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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening - Standing up vs. Sitting Down
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 4741
I guess I need to try sitting just to see how it feels. Were would we be with all our toys without experimenting.



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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening - Standing up vs. Sitting Down
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:46 am 
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I too use a sink bridge which you can see in most of my sharpening videos. I couldn't imagine not having a setup where I had to worry about where the water is going. Instead of soaking stones I just let the water drip over the stone. It is rare that I ever soak a stone and I never soak a stone in a common water bath with other stones.

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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening - Standing up vs. Sitting Down
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:49 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 540
Like do many posts on this forum, I learned something. A simple qquestion opens the door. Ken not soaking his stones in a common bath for example. I prefer to stand and I have an awesome light that I got from Lee Valley.


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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening - Standing up vs. Sitting Down
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:48 pm
Posts: 98
+1 on Ken's reminder about avoiding cross-contamination by using a common soaking bath (although there are times when a lot of the surface area in the kitchen is taken up with little plastic tubs!)


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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening - Standing up vs. Sitting Down
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:15 am
Posts: 65
Great tips on the lighting, and breaking my habit of soaking in a common bath. I'll fix that, lord knows I have plenty of little tubs hiding in drawers around the kitchen. And lots of people use their waist and pivot more than I do, which is something else for me to start working on. Even in some of the instructional videos online, you're only seeing or hearing about a small part of what the body is doing when sharpening, so this has been pretty helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening - Standing up vs. Sitting Down
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:48 pm 
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Jeffuith wrote:Great tips on the lighting, and breaking my habit of soaking in a common bath. I'll fix that, lord knows I have plenty of little tubs hiding in drawers around the kitchen. And lots of people use their waist and pivot more than I do, which is something else for me to start working on. Even in some of the instructional videos online, you're only seeing or hearing about a small part of what the body is doing when sharpening, so this has been pretty helpful.


Boy o boy, I'll say!


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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening - Standing up vs. Sitting Down
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:57 am 
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With each joint of the body that moves, it becomes an increasing sort of error. So if the wrist flexes, it unnecessarily rounds the edge. Same with the elbow, hips, spine, knee and ankle. Just think of the complexity of human movement! (A topic I spent 12 years studying before even becoming a pro sharpener). Try to describe the incredible complexity of a human being with a tennis racquet arriving at just the right time to hit a tennis ball, let alone aim it.

Like many Japanese thoughts, there is much to be said for simplicity - in this case simplicity of movement. Simplicity is not simple. It comes from the considerable effort of removing unnecessary complexity. A simple perfect stroke looks simple but it is the result of having removed complexity. So in this case the simplest movement is one where a single joint is moved and the rest is unchanged. Try pivoting from the ankles. It will feel unnatural, but eventually after some active meditation, you will see the beauty of it's simplicity. I won't say that this is how I always do it, but if I am striving for extreme freehand precision, I strive for this approach.

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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening - Standing up vs. Sitting Down
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:07 am 
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If you are conserving space in your work area, soak your next two stones in CLEAN water. Then when you are done, use the next stones in those baths. Do NOT return the soaked stones to those baths. If necessary they can be rewetted over the sink. This way your bath water is always clean (assuming that you are not putting a muddy stone into a bath). I don't use Besters which require long soaks to be effective so keeping a pond of stones in permasoak and refreshing water and worrying about mold etc is something I don't ever deal with. I don't permasoak Nubatamas although some folks do. It is not recommended.

Whatever you do don't stick a bunch of pristinely clean Shaptons in with a muddy King stone. Someone did this to my stones once and I needed to lap all 6 sides of each Pro stone to clean them up - a lot. I wasn't happy.

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Ken

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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening - Standing up vs. Sitting Down
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:54 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:15 am
Posts: 65
Jeff B wrote:I guess I need to try sitting just to see how it feels. Were would we be with all our toys without experimenting.



Awesome sentiment. TY. I mean, I spent MANY of hours studying videos before I bought my first stones or my first ITK kiritsuke from CKTG. And I bought the Kiri because I thought that would give me a reasonably flat edge to learn to sharpen on, where I could work on motions without worrying about a tip... (thanks Bob Kramer videos...) but that all kind of melted once I actually got some metal on, and started learning. And realized that the ITK Kiritsuke really doesn't need that much sharpening anyway... it's a legit freakin knife, that I hope to get re-handled one day, as it was my first 'real' knife? If that makes sense. I've sanded and oiled the handle, softened the tang and choil, i've made it comfortable based on advice here.

I started on a Norton combination kit with my first knives, Dexter-Russel stuff I got from the restaurant depot in SF, and probably jumped 3 steps ahead about 2 steps too early. But I've reset the edge on some knives that turned crap into a legit knife and still stand by my 6" calphalon because it's thin, sharp, holds the edge I put on it FOREVER... I touch it up occasionally but it's still stupid sharp for slicing onions paper thin. I don't even know what kind of steel it is, but damn, I turned a dull piece of shit into a really good knife, I think?? (I do think I picked up some good early-adopter knives from Costco test-markets and whatnot, that you can't get now because they're the same brand/knife but not the same... but still... ) But I've f---ed up some dexter russel boning and chef knives... I understand why people use DR in pro kitchens, but dang.

In the middle, I started sharpening my dad's Wusthof and Henckels knives on my Norton water stones. I saw his butt cheeks clench early on, but I think he's ok with it now... ;)

I still reach for my ITK Kiritsuke for slicing grilled tri-tip and stuff. It's just pretty awesome, despite being super tall.

Regarding work space, I started out with an oversized sheet pan that could hold my stone bench, a couple buckets of water, and went from there. I was definitely not taking it to the level of appreciating each stone for what it was, as I went for a Norton stone kit that gave me a huge range from 250k to 8k. But understanding how I was 'muddying the waters' by mixing stones and baths makes sense to me now. One thing I learned was that I set a beach towel under my sharpening 'area' because I tend to splatter when moving stones and knives around and wiping things down... I realize I'm very much a newbie when it comes to sharpening but damn, I can make a mess, and I'd rather not screw up my table.

15 seconds can take me from 'kinda lazy' to really caring and doing it right, even on 'affordable' stones. I still love my over-sized sheet pan for sharpening on, but a sink bridge sounds super sexy for my living situation.

And will definitely be spending my time working on sharpening at counter-level or around there with better body-control.


Last edited by Jeffuith on Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening - Standing up vs. Sitting Down
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:15 am
Posts: 65
So yeah.. This is what my stone looked like early on. It's kind of ugly? But I did some good work in a bad way, apparently...


Image

Posting this is supremely not sexy, but I've already learned a lot from this thread, and I hope to learn more. This is where I was at 6 months ago.

Wobbling the blade, not committing to a physical position, inconsistent pressure, and using my drawing hand more than my fingers, to lead the stroke on the stones.

For Nortons, the 4k wore SUPER fast vs. the lower grit stones hardly at all, and I barely used the 8k except as a touch-up or to get a really nice polish... on some crappy edges. i REALLY feel like the 8k norton stone got me some super shiny metal behind the sloppy edges...

Lol. So yeah. This is what my learning looked like... A mix of standing at the counter, sitting at a table, and not really committing resulted in a pretty embarassing picture!


The stones were FLAT, but they weren't LEVEL. And then I went down a really nasty rabbit hole of bad practice or something?
I hope the bester 1.2k and rika 5k don't see this kind of ... embarassment...


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