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Woodcarving Tools, Technology & Sharpening

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:44 PM
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Default slick cutting edge

Is it possible to polish the cutting edge of a knife so slick that it cuts less well than it would if it were less slick? I am talking about the cutting edge, not the bevel. In other words is some "sawing action" on the edge good or bad? And does the size of the steel molecules limit this? I have seen some very highly magnified photos of very sharp blades and they didn't look slick. Is there a point of diminishing returns?
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: slick cutting edge

There sure is. If you polish it too much you will end up polishing the sharpened edge to where it could be duller than when you started the sharpening process.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: slick cutting edge

Van, in my opinion, if you want to saw.....get a saw! The smoother you get the cutting edge, the better it will cut. There is a difference between "slicing" and "sawing", but sometimes a slicing motion will go easier than a straight push, thus the skew blades. I sure wouldn't worry about the molecular level of the edge as whatever it is, it's a whole lot smaller than the cellular structure of any wood you will be carving.

As a "frinstance". if you strop using jewelers rouge as an abrasive, the particle size there is .5 micron and most of the other compounds fall into the 1 to 5 micron size. Any of these will put a pretty fine polish on your edge.

I think what Lynn is referring to is stropping and rolling the edge to a steeper angle than you sharpened to. This is more a matter of bad technique than of over polishing/stropping.


Last edited by AlArchie; 04-22-2010 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: slick cutting edge

Hmmm...well, microphotographs of the edge of a razor blade compared to the edge of a ceramic knife blade show the razor looks very rough, and the ceramic looks quite smooth. Based on watching some of the Japanese chefs on FoodTV, the ceramic one cuts well and rarely needs any sort of sharpening.

Hmmm, wonder if I could get Kyocera to make a ceramic wood carving knife?

<edit> Just went browsing the web to see what Kyocera actually has to offer. Here's the ceramic version of "Old Reliable" Kyocera | Products | Kitchen Utensils / Stationery | Kitchen Utensils | Gentlemen's & Ladies' Folder </edit>
<edit 2> Wow! Price is "not cheap": https://secure.kyoceraadvancedcerami...ketknives.aspx </edit>
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Last edited by Claude; 04-22-2010 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: slick cutting edge

You can sure buy a lot of replacement blades for "ol reliable" without ever getting close to the cost of that thing!!
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: slick cutting edge

I strop very often and have never ruined a sharp knife. However when I first started carving I was stropping my knives at an angle (not flat), that did do damage. Like Al said, the only sawing I do is with a saw.

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