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 Post subject: Routine honing advise, please
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:39 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Indiana, USA
I have not been honing my knives before or after use, because I am confused about how to go about it. My understanding is that using a steel-steel, even a smooth one, is a non-no. I got a really nice DMT 2000-grit ceramic for my b-day a couple of weeks ago, but since have realized that it is actually taking off metal.

So, what is the right approach? A drop strop on something? If so, what? Or something else?

I have read that some people do a light stropping on their highest grit stone.

What do you guys do?

Thanks!

Carol :)


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 Post subject: Re: Routine honing advise, please
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:36 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Upton MA
I'm certainly no sharpening wizard but, you do realize that any sharpening or honing is going to remove metal at the microscopic level? Ceramic hones are great for touch up, etc. even if you go to sub micron diamond and similar on a strop it removes metal.

What are you trying to achieve? Do you like a more"toothy" edge (~1000 grit) or do you want to refine further, 5000, 10k, or even finer.

I'm sure the Wizards will be along shortly.
Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Routine honing advise, please
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:58 pm
Posts: 355
I have played around with a variety of strops, compounds, etc. I have found that I like touching up knives with a quick strop on plain old denim. Denim gives me a crisp feeling edge on most knives, it is forgiving, durable, cheap, and I like that I'm not changing the actual grit-level on the edge. Honing on a rod or stropping on a high grit stone (or compound loaded material) does change the characteristics of the edge. As I've become better at sharpening I have also become much more sensitive to the specific qualities of each stone and steel. If I like the edge from a particular stone on a particular knife I don't want to go and F* that up with a mystery grit hone on a rod, or possibly over polish with diamond paste, etc. Removing metal is another issue that you mention and I think it falls in line with what I bring up above. Once the denim feels like it isn't doing the job, I can usually bring an edge back quickly on that last/highest grit stone I used with a few stropping strokes. Occasionally I'll have to drop down another grit and re-sharpen. This all varies with the knife, how hard it has been getting used, etc., etc. Bottom line- I don't like a rod and prefer not to hone on a stone, but frequent touch-ups on a stone are preferable to frequent full progression sharpenings.


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 Post subject: Re: Routine honing advise, please
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:39 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Indiana, USA
My impression was that the goal of honing was to align the edge, rather than remove metal. That is what concerns me about using the ceramic stone.

So, all I am wanting to achieve is to push things back into place, rather than alter the 'grind' of the edge.

Thanks!

Carol :)


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 Post subject: Re: Routine honing advise, please
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:21 am
Posts: 607
Location: Long Island, NY
I go the denim route after most of my cooking. Home cook here so I'm not terribly demanding on my knives.

About every 4 or 5 usess (rough) I dig out my handy dandy 3 x 11 horsebutt leather piece held in my stoneholder.

After that when I'm feeling ambitious or get the urge for a well refined edge I'll add a strop on balsa with 1 micron past applied.

Yes.. you guessed it I bought the Richmond stropping kit: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/haamstkit.html

My feeling --- not that I can back it up --- is if I'm going to dig out the stones, even if it's a 10K then I might as well do a full tune up going back to a 2K or so.

HTH-----



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 Post subject: Re: Routine honing advise, please
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:39 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Indiana, USA
Thanks, btm! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Routine honing advise, please
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 5:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:39 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Indiana, USA
Thanks, Rob!

I will take a look at that kit.

Carol :)


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 Post subject: Re: Routine honing advise, please
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:36 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Upton MA
Pushing things back in place works better on the softer German type knives than on Rockwell 60+. A key with ceramic rods is light pressure, just have the blade in contact don't push.

I have yet to play around with strops but vave a bunch of veg tanned leather, also bought a bunch of industrial diamond powders, .5 micron and up. - if I don't like them with knife sharpening they work on carbide metal cutting tools.

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Routine honing advise, please
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:56 pm
Posts: 716
Location: Geneva, Ohio
Someone recommended to Carol that she wastch a few Bob Kramer (and others) sharpening videos.
At about 7:55 in this video Bob Kramer takes a blade that he has just formed to the stones for the first time. After using the 400 grit the knife wouldn't push cut paper... but after a few swipes across his leather strop it did so, effortlessly.

That was enough to convince me to add the 3x11 Bovine strop and some 1 micron paste to my order yesterday.
SOLD! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Routine honing advise, please
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:17 pm 

Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:37 pm
Posts: 550
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA
caerolle wrote:My impression was that the goal of honing was to align the edge, rather than remove metal. That is what concerns me about using the ceramic stone.

So, all I am wanting to achieve is to push things back into place, rather than alter the 'grind' of the edge.

Thanks!

Carol :)


As PaulME said, realigning the edge with a steel works on knives that are Rockwell 58 and lower, but using it on a higher hardness knife will likely damage the edge by chipping it.

There are several methods of restoring an edge other than a full resharpening. The one that requires the least additional equipment is to just strop the knife with trailing edge strokes on the waterstone you used for finishing. Another method is to use a leather, fabric or felt strop, which can be loaded with an abrasive or just used plain. You have to be careful not to roll the edge when using these soft strops, as they have some 'give'. The drawback to these methods is that you have to have the space and time to set them up, which is why honing rods are favored by some. Choose a honing rod that is a high grit, like the MAC black, to minimize removal of metal, and use as light a touch as possible, as any force you use will be concentrated in the very small contact area.


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