American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sharpening Setup

They say a picture's worth a thousand words.

I have mentioned in the past that my new ultimate sharpening setup consisted of the DMT Diasharp Coarse and Fine stones and I've now invested in the full set from XX-Coarse (120 Micron) to XX-Fine (3 Micron) with a homemade strop for finishing.

For most everything I sharpen, I use the Coarse followed by the Fine and then strop and call it good.

This whole process takes just a minute or two and a knife will go from what some folks consider sharp to tree topping hairs from my arm.

I picked up all the extra stones for those times where I have to take an old, dull knife and bring it to life or when I want to really refine the edge on a knife to a high polish.

The old dirty towel goes in my sharpening box along with the green Sharpie (I can make it out better than black) and the shelf liner (under the Extra Coarse stone in the foreground) which helps keep the stone gripping the table top or counter where I'm working. The CLP is what I currently use to clean the stones. It really lifts out bits of metal that I've somehow missed when scrubbing with other products in the past. It does leave a bit of residue on the stone but the slight lubrication it provides just makes the stones cut slightly slower than they would otherwise.

The number one reason why I like these stones is their ability to cut any steel I put on them. I've had some issues with S30V and 3V in the past and these stones take them down just like 1095, 5160, O1, or A2.

I'm not going to spend copious amounts of time sharpening a knife to get that "perfect" edge because it's going to get marred the very first time I use it but I have been keeping the fine stone in the kitchen to touch up the edge on my Wusthof Santoku every few minutes just because I can. A single pass on each side is all it takes to keep that knife scary.

I haven't been using this setup long enough to know if I'm finally set but it sure feels like it could be my long-term solution...

Thanks for reading,



At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am drooling!

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Andrew said...

This is a great post! What do you use the Mother's for?

At 8:56 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...


The Mother's is what I put on my strop.

I have the DMT compounds (6, 3, and 1 Micron) but haven't had them long enough to load them on anything yet and the Mother's does a fine job of polishing for my uses.


At 12:43 AM, Anonymous Kevin said...

On that leather strop did you just cut a piece of leather and glued it to a piece of wood. Oh and where did you get the leather

At 7:39 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

That's right.

I got a scrap piece of leather from JRE Industries and used Contact Cement to attach it to the board, trimmed it to shape, and then prepared the surface.

This one is actually glued down rough-side up which I might change the next time. The skin-side up leather is a bit smoother and would probably handle smaller abrasives a little better but this one is what it is and I'll use it until I can make something better. :)




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