Need sharpening book that includes current equipment & tech + modern Spyderco steels

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DougC-3
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Need sharpening book that includes current equipment & tech + modern Spyderco steels

Postby DougC-3 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:13 pm

This forum has a huge wealth of information about sharpening... so huge that it can take days to try to go over it all and pick out the best, follow current threads, bookmark them for future reference and so forth. It would be great to have a lot of this information consolidated in one place.

Has anybody seen a book that covers modern sharpening equipment and techniques? I've been disappointed by books I've sampled online from Amazon and elsewhere. Most just give brief examples of freehand sharpening, grinding wheels and other traditional equipment. Some are just coffee table books with nice pictures, intended as gift books for that weird uncle that's obsessed with knives (probably like giving firecrackers to a rocket scientist or frogs to a biology professor). That's fine as far as it goes.

I know this is dreaming, but I'd like to have a book that comes as close as possible to including in-depth discussions of all the different types and brands of stones, stropping equipment and materials, freehand sharpening techniques, and a comparison of all the current guided systems plus techniques and materials available for them. If anybody knows of a book which covers at least part of this, please let me know.

New super steels such as the ones introduced or used by Spyderco should be discussed insofar as different sharpening advice applies to them.

Here's the zinger which assures that this is just a phantom book at present: It should also include discussion and guidelines for blade grinds, thicknesses, and edge angles for different steels and cutting tasks.

I know no such book exists, but I'd appreciate recommendations for any which have fairly good discussions of any of these subjects.

I understand that electronic books are pretty easy to publish these days. Wouldn't it be cool if six or ten of our knowledgeable and communicative expert knife sharpeners such as Cliff Stamp, jackknifeh, and several others conferred online and produced one. I could volunteer editorial suggestions (but remember that I'm bringing all this up because of my ignorance of sharpening).

Or failing that, it would be great if a Spyderco sharpening wiki could be started. That would at least get the information under one roof so to speak.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or ideas you have about this.

Doug
:spyder: :cool:
Upcoming on my spydie-radar: M4 Dodo, 20CV M2, LW Lil' Native, then LW P3 or Sage 5? brown DLC M390 M2? ;) :spyder:

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Postby Evil D » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:24 pm

It's hard to find a straight answer because there are so many different techniques. Example, what I do works for me but Murray Carter would surely have some advice and/or critiquing about my technique that would likely improve my skill, so while my advice might help you, it may also not be the best advice to give, if that makes sense. Cliff Stamp also have a very different sharpening mentality than many people here, and I've picked up a lot from his posts, but you may have seen there are a few who disagree with him as well, and you'll have that because people tend to go with what works for them, and really in the end that's what matters the most. Whatever you can pick up and learn that you can apply and get repeatable results is what you'll learn as the "right way" to do it. A good example is guys who strop will argue to the death that this is the best way to get an edge sharp, while others (like myself) will disagree and have other opinions on how the best way is. Then, apart from all that, you can narrow it down further into what steel/grind/stock thickness/angle/edge finish/intended use/etc are you using, which opens up an whole slew of changes to every opinion that each individual will give you, which only makes it more confusing. You could very well write one entire book on each possible sharpening combo, such as 30 inclusive at X grit size to be used on Y blades grind with Z blade steel, and then you could do follow up books on what the intended uses are going to be which will change XYZ dramatically.

A lot of what you get with sharpening books are geared more towards the philosophy of edge geometry and how various steels behave at different angles and such and for different uses, so you might never find a definitive book that tells you everything you want to know. My best advice is to just pay attention, and bookmark pages that have info that you're interested in for future reference. That, plus experiment. Don't be afraid to drop the angle on a knife and see how it performs, see how you like different edge finishes, try different steels, feel it out for yourself. Over time your preferences and experience will change to the point that you'll start having your own opinions to share on sharpening, and you may find (like myself) that over time you will contradict your previous routines and opinions on how to do things. In the few years I've been on this forum, I have learned so much that I actually wish I could go back and delete some of my old posts because I strongly disagree with some of the things I've said in the past, and I wouldn't want someone doing a search and taking that old advice, because I've come to learn a better way now.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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Postby dbcad » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:38 pm

Hello Doug :) Books and other teaching/learning materials are great, especially when you want to start delving into different edge angles, grinds etc. :)

However maybe the way to begin is to try :) Obtaining a Sharp Maker and watching the video would be a very good way of starting. Using a sharpie or equivalent helps to see what you are actually doing to the edge. Some magnification helps even more.

