yeah I know is a patience and practise thing I'll keep working on it.

If you’ve been sharpening the same knife every other day for a while, then it’s probably due for a thinning.

What do you mean by “hair whittling” sharp, exactly? If you’re referring to the hanging hair test where you basically cut a hair by tapping it against the blade, or pulling it one-handed (i.e. no pressure) across the blade, then VG10 may not be capable of getting there.

I’ve only ever gotten carbon steels to that level, but maybe more experienced sharpeners than me could do it with stainless. I personally don’t find that level of sharpness distinguishable in the kitchen, and consider it just a sharpening flex - definitely a good flex though.


I doing think I've ground that much steel away yet, but I know at some point I'll need to be thinning my knives. I meant the hanging hair test pulling it across the blade one handed to get it to cut ! Yeah I've learned that earlier on this thread you can't get VG-10 that sharp but I'd like to perfect my skill and get a white steel to see how good my sharpening is.

Paper used is going to the recycle bin anyhow. At a couple of sheets a couple times a week at worse, or a month at times, there's more than that just going there without getting cut. Can't reuse old paper towel to cut it can you? So that's a waste to me. Shaving is all well but... testing the whole length of the blade? That's a forearm fully shaved before long. Receipt paper, get a "roll" of that every grocery. Going to recycling anyhow. So yeah, printer paper, newspaper, receipt paper, if one uses any of them long enough, they start to reveal a lot, and there's always some under hand going to waste anyhow. I prefer newspaper for stropping.

I'm not entirely sure what you're aiming at there. You need to test that edge at some point, and going to cut food already is all well, but what if I don't need to right now, or what if I discover something I wasn't aware of? I sharpen on the kitchen counter, so yeah the station is all wrapped up and away if I'm cutting food. Bit late and untidy to get it all out again in mid prep. Not like I'm cutting paper for days satisfied with myself.


Yellow pages will last you a VERY LONG TIME !!
 

ModRQC

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I've not been getting yellow pages or any type of such biblically good and readily disposable "sharpener's paper" in Canada in a long while. That era pretty much ended in the early 2000 around here. We barely get a paper letter anymore but from official government business. I've not seen a telephone book or yellow pages in decenies.

However I work in an appliances store. We'll throw some amount of printer paper into recycling as a very basic operational thing every day. I just need to bring home the last month's promo guidance list two times a year and I'm settled with printer paper. For receipt paper, well as I said, grocery once a week I get quite enough of it.

I don't even have a printer or printer paper at home. Those times are long gone too... and being an IT at loose times for my store as well as sidelines, printers are possibly the most useless, most hated machines on my list of many. When I see a printer I'm basically looking at a pile of virgin CD/DVDs to be burned onto. A total waste of time and resources nowadays. But hey, can't readily change the fact that these useless POS are daily runners in my line of work.
 

big_adventure

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Paper used is going to the recycle bin anyhow. At a couple of sheets a couple times a week at worse, or a month at times, there's more than that just going there without getting cut. Can't reuse old paper towel to cut it can you? So that's a waste to me. Shaving is all well but... testing the whole length of the blade? That's a forearm fully shaved before long. Receipt paper, get a "roll" of that every grocery. Going to recycling anyhow. So yeah, printer paper, newspaper, receipt paper, if one uses any of them long enough, they start to reveal a lot, and there's always some under hand going to waste anyhow. I prefer newspaper for stropping.

I'm not entirely sure what you're aiming at there. You need to test that edge at some point, and going to cut food already is all well, but what if I don't need to right now, or what if I discover something I wasn't aware of? I sharpen on the kitchen counter, so yeah the station is all wrapped up and away if I'm cutting food. Bit late and untidy to get it all out again in mid prep. Not like I'm cutting paper for days satisfied with myself.

Sorry! My comment was just a joke. You're write up was, as always, excellent.
 

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As for sharpening techniques, aside from burr raising and removal, I do an extra step at the end of each stone session, which is "jointing." This is a subtle skill and require some practice, so beware. Basically, you just draw the edge across the stone once or twice lightly, then sharpen both sides for a few strokes, feel the edge with you fingers to see if its scary sharp, if so, move to the next stone.

Have you tried doing this with a small piece of fine stone or very fine sandpaper held in the hand? I believe it will give you a lighter touch.
 
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This is a debatable technique, some found it useful but some found it pointless.
In my experience, burr removal is not a problem - edge leading and alternate strokes are usually enough. However, jointing just brings the edge to the next level.

My hypothesis is, burr creation and removal will inevitably generate fragile segments on the edge which may easily turn into microchips. Also, for heavily used knives, even if you resharpen to create a burr, it may not be big enough to remove larger microchips. Jointing likely solves this problem by removing steel at the edge aggressively (along with any remaining burr). The strokes after it may create an edge that is much more precise and robust.



Have you tried doing this with a small piece of fine stone or very fine sandpaper held in the hand? I believe it will give you a lighter touch.
I don't find the heavier touch a problem though.
 

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"Jointing" in a sharpening context, is simply an edge realignment. That can be with a circular or curved edge, as well as a straight edge. Basically, it's used to eliminate differences in blade height (peaks and valleys) in a cutting edge, and ultimately create a uniform edge along its'entire edge or circumferance. You "joint" the edge before sharpening. It's a great first step for dealing with chips, as well as other applications.

