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What a nice bunch of GOB's you'll are! Many Welcomes! Feel right to home.

So much so, that I have to ask a question. Years ago someone told me that
when you sharpen a good knife, you are not only grinding away the bits
you don't want, but you are also 'smearing' just a few molecules up to
the very edge where they kind'a re-attach and make for extra sharp edge.
He (and while I ain't sure who it was -it sure sounds like a GOB story)
also said stainless steel don't do this and therefore there is only so
sharp you can get a SS blade. My own experience is that my cheap garage
sale vanadium steel kitchen knives are killer sharp -'ticularally after a
trip to my shop and the least little touch to my various
sharpening dodads appurtenant to my wood-cutting-tools.

Anybody care about how we wood-people do the blade sharpening thing?

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Comment by J.J. Smith III on October 31, 2010 at 1:57
Bill,
The emory paper approach sounds like the "Scary Sharp" system.
Don't know beans about molicles and smearing, but I do keep a set of fine and extra fine diamond stones on hand for my whittlers.
Comment by Halicon on October 31, 2010 at 1:12
Oh and one more thing. Be very cautious as to who you listen to. Much better, buy or loan a book at the library on the subject and read up. It's all in our "archives", it's just a matter of finding and learning it.

Or even better yet, do that while you try out several different stones like I did. I have a collection of European stones (still missing that darn greenstone), Jap stones, American stones yada yada. To get to the point - every stone is unique, even one cut just next to the other one.

Good luck and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. If you want to get the best edge you will have a real journey on your hands.
Comment by Halicon on October 31, 2010 at 1:03
I believe you've found someone that quite haven't learned the real facts about smithing and sharpening. Are you talking about western woodworking tools?

As you dull an edge, steel molecules will break off from the serrations on the edge (otherwise named as serration pattern in the sharpening world), forcing blunted steel or air to face the material instead of a sharp edge yields an inferior finish, but as you work with western tools it is much easier since we in Jap ways apply the polish with the plane blade straight on the surface.
Also, a properly chosen stone does not smear the molecules (it all depends on the purity, the formation of the molecules, how tight that bond is, heat treatment and a ton of other factors), that belongs to people using Arkansas stones and those that use the wrong technique.

Arkansas does that simply because of the nature of the stone. It is so hard that it smears the steel to the desired form, like flattening a dough, but the harder you press the more steel will get smeared out - in my eyes this leads to an inferior edge, WAY inferior compared to a properly cold-forged, pine coal and Jap Natural stones for finishing.
My family has been carpenters for three generations and the quality of the finish can't be compared with western tools.

I guess I was the one to break that tradition as I am a sword polisher now and only makes scabbards for the swords themselves along with the tools needed like planning benches and such.

In any case, with other abrasives you will actually cut the steel away. The method you use works but is again inferior to a full natural polish (I won't even bother trying to explain the difference about Jap natural stones, it's a gigantic subject and one not easily understood since you go far beyond what our eyes can see (my finest stone, an Asagi Nakayama of the highest quality achievable 30k grit roughly, I was lucky enough to be around when this stone sold).

I beg your pardon if I come on as a fanatic or similar regarding sharpening but it's my occupation, where I spend the majority of my time.
It is one thing I am seriously bummed out about though. I'm a professional sharpener and I CANT SHARPEN MY OWN SAWS! Argh, they require a whole set of designed files and isn't taught anywhere outside of Japan. I guess it gets narly when the thickness of the teeth are at 0,1-0,2mm ^^
Comment by Bill Harvey on August 13, 2010 at 14:59
Howdy Hog,
Read some of what you folks have to say about sharpening -strikes me as akin to religion to some of you all. Actually, I have a rectangle of tempered glass with various grits of emery paper glued to it for most of what I need to sharpen.
Comment by Bill Harvey on August 12, 2010 at 14:39
Thanks Don.
I seem to remember from my materials class -and all that confusing stuff about iron and carbon atoms arranging themselves in latices (matrices?)- that angles are important. Do these angles have anything to do with the best angle at which to sharpen things -your convergence angle? I know, for example, that the carbide teeth on my saw blades are sharpened to specefic and rather blunt angles. Carbon-steel router are much sharper then carbide. They just don't stay sharp as long.

And where is this sharpeners group of which you speak?

White River Knives

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