Start with some less expensive or throw away knives and do a little playing ;) Look at what you are doing to the edge :) You're a sharp guy, you'll pick it up ;)

When you find your own base line to start at, remember: You are only trying to make the angles meet in the middle with as much precision as you can muster.

Getting the precision tight and repeatable is the problem most folks including myself :eek: encounter. You came to a good place to ask, I couldn't sharpen a butter knife 4 years ago :eek:
Charlie

" Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler."

[CENTER]"Integrity is being good even if no one is watching"[/CENTER]

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Postby mattman » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:13 pm

Doug-
There's quite a lot of info over at the "Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment" sub-forum, over at BF, too...( just in case you haven't been in there, yet...)

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Postby DougC-3 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:16 pm

Evil D wrote:It's hard to find a straight answer because there are so many different techniques. Example, what I do works for me but Murray Carter would surely have some advice and/or critiquing about my technique that would likely improve my skill, so while my advice might help you, it may also not be the best advice to give, if that makes sense. Cliff Stamp also have a very different sharpening mentality than many people here, and I've picked up a lot from his posts, but you may have seen there are a few who disagree with him as well, and you'll have that because people tend to go with what works for them, and really in the end that's what matters the most. Whatever you can pick up and learn that you can apply and get repeatable results is what you'll learn as the "right way" to do it. A good example is guys who strop will argue to the death that this is the best way to get an edge sharp, while others (like myself) will disagree and have other opinions on how the best way is. Then, apart from all that, you can narrow it down further into what steel/grind/stock thickness/angle/edge finish/intended use/etc are you using, which opens up an whole slew of changes to every opinion that each individual will give you, which only makes it more confusing. You could very well write one entire book on each possible sharpening combo, such as 30 inclusive at X grit size to be used on Y blades grind with Z blade steel, and then you could do follow up books on what the intended uses are going to be which will change XYZ dramatically.

A lot of what you get with sharpening books are geared more towards the philosophy of edge geometry and how various steels behave at different angles and such and for different uses, so you might never find a definitive book that tells you everything you want to know. My best advice is to just pay attention, and bookmark pages that have info that you're interested in for future reference. That, plus experiment. Don't be afraid to drop the angle on a knife and see how it performs, see how you like different edge finishes, try different steels, feel it out for yourself. Over time your preferences and experience will change to the point that you'll start having your own opinions to share on sharpening, and you may find (like myself) that over time you will contradict your previous routines and opinions on how to do things. In the few years I've been on this forum, I have learned so much that I actually wish I could go back and delete some of my old posts because I strongly disagree with some of the things I've said in the past, and I wouldn't want someone doing a search and taking that old advice, because I've come to learn a better way now.
I've been trying to do a lot of what you suggest, just not very effectively -- following different threads, bookmarking them for future reference and so forth. I've printed out a few. Then I tend to get distracted by other thing for a couple of weeks and sort of need to start all over again. I suppose I'm looking for easier answers and motivation to jump start things a bit.

It would be nice if we could start a thread where you, Landon, Cliff, Jack, Chuck, Roman, Blake, Donut, JNewell, kbuzbee, Paul, SenorSquare, people out west, up north, Europe, DownUnder, any and all accomplished sharpeners who care to share their techniques could just state a concise procedure for what they do and why as well as general advice. For those who have many procedures, they could just add additional entries later in the thread, or go back and append them to their first entry, maybe putting a note at the end of the thread so people who'd already gone by that point wouldn't miss the new information. This thread could be "Sharpening, Part 1."

