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Still chasing the burr

Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:27 am

So I made my second attempt at sharpening. Feels as though I'm holding the angle pretty well based on my sharpie markings. Was able to raise a burr on the majority of the knife. The heel area actually gave me some problems. Couple of general questions
1- should I just keep going until I get a burr ni was at it for probably almost an hour
2- how much pressure is necessary while sharpening. I realize this is a subjective question but some suggestions would be helpful
3- how wet should the stone be during sharpening, I have been splashing some water on in as it starts to feel a little dry. I'm using a 1.2 k bester

Re: Still chasing the burr

Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:51 am


1) An hour is awfully long unless the edge is extremely obtuse. For example, I can generally get a burr with the Bestor 1.2k with less than 10 swipes of the blade. A few seconds tops. A minute or two if the knife is dull. If it way dull, I might use a 400 grit stone before the Bestor.

2) Pressure. I tend to go for between 1 and 5 lb.
If you have a kitchen scale, put the stone on top of it and zero it. Then push the knife down on it holding it as you do to sharpen. Get the feel for a couple 3 pounds and you will be all set.

3) The Bestor doesn't need much of a soak, maybe 5 minutes and then a splash as you go if it gets dry.

Re: Still chasing the burr

Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:19 pm

1. If you're not forming a burr after an hour....something has to change. What knife are we sharpening here? You should be able to form a burr with a 1200 within several minutes tops unless you've got a really thick edge, are thinning the poo out of the edge, or fixing something.

2. A little, not a lot. You don't want to flex the knife.

3. It should feel wet at all times. I keep my Bester 1200 pretty wet as I go. But, it's not necessary to do so. A soak of 5 to 10 minutes and then splash as it gets dry would work.

Re: Still chasing the burr

Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:42 pm

What knife are you sharpening? Usually on carbon steels I can get a bur with a few strokes. There are some really hard steels that take longer and some much longer so it would be helpful to know what kind of steel and knife you are sharpening.

Re: Still chasing the burr

Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:01 pm

I'm sharpening the artifex wa gyuoto. It's the fujiwara stainless steel

Re: Still chasing the burr

Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:14 pm


1. The knife is made well enough. No serious flaws.

2. This is a fairly new knife without any damage.

If those two assumptions are correct, and barring some other fluke, you should be raising a burr along the entire edge within 5 minutes. Can you take a close-up picture of your work thus far?

Re: Still chasing the burr

Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:01 pm

Does the Magic Marker trick show that you're sharpening all the way down to the edge?


Re: Still chasing the burr

Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:54 am

It appears as though there is a small section that the bevel is not sharpening as far up as the rest of the edge. If that doesn't make sense there is a small section the magic marker is not wearing off as far from the edge as the rest

Re: Still chasing the burr

Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:40 pm

Should I flatten the stone every time I sharpen or is I not necessary?

Re: Still chasing the burr

Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:38 am

As a general rule of thumb, the flatter the stone, the easer it is to hold a consistent angle to it, which makes getting good results as you are learning easer.
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