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Thread: Sharpening: what am I doing wrong

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Columbus, Ohio, USA
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    3,277
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    And I know even less than he does. Sad! It's amazing that any woodwork actually gets done considering the weakness of my sharpening regimen.

    Seriously though, I thought his remarks about deformation caused by grinding to the edge were interesting- perhaps correct- and quite contradictory to the method described here http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Woodwor...ningSetUp.html by Derek Cohen, who also said "The problem with sharpening threads on forums is that they all end up the same way - a million different methods and recommendations ... proving that everyone is wrong and I am the only one with the secret to the right way to do this!"
    I would take it to mean that you can use almost any method and get usable results, the real question is, which works best for you based on your abilities and what you either own or can afford to buy.

    I really struggle with free hand sharpening on its own, but have no problem if I have concave bevel, which I find fast so I use it.

    Is my method the best? Well, it works for me, but there are disadvantages to it. Advantages and disadvantages to all methods.

    Andrew

  2. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Pitonyak View Post
    I would take it to mean that you can use almost any method and get usable results, the real question is, which works best for you based on your abilities and what you either own or can afford to buy.

    I really struggle with free hand sharpening on its own, but have no problem if I have concave bevel, which I find fast so I use it.

    Is my method the best? Well, it works for me, but there are disadvantages to it. Advantages and disadvantages to all methods.




    Andrew
    Yes, I guess one can get a "useable" edge with almost anything, then it gets down to how much force is needed to push an edge through wood, how clean the results are and how often the process needs to be repeated.

    Sitting around with a damaged foot and too much time on my hands, I have been diving down the rabbit hole. I used to think that the ultimate goal was a perfectly formed and polished acute angle made by two planes of steel meeting in a line. Now after watching David Weaver's youtube videos and looking at the science of sharp website https://scienceofsharp.com/home/ I am not so sure. I still like the fact that my diamond stones remain flat but I am starting to lose the conviction that the finer grits are actually giving me a smoother surface. I am still pretty sure that stropping is a good thing, but maybe buffing with a soft wheel to get a (microscopically) more rounded edge is even better in some circumstances.

    Do I need a new stone, buffing wheel or stropping compound? Probably not. The perfect may be the enemy of the good, and as someone who has been primarily a wood machinist using hand tools at the margins I have been able to get sufficiently sharp edges for my purposes. Still, and yet... there's more to learn.

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Kensington, Maryland
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    Thanks again everyone for all of the helpful additional advice. I will probably split the difference and in the near term and get one additional stone of a finer grit (~8000) that is other than a diamond plate. Meantime I will keep working with what I have. I might try hollow grind, and I appreciate the offer, Andrew, to ship you a blade. But for now I am going to focus on getting better and faster at freehand and really understanding the geometry. This has been very, very helpful. Thank you alll!

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    But for now I am going to focus on getting better and faster at freehand and really understanding the geometry. This has been very, very helpful. Thank you alll!
    One thing that may help with improving your freehand sharpening is if you can take a video from the side to see your hand movement. This will let you see any wavering in your motion and blade holding.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    514
    At some point, you'll hone a perfectly flat face (if that's what you're going for, as is how it's done on Japanese tools traditionally) and you'll suddenly find the face of the bevel grip the stone via suction.

    This can actually be really annoying, and the sudden "stiction" (sticking to the stone via suction, as I call it) can cause you to mess up, as the bevel gets stuck and the rest / top of the tool continues on forward.

    This may or may not happen on diamond stones, I don't know. But it's happened to me any and every time I achieved perfectly flat geometry, and it's annoying, so I actually like to have just the slightest bit of convexity.

    Even a lot of convexity isn't a bad thing as long as you can keep a consistent "maximum" angle, but that may or may not be more difficult than just keeping a consistent angle.

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