Then we could have a sister thread, "Sharpening, Part 2," where people could discuss their procedures, give more helpful advice, argue, sling mud, berate each other, and generally duke it out. This way, it would be easier for the novice sharpener to digest the basics without getting distracted and bogged down with 30 or 40 pages of personalities, though this can be very interesting and informative and sometimes more fun than sharpening.

This is just a thought -- I'm just sort of brainstorming here.
:spyder: :cool:
Upcoming on my spydie-radar: M4 Dodo, 20CV M2, LW Lil' Native, then LW P3 or Sage 5? brown DLC M390 M2? ;) :spyder:

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Postby DougC-3 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:21 pm

mattman wrote:Doug-
There's quite a lot of info over at the "Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment" sub-forum, over at BF, too...( just in case you haven't been in there, yet...)
Thanks, Matt, I haven't been there yet. I'll definitely check it out.
:spyder: :cool:
Upcoming on my spydie-radar: M4 Dodo, 20CV M2, LW Lil' Native, then LW P3 or Sage 5? brown DLC M390 M2? ;) :spyder:

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Postby Evil D » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:30 pm

DougC-3 wrote:I've been trying to do a lot of what you suggest, just not very effectively -- following different threads, bookmarking them for future reference and so forth. I've printed out a few. Then I tend to get distracted by other thing for a couple of weeks and sort of need to start all over again. I suppose I'm looking for easier answers and motivation to jump start things a bit.

It would be nice if we could start a thread where you, Landon, Cliff, Jack, Chuck, Roman, Blake, Donut, JNewell, kbuzbee, Paul, SenorSquare, people out west, up north, Europe, DownUnder, any and all accomplished sharpeners who care to share their techniques could just state a concise procedure for what they do and why as well as general advice. For those who have many procedures, they could just add additional entries later in the thread, or go back and append them to their first entry, maybe putting a note at the end of the thread so people who'd already gone by that point wouldn't miss the new information. This thread could be "Sharpening, Part 1."

Then we could have a sister thread, "Sharpening, Part 2," where people could discuss their procedures, give more helpful advice, argue, sling mud, berate each other, and generally duke it out. This way, it would be easier for the novice sharpener to digest the basics without getting distracted and bogged down with 30 or 40 pages of personalities, though this can be very interesting and informative and sometimes more fun than sharpening.

This is just a thought -- I'm just sort of brainstorming here.
That's not a bad idea, as long as it didn't spiral out of control into a big debate/argument. More likely a debate, as I said there are a few conflicting opinions on here but they stay pretty civil, I'd just hate to see a reference thread derailed by a giant 5 page jousting match. Another Idea might just be a thread like the Sal's Casual Bombshell thread, where instead of that we just link threads of useful sharpening conversations. Even if all the named people got together, the first thing we'd all have to decide on is what technique are we talking about when using what sharpening device? Some of those guys free hand, others use the Sharpmaker, or the Edge Pro, or the Wicked Edge, etc. I think the reference style thread would be less likely to derail, but then someone would have to start it up and then it would take routine bumps and added content to keep it alive and relevant.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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Postby _centurio_ » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:09 pm

You worry way too much.

You need abrasives to cut steel. There are different desings, shapes and so on (f.e. benchstones, ceramic rods, sharpmaker, lansky.)

At first you have to know what you are doing while sharpening. You want to form a new edge, which could be a v-edge, a convex edge and so on. But this is not important because all you want to reach is a "V" (apex) by grinding away material off your dull edge.

There is no best way to do it, there is also no best equipment. You don't need to polish the edge up to 12000 grit to get it sharp. Too low grit is bad, and so is too high.

The two most important things in sharpening are:
1. Consistent technique and hand movements. Do not change equipment and styles all the time
2. At the end of each grit do light even strokes. Change side after each stroke.

You can tell if you achieved a new edge by feeling a slight burr over the whole lenght of the blade. Then refine.

