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TOPIC: Struggling....

Struggling.... 3 months 1 week ago #17774

  • cakes072185
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Well I have two knives done so far. Not impressed at all. I'm not talking about the WE, I see what it's capable of. My technique is awful. I'm a righty and my left hand side is so bad lol. Several times I've hit the edge on the down stroke, and I'm going slow. I mean SLOW. After finishing both these things barely pull cut paper. I have the pro pack 1 but I haven't used the strops yet. Figured I'd wait till I got better to break them out. Using the marker and a bausch and lomb loupe too, I'm definitely going to the edge. Just spent 2 plus hours on an izula 2. Time to take a break and read I guess. Just disappointed in myself. I was getting almost mirror edges with a spyderco sharpmaker and 2 strops. Oh well. If anyone has any ideas they'd be greatly appreciated.

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Struggling.... 3 months 1 week ago #17775

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Be patient, cakes... Two knives is just a drop in the bucket and the coordination thing will get better. Some jobs require that you remove a lot of metal and that simply translates into more time. I did an old 5" Case sheath knife last week that took me all of two hours, just because of a deep nick in the edge.

As you suspect, working with the strops will require another level of care, but you may help yourself by working one side at a time. It's just easier to maintain eye-hand coordination with a single hand occupying your focus. Try doing a fixed number of strokes on one side, then the same number on the other side. Where I have to remove a lot of metal, I may use a "scrubbing" motion (up & down) with a 200-grit stone for 30 up/down strokes, then do the same on the other side. This is also much faster than the usual left/right/left/right stroke pattern you see in the videos here. When you know you're at the apex, (burrs appear on both sides) you can switch to the normal pattern and few strokes to keep the burrs knocked off.

One other good tip is to not move on to a higher grit until you know that you've reached the apex from both sides. When you do, every stroke is wasted effort and wasted time. You'll have to go back to the grit you short-stroked on and start over. For me, this has been the most painful lesson 'cause I still do it from time to time. I try to use my handheld microscope to confirm that the apex is sharp. Then I know I can proceed to higher grits with confidence.

There's also a pretty good chance that your inability to reach a really sharp edge is simply because your stones are too new. The diamond particles are attached with a plating process, similar to nickel plating. There's no way to ensure perfect distribution of the grit particles, so they lay on an abundance of grit, expecting that the excess (those particles standing high and proud) will be knocked off with use, eventually leaving you with a uniformly distributed pattern of grit. Until then, your grind patterns will be somewhat rough. I just received my second set of 400/600 diamond stones and fully expect to do at least 15-20 knives before the stones will be "broken in."

Geez... to be 29 again. I always wanted to be 29, but then one day I woke up and I was 35 and didn't remember ever being 29.
Last Edit: 3 months 1 week ago by tcmeyer.
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Struggling.... 3 months 1 week ago #17776

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+1 on tc's comments - good stuff there! If you are getting to the cutting edge and getting a good burr from the start along the full length of the blade on both sides, then breaking in is going to help a lot.

Also, keep your pressure against the knife light. I use a little more pressure when working to establish the edge but once that is done I try to think of just lifting the stone and letting it just lean on the knife. Doing that will help with the life of your hones too.

Something thing that might help with your stroke, at least that many people I teach to find helpful, is when you have the top of the stone resting against the edge at the heel of the knife, think of bringing the bottom of the stone to the tip. and, you don't need to push all the way off the tip of the knife (if you do this you can end up with your hand across in front of the knife and catch your thumb on the tip when you come back). Just move about half of the stone or so across the tip then lift the stone away from the knife making a circular motion to bring the stone back to the back of the knife again and down the rod. And make sure your fingers are behind the guard if you are catching the edge coming back - hate to get a cut that way!

Be patient learning the motion, it sometimes takes a little practice and will improve with more knives.

Have fun!
Some of the edges I've sharpened on the WE
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Last Edit: 3 months 1 week ago by BobNash.
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Re:Struggling.... 3 months 1 week ago #17777

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Thanks guys. Going to keep it going. I'm torn about the arms. I feel like the upgraded arms would help me a lot, but with the results I'm getting now I don't want to drop 175$ more. It's crazy to think that I have to sharpen 20 more knives for the stones to break in. 8 don't have that many lol. The kitchen knives are all serrated, I just checked so they're out.

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Re:Re: Struggling.... 3 months 1 week ago #17778

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Getting there!



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Last Edit: 3 months 1 week ago by cakes072185.
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Re:Re: Struggling.... 3 months 6 days ago #17779

  • Geocyclist
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That edge looks nice.

I have said this before, don't get discouraged until you have done 10 knives. I was not blown away with my results until at least knife #8. I sharpened a couple of knives twice, since I didn't have that many to practice with and also since the first time was awful. The 2nd time I could see improvement. The diamond stones have to be broken in, there is no way around it, but once they are everything changes.

After my first 2 knives I decided to pick a direction (tip to heel) and stroke (edge trailing) and stick with it. I don't have the best coordination, so doing only one type of stroke helped my build muscle memory faster. (Hint: you have to do edge trailing with strops).

As far as hitting the edge with the down stoke: 1. I always make sure all fingers are on the plastic grip and not hanging over the edge. 2. I place the stone on the tip, make sure it is flat against the blade then start the stroke. Every time, every type of stone. I did this because I was not get the tip sharpened. But this may help your problem, set the stone, then start the stroke. Don't begin the stroke in the air and move to the edge at the same time.

