The other side of this blade had also been sharpened to a pretty strange angle. So I reground that face as well. We use a dry grinder with a pretty good tool rest that we modified here in the workshop. People talk about grinders being very liable to burning the Steel and that is very true.
However, if you use a Diamond dressing stone to dress the face of the grindstone so that it’s just very slightly domed then you are only cutting on one point. The blade that you are grinding is moved around slowly but controllably across this one point and consequently won’t overheat so viciously as if it were grinding right across the whole width of the blade. This is the secret to sharpening heat sensitive, high carbon Steel cutting edges quickly and efficiently.
We find mostly that our students learn how to sharpen on a water cooled grinder but after a few weeks or months they move over and start using the dry grinder because they get bored with standing over the water cooled tool.
We grind to twenty five degrees for tools like this and then hone, in this case, slightly higher than twenty five probably approaching twenty seven or twenty-eight degrees. This is an edge which is relatively strong and will take a fair amount of whacking with a hammer but isn’t a fat Steel wedge which lacks any kind of sensitivity. The Japanese would hone the entire bevel, as Westerners we don’t do that we grind to twenty five and just hone a micro bevel. This is a whole lot faster and just as effective.