Wartstein wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:49 pm
Cambertree, my friend,
thanks a lot for your kind words, the detailled advice and taking the time to write it up! It will help me a lot when reprofiling a blade and is really appreciated.
But I have to say: I think, I did not really make my point in my post you replied to
, let me try once more.
I was basically not asking for adivce in THAT particular post (though, as said, I am really glad I GOT one), but meant it more like this:
You guys, who know even in the context of this forum
a lot about sharpening, steels, grit progression, burr detection and knocking it off, which-steel-responds-in-what-way-to-which-technique and so on, are most likely in the top 1 permille of regular knife guys, knife users, whatever when it comes to sharpening.
At least I can say with 100% certainty, that in this thread most people who posted know A TON more about the sharpening topic than I do for example. That is just a plain fact, and does not bother me.
Still, compared to the average (non-forum.member) guy
who carries a folder even I CAN sharpen knives, even free hand to some degree, and even know a little bit about sharpening.
But reading all of your (sharpening experts) posts and about your skills and knowlegde (which I really respect and even admire, don´t get me wrong!) makes it sound sometimes, as if a guy who DOES NOT know all this stuff should NOT be able to get ANY knife in a somewhat harder steel sharp AT ALL. But that is just not the case... and if, it would really contradict the concept of for example the sharpmaker, which is designed to enable almost anyone to get almost any knife sharp to a usable or even shaving sharp degree, without
having a lot of experience and skills (jut watch the instructional dvd...)
So I am just a bit confused how this two different impressions I got can fit together...
On the one hand, there are tools like the SM, which are designed to enable most people to sharpen most knives to a satisfying degree, even if it might take longer or be less perfect than it could
On the other hand, reading the "expert posts" it really sounds like if one would almost have no chance to sharpen a "super steel" properly WIITHOUT the deep skills you experts have (which is not true, not entirely at least, since for example an average guy like me can get for example HAP 40 pretty sharp on a regular SM. And probably I could also have gotten ZDP sharp, but just was not willing to take the time or to purchase more abrasive rods, but rather sold my ZDP Endura some time ago)...
Ah, thanks for the clarification, Wartstein and sorry for my misunderstanding the gist of your comments.
I appreciate the kind words too - although I'm far from being an expert sharpener, my friend - I'm just a knife nerd who has accumulated a bunch of different stones and steels, and likes to tinker around with them
I should just say here as well, that I was thinking to quote and carry over this conversation to Pelagic's Community Sharpening Journal
instead of here, but for the sake of continuity, I'll continue in this thread. So apologies to Albatross and others if I'm getting off topic, but I'll try to come back to ZDP189.
Thinking about your last points, Wartstein, I guess there's a few things to consider.
You're absolutely right - there's certainly no 'elite' level of expertise or specialist knowledge required to get a knife extremely sharp. After all, sharpening is a fairly basic mechanical operation, at its heart.
I can't speak for others, but If any of my posts give that impression, it's certainly not intended. It can be quite difficult on forums to know who you're chatting with, and what the level of knowledge and experience of all the participants in a thread is.
I think if I was to compare my experience with sharpening from the early days of applying myself to learning the skill, to now, the main difference is not actually in sharpness achieved. Sure I can get a knife consistently sharper along its whole cutting edge now than I could a few years ago.
But more importantly, I can attain a high usable sharpness much more quickly, and configure an edge so it's very swift and easy to resharpen
, and achieve this result fairly consistently on any steel.
So I guess, when I go into excruciating detail about sharpening
, partly it's in the hope that it might be useful to those people who've expressed difficulty in sharpening the steel, and partly it's just comparing notes with other sharpening nerds.
In a way it's just conveying the information I know now, that I would have found helpful back then, if that makes sense.
As Sal has said before, the knife hobby is like being in a big room with a whole bunch of doors leading out into other rooms.
Some of those doors go off into metallurgy, some of them go into collectors history, some of them go into anthropology and archaeology, some go into aesthetics and design philosophy, some go into practical skills development and application.
And some go into the curious questions of sharpening. How do different abrasives act in combination with different binders on different alloy steels? Why does a steel like ZDP189 with mainly chromium carbides sharpen well on alumina based stones? What kind of chromium carbides are mainly formed in ZDP189? Is the purpose of the small tungsten component in the steel just for 'grain pinning' and how does it affect edge quality? How does the steel perform with a coarse edge, compared to a highly refined edge? How does ZDP189 with mainly chromium carbides at high hardness compare with a softer steel with high vanadium content?
Pondering on these and other questions might or might not make someone a better sharpener, but discussing them is certainly not intended in any way to belittle the results or experiences of anyone who's not so into heading off down that sharpening hallway - or rabbithole.
The Sharpmaker can certainly get excellent results on ZDP189 (and other high alloy steels), no doubt about it. Given time and patience, and a modicum of skill, a cinderblock brick and some newpaper could also probably get a pretty decent edge.
But there's other tools and techniques that can make the whole exercise a bit quicker and easier. They're definitely not necessary
But they do give us sharpening nerds something else to talk about.