Hand Tools

Re: when to Camber during sharpening?

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Hi Joe

There are two stages here: firstly, when you are establishing the camber for the first time and, secondly, when you are maintaining an existing camber.

To create the camber, I hone the blade straight across with the 1000 grit, raising a wire. Now, whether you do this freehand or with a guide, the process is the same: divide the width of the blade into five points. The first point from the centre, place your finger on this spot, exert downforce, and take 3 strokes. Now at the outside take 5 strokes. Repeat on the other side of the blade. This creates the camber. (You can take more strokes, as you prefer, which will deepen the camber).

Now you can hone the camber with the higher grits, in turn. Simply hone the bevel evenly with each grit. Don't forget to remove the wire only with the final polishing medium.

The second stage is to maintain an existing camber. The important factor here is to create a wire across the width of the blade. If the micro bevel (either secondary on a flat primary or as a result of a hollow) is small, then may be able to just use the middle stone. As it increases in width, then you will need to return to the 1000. Just focus on keeping the honing even across the blade. Feel for the wire, which tells you that you have honed the edge.

Regards from Perth


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