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    I came across this viewing one the Clay Allison’s, (W.E. owner), older YouTube videos.  I just needed to use the same technique he spoke of, on one of my knives I’m giving a touch-up.   I thought I’d share this for the new W.E. sharpener users.

    The first grit we begin with when sharpening any knife is what I like to call the “profiling” grit.  It can be a course grit when sharpening a knife for the first time or a finer grit in the case of my touch up.  This first grit is to reestablish the existing bevel profile or to establish or set the bevel angle and profile for a knife your sharpening the first time.  This first stone step (re)establishes the bevel angles and their shape, (i.e., sets the profile).  It’s important to do this well and properly to have good final sharpening results.

    I start every  knife I sharpen using single sided, (left or right only), up-down-up-down, scrubbing strokes to (re)establish the bevel angle and quality.  What I wanted to illuminate is what ever stone work you use on one side’s bevel directly effects the other side’s bevel.  This can be easily seen when your using a sharpie marker to paint your bevels or if your visually inspecting your effort with a magnifying visual aide.

    When you start you’ll see how well you’re scratch pattern is covering the bevel height.  After working the first side only.  I inspect my progress.  Then after I work on the other side bevel, I inspect again.  What I’m looking for is if there is any difference in the scratch pattern’s coverage on one side bevel vs the other side.

    You may observe the first side scratches are not reaching the knife apex.  Whereas the second side’s scratches give full coverage.  (I’m working with the self centering Gen 3 vise, and this is a touch up, so I know my knife settings and clamping position are efficient).  After attempting to spend additional time on the first bevel’s short scratches, if it doesn’t seem to improve the coverage more completely, the issue is often resolved working the opposite side bevel that was complete in the scratch coverage.  By going back to the knife side that looks good and working more on that side you’ll find that you’re able to remove some of the height of it’s bevel.  In effect you are lowering the apex to meet the shorter scratch pattern of the first side’s bevel.  By working your knife back and forth you’re able to (re)establish and balance out the bevel and in effect center the knife edge’s symmetry to the knife’s thickness.

    Once you see the bevels are now set with even heights and full, complete scratch coverage on both sides, the profile is good.  At this point I move on to employing alternating side, left-right-left-right,  stone work.  Once this first grit stone work is done correctly, for the rest of your grits, the stone work will all be simply, repetition.

    Next time you’re scratching your head because you can’t get your bevel heights to even out try working the opposite side.  This may help balance it out.





    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    Thanks, Marc. I guess that I watched that video also because that is what I do. When profiling a blade for the first time, I alternate from side to side with the up/down stoning as well to try and bring the apex in removing the least possible amount of steel. That way when one side goes all the way to the apex, it won’t take much stoning to get the other side up to the apex.

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