I have a question on your sharpening technique and the sharpening substrates…
I have Norton 1000, 4000, and 8000 grit waterstones – would I be able to use your convex method if I just purchased two diamond stones, the 250 and 600 grit eze-sharp brand? or do I have to worry about the 1000 grit water stone dishing to rapidly even though I would flatten it frequently in between sharpening. Also, if I go to a leather strop for the 1000 grit stone, do I even need to use the 4000 and 8000 grit waterstones I have?
Thank you again for this post – I am find my method with using a sharpening jig and microbevels way too involved and fussy!
Yes, these coarser diamond plates will give the fastest cutting edge recovery prior to refinement with finer stones or plates. Because we actively pursue establishing and maintaining the convex bevel, repeated effective and efficient bevel recovery is critical and with minimum effort. For a convex bevel we do not need a dead flat stone or plate even though they work well. So, for a convex bevel you can use flat plates or stones and even hollowed stones with no repeated flattening needed. For years people selling water stones were selling a method with them and people bought into it. Selling this meant repeated sales because they wore out so fast. Now, many such people have switched to diamond plates because they were gaining such credibility. We do not need a flat surface and a curved stone works as well as a flat face. The only problem is that the flat face of the tool, the large face, may need periodic redressing once the face has been flattened and polished. Were I a water stone advocate I would keep one face ot the stone flat, for plate facing only, and the other hollow.
From 8,000 grit I would always strop my tools to 15,000 grit.
Pursue this method and you will really enjoy both sharpening and working wood with hand tools.
Thank you for your questions. I will post your letter on my blog to help others. These are good questions.