JohnDoe99 wrote: ↑
Sat May 23, 2020 8:02 pm
Albatross wrote: ↑
Fri May 15, 2020 4:16 pm
Some people are skilled enough, to get a knife to whittle hair, with just a single stone. No strops needed. Technique is much more important than an arsenal of sharpening gear.
I can get an edge shaving hair easily, but I have never been able to whittle a hair. I have never been able to find an exact explanation of how it is done on the internet. What exactly is the "technique?"
bbturbodad has given you some good info for sure.
I keep an old phonebook around, to test the sharpness from my first stone. If any part of the edge can't easily slice phonebook paper, against the grain, I'm not ready to move on to the next stone. It's beneficial to form the smallest burr possible, across the entire edge, on one side, then the other. Light pressure is important and the paper test tells me if I'm using too much pressure, or not enough. Too much and the cuts are ragged or begin to rip the paper. Too little and the burr is still mostly there, giving the same ragged cuts or ripping of the paper. Removing as much of the burr as possible, on each stone, is a good habit to get into.
The higher the grit of the finishing stone, the closer the edge will be to whittling a hair. If it's going to happen, the apex has to be very thin and clean. Each step is going to clean up your edge more than the last. If you get a clean edge off the first stone, and continue with higher grits, you're lessening the deep scratches at the apex, bringing out a crispness that will help cut into a hair.
As far as strops, I use 1, .5, .25 micron strops. I've always used leather and had great results, but the firmness and texture of the leather, plays a big role in the end results. My favorites are the Kangaroo leather KME strops. I use them freehand, because they give me a ton of control vs a larger strop. My 3x10 strop is still used and loved though. The KME strops are very smooth and soft, giving me some of the best edges I've ever had. It does take more practice and patience than wood, but to me, stropping on leather is even more enjoyable than the sharpening itself.