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TOPIC: Strokes to progress to next grit database?

Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 5 months 2 weeks ago #16822

  • GibCurry
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drichardjackson wrote:
For us not so in tune yet. Do you typically notice you are using the same number of strokes as you progress up the grit/strop range or do you even count them at all? I completely understand getting to where you know what to feel and hear. But I think it would help if we greenhorns knew and idea of when to start looking for those changes in sound and feel. It's like wine or beer tasting, sommeliers will teach their students to taste and smell different flavor profiles by sometimes first giving the students a wine and saying that this wine has hints of vanilla, citrus, dark cherry and chocolate etc. Then the students can start picking up what the teacher is saying. So the teacher is not only telling then what to taste for but also giving a hands on example of what that taste tastes like in a wine.


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I love this forum!! There are people way more advanced in the art of sharpening, the science of sharpening and the zen of sharpening.

Mentors and leaders in every direction!! How cool is that? (And now on this super-fast webserver!!)

My self-diagnosed OCD, I begin by using either 89 strokes. Why? It's the closest number to 100 from the fibonacci sequence: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144

As almost all the responders have mentioned is that it varies.

My brother is visiting from Fairbanks. He and his son both have SOG Twitch II. My brother's knife had never been sharpened after leaving the factory: after setting the edge angle it didn't take that many strokes at 200 and I was at the edge. Went right to the 400's and immediately drew a burr, honed it off, and proceeded to polish out the previous grit lines. Went up through the fine ceramics -- beautiful and arm-hair shaving.

His son had been hand-sharpening (not well) his SOG and it took much longer. The bevels were visibly different sizes and we measured them as +/- .5 mm difference.

It took awhile. I started 400 but quickly dropped down to 100. There were two stubborn spots: one at the heel of the blade and one on the very tip. At the heel was an existing horizontal scratch in the bevel. At the tip, it looked like something "hard" was push cut and ever-so-slightly dented the edge.

I worked the 100's, then the 200's and then went up to the 400's and at each level reset the angle with the cube. (My nephew wasn't there but my brother was, so we used it as a teaching/learning experience.)

Using frequent use of the marker I/we gradually brought the two bevels together. Then, I tried to raise a burr. Nope.

Through the loupe, I found a section near the dented tip that was 3-4 mm that retained marker.

So, back down to 200's, then back up to 400. Worked and worked another 100 very light strokes and time to work up the burr. I "thought" I had one, but just wasn't 100% sure. So, I cleaned the blade really well, remarked the edge, took a few strokes on each side and really examined the edge. There was a length of edge less than the width of an UltraFine marker (.3 mm -- according to Sharpie's website) at that dented tip. (The scratch at the back was almost gone and didn't affect the edge of the edge in any case.)

We had begun counting the number of stroke grit lines per millimeter!! Once he and I both confirmed that the spot (smaller than a pencil lead) was gone and we had really, truly reached the edge, I tried to raise a burr. It took only a few more strokes and it was no longer guess work -- the burr was obvious at 400 grit the whole length of the blade.

Once we got that last micro-spot profiled, it seemed the whole blade was done and not a stroke sooner.

We left it at that last night very, very late, because from now on it's polishing. I'll finish that this morning.

Before we were finished, my brother and I both understood a deeper level of the listening aspect. He even suggested I get a microphone for my bench stereo system so I can hear better. He called it a magnifying lens for the sound -- just as important.

~~~~

I ramble.... and all just to support the already given replies.....

Enjoy the process.
~~~~

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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Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 5 months 2 weeks ago #16823

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drichardjackson wrote:
Awesome thanks Leo, tcmeyer, and Mark! I have watched a ton of YouTube videos and I have sharpened a good few knives of many types and steels etc for a newbie. I think it is just the engineer in me that wants to have some concept of number of strokes, haha. I am not having trouble getting sharp edges at all. I haven't hit hair whittling yet though. I would also like to minimize work spent and metal removed if at all possible. But I completely understand that I really need to start some studies and really try to feel/hear what the stones are telling me. Thanks again for your help!
My typical as of now usually goes:
-D2 and SG2: 60-70 strokes stones, 100+ strops
-S30V: 50 strokes stones, 70 strops
-AUS-8 and eq: 40 strokes stones, 60 strops
-AUS-6 and below: 30 strokes stones, 40 strop
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I have to agree with Mark and Leo. Also the answer is absolute " it depends". This is a craft where no one can tell anther sharpener he is wrong? If your system gets the results you are looking for then it is right!
That said if you come on the forum and admit you are not getting the desired results then it would be time to try anther method.
I too have quite counting my strokes, but when new to the WE I think it is a great guideline! I have to agree with Mark and use 50 as the target mark. Also there has been multiple reports on the forum of rounding an edge from over stropping an edge. For me? I never go over 20 strokes. That includes working the super steels. and I will include learned from Clay reduce the angle by 2°.
For me the most important factor is to make sure I'm still having fun? It is really easy to take yourself way to serious with the WE with trying to achieve perfection. I found myself walking around muttering to myself cause the edges where not perfect! Relax have fun and your senses will open more to you when your in the Zen mode!!!!!
Again have fun and keep asking lots of questions. That's why the "old-timers" hang out, they love to share the info passed on to them. :cheer:
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?
An old Irish toast, May the wind always be at your back, may you always have work and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows your dead. Cheers!
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Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 5 months 2 weeks ago #16824

