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Old 03-11-2009, 03:18 PM   #1
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When sharpening...

...how much of the blade actually touches the stone? when looking at my knives (shuns), it looks like the edge itself is less than a millimeter wide - is that the only part of the knife that should touch the stone if done correctly?

i have heard (and seen pictures of) bevels that come as much as an inch above the edge - whats that about? or perhaps i misunderstood
bottom line - i have some good knives, finally got a whetstone (kings 1000/6000 plus an idahone) and am ready to give sharpening a try....i dont want to scratch up my blade any more than i need to....how wide should the edge be after hand sharpening?

and im thinking as i type this - theoretically, if i hold the knife at the same angle it was originally sharpened to (16*), then only the existing edge can possible touch the stone....that might be harder in practice, though

im going to practice on a beater knife first, but welcome any tips to avoid messing up the aesthetics

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Old 03-11-2009, 04:34 PM   #2
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How much of the blade touches the stone is determined by the angle. If you hold the knife blade at a 16 degree angle then the right amount of the blade is touching.

I was told this tip: use a black marker to color the sharpened part of the blade and a bit more. take some practice strokes on the stone and check the marker. If your angle is correct, all the marker will be removed from the sharpened edge.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoodleIncident View Post
...how much of the blade actually touches the stone? when looking at my knives (shuns), it looks like the edge itself is less than a millimeter wide - is that the only part of the knife that should touch the stone if done correctly?
For the first few sharpenings, only the bevel touches the stone. After that you will want to thin the blade behind the edge first, and then put the edge bevel back on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoodleIncident View Post
i have heard (and seen pictures of) bevels that come as much as an inch above the edge - whats that about? or perhaps i misunderstood
bottom line - i have some good knives, finally got a whetstone (kings 1000/6000 plus an idahone) and am ready to give sharpening a try....i dont want to scratch up my blade any more than i need to....how wide should the edge be after hand sharpening?
Those are single beveled traditional Japanese knives. The Shuns are double beveled, 50/50, at 16 degrees per side. The bevel width after sharpening, assuming you maintain the factory angles, will get slightly wider with each sharpening because the bevel is moving farther up the blade where it is thicker. This is why you will eventually want to thin the blade above the bevel - reduces the friction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoodleIncident View Post
and im thinking as i type this - theoretically, if i hold the knife at the same angle it was originally sharpened to (16*), then only the existing edge can possible touch the stone....that might be harder in practice, though
No, the existing bevel will touch the stone and you grind at this angle until you form a burr which tells you that the two bevels have met. At this point, remove the burr and go to your next finer stone and do it again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoodleIncident View Post
im going to practice on a beater knife first, but welcome any tips to avoid messing up the aesthetics
Definitely practice with beaters. That way you'll learn how easy it is to sctrach the blade until you get the hang of it. On your Shuns, at least for awhile, cover the blade with blue painters' tape leaving only the bevels exposed.

Hope this helps.

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Old 03-11-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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When I use a stone I aim for an angle of 23 degrees - I guestimate
at 1/2 45 degrees.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:13 AM   #5
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thanks for the help guys

while we are on the topic, i want to go over the motions and steps i plan to use (ive had this explained to me by some of the guys on the knife sites, but it cant hurt to hear it again. ill prob post this on that site too)

step one: King 1000 grit - hold knife perpendicular to stone (creating a cross with knife and stone), at correct angle, and grind on both forward and backward motions on one side, counting strokes until a even burr is formed (using figures 8s, W's, circles, whatever - i was told to try to avoid sectioning)....repeat on the other side of the blade

NOTE - what about a straight heel-to-tip and tip-to-heel motion instead of what i described above? not "slicing", just straight across (almost like a stabbing motion from one corner of the stone to the other)....i saw this method on the youtube video called something like "a day on the stones" where one of the members sharpened a misono...hopefully you all know what im talking about?

step two: still King 1000 - begin to remove burr by doing heel to tip "slicing" motions (like trying to slice a thin layer off the top of the stone, forward only)....maybe start with a bunch per side (evenly, of course), but decrease until alternating sides on each stroke....hopefully this will remove most of the burr

step three: final burr removal - a few passes on the fine idahone (alternate each stroke?? start with a few on each side and work down to alternating?)....i then i have wine corks ive saved that i can cut through....if done correctly, i assume any burr will be gone by this point

s
tep 4: King 6000 - dont try to form a burr at this point, and only use "slicing" motions to refine the edge (or the straight "stabbing" motion i questioned as an option?)....start with a bunch per side, reducing down to alternating each side per stroke

along the way, ill try to use the marker trick or other methods to maintain my edge
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoodleIncident View Post
thanks for the help guys

while we are on the topic, i want to go over the motions and steps i plan to use (ive had this explained to me by some of the guys on the knife sites, but it cant hurt to hear it again. ill prob post this on that site too)

step one: King 1000 grit - hold knife perpendicular to stone (creating a cross with knife and stone), at correct angle, and grind on both forward and backward motions on one side, counting strokes until a even burr is formed (using figures 8s, W's, circles, whatever - i was told to try to avoid sectioning)....repeat on the other side of the blade

