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  • #16
    Good suggestions, one thing that I also do is to see if the knife can easily push cut through paracord, if there is any spot that isn't truly sharpened to it's apex, it will just dent the cord, but a very sharp knife will go through cleanly. Picture the edge as rounded like the tip of a ball point pen, while it may still carve wood it isn't as sharp as it could be.
    Stropping is key for sure to maintain that edge.

    And one thing I think people tend to confuse sharpness with skill, on many of the youtube videos you will see someone 'easily' carving and in comparison to your carving it seems effortless, so you figure must be my edge, and it well could be, but I think we're watching someone that is quite skilled and has done it enough that there is a strength of hand/wrist built up over years of doing that work that a new person just won't emulate right away. Time and patience for sure are key and you'll still need that sharp knife!
    G2

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    • #17
      I've taken to not shaving my hairs, but dragging the blade across the shafts of the hairs off the skin. If it's sharp enough, it'll cut there too. It's hard to tell if it's actually cutting a few hairs here and there, but you can feel it catching as it goes, which means it's cutting.
      www.AgainstTheGrainChipCarvings.weebly.com
      www.facebook.com/AgainstTheGrainChipCarvings/
      www.etsy.com/shop/AgainstTheGrainChips

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      • #18
        I've kept a good-sized piece of every different kind of wood that I carve.
        These are my "try-sticks," for testing the results of my sharpening process.
        I want to carve as little hair, skin and fingers as possible.
        Brian T

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        • #19
          For any test to work one needs an experience of "really sharp." A new member at our local carving club was expressing frustration with getting his knife sharp. Then he tried the sharp knife of another experienced member. It was an "ah-ha" experience. Now he knew what to look for and how the test cut should feel.

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          • #20
            good point paalin no pun intended it helps to have a frame of reference

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            • #21
              I throw a single atom at the blade. If the atom splits cleanly, it's fine for carving.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by fiddlesticks View Post
                I throw a single atom at the blade. If the atom splits cleanly, it's fine for carving.
                Ahhhh, the old 'splitting the atom, nuclear approach'. Works every time!

                Tinwood

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                • #23
                  New tests coming up. Just bought a 320/1200 double diamond plate (LV # 70M0419) to try to rehab some ceramic kitchen knives (NOT in my house). Unlike a water stone, it should stay flat.
                  The ceramics are so brittle even when compared with first strike flint edges for meat cutting.
                  Brian T

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                  • #24
                    Throw that sucker up in the air and if it spears a fly or decapitates one.....it is sharp enough.

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                    • #25
                      MY scary thought is this,,,if I am afraid of it,, it is ok.. Thus my handle I have one knife, that is so sharp, and the point is like a needle. The blade is flexible to almost go around corners.. And only 3000 grit water .. and a little leather. And Dileon,, this one gets gnats.
                      Chuck
                      Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!

                      https://mewe.com/profile/5d6f213642db757a5dfb3223

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