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It sounds as if it was a really good learning experience that will be an asset to you in the future I have done simular things or found that perhaps at the tip I had not worked the bevel to the edge .
The lesson learned I think is if it takes too long to get sharp there is either a flattened edge and the bevel has not reached it or the bevel angle is unnecessarily low .
But reading about these pitfalls is only part of it I think you have to fall into these traps to actually get through them it is unlikely they will catch you again.
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Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 5 months 2 weeks ago #16825

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LeoBarr wrote:
It sounds as if it was a really good learning experience that will be an asset to you in the future I have done simular things or found that perhaps at the tip I had not worked the bevel to the edge .
The lesson learned I think is if it takes too long to get sharp there is either a flattened edge and the bevel has not reached it or the bevel angle is unnecessarily low .
But reading about these pitfalls is only part of it I think you have to fall into these traps to actually get through them it is unlikely they will catch you again.

Hear, hear!
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?
An old Irish toast, May the wind always be at your back, may you always have work and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows your dead. Cheers!
Last Edit: 5 months 2 weeks ago by EamonMcGowan.
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Strokes to progress to next grit database? 5 months 2 weeks ago #16833

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One way to think of it that helps me is to imagine the grooves that are being cut into the blade by a given stone. For example, you might work with the 100 grit stones to create your bevels, going until you've drawn a burr from each side along the length of the blade. So now it's time to switch to the 200 grit stones. When you do, you'll feel resistance, or drag as you slide the stones along the blade. The resistance you're feeling is from the ridges and valleys of the grooves. As you make more strokes, the resistance decreases, becomes a little less with each stroke. You'll reach a point when each stroke feels the same, no longer is any decrease in resistance noticeable. At that point, you're probably ready to switch grits. Once you do, you'll experience the same progressively diminishing resistance until the strokes once again seem all the same. You will be able to both hear and feel the change in your hands.
--Clay Allison
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Strokes to progress to next grit database? 5 months 2 weeks ago #16834

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Exactly! You visualize and feel what is happening, whereas I listen and feel what is happening. Taking a cue from your way of looking at the process, I will try adding a visual component and see how that goes. Even when I was a student I always relied on listening in class and elsewhere to learn, much as a blind person might do. My visual skills have been less than satisfactory until I really got into photography, but still, listening is my forte. I even play the clarinet by ear as my reading sucks big time. If I can hear the song in my head, I can play it...well, mostly! ;)
Weird eh, because I have to use hearing aids (both ears) now to hear well. Even listening to my music,the hearing aids are necessary to capture the spectrum of sound my ears can still hear.
Thanks for that Clay!

Leo
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Gibbs rule number 9

Leo James Mitchell
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Strokes to progress to next grit database? 5 months 2 weeks ago #16836

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Wow Clay! That's the best description I've ever read of the feel and sound of sharpening!
Last Edit: 5 months 2 weeks ago by mark76.
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Strokes to progress to next grit database? 5 months 2 weeks ago #16844

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mark76 wrote:
Wow Clay! That's the best description I've ever read of the feel and sound of sharpening!

I have to agree! I have never heard it put that way before? That makes so much sense put that way!!! I'm going to remember this for anyone wanting to learn to sharpen. ;)
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?
An old Irish toast, May the wind always be at your back, may you always have work and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows your dead. Cheers!
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Strokes to progress to next grit database? 5 months 2 weeks ago #16846

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I have been doing an entire set of Wustoff classics for my sister and I think that I am starting to feel and hear what you guys are talking about. I'm just not confident enough to drop the counting yet, haha! I'm afraid I won't get what I want out of the edge and have to resharpen(I really really like sharpening but don't have much luxury of time to do testing now). So I'm trying to climb up to the shoulders of you sharpening giants that have been doing this for a long time and can do it by feel and sound alone etc. I really really appreciate it again!!

Take care and God Bless!
Richard


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Last Edit: 5 months 2 weeks ago by drichardjackson.
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Strokes to progress to next grit database? 5 months 2 weeks ago #16847

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It takes a bit of time to hone your senses, but it sounds like you are getting there. I love the old Tao saying, Slowly, slowly catches the monkey. Don't rush and you will be successful. Keep at it mate!
All the best Richard :)

Leo
Never go anywhere without your knife!
Gibbs rule number 9

Leo James Mitchell
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