Example; I "jointed" a heavily damaged Chinese vegetable cleaver by clamping it in a vise, then using an axe-file to remove the entire length of the blade-edge, until the chips disappeared and blended equally into the remainder of the edge. One smooth stroke, from heel to tip,,, then repeat until the damage is gone,,,, and now your set to start resharpening. It's a heckuva lot quicker than trying to sharpen-out chips, and there's no heat.
 
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ian

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It's a heckuva lot quicker than trying to sharpen-out chips, and there's no heat.

I feel like this is misleading, though. You have to remove the same amount of steel doing it this way as sharpening out the chips, if you want to end up with a reasonable edge geometry, because you need to rebevel the knife.

I would imagine the advantage of breadknifing or whatever first is that

1) it's easier to know when you're done, since afterwards you just sharpen till you apex the edge, whereas if you're building up a big old sharpening burr while you remove the chips it can be hard to see when they're gone,
2) there's maybe less of a chance that you'll f up the profile,
3) (maybe?) chips in an existing edge might increase in size a little under the stress of sharpening, so maybe there's a chance you could get rid of a bit less steel if you get rid of the chips by breadknifing. Probably part 1) is much more important than 3) for that though. Yea, this is probably bull****.

With "jointing" as defined by JDC, idk if it's any better or worse than using Kippington's method (which is slightly different) on every stone, or just deburring with edge leading strokes on every stone or whatever. I think the general principle is "lots of fast metal removal creates an imperfect edge and a fat burr". So if you want a good edge with as little work as possible, you should try to get rid of any such fat burr before moving up to more gentle high grit sharpening, where it'll take more time to clean up stuff like that. Maybe just focusing on killing the burr via jointing or very high angle strokes is a slightly more efficient way to do that, since you're going to reform the apex anyway in a bit.
 
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Bobby2shots

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Blade-edge (apex) jointing is only the first step. Once the apex is completely uniform in height along the entire length of the blade, then you can "joint" the sides of the bevels using the same file and technique. You're left with a fresh raw edge that you can start refining the bevel.

One of the big advantages of jointing a badly damaged edge with a file, is saving wear and tear on your coarse stones. (most notably; "gouging" from a badly rolled-over or "mushroomed" edge, especially on softer stones.
 
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ian

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👍 It sounds like you’re saying “also do the initial sharpening with a file instead of a stone” which is fine and will save your stones, and may be faster if the knife/axe steel isn’t very hard. Strikes me less as a feature of “jointing” than of the medium you’re using. I’m not really sure what the difference is between “jointing the sides of a bevel” and sharpening.
 

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👍 It sounds like you’re saying “also do the initial sharpening with a file instead of a stone” which is fine and will save your stones, and may be faster if the knife/axe steel isn’t very hard. Strikes me less as a feature of “jointing” than of the medium you’re using. I’m not really sure what the difference is between “jointing the sides of a bevel” and sharpening.

It's primarily about dealing with the specific amount of damage that is present on the blade. Small micro-chips;,,, go ahead and sharpen routinely,,,,, but, with a badly damaged edge,,, I'll joint first. It's faster,,, no heat,,, no stone gouging,,, less stone flattening required,, longer stone life.

The difference with sharpening vs jointing the sides of the bevels, is speed. Remember, I keep saying "for badly damaged and rolled-over edges"
 
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Still, my reason for jointing is to make sure the edge is in perfect condition before the next stone. And again, this is the only way for me to achieve HHT4 on SG2 without stropping on pastes.
 

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Sorry if I've been hiding under a rock, but can someone explain what HHT4 or HHT5 means?
 

big_adventure

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Sorry if I've been hiding under a rock, but can someone explain what HHT4 or HHT5 means?

HHT = Hanging Hair Test.

You take a single hair, and hang it over the blade (which is pointing up). Pull the hair down, and if the edge is keen enough, it will skitter or catch on the "scales" in the hair or outright cut the hair.

HHT1 - the hair "violins" over the blade, making noise but not catching and breaking.

HHT2 - the hair catches eventually and splits lengthwise

HHT3 - the hair catches eventually and pops, with the popped end flying away a bit.

HHT4 - the hair catches immediately and pops, with the popped end flying a bit.

HHT5 - the hair is silently cut basically right on contact.

Quality disposable double-edge razor blades (Feather, Astra, blah blah) come out of the wrapper at HHT5.
 

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HHT = Hanging Hair Test.

You take a single hair, and hang it over the blade (which is pointing up). Pull the hair down, and if the edge is keen enough, it will skitter or catch on the "scales" in the hair or outright cut the hair.

HHT1 - the hair "violins" over the blade, making noise but not catching and breaking.

HHT2 - the hair catches eventually and splits lengthwise

HHT3 - the hair catches eventually and pops, with the popped end flying away a bit.

HHT4 - the hair catches immediately and pops, with the popped end flying a bit.

HHT5 - the hair is silently cut basically right on contact.

Quality disposable double-edge razor blades (Feather, Astra, blah blah) come out of the wrapper at HHT5.
Thanks for the explanation.
 
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