Good luck :)

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Postby DougC-3 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:46 pm

Evil D wrote:That's not a bad idea, as long as it didn't spiral out of control into a big debate/argument. More likely a debate, as I said there are a few conflicting opinions on here but they stay pretty civil, I'd just hate to see a reference thread derailed by a giant 5 page jousting match. Another Idea might just be a thread like the Sal's Casual Bombshell thread, where instead of that we just link threads of useful sharpening conversations. Even if all the named people got together, the first thing we'd all have to decide on is what technique are we talking about when using what sharpening device? Some of those guys free hand, others use the Sharpmaker, or the Edge Pro, or the Wicked Edge, etc. I think the reference style thread would be less likely to derail, but then someone would have to start it up and then it would take routine bumps and added content to keep it alive and relevant.
.
That's why I was suggesting a second, separate thread, we could call it "Sharpening Part 2, Discussion & Debate." Hopefully the first thread would not have any of this. We could call it something like "Sharpening, Part 1, Procedures Only." We could have an introductory note explaining that the first thread is just for concise step-wise procedures, "what you do and why" plus adequate explanation where needed, and any elaboration of sharpening philosophy and interacting with other posters should be restricted to the Part 2 thread, where it could be unlimited without diluting and obfuscating the procedure thread.
what technique are we talking about when using what sharpening device
Anybody could add a procedure anytime he felt like it; because of the thread format, they wouldn't be organized according to medium, technique, etc, but would be mixed together, and people would have to be encouraged to reserve Thread 1 for procedures only and go to Thread 2 for comments and discussion.

I think we could just let each person make a post about any specific technique or device he chooses, keeping it on track and giving the whole concise step-wise procedure. If he wants to give a discussion of another technique or device, that would be great. He could edit it onto his first post with a title explaining what it's about, if he wants to keep all his procedures together, or just put it in another post at the bottom of the thread.

At the top of each of the two threads, we'd need to put a link to the other thread, which might be on the back side of nowhere at the time. That would help people resist chatting on the reference thread, which should be for procedures only.

Maybe it wouldn't be too much trouble to give them occasional bumps when needed, like the bombshell thread. I think the biggest challenge would be trying to get people to understand and regard it as a wiki thread and avoid chatting and commenting, without trying to enforce it like thread police. I think the problem would be that people who went to the end of the thread would think it was just a normal thread and and comment as usual.

After reflecting on this a bit, I think the only way it would work would be to tolerate some chatting, because some people wouldn't have occasion to see the intent at the beginning of the thread.

Oh well, like I said, I'm just brainstorming here, it's just a thought. I think it would be helpful to sharpening novices like me if it would work.

Another Idea might just be a thread like the Sal's Casual Bombshell thread, where instead of that we just link threads of useful sharpening conversations.
I think this is a good idea and could be done right away, but it would wind up being a pretty complex web and the links would include the usual digressive philosophy debates, but I'd still like to see it done. It would be easier for you to relocate things of interest than by just using a normal search.
:spyder: :cool:
Upcoming on my spydie-radar: M4 Dodo, 20CV M2, LW Lil' Native, then LW P3 or Sage 5? brown DLC M390 M2? ;) :spyder:

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Postby DougC-3 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:49 pm

_centurio_ wrote:You worry way too much.

You need abrasives to cut steel. There are different desings, shapes and so on (f.e. benchstones, ceramic rods, sharpmaker, lansky.)

At first you have to know what you are doing while sharpening. You want to form a new edge, which could be a v-edge, a convex edge and so on. But this is not important because all you want to reach is a "V" (apex) by grinding away material off your dull edge.

There is no best way to do it, there is also no best equipment. You don't need to polish the edge up to 12000 grit to get it sharp. Too low grit is bad, and so is too high.

The two most important things in sharpening are:
1. Consistent technique and hand movements. Do not change equipment and styles all the time
2. At the end of each grit do light even strokes. Change side after each stroke.

You can tell if you achieved a new edge by feeling a slight burr over the whole lenght of the blade. Then refine.

