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FishBone
07-31-2010, 07:03 PM
Ahhh! I can't do it.. No matter how I try it seems just as dull.. Drives me nuts!

GreyOne
07-31-2010, 07:06 PM
Well, there are no real secrets, it just takes being able to maintain a consistent angle, and understanding the edge geometry. If you can find someone close to demonstrate and walk you through a knife or two, you will find it is not all that hard.
Persistence and practice, after 30 years or so, it all comes together. ;) :)

TNRat
07-31-2010, 09:45 PM
Where are you located? Perhaps someone here could do a demo for you. You have to start with something that can be sharpened and something that can sharpen. Keep working at it.

SC_Dave
07-31-2010, 09:59 PM
Ahhh! I can't do it.. No matter how I try it seems just as dull.. Drives me nuts!

Don't despair. I too struggled with this for years! As Grey One mentioned angle is everything. The geometry of your knife, again, as Grey One said is important and will determine the method you use to get an edge. Geometry is an area which I lack experience also.

I don't mean to insult you but I'm not sure how much experience you have at this, maybe more than me!

What type stone are you using? Do you have more than one, and if so do you know what grit they are?

Place your knife on your stone and put it in front of a light source, look down the blade and rock the knife back and fourth and watch for light to appear and disappear and try to determine when you have the edge angle flat against the stone. Then look at the spine of the knife and see what the distance is off of the stone. That is the angle you want to maintain as you draw your knife across the stone. Most commercial made pocket knives have about a 20 degree angle. Another way to determine 20 degrees is to stack two quarters on each other between the stone and the spine of your knife and this will show you what 20 degrees looks like. It's not as important that you maintain exactly 20 degrees as it is that you maintain the same angle on every pass, every time, if not you're spinning your wheels.

If your knife is in bad shape you'll need to start with a rough stone and try to get you angle back. Then go to a finer stone(s) to hone the edge. I use DMT sharpeners but there are dozens of others that are good. I have a 600 grit, a 1200 grit then I go to 1500 grit wet/dry sand paper and then finally leather to strop it with. If you maintain your edge you won't have to start with the course stone every time. Depending on how bad the knife is determines how many strokes on the stone I use. If it's bad I will do 25 strokes one way, 25 the other way and 25 alternating back and forth. I do this each time I go to a different grit and even onto the leather strop.

It's a lot of work to get one sharp, and a little work to keep one sharp.

I am by no means an expert and this is by no means the only way to do it, it's just the way I do it. Their are lots of other folks on here that know much more about this than me and I'm sure they will join in to help you. I hope this helps.

David

Chief036
07-31-2010, 10:30 PM
Ahhh! I can't do it.. No matter how I try it seems just as dull.. Drives me nuts!

If you're anywhere near East Texas, I can show the how to 'jiffy quick'.

Learning the muscle memory to do it again the same everytime is on you. :D

fhm615
07-31-2010, 10:52 PM
If you're anywhere near East Texas, I can show the how to 'jiffy quick'.

Learning the muscle memory to do it again the same everytime is on you. :D

Ditto on East Texas. I will be glad to get ya started on Jig, Stone, Rod, Strap, or all of the above.

fhm615
07-31-2010, 10:53 PM
Also look at Bindlestitch or LSUTiger vids on youtube if you have any sand paper lying around....:)

CactusBob
08-01-2010, 01:12 AM
Another way to determine 20 degrees is to stack two quarters on each other between the stone and the spine of your knife and this will show you what 20 degrees looks like.

good idea, I hadn't heard of doing this. You learn something new everyday.

Also be careful of how much pressure you put on the blade. Every time I catch myself trying to rush and push down on the blade I normally get to start over because I rolled the egde
Good Luck and keep trying

edit: Another trick I learned is to color the bevel with a sharpie and make a pass on ypur stone. It will show exactly where the edge is on the stone
Bob

FishBone
08-01-2010, 09:45 AM
I think I have the angle down.. The key word is "think".. Its more the stroke I think I'm unsure of.. I draw towards the stone as if slicing into it.. I have a dual grit, course/fine stone.. Not a whetstone.. What always seems weird is I do one side for awhile and check and it feels sharp but as soon as I flip and do the other side it feels dull.. I watched Ray Mears sharpening video and he kinda goes back and forth like filing the blade..

I'm in Louisville, Kentucky..

Also.. I'm trying to sharpen a stainless steel knife.. An old timer..

Aguineapig
08-01-2010, 12:38 PM
Just switch the burr back and forth and practice that. If you can learn to do that, you can get a sharp edge.

GreyOne
08-01-2010, 01:03 PM
I think I have the angle down.. The key word is "think".. Its more the stroke I think I'm unsure of.. I draw towards the stone as if slicing into it.. I have a dual grit, course/fine stone.. Not a whetstone.. What always seems weird is I do one side for awhile and check and it feels sharp but as soon as I flip and do the other side it feels dull.. I watched Ray Mears sharpening video and he kinda goes back and forth like filing the blade..

I'm in Louisville, Kentucky..

Also.. I'm trying to sharpen a stainless steel knife.. An old timer..

You are getting very close, but you have to deal with the "wire edge" at this point. As you sharpen, alternate sides for a number of strokes. If you feel the edge with your thumb (carefully) you will feel a small wire edge or burr on one side - and a stroke on the stone can roll it to the other side.

At this point, you want to strop the edge- a piece of leather , or a cardboard back from a writing pad, something similar.
Now you stroke the blade _back_ away from the edge, again alternating sides. This will roll the little wire edge back and forth and break it off , leaving a sharp edge.

With practice you can feel the edge or look down it under a strong light and tell exactly where you are in the process.

SC_Dave
08-01-2010, 01:35 PM
I agree with Grey One 100 percent. It feels sharp at first because you have in effect sharpened on on side, like a wood chisel. Then when you go to the other side you are "rolling" that fine thin edge back the other way and now it feels dull. I think you should ALWAYS end your stone work with alternating passes. Some folks only sharpen with alternating strokes, it's a matter of choice and what works for you. You may want to get a extra fine stone or some 1500 or 2000 grit wet/dry sand paper and hit that before going to the leather.

David

Rubarb
08-01-2010, 01:43 PM
This should help you out a bit

Scandi Grind Knife

Embedding is disabled on these two videos's but all you need do is follow the link to YouTube and watch it on there.

YouTube - Ray Mears / Sharpening a Knife at Camp_Part 1/2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We1-CDNaSFs)

YouTube - Ray Mears / Sharpening a Knife at Camp_Part 2/2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPRiJ_YnSCI&feature=related)

Convex grind - Our very own Izzzzzzzzzzz Turley

YouTube - Convex sharpening: field sharping and scary sharp edges (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j0wNu4BpYg)

YouTube - Basic convex shaprening (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt44uDP82CE)

Many people will automatically take their knives to a stone or a diamond sharpening system etc, what you have to remember is every tme you take your knife to a sharpening system, beit a water stone or a diamond card you are removing metal. In reality, unless the knife is seriously dull, dinged or dented, all they need is a good strop on a quality leather strop with some honing/polishing compound, my knives get used hard and i do mean hard, and i honestly cannot remember the last time i took any of them to the water stones other than to restore a dinged or dented edge.