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Thread: From bad to not terrible at sharpening

  1. #1
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    Default From bad to not terrible at sharpening

    I would like to get better than "Not Terrible" at sharpening tools. I know that there are many ,many, many videos of people sharpening and at the end of each video they slice paper with their chisel or knife or scraper. I even took a class on sharpening. Trouble with that class is that they had a fancy, expensive sharpening, honer, motorized, doohicky that I don't have.

    I would like to hear from folks who are confident of their sharpening skills and could offer their knowledge.
    Last edited by Doug W; 03-23-2020 at 09:27 AM.
    I am the best ukulele player on my block!

  2. #2
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    David Charlesworth ruler trick.
    Rob Cosman.
    Take what works for you.

    Aaron Keim recommended Shapton Ceramics to me, which I use 1000 and 8000 iirc. I also have a 320, but haven't used it. And a “Double time” flattening stone from Sharpening Supplies.

    Add in Veritas MKII jig, and I've moved back to blades wherever I can. Can't freehand like Rob, and that's ok. Braces are so Zen.

    Coincidentally, I just did a workshop last month for the UGH, and the topic was Sharpening, using the stones and guide mentioned above.

    If you want more for conversation, read on:
    I’ve used oil stones my entire culinary career. Acquired a few diamond stones as well. For some reason (probably the two listed above), I was looking to water stones, but didn’t like that they had to be kept soaked.

    Also have the original Veritas MKI jig, and a cheap Lie Nielsen style guide.

    I had issue with the 3 digit cost of ceramic stones, flattening stones, and veritas jig. In retrospect, a Tormek could’ve been in the quiver. Have never used a Tormek, have no intent of ever using dull edges with the 2 stones (ok, 3) that I have from Shapton.

    The oil stone sits, and the diamond stone looks rusty, and sits.
    Last edited by Kekani; 03-23-2020 at 06:15 PM.

  3. #3
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    I've worked in Commercial kitchens and sharpened knives.

    I think that an important point (pardon the pun) that many people miss when sharpening knives/tools is the importance of "standing up the edge" when sharpening. At a microscopic level when you look at an edge you will find that a blunt edge is an edge that has the point rolled over due to wear and tear. If you've ever seen a honing tool you will notice that its pretty much just hard steel with next to no abrasive properties. Honing works with technique and that technique is to "stand up the point/edge". You do this by working the tool AWAY from the point on both sides so that it stands up and you don't work down against the point/edge which just rolls it over at a microscopic level.

    I'm not impressed by Chef's/Butchers who try to demonstrate just how fast they can wave a knife around while they claim to be sharpening a knife. I can make a blade much sharper with just a few slow, careful and considered strokes using the right technique (stand up the point).

    No need to be flashy.
    Last edited by anthonyg; 03-23-2020 at 07:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Kekani and anthonyg,

    Thanks to both of you for answering. I will incorporate both your ideas in sharpening not only tools but also kitchen knives which are in bad shape at the moment.

    Just the kind of information I was looking for.

    Thanks again,
    Doug
    I am the best ukulele player on my block!

  5. #5
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    Wisconsin, central USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug W View Post

    I would like to hear from folks who are confident of their sharpening skills and could offer their knowledge.
    I'm not a luthier, but have been a woodworker for 35 years. Sharpening of chisels and plane blades for luthier work is the same. You don't need motorized sharpening jigs ( wood turners, do, but they are really hard on turning tools ). A set of 3-4 grit water stones and some patient learning and practice.

    The following link is from Highland Woodworking (Atlanta, Georgia, USA). It's as good of a starting point that you'll find without spending hours on YouTube. The presenter is a pro and teaches these sharpening techniques at Highland. He covers back-flattening, different grit progressions. I've used the same sharpening and re-sharpening techniques thousands of times.

    https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/...enchisels.html

    There are a number of other courses taught by Christopher Schwarz and other woodworking luminaries. An internet search is your best friend!

    Also, StewMac website (Trade Secrets) has a photo instruction at: https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Trade...ke_razors.html

    I am NOT affiliated with, nor do I have an affiliation account with either of these businesses. Feel free to do your own search for an independent link.
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  6. #6
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    WP,

    Thanks for the ideas. I will follow the links you posted. Hopefully all my tools will be razor sharp in a short time.

    Thanks,
    Doug
    I am the best ukulele player on my block!

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