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Who sharpens their knives on whetstones?

GonnaSmoke

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I have a Norton Tri Stone with 2 medium stones and a fine stone. In addition, I have a Hard Black Arkansas stone in 3000 grit. A good steel and the knowledge to use it is also a must....
 

noboundaries

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Okay, last one. The second naked strop (no compound) just replaced my steels. I've always used steels. Never used a strop.

My 8" J.A. Henckels chef's knife was relatively sharp. It sliced magazine paper without any chatter but wouldn't shave the paper into tiny slices. A few swipes on the naked strop though, and it shaved the paper with that effortless sound that now gives me the chills.

Take 20-30 minutes and make one. If you have power tools, you could literally make one in less than 5 minutes. I have them, but wanted to do this by hand.

Naked belt strop.

20210222_205118.jpg
 

zwiller

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With sharpening I tend to think there quite a few ways to do it but the key is to learn how to be GOOD with the chosen method since one method isn't necessarily better than the other. I use ceramic stone based sharpener jigs for my knives and works for me but well aware they could be sharper. I am a rookie with meat knives and want a little protection until I get better. Since a strop was mentioned, I agree that it is another level or so beyond stones and steels. I am a huge fan of jeweler's rouge on woodworking gear but instead of a strop I have a disk disk of mdf on a low rpm motor and apply rouge. I would say my chisels and plane blades are sharper than my knives. You are probably looking at an ER run if you had an oops with a knife. My wife is old school with a paring knife and uses her thumb as a stop... There is sharp and there is SCARY sharp.
 

noboundaries

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My wife is old school with a paring knife and uses her thumb as a stop...
Mine, too. My mother also did that. When I was a kid I remember thinking, How is that a smart thing to do? I'll do it on a rare occasion with a stubborn onion peel, but that's it.

My wife used my mandolin one time. When she went to wash it, three stitches, her first stitches ever.
 

noboundaries

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I have one cheap 9" carving knife with a reverse curve near the handle. Could not sharpen the root of the blade because it would dig into the stone. No way was I spending $25 to buy a curved stone to sharpen one knife I only use on beef roasts. A steel did not get it to paper slicing sharp. What to do? Heck, make my own sharpening tool with stuff I had laying around the garage!

1500 grit wet dry sandpaper.
20210224_215226.jpg


1 1/4" x 15" PVC left over from a Burning Man Monkey Hut I built for our camp. A Monkey Hut looks like a Quonset hut.

Tape the sandpaper to the PVC with painter's tape.
20210224_214607.jpg

20210224_214501.jpg


I had no idea if this would work or not. I ran the sandpaper under the faucet, then used the sharpening tool like a steel, trailing edge, very light pressure. Swiped with a countdown like I was stropping the knife. That was followed with a few swipes on the naked strop shown above.

The knife would not cut paper before I started (no pic). Afterwards, a nice slice of the dive magazine paper! (My wife took the pic).

Sharpening knives is feeding my OCD...and it's FUN!

20210224_214926.jpg
 

noboundaries

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You are probably looking at an ER run if you had an oops with a knife.
Must be the knife sharpener's curse. I was using a newly sharpened and stropped scary sharp 6" utility knife to halve grape tomatoes yesterday. I usually use a 4" paring knife. Well, one ring finger got in the way of the point of the longer knife and I stabbed myself. Thankfully, I had my Star Wars light saber band-aids to apply The Force. No emergency room trip necessary!

20210226_125940.jpg
 
Last edited:

mosparky

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On the bright side, a cut from a sharp knife doesn't hurt near as much and usually heals a lot faster.
 

noboundaries

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One more "yes, steels are necessary" story.

Yesterday, I was slicing 3 lbs of mostly frozen petite steaks with my cleaver to make fajitas this weekend. Washing it afterwards, I dropped the knife and the cutting edge hit the ceramic separator between the wash and rinse sinks.

Well, crap. No chips, but I could feel an edge issue with my thumb. One swipe on the naked strop confirmed it because it scraped the leather.

8-10 swipes on the steel and I could feel the issue go away. There were no scrapes with 8-10 swipes on the strop. Sliced magazine paper without a hickop.

So, just when I thought I could pack away the steels, nope, still very necessary.
 

civilsmoker

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I think most of the knife makers & professional knife sharpeners use abrasive belts. They give the best edge, and only take a couple of minutes.
Al
This! 800, 1000, 1200, Leather all on slack belts.... will cut paper all day long!

with the belts you need to go slow and careful cause if you have too much belt speed or get to aggressive the heat will kill the heat treat!

A friend of mine does lathe chisels (for turning pens and such) to 3000 + for mirror finish.

Good old wet dry sand paper works perfectly as well. I will hand sand a blade to 1500-2000 then texture back to 600/800 for a semi matte finish.

Oh and even though I have a couple of grinders in the garage, I also have a set of 8 inch stones 800, 1000, 1200 (I finish later on the leather) that I will sit down at the coffee table having a drink and watching a movie and sharpening......it’s just relaxing......
 

civilsmoker

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I have one cheap 9" carving knife with a reverse curve near the handle. Could not sharpen the root of the blade because it would dig into the stone. No way was I spending $25 to buy a curved stone to sharpen one knife I only use on beef roasts. A steel did not get it to paper slicing sharp. What to do? Heck, make my own sharpening tool with stuff I had laying around the garage!

1500 grit wet dry sandpaper.
View attachment 486720

1 1/4" x 15" PVC left over from a Burning Man Monkey Hut I built for our camp. A Monkey Hut looks like a Quonset hut.

Tape the sandpaper to the PVC with painter's tape.
View attachment 486721
View attachment 486722

I had no idea if this would work or not. I ran the sandpaper under the faucet, then used the sharpening tool like a steel, trailing edge, very light pressure. Swiped with a countdown like I was stropping the knife. That was followed with a few swipes on the naked strop shown above.

The knife would not cut paper before I started (no pic). Afterwards, a nice slice of the dive magazine paper! (My wife took the pic).

Sharpening knives is feeding my OCD...and it's FUN!

View attachment 486723
I tape wet dry to a polished 1 inch wide by 1/4" by a foot to fine tune bevels. Getting these lines straight takes patience and a lot of fresh paper and most knife makers finishing with paper, most do length wise but I prefer the final lines to be transverse lines but that takes more time......... Although many these days just belt sand to 320/400 and put them out the door as done......Taking it to mirror polish is another thing all together.
Bevels.jpg
 

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