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podcast 404 - Sharpening

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Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
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Credit: Penny McLoughlin

A podcast with Paul, Fred and Jim (one of the instructors from the Appropriate Technology Course that just ended). Jim is the author of "High Art and Subtle Science of Scrounging".

They reviewed a video about knife sharpening by Murray Carter, a 17th generation Yoshimoto blade smith.

The video contained lots of excellent information but it was difficult to stay attentive to it, possibly due to it's long length (2 hrs and 50 min) and the density of the information being conveyed. Murray revealed some secrets and described the video as being the basics of knife sharpening for beginners.

Murray only used 2 stones and completed most of the sharpenings in just 2-3 minutes. He prefers to use water over oil stones and the 3 finger test and a few others for checking sharpness. He emphasises technique over contraptions and discusses why several of the contraptions are ineffective.

There was a detailed discussion of the 7 step procedure of knife sharpening described by Murray. They also went into some detail about the sharpening of primary and secondary edges and Murray's sharpening set up.

Several ways of testing sharpness were described as well as why you should never use a grinder to sharpen knives.

Relevant Threads

Inexpensive high carbon knives
Murray Carter's website
The High Art and Subtle Science of Scrounging by James S. Juczak
Murray Carter Advanced Sharpening Techniques DVD

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The technique described here as the Three Finger Test is similar to (or perhaps the very same as) a test described in the podcast review of the Farmstead Meatsmith workshop:

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