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TOPIC: Is WES really that easy??

Is WES really that easy?? 1 year 2 months ago #13024

  • cbwx34
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LeoBarr wrote:
...but many of the things that you pick up with a system like the WE help in learning to use water stones such as :- pressure , sound and the perception of what is sharp.

I definitely agree with this... setting aside results, using a guided device really helped in learning sharpening... without the added issues of holding (or rather not holding) a consistent angle. :S Even with a WE, you still have to learn the fundamentals (apexing the edge, burrs, etc.)... makes it a lot easier though.

Adding results back in, along the lines of what Geocyclist said... I've gotten some pretty good edges freehand (and some pretty bad ones too haha), but my best edges have been with a guide.
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Is WES really that easy?? 1 year 2 months ago #13029

  • PhilipPasteur
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The hardest thing to accomplish in hand sharpening IS holding a consistent angle. Knowing the basics of grits and angles and apexing (pretty simple concepts) can be quite easily learned from a book or online. All of that information is maybe 10% of the process! The eye/hand coordination, the muscle memory, the calibrated eyeballs, are the hard parts. Some of that can be learned and the skills honed ... to a point. These things, in my estimation, are the other 90% of what one needs to sharpen without a guided system. Using the WEPS to produce wonderful edges will not teach any of this!

Some people, like me, will never be highly accomplished at hand sharpening. Sure I can get by, (over 50 years of trying, and I have actually gotten a small number of hair whittling edges, a very few) but I will never be able to produce the results that I get with My WEPS on any sort of consistent basis. All of the knives that I have sharpened with the WEPS have not changed that a whit.

The WEPS cannot teach the real important parts of hand sharpening. It is a crutch that allows you to do things that without it most people simply cannot do. A wonderfully effective aid, but a crutch just the same.

So I guess that in some ways using the WEPS can help in learning to hand sharpen,in that it sort of forces you to learn the basic concepts that comprise a very small part of being an effective hand sharpener, but those are the very easiest things about hand sharpening to learn. It really cannot help, or make any easier, the learning of the critical parts of getting an edge by hand. The critical parts will only come with lots of repetition, and having the natural ability to start with. The latter being the biggest contributor... IMHO.

What the WEPS does, is to allow anyone with the desire, the ability produce superior edges every time they try, but that is a different subject entirely...
Phil

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Last Edit: 1 year 2 months ago by PhilipPasteur.
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Is WES really that easy?? 1 year 2 months ago #13041

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PhilipPasteur wrote:
The hardest thing to accomplish in hand sharpening IS holding a consistent angle. Knowing the basics of grits and angles and apexing (pretty simple concepts) can be quite easily learned from a book or online. All of that information is maybe 10% of the process! The eye/hand coordination, the muscle memory, the calibrated eyeballs, are the hard parts. Some of that can be learned and the skills honed ... to a point. These things, in my estimation, are the other 90% of what one needs to sharpen without a guided system. Using the WEPS to produce wonderful edges will not teach any of this!

I don't think I can agree with this. I used to regularly read other sharpening forums, and, (not to include my own experience), there seems to me a LOT of posts that start... "I've read everything I can on sharpening, but when I try, my knife is as dull or duller than when I started." "Knowing the basics" and correctly understanding and applying them are very different.

Here's an example of a knife I got a few years back, with a note... "I got this back from another sharpener, and the knife won't even slice thru a piece of paper"...


h572c506.jpg


... while the bevels are "fairly even and consistent" it appears to me there was a lack of understanding of the other concepts of sharpening. So I can't agree that it's easy or only 10%, because far too many sharpening issues are in this area, and can be learned on the WE without the additional issues of sharpening freehand that you mentioned.

Some people, like me, will never be highly accomplished at hand sharpening. Sure I can get by, (over 50 years of trying, and I have actually gotten a small number of hair whittling edges, a very few) but I will never be able to produce the results that I get with My WEPS on any sort of consistent basis. All of the knives that I have sharpened with the WEPS have not changed that a whit.

That's because this is backwards from what I posted. You started freehand, and learned many of the principles of sharpening, so not the same scenario. My experience was different, while I started freehand, it wasn't until I got a guided device, and learned many of the different points, not to mention what a knife was capable of becoming, without the influence of my "lack of skill", that I really understood it, and could apply the points. I've learned other points on the WE and this forum that have helped my freehand... for example, I learned that my coarse edges should be better than they were, and applying this has improved my freehand edges.

The WEPS cannot teach the real important parts of hand sharpening. It is a crutch that allows you to do things that without it most people simply cannot do. A wonderfully effective aid, but a crutch just the same.

I consider it an aid, not a crutch, although I see your point. To me, an aid is learning and understanding the principles of sharpening, and using the WE to assist in the process. A crutch would be clamping the knife in, running the stones back and forth, and hoping the knife is sharp at the end, with no real idea how or why.

So I guess that in some ways using the WEPS can help in learning to hand sharpen,in that it sort of forces you to learn the basic concepts that comprise a very small part of being an effective hand sharpener, but those are the very easiest things about hand sharpening to learn. It really cannot help, or make any easier, the learning of the critical parts of getting an edge by hand. The critical parts will only come with lots of repetition, and having the natural ability to start with. The latter being the biggest contributor... IMHO.

Again, I don't see this, "the basics" you refer to is a lot of the issues people learning to sharpen have. Another example is someone sharpening a knife with a "zero grind"... basically laying the knife flat on a stone and sharpening. No real need to have all the hand sharpening skills you mentioned, but they'll still report not being able to get it sharp.

What the WEPS does, is to allow anyone with the desire, the ability produce superior edges every time they try, but that is a different subject entirely...

I'll stick with what I said, that if you really want to learn sharpening, the WE can be an excellent tool to learn and study many of the aspects of sharpening, in a controlled manner. Plus even after learning the basics, you can test various scenarios, for example, "what will sharpening at this angle do?", or "what will this grit level achieve?", in a controlled environment, the results of this will improve your freehand effort, or perhaps tell if it's your skill level or the idea your testing. That's the way I see it anyway.
Last Edit: 1 year 2 months ago by cbwx34. Reason: spelling
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Is WES really that easy?? 1 year 2 months ago #13053

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It is all good, and we can agree to disagree.
Those people who can't get a knife sharp freehand don't have the technique down for holding the proper angle consistently. Using the Wickededge will not teach them that. Without that, they will never get anything sharp. No amount of the grasp of theory (which the WEPS can help teach) will change that.
Phil

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Last Edit: 1 year 2 months ago by PhilipPasteur.
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