When you think you are finished with one grit don't stop. Super focus and try to go with the lightest possible pressure for 10 more strokes per side.

Go slow. Proper strokes are important. This will help you later to with strops.

Edge trailing means the opposite of edge leading. (you must do this with strops or you slice the leather).
Edge leading means you are "slicing" into the stone with the edge
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Re:Re: Re:Re: Struggling.... 3 months 6 days ago #17781

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Geocyclist wrote:
That edge looks nice.

I have said this before, don't get discouraged until you have done 10 knives. I was not blown away with my results until at least knife #8. I sharpened a couple of knives twice, since I didn't have that many to practice with and also since the first time was awful. The 2nd time I could see improvement. The diamond stones have to be broken in, there is no way around it, but once they are everything changes.

After my first 2 knives I decided to pick a direction (tip to heel) and stroke (edge trailing) and stick with it. I don't have the best coordination, so doing only one type of stroke helped my build muscle memory faster. (Hint: you have to do edge trailing with strops).

As far as hitting the edge with the down stoke: 1. I always make sure all fingers are on the plastic grip and not hanging over the edge. 2. I place the stone on the tip, make sure it is flat against the blade then start the stroke. Every time, every type of stone. I did this because I was not get the tip sharpened. But this may help your problem, set the stone, then start the stroke. Don't begin the stroke in the air and move to the edge at the same time.

When you think you are finished with one grit don't stop. Super focus and try to go with the lightest possible pressure for 10 more strokes per side.

Go slow. Proper strokes are important. This will help you later to with strops.

Edge trailing means the opposite of edge leading. (you must do this with strops or you slice the leather).
Edge leading means you are "slicing" into the stone with the edge

great stuff. that's pretty much what I've been doing. I've been scrubbing with the 100s and then only up strokes after. I didn't hit the edge once on that one! that was a solid 2 hours. I did about 250 to 300 strokes per side per stone. I flipped stones halfway through also. do the stones get clogged after a while? I feel like the 800 and 1000s aren't doing much. thanks for all the help guys it meant a lot .

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Re:Struggling.... 3 months 6 days ago #17783

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cakes072185 wrote:
Thanks guys. Going to keep it going. I'm torn about the arms. I feel like the upgraded arms would help me a lot, but with the results I'm getting now I don't want to drop 175$ more. It's crazy to think that I have to sharpen 20 more knives for the stones to break in. 8 don't have that many lol. The kitchen knives are all serrated, I just checked so they're out.

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Looks like you're doing well! Here's what I did for practice: Went to the local Salvation Army and picked up 12 knives for under $5.00.....Good practice/stone break-in and one of the knives I got was a 12" Forstner with rosewood handle (didn't even notice that until a few days later). :woohoo:
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Re:Struggling.... 3 months 6 days ago #17784

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cakes072185 wrote:
Thanks guys. Going to keep it going. I'm torn about the arms. I feel like the upgraded arms would help me a lot, but with the results I'm getting now I don't want to drop 175$ more. It's crazy to think that I have to sharpen 20 more knives for the stones to break in. 8 don't have that many lol. The kitchen knives are all serrated, I just checked so they're out.

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Keep sharpening.... you've picked a great sharpener that eliminates a lot of sharpening guesswork. Now as your stones and your technique improve, you'll keep seeing improvements.

One tip that really helped me was to make sure my grip on the paddles was the same every time.

Combined with keeping the pressure light.

I tested it. When I gripped putting my thumb in the top indentation I could see where the stone was hitting on the bevel of a knife. When I gripped the paddle with my thumb below halfway, I could literally see that the stone was hitting at a different angle. Slight, but never-the-less......

So, now, I put my thumb in the second indentation down as that is the overall best gripe for me.

I don't know if it matters where your grip rests as long as it's consistent.
~~~~

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"My goal is to be a good, practical knife sharpener. My dream is to polish molecules."
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Re:Struggling.... 3 months 6 days ago #17785

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mikemci wrote:
cakes072185 wrote:
Thanks guys. Going to keep it going. I'm torn about the arms. I feel like the upgraded arms would help me a lot, but with the results I'm getting now I don't want to drop 175$ more. It's crazy to think that I have to sharpen 20 more knives for the stones to break in. 8 don't have that many lol. The kitchen knives are all serrated, I just checked so they're out.

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Looks like you're doing well! Here's what I did for practice: Went to the local Salvation Army and picked up 12 knives for under $5.00.....Good practice/stone break-in and one of the knives I got was a 12" Forstner with rosewood handle (didn't even notice that until a few days later). :woohoo:

Once you get over being torn about upgrading the arms, I predict you'll be torn about upgrading some other piece or part!!

I can't seem to stop thinking about ways I can upgrade.

~~~~

And, by all means visit Salvation Army, Goodwill, thrift shops and pawn shops and (carefully) go through the cutlery.

At my local Goodwill I've picked up an $80-$100 LampsonSharp bread knife and a four knife set of Henckels all for $12.00.

And now they cut like wickedly!!
~~~~

For Now,

Gib

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"Things work out best for those who make the best out of the way things work out."

"My goal is to be a good, practical knife sharpener. My dream is to polish molecules."
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