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Weird thing when sharpening

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've recently noticed that when I'm sharpening, I'll finish on my stones and my knives won't seem as sharp as I've previously had them off the stones. But, if I use a steel on the knives, they'll become seemingly quite alot sharper.
Any ideas why this is? I'm thinking that I might be leaving a wire edge/slight burr on the blade and the light steeling is knocking it off. Am I right or is it something else?

post #2 of 12

what knives are they?  Chances are high its a wire edge/burr issue

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

My Carbonext and Old Hickorys are worst for it, but I sometimes get it on my Sabatier nogent, but not every time.

post #4 of 12
Does the sharpness after steeling last?
post #5 of 12

It does sound like you're not getting the burr completely off.  Interesting...I've not had any issue with the CN holding onto a burr.  It's pretty easy to sharpen compared to say a Shun.  But yeah, if steeling is making it sharper you're not getting wire edge/burr off.  Or you're not quite getting all the way down the edge.  Painting the edge with a sharpie marker will help you get to the bottom of it.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #6 of 12

Are you using course stone then medium or fine to finish it off?  Also some steels are diamond dust infused therefore helping get a good edge.

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #7 of 12

Also ensure that it isn't just perception - do a test with a sheet of paper.

 

Sometimes a coarse (toothy) edge will feel sharper than a smooth (polished) edge because it doesn't grab as aggressively.

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #8 of 12

Jon and Phaedrus are right.  But going into a little more detail...

 

It's not so much a wire issue as a burr issue.  How do I know?  If you were sharpening a wire, your knives would feel and act very sharp when they were fresh off the stones then dull quickly. 

 

You can understand why I know you're getting a burr if you visualize the cross section of an ideal edge as a V; and then imagine the wire and burrs as tails which extend beyond the apex where the bevels meet with the cross section of a wire edge as a Y, and the cross section of a burr edge as a y. 

 

Most likely you're rolling the edge on your finest stone and actually blunting it slightly.  This can result from either creating a burr (y) or simply polishing the teeth off the edge you got from your coarser stone without creating a finer, fresh metal edge with your fine stone.  The cross section of that edge would look something like a U.

 

Your steel not only straightens out (aka trues) the edge, but puts some scuff on it.   At the apex where the edge bevels meet the scuff acts as micro-serration which -- depending on how you use sharpening terminology -- makes the knife more efficient (what I call perceived sharpness), but not actually sharper (absolute sharpness). 

 

On the two bases of (1) improvement after steeling; and (2) the problem is more noticeable with your stronger knives more than your tougher ones, I'm also fairly sure that you're getting a very small burr which can be trued to create a good edge, as opposed to requiring an immediate deburring.  Not that deburring -- getting rid of the tail on the y so the edge becomes a V -- wouldn't solve the problem as well. 

 

The solution to the problem is a combination of better angle holding, better burr detection, more complete chasing, and more thorough deburring.  In other words, you've got to break down your sharpening process and improve every step.  If you're not using The Magic Marker Trick at this stage of your sharpening competence you should be. 

 

It would be very helpful for my understanding of your process if you could describe to me how you check for a burr or wire; then describe how you chase and deburr it.

 

Finally, I urge you to ask a lot of questions to make sure you understand the process of creating burrs, detecting them, chasing them, and deburring.  There are several people on this board who are excellent resources when it comes to sharpening.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 12/31/12 at 10:00am
post #9 of 12

Get a high power magnifying glass and you can see what was happening.

 

dcarch

post #10 of 12

Get a high power magnifying glass and you can see what was happening.

 

Not that it isn't helpful, but you don't need a magnifying glass to check for burrs (and wires).  Other diagnostics like The Magic Marker Trick and the Glint Test provide good visuals, and you can learn a lot with the Bic Test (or a "sharpness tester" such as the one sold by The Razor Edge).  However, nothing -- with the possible exception of micro-videography works as well as tactile tests like thumb dragging. 

 

As I said earlier, I'd like to know what your process is now in order to figure out where you fit on the sharpening competence continuum. 

 

BDL

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

 

It would be very helpful for my understanding of your process if you could describe to me how you check for a burr or wire; then describe how you chase and deburr it.

 

 

 

 

To check for the burr, I use my thumb to feel it.

 

My usual sharpening regime would be as follows.

 

Sharpie up the edge, start at 1k grit, sharpen one side until I get a burr along the entire edge, flip it, and sharpen that side until I get a burr on the other side. Repeat this until I can get a burr raised on each edge in just a few runs. Sharpie again, move up through the grits following this same plan, then pull the knife through a cork after my highest grit.

post #12 of 12

It sounds like you're doing the burr/deburr thing right. 

 

I think you may be blunting the edge slightly on your finest stone.  Instead of finishing with deburring, do what you did before but then add a few very light polishing passes -- alternating sides with each pass -- on that fine stone. 

 

BDL

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