Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Very interesting. We use very different abrasives, and yet the techniques are similar. I use a push-away, pull-toward style and like you "feel" when the edge bites the stone. Though sometimes there is no edge at all so I "feel" where the angle should be for that blade, the sweet spot, and build from that. Hard to explain, you just learn to feel it. And I also put on a back bevel, polishing off the hard angle created by primary sharpening to reduce cutting resistance.
I haven't had the pleasure of working with natural stones. Except, in a bag of thrift shop stones, I found one that felt completely different on steel than synthetics. I'm pretty sure it's a natural stone, though it's straight grey and you can't tell by looking. But I trust my instinct.
If you were sharpening a chef knife on a smaller stone, would you sharpen individual zones in straight lines or use a circular motion?