09-01-2014, 01:04 PM
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I hope this is the place to put this since IMO it's kitchen related. But first some background.

Recently I had occasion to research the means to sharpen a Rolls Razor blade. Of course I found stones and such, but I also ran across the "scary sharp" method. (google it, you'll find plenty and save me the typing)

The short story is that it will sharpen pretty much anything, requires no maintenance or knowledge of stones, and is fast. Scary fast and scary sharp; it's well named.

So I gathered the materials and the other night I tried my hand at sharpening the kitchen knives. Scary sharp indeed! So I got out the hunting knives that I've been putting off sharpening because stones are so slow. They didn't take long at all to get scary sharp. The method is well named.

But this is about the kitchen knives. I've been wanting to get a Chefs Choice sharpening machine. That idea has been shelved and will probably never see the light of day again. Scary Sharp sharpens these blades so rapidly and so sharp, it's well, scary. I sharpened them to 2000 grit, but from now on it's my opinion that 1500 will be sharp enough. Since it's a hand held technique on a flat plane any knife other than serrated can be sharpened.

Yesterday the wife cut a dense cabbage and she always needs help with that. I warned her about the knife she was about to use and she needed no help at all. She's now a believer as well.

Not to get too far off the kitchen theme, the system will also work in the shop for chisels and such. It's not as fast as a Chefs Choice machine, but it's so much more versatile. Biggrin Chefs Choice doesn't do shop tools or razors.

Tip: unless you plan to only use this system for razors, be sure to load up with the coarse grits, 800, 100, 1200, 1500, maybe up to 2000. You'll use far more of those sheets than you will of the fine. The grits finer than 2000 grit are only used for ultra sharp and smooth shop tools requiring a polished edge, and the even finer grits are for razors (from 7u to .3u). (I'll post something regarding the use of Scary Sharp for razors in the appropriate place when I have proven it.)

Why not take a kitchen knife to 2000, 2500, 3000 grit? There is such a thing as too sharp. Most kitchen knives benefit from the microscopic scratches that create a saw tooth edge. I might take my carving knives to a sharper than 1500 grit edge, but only time will tell on that. Right now my plan is to take the edge on my everyday kitchen knives (chefs knives, boning knives, paring knives, etc.) to 1500 grit only.

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 09-01-2014, 03:07 PM
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Sounds very interesting. My google searches so far are more for chisels. Maybe a link will help.

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 09-01-2014, 04:00 PM
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Aaron, the very same technique applies for chisels and knives. One difference is the angle the knife is held at and that can be anything. A western knife is sharpened at 20°, while a Japanese knife is sharpened at 15°.

To sharpen, wet the paper or not, and make like you're trying to take a slice off of it. Not too much pressure or it will cut into the paper once it gets sharp. Depending on where the cut is the paper will need to be trimmed with scissors or trashed. It's happened to me, so I know. It's possible to also just work around the sliced area. There has to be lots of info regarding sharpening a knife on youtube so if my description is lacking (it is) I'd go there. The videos will probably show stones being used. The same technique is used with scary sharp just imagine paper and glass in place of the stone. Maybe scary sharp is on youtube. I just checked. Just do a search for scary sharp on youtube, combine what you find there with what you read about sharpening chisels and you'll weed out the folks who don't know how to sharpen a knife from those who do.

One thing I didn't mention earlier... the paper needs to be flat on the glass. If the edges curl up I give it the opposite bend on a radius by holding it against the curve under tension and moving it up and down. It doesn't take much. Wetting the paper makes it curl worse. Because I want to sharpen razors I don't use PSA backed papers.

Gotta run. If I think of anything else I'll be back.

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 09-01-2014, 04:52 PM
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I wonder if car painting sand paper would hold up much better than regular paper under wet conditions.

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 09-01-2014, 10:55 PM
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A lot of what I bought is designed for auto finishing. Just be sure what you get is "wet or dry" type silicon carbide paper. It will specifically say "wet or dry" or "can be used wet" . I used all of my papers wet. Just don't get the water between the paper and glass, I found some curling on some of the papers and that's not a good thing. Stay away from PSA backed papers.

What I'd really like to find is polyester backed wet or dry silicon carbide sheets from 800 right on up to the lapping films. The polyester backed lapping film doesn't curl at all and water makes it adhere to the glass. It's nice stuff. Unfortunately it's not made, or at least I couldn't find it.

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