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 Post subject: Friday question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:27 am
Posts: 199
Location: Yuma, AZ
So here's a question for no one in particular on a Friday night...

When does sharpening become a hobby instead of a job? When does it become an obsession? When does getting a knife sharp replace making an edge usable?

What brought it up is that when I came home this afternoon I went after my Shimo 150 petty. Not because I couldn't use it in the kitchen, but because for the first time in a long time I had free time. No after school teaching, no coaching, no meeting. Just time to go home and play. Now it goes through a roma tomato like a surfboard through water. It added no functionality but it was fun. It could do everything I needed it to before with an A for a grade. It just does it better.

So what's the line between function and fantasy? Yeah Friday!



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 Post subject: Re: Friday question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 4717
coachnj wrote:So here's a question for no one in particular on a Friday night...

When does sharpening become a hobby instead of a job? When does it become an obsession? When does getting a knife sharp replace making an edge usable?

What brought it up is that when I came home this afternoon I went after my Shimo 150 petty. Not because I couldn't use it in the kitchen, but because for the first time in a long time I had free time. No after school teaching, no coaching, no meeting. Just time to go home and play. Now it goes through a roma tomato like a surfboard through water. It added no functionality but it was fun. It could do everything I needed it to before with an A for a grade. It just does it better.

So what's the line between function and fantasy? Yeah Friday!


The appropriate questions should be When does it not become a hobby.....Not become an obsession....When is not getting a knife sharp replaced by making an edge usable? Now we have a starting point! :D



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 Post subject: Re: Friday question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:45 am 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 4:42 pm
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Location: USA... mostly.
COACH <> I'm a painfully pragmatic type of person. I sharpen for purpose & purpose only... to make my tools work as they were designed to. That said, I enjoy sharpening my tools... with my tools. :P Sharpening is part of my job, but I do not view it as an undesirable job.



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 Post subject: Re: Friday question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:42 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:56 pm
Posts: 330
Only time I don't like the sound of the blade on a stone is when I'm doing the couple hundred steak knives at work.


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 Post subject: Re: Friday question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:50 am 
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Location: USA... mostly.
PANKO <> That's a job, and that would suck. :|



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 Post subject: Re: Friday question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:11 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:48 pm
Posts: 173
Coach, I hope it's a long road and that I have a long way to go to the obsession sign :). I'm still a fairly new sharpener by sharpening standards (under a year) and I find myself re sharpening knives all the time. I dont do it to my higher end knives but I have sharpened my wa artifex too many times to count. Not only has this helped me become more consistent its made me realize how far I still have to go. Problem is, I seem to be at the point of marginal returns (at least with this knife) and I still find myself wanting to sharpen all the time. On well, maybe I'm closer to the sign than I thought..... There are worse obsessions in life. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Friday question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:29 pm
Posts: 500
I originally learned to sharpen from my father. I learned the basics at around 12yrs old I would guess. He taught me out of necessity to be able to keep my knives sharp myself for skinning and also for filleting fish. I learned in Arkansas stones using oil and back then learned some knives were much easier to sharpen than others. This was before I knew anything about the different steels. This is where my knife fetish began. At a time before the internet, knife selection and research was limited to other sportsmen I knew, or looking through catalogs from bass pro, etc... There were some local stores that I bought some from but they were mainly case knives.
Not until I switched to japanese stones and steel did I REALLY enjoy the art of sharpening. The value of my knives went up exponentially as did my desire to care for them. I believe one of the reasons we all enjoy it is the zen aspect of it. In our hurried lives many of us seldom slow down to just be. To connect deeply to something that is relaxing and cleansing. It's not only about getting your knife sharp anymore when you consider it a hobby. I can compare it to the mystique of shaving with a straight razor. To take a mundane task, break it down into a fine art that you enjoy. It's a time to slow down, disengage and connect with something somewhat primal within us.

With the added bonus of the giddy feeling when you use an ultra sharp knife.


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 Post subject: Re: Friday question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:18 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
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For me, I was learning to cook (home cook). I was at that place where better tools were needed to be a better cook. Better tools need better care. With better tools I found cooking was more rewarding and my product was better. It became cyclical, use better ingredients, techniques, and tools, maintain tools better, become better cook, repeat. Sharpening is part of maintaining, learning, and expanding my skill set. I do not cook for income, but it is part of my job in our home and I do it because it needs to be done, I enjoy doing it well, and I reap the benefits of my efforts.

If something needs doing and you enjoy doing things well, then you enjoy doing what needs doing because you care how it gets done.

I guess I don't really know what delineates a job from a hobby :)


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 Post subject: Re: Friday question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:42 pm
Posts: 109
Location: Boston, MA
I think the line is blurred for those who do not approach tasks, hobbies, jobs, etc in a half-assed way. I've always been a believer in doing something well or to the best of your abilities. And if you need to do something and aren't very good at it then learn to do it well. And if you do it well, you'll likely enjoy it. Except when it's sharpening a couple hundred steak knives.


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 Post subject: Re: Friday question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:48 pm
Posts: 96
I grew up hunting and fishing with my Dad; had my first knife when I was five and quickly learned that DULL knives are worse than useless. By the time I was in college, I was collecting whatever knives I could afford or whatever anybody would give me - and everyone was used at least to some degree and kept sharp. Then came some customs, more oil stones, etc. I discovered in my 20s that the best way to cure a headache for me was to sharpen a knife or two - the sound and tactile sensation cause everything else to fade away. Thats also the same time I discovered my love for cooking, which continues to this day.
But, as the Pennsylvania Dutch say, "we grow too soon old and too late smart". Now that I have discovered both fine J-knives and proper sharpening technique, I can enjoy getting my knives even sharper; the cooking is also a lot faster and more fun.
Thanks to for all the gracious advice and experience passed along on this forum, and also to Mark and Sue at CKTG.
Tom


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