fracuo wrote: ↑
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:11 am
Thank you all!! A few comments/ideas:
-On pressure: I don't think I use tons of it. I definitely use less than the "4-6 lbs" one reads about around, and I start from a 500 grit, typically, for knives I don't use often (like when I come back at my parents and sharpen theirs), and on the 1200 for my own. Perhaps it could be that my pressing fingers are quite close to the edge?
-On hands: how difficult would it be to train my left hand, if you guys tried it? Is it something to be attempted or better avoid that?
-On rocking/moving: I did find at some point that my body was rocking with the knife movement, and started leaning on one knee to avoid that.
-On the beater knife: Know any cheap ones where it's easy to see if one makes a mistake? I imagine they would need to either be quite dark or quite shiny...
Basically, I could try the following: see if I can train my left hand, less pressure and potentially get a LED light. On the finishes... as my best professor once said: I am not happy to just do one or the other
I think, for me, trying new things (for example, trying to mirror polish some knives) is important to remain interested (also not all my knives nor my edges are mirror polished!)
I've read several forum discussions about the importance of relaxing your body and focusing on the knife. I would say that your "compensation" for rocking/moving may be precisely the wrong tactic. But maybe not. The reason I say it is probably bad is that any way you look at it (from a mechanical standpoint), the LAST thing you want to do is to try to avoid moving any part of your body, or overly stabilizing any part. The way you will get maximal control, coordination, and comfort is to approach the motion from the goal of how you want to move the knife/object, NOT how you want to move your body. This is pretty fundamental in any advanced study of motion in performance, such as musical instrument performance and even various competitive sports. The more you try to control you body rather than controlling the object you're in contact with, the more you are just working against yourself and actually inhibiting your control and precision (not to mention feedback).
From this perspective, the core issue is obvious: your angle is dipping and becoming too acute at some part of the stroke. I would suggest you "sharpen" on a non-abrasive surface with a dull knife (or a knife you know has a way more obtuse angle, so that you're not actually hitting the edge). Go faster than usual. Watch your motion as you "pretend" to sharpen "quickly," looking carefully for when the spine of the knife dips toward the stone. It will likely happen when the knife is furthest away from you, or when you are changing directions in the stroke, but it may also happen when you hit a certain point along the edge, such as near the heel or tip, in part of the stroke. Once you find this, just focus on preventing the knife from doing it—again, don't focus on body compensation, just focus on controlling the knife.
As for switching hands: I think it is pretty easy. Lots of people seem to be able to pick it up very quickly. I would say it is "worth" attempting because, well, why not?! However, I don't think the "goal" is to switch hands. Plenty of people do, and plenty don't.