NOTE - what about a straight heel-to-tip and tip-to-heel motion instead of what i described above? not "slicing", just straight across (almost like a stabbing motion from one corner of the stone to the other)....i saw this method on the youtube video called something like "a day on the stones" where one of the members sharpened a misono...hopefully you all know what im talking about?

step two: still King 1000 - begin to remove burr by doing heel to tip "slicing" motions (like trying to slice a thin layer off the top of the stone, forward only)....maybe start with a bunch per side (evenly, of course), but decrease until alternating sides on each stroke....hopefully this will remove most of the burr

step three: final burr removal - a few passes on the fine idahone (alternate each stroke?? start with a few on each side and work down to alternating?)....i then i have wine corks ive saved that i can cut through....if done correctly, i assume any burr will be gone by this point

s
tep 4: King 6000 - dont try to form a burr at this point, and only use "slicing" motions to refine the edge (or the straight "stabbing" motion i questioned as an option?)....start with a bunch per side, reducing down to alternating each side per stroke

along the way, ill try to use the marker trick or other methods to maintain my edge
There are as many ways to sharpen as there are sharpeners. Whatever works for you. I sharpen with the edge perpendicular to the stone and I do sections. There is no problem with that. Just keep watching the bevel you are forming. I position the knife with the spine toward me because it's easier to maintain the angle by watching how far from the stone the bottom of the spine is. I use more pressure on the forward stroke than on the back stroke. Watch 1 & 2 of Dave Martell. He's the best there is - I've seen the results of his work.

Remove the burr with trailing edge strokes EXTREMELY lightly on the stone and in this case orient the knife at a 45 or more degree angle with the stone. Trailing edge strokes on brass is also very effective. Run the edge through wood or cork or rubber. Burr removal is whatever it takes. The burr is gone when you can't feel it anymore, not before.

DO NOT use a ceramic hone. They are for renewing edges in between sharpenings. If you try to remove a burr with one I'll guarantee you will trash the edge.

King 6000 - you are forming a burr anytime you grind and two bevels meet. It will be small but it will be there and needs to be removed.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:28 AM   #7
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ok, no ceramic hone

and just to clarify what you mean by "trailing edge strokes" - when deburing, and using "slicing" strokes, i should be leading with the spine, NOT the edge? i always thought it was the other way around....as i mentioned, it was described to me as leading with the edge as if trying to slice a super thin layer off the top of the stone
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoodleIncident View Post
ok, no ceramic hone

and just to clarify what you mean by "trailing edge strokes" - when deburing, and using "slicing" strokes, i should be leading with the spine, NOT the edge? i always thought it was the other way around....as i mentioned, it was described to me as leading with the edge as if trying to slice a super thin layer off the top of the stone
You don't want to cut "into" anything except cork, wood, or rubber during burr removal. Use extremely light trailing edge strokes on brass (you'd be amazed how well this works), or the stone you just finished with. Instead of having the blade perpendicular to the stone, use an angled approach like 45 or 60 degrees, whatever. You will see a small black trail on the stone. This is carbon from the burr itself.

Another, and I think the best, way to remove a burr is with a hard felt pad. Check this out - JKS - half way down the page. It really works fast.

Buzz
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:48 PM   #9
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i know i dont actually want to cut into the stone....thats just how it was described to me so i could visualize the motion

unfortunatly i dont have any brass, so ill be sticking with the stone

and, sorry to be so thick here, but when you say "edge trailing", its the same thing as spine first, correct?
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheNoodleIncident View Post
i know i dont actually want to cut into the stone....thats just how it was described to me so i could visualize the motion

unfortunatly i dont have any brass, so ill be sticking with the stone

and, sorry to be so thick here, but when you say "edge trailing", its the same thing as spine first, correct?
Brass - Candle stick? Lamp? They actually work.

Spine first/edge trailing - same thing, you are absolutely correct - spine facing you, pull towards you. Hope that helps.
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