Good luck :)
All great advice :) This would make a great post in the mythical sharpening wiki thread.
(I could have been sharpening while I was doing all this talking.)
:spyder: :cool:
Upcoming on my spydie-radar: M4 Dodo, 20CV M2, LW Lil' Native, then LW P3 or Sage 5? brown DLC M390 M2? ;) :spyder:

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Postby Cliff Stamp » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:12 pm

To get actual information on sharpening, and not simply opinions, you need to do two things :

a) ask specific questions

b) see what people are basing the claims upon

For example :

"How do you sharpen ZDP-189?"

Will get all kinds of answers, many of which are likely to be generic/C&P. Just think about the actual thing you want to know, which is like very specific and ask a question that doesn't have a subjective answer.

The reason that there is a lot of conflict is that usually people don't clarify what they are trying to achieve and the presuppositions they are making which you are not aware of. This is why you can see Murray Carter praise simple waterstones very highly but someone like Fitzen calls them junk and literally says to throw them away and recommends the Hunter Honer. The reason they are so different is that they have very different sharpening desires goals they are trying to reach.

Think carefully about exactly what you are trying to achieve, and then ask the questions making sure you make your goals clear. It takes some time to learn how to ask proper questions - but don't be concerned about that, it just comes with experience. Ask questions, look at the answers and then see how you could have made the question more clear to take out the vague/subjective answers. Learning is always a two way street.

As an example check out some work/commentary by Chris (me2, who also posts here) about using waterstones vs a Sharpmaker : http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/forum/read.php?7,21541 . If you read that you can understand why he has almost the opposite stance of Murray Carter, they have two very different end goals

nozh2002
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Postby nozh2002 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:28 pm

I am not "real scientist", I learned how to do sharpening and many follows my steps. This method works,
even it does not use Spyderco tools. It is possible to whittle hair by using Spyderco sharpeners, but no one
put together any guide on how to do so. Sorry.

Here it is - pretty simple:

http://nozh2002.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_02.html
Set to be ignored by everybody.

Effectevely I am banned, but this is done the way nobody noticed, which means
Spyderco knows pretty well, that this ban is wrong and tries to hide that.

Made in USSR

http://nozh2002.blogspot.com/2011/07/ed ... sting.html

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DougC-3
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Postby DougC-3 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:00 am

Cliff Stamp wrote:To get actual information on sharpening, and not simply opinions, you need to do two things :

a) ask specific questions

b) see what people are basing the claims upon

For example :

"How do you sharpen ZDP-189?"

Will get all kinds of answers, many of which are likely to be generic/C&P. Just think about the actual thing you want to know, which is like very specific and ask a question that doesn't have a subjective answer.

The reason that there is a lot of conflict is that usually people don't clarify what they are trying to achieve and the presuppositions they are making which you are not aware of. This is why you can see Murray Carter praise simple waterstones very highly but someone like Fitzen calls them junk and literally says to throw them away and recommends the Hunter Honer. The reason they are so different is that they have very different sharpening desires goals they are trying to reach.

Think carefully about exactly what you are trying to achieve, and then ask the questions making sure you make your goals clear. It takes some time to learn how to ask proper questions - but don't be concerned about that, it just comes with experience. Ask questions, look at the answers and then see how you could have made the question more clear to take out the vague/subjective answers. Learning is always a two way street.

As an example check out some work/commentary by Chris (me2, who also posts here) about using waterstones vs a Sharpmaker : http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/forum/read.php?7,21541 . If you read that you can understand why he has almost the opposite stance of Murray Carter, they have two very different end goals
Thanks, Cliff, for pointing out the importance of asking the right questions. I'm sure it's crucial to keep them as specific and simple as possible too. The discussion about using waterstones vs a Sharpmaker is interesting. I'll try to skulk around there a bit and see what I can pick up.
:spyder: :cool:
Upcoming on my spydie-radar: M4 Dodo, 20CV M2, LW Lil' Native, then LW P3 or Sage 5? brown DLC M390 M2? ;) :spyder:


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