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 Post subject: Learning to sharpen: Here are my mistakes so far.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:21 am
Posts: 114
Location: Long Island, NY
Thought this might be helpful for those like me who come after me.... I am a complete and total noob to knife sharpening looking to learn it. None of my immediate acquaintances are doing it themselves (they send it out) so I'm looking to learn it from videos and reading. Easier said than done.... but getting there. Since figuring out what I've done wrong seems just as important as figuring out what I've done right thought I'd start compiling a list.

That said (tongue firmly implanted in cheek) here are my rookie errors so far. Can you believe I:

- Didn't form a burr at all on the edge first try.
- Didn't know I needed to form a burr on both sides of the blade. Not just the first one.
- Tried to sharpen with no pressure at all on the stone.
- Tried to sharpen with so much pressure it lifted the pivot arm assembly and scored a nice vertical line into the edge of the blade.
- Tried to sharpen the tip with a really wide pivot - i.e., instead of moving the blade tried to go too wide with the arm and nearly flattened my tip.
- Went to check the sharpening angle, moved the tightening nut and changed my sharpening angle. (It was really good practice starting all over from scratch however!)
- Tried to work my 1K stone to the point I could feel the same size burr as with my 500.
- Let my stone dry out.

What was I thinking :mrgreen: ?

That said nobody was injured and when I laid out 3 knives I sharpened and 2 I hadn't all 3 of my family members correctly identified the knives I'd sharpened. So I'm declaring a general victory and retreating to my kitchen.

Looking forward to updating my list going forward with even more incredible blunders.



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 Post subject: Re: Learning to sharpen: Here are my mistakes so far.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:47 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 174
I'll give you what I have learned

The burr - you want to creep up on it. if you'll be going through say 3 stones, you don't want to
develop a monster burr Because you'll be removing metal from the other side as well. Start with 2-3 passes on one side then flip. 2-3 passes on back side and so on. If you work one side over and over before flipping sides, you will be removing more metal than necessary.
The bigger the burr, the harder it is to remove it and/or a wire edge.
As you should be lifting up sightly in order to avoid creating a burr.

Pressure - If a knife is in pretty good shape, I use the weight of the arm only. rough shape I use light pressure. If you lean on it, you're working on removing the stone surface as well as the metal. You dish the stone early and a dished stone results in a poor EP edge because the angle keeps changing as you draw the stone across the edge. The synthetics most of us use cut well on their own. Learning this was the biggest breakthrough I had sharpening
.BTW ,I hope you have a method the flatten the stones.

The Tip/Wide Pivot - You can move the knife back & make the tip perpendicular to the blade but you then have to blend the bevel to the rest of the knife. It's OK, I do it annd it works for me. Also but a light amount of torque on the arm as you get to the tip so the stone doesn't "fall off" and PAY ATTENTION when you get near the tip.

500/1K Burr - The higher the grit , the smaller the burr. After 5-8K grit, i check for a burr by cutting newspaper because I can't fell it.

Sharpening Overall - Patience. Get fustrated, try to rush, push harder. Bad results & takes the fun out of it.
Damn! That's the most sentances I've ended in a preposition since 4th grade.

HTH

Douglas - EPP lover


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 Post subject: Re: Learning to sharpen: Here are my mistakes so far.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:50 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 174
"
"As you should be lifting up sightly in order to avoid creating a burr."

Should readWhen you are on your last strokes with a given stone you should be lifting up slightly.........


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 Post subject: Re: Learning to sharpen: Here are my mistakes so far.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:09 pm
Posts: 109
That's the most sentences I've ended in a preposition since 4th grade.


ROFL!! Awesome advice on that whole post!


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 Post subject: Re: Learning to sharpen: Here are my mistakes so far.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:32 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Cape Town , SA
And possibly most important with the EP is the blade table, change the tape often and keep the knife flat on the table so the angles don't change, it can happen all to easily if the blade has a convex grind and rocks on the table, the Magnet underneath does help or if you have a steady grip.


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 Post subject: Re: Learning to sharpen: Here are my mistakes so far.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:01 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:21 am
Posts: 114
Location: Long Island, NY
Thanks for the tips guys. Getting there.... ordered the angle cube and flattening plate today.

Appreciate the input on flipping the blade before too large a burr forms.

So, why change the tape often? Thought the tape was to reveal whether you're hitting the edge with the stone. Haven't hit it yet... Does that mean I"m working too far away from the table?



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 Post subject: Re: Learning to sharpen: Here are my mistakes so far.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:51 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:32 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Cape Town , SA
Robstreperous wrote:Thanks for the tips guys. Getting there.... ordered the angle cube and flattening plate today.

So, why change the tape often? Thought the tape was to reveal whether you're hitting the edge with the stone. Haven't hit it yet... Does that mean I"m working too far away from the table?

The tape is to protect the blade and table two fold, water and metal residue "swarf" creates a grinding paste and can scratch the blade, the tape also gets a bit ruffled and reduces flatness (rocks the blade)
I use duct tape now , it's water resistance is better, also our painters tape locally isn't great.
Simple- change it often as most do.
Did you order the magnet?


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 Post subject: Re: Learning to sharpen: Here are my mistakes so far.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:09 pm
Posts: 109
I saw a thread on the Spyderco forums about making a riser block that can be used for shorter knives. It also seems like it would aid with hollow grind knives. Not sure if I can link to it, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Learning to sharpen: Here are my mistakes so far.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:53 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:21 am
Posts: 114
Location: Long Island, NY
Thank you again. Did not realize the tape was to protect the blade.

Yepp.. installed the magnet last weekend. It made a big difference.



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 Post subject: Re: Learning to sharpen: Here are my mistakes so far.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:42 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 174
I'm not a fan of the magnet because I am worried about it magnetizing the knife making it harder to remove the swarf.
I don't want swarf from a lower grit stone rolling around on the edge when I go to the next higher grit.
Don't know if that's based on fact but it's my worry.
The EP is easy to learn but there is still a learning curve, part of which is holding the knife flat. You can get cheap beater knives from a tag sale or Goodwill to practice on.....practice won't take long and you sure don't need a full set.
On a convexed geometry knife I used to put on a layer or two of 1/2" painters tape back where the spine would sit- I just cut 1" in half - I've got a knife right?. That gives me 2 contact points to hold the knife steady - 1 by the spine and 1 near the edge. That kept me from rocking the knife too much. With practice, I don't need it any more.
If you feel more comfortable with the magnet , that's good too. I read that lots use them & no complaints.

Free advice , so take it for what it's worth & do what you feel comfortable doing.


Douglas


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