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Author Topic: Sharpening Blades  (Read 2416 times)
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radicat
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« on: September 12, 2007, 07:15:26 AM »

Remember those thoughts that came to you while you were blissfully bringing that edge to perfection and post them here. Tell us about your technique and/or problems encountered.

This article is not a quick-read, but it is excellent in content. It is in a forum that the cooks among you will like.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=26036    

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Pallavicini
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2007, 10:32:02 AM »

Excellent suggestion, excellent comprehensive info about proper knife sharpening.
I never fail to be amazed by the amount of damage a relatively frail lady is capable to inflict upon kitchen cutlery, be it low quality cheap stuff, be it top notch cutlery.
My addiction to knife collecting began in fact while trying to resharpen a knife my brother had made out of a HSS saw. I ruined the edge a few times, got one on one instruction from a gun customizer who is also a very proficient knife sharpener, searched for info and bought all the literature mentioned in this very useful thread. Given enough time I eventually bought an assortment of stones, including fine/coarse india, the full Arkansas range, from soft through translucent, 6" and 8" DMT benchstones, Spyderco ceramic benchstones, most of the aligner systems mentioned there, the range of Japanese waterstones, and still looking.
While I favor using benchstones for pure sharpening pleasure, I do use the Spyderco 204 for most of kitchen knife maintenance, as it is fast, clean and almost idiot-proof, no mess, no oil, no water.
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PhilL
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2007, 03:02:57 PM »

There is a joy to using a sharp knife that is only matched by the Zen relaxation that comes with stroking a blade against a stone.

In the mini-series Lonesome Dove, while sitting out on the porch after dinner, Bal the cook strokes his knife on a stone. Newt comments, "what's the matter Bal, won't that knife hold an edge?" Bal replies, "A knife is like a woman, you just gotta stroke them a little every day."

Use a knife, give it a couple of strokes. What you stroke it on is up to you; a slick, a stone, your hand, your jeans, a piece of cardboard or the bottom of a plate. Forget to stroke it and then you have dull knife, now you have to stroke it against something with some grit to it; a stone a piece of sandpaper, or a Sharpmaker again your choice. Push it or pull it the blade doesn't seem to care

I learned to sharpen a knife from my Mom when I was little. After I had sharpened my little knife she'd let me peel all of the potatoes for dinner. What a great Mom, I know she wanted to do it, but she let me.

There is a joy to putting a fine edge on a fine knife. So stroke one whenever you can.   Wink
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radicat
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2007, 09:02:18 PM »

You just had to mention your mom and make me cry!! That is a great memory. The kind that begins the         make-up of a person's character at an early age.      Thanks for sharing it with your friends.    Clay                       
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davidm
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2007, 12:44:50 PM »

Two questions:

How do you know when you're sharpening a knife when you're done?  .. I remember reading an article that many people often oversharpen their knives.  Is it the even resistance you feel from the stone, against the edge that gives you the indication. 

What are the differences in sharpening on a stone, stropping w/ leather, or using a steel?  .. in which cases would you choose one over another? 
Thanks,
David
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PhilL
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2007, 02:28:06 PM »

I'll take a shot at this one.
Sharpening with a stone removes metal and changes the edge of the blade.
Stropping helps remove the wire edge from the sharpening and helps polish it.
Using a smooth (slick) steel doesn't remove metal it just realigns the fine cutting edge of the blade.
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2007, 05:01:05 PM »

It is kind of like when I came to the Willow Bow I had never used an arc welder. A gentleman came to the ranch who was an old hand at all ranch work, he had worked as a construction welder. I asked him for some coanching. His words remain in my brain. "If you can strike a match I can teach you how to weld".

Sharpening a knife is that simple. It is all the books about how to that make it seem like some scientific exploraton. Very soon Jeremy, Tena and I will have it all down in a dvd, simple, easy and no expensive set up. Just do it and have fun with it.
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kbaknife
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2007, 06:50:09 AM »

Q. Know how to keep a knife sharp?

A. Don't let it get dull.
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radicat
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2007, 08:14:32 AM »

Good advice, Karl.
If I ever get around to making a new sheath for one of my big camp knives, I thought maybe I could glue
a thick piece of stropping leather to the face of it. If I have a liner that makes the sheath stiff, then that will give a good backing.

Somewhere, I saw a sheath for a machete size knife that was sewn together in the back and it served as a strop. Of course, the top of a boot is the most used.

A piece of fine water-proof sandpaper in the pocket is an alternative.             
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Alan
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2007, 03:14:38 PM »

How I sharpen a knife
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