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First Time

Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:05 pm

Hey guys

So I just finished my first ever sharpening session. I received a double sided stone (1k, 4k) for Christmas and couldn't wait to try it out. For this inaugural session, I attempted to sharpen a no name beater knife that has been sitting in the back of my drawer unused forever.

My results were not so hot. I have been watching the tutorials on CTKG and tried to do exactly what I saw Mark doing. Hopefully someone can help me figure out what I did wrong.

I did the sharpie trick and was removing all of the sharpie mark. However, I was having a hard time raising a burr (I tried for a long time). Maybe my angle wasn't constant? Maybe the burr was there but i just don't know what it feels like so I overlooked it? More than likely, I just wasnt getting a burr at all because something in my technique was wrong.

So I guess my questions are...

1) What are some tips for trying to maintain a constant angle and creating a burr?
2) Is it possible this old knife is so dull that a 1k will not raise a burr?
3) Is a burr something I will definitely know when I feel it?

I know these are all probably laughable questions to you guys but hey you gotta start somewhere.

Re: First Time

Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:01 pm

From a newbe, a few things that I have learned.

I rest my thumbs on the spine of the knife after I find the angle I want to hold. I let my thumbs lightly rub the surface of the stones. If my thumbs continuously rub the stone lightly I know I'm holding a consistent angle.
Most importantly TAKE YOUR TIME! I started off acting like some kind of Pro like you see on some of these videos rubbing away and got nowhere! Once I started to pay attention and slowed down I made a lot of progress.
As far as a burr, I didn't have much trouble knowing when it was there. It was more prominent on some knives and harder to raise on others. On the opposite side you just sharpened, if you run your finger from the spine of the knife down off the edge of the knife you will feel a ruff lip. That is the burr.

That's about all I can give you as a newbe but I'm sure some of the Pro's will be around shortly to help you more.

Re: First Time

Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:27 pm

Move your body...not your elbows or wrists. ie using your hips rather than the front part of your arms or hands to make a back and forth motion. Much easier to stand and do it than sitting.

Also, if you get a clip for paper (not a paperclip)...one of the ones with 2 black clips and foldover silver clips...and attach it the the opposite side of the knife...it has a consistent angle (I think the small clips are about 15 and the larger ones about 22. That might help you get the angle right.

Also - check out the angle cube that mark sells in the store.

Re: First Time

Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:16 pm

Thanks guys.

I have tried a couple times now and still cannot raise a burr/get the knife sharp. Still not sure what I'm doing wrong as I am pretty sure I'm on the edge (still using sharpie trick). I also do not think it is a product of me moving too quickly... i am doing a lot of strokes.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Could it be the knife? I don't really have any other "beater knives" that I'm not concerned about scratching. The next choice (i.e. cheapest) would be my CCK 1303 but I concerned about ruining it.

Re: First Time

Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:38 pm

If you just recently started, I think it's safe to say it is your technique. Everyone would like to blame the knife or the stone when we first started. Just practice. Keep sharpening. You will get it.

Re: First Time

Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:42 pm

Oh I am certain the problem is my technique... was just curious if another knife would be easier to learn on

Re: First Time

Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:47 pm

You can't really risk "ruining" a knife with a 1K or 4K grit stone...especially if you work slowly and monitor your edge as you go. So give any knife a shot and see what the results are. Sometimes trial and error lead to the most learning.

Re: First Time

Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:47 pm

Another thing...watch videos - there are a TON on Youtube - just search for "Sharpening Japanese Whetstone" and go from there...

Re: First Time

Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:48 pm

You may be lifting your wrist at the end of your stoke essentially rounding the edge. That is a problem I had at first.

Re: First Time

Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:23 pm

<> Jeff B

I just finished another sharpening session, and I think you are exactly right. I probably was lifting my wrists and rounding the edge.

I had been using Mark's technique from the tutorials, but this time I tried the technique where you hold the knife on an angle to the stone, instead of completely perpendicular. For what ever reason I think I was able to maintain a more consistent angle this way and not lift my wrists at the top of my stroke.

Definitely got much better results this time. Still not arm hair shaving sharp, but much better than I have been doing. Practice, practice, practice I guess.

Thanks for the continued help guys.

P.S. This is starting to get really fun
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