Here is Chris Issariotis's method of creating and maintaining a convex
edge easily and without scratching up the sides of your knives.
Mouse pad with cloth pulled off (usually the cheap ones have cloth)
Wet paper towel to hold mouse pad from sliding
600 grit wet dry sandpaper cut to fit mouse pad
Finest Buffing compound (looks like a big crayon) Note: I use 8000 grit
compound from Lee Valley Tools
Oil of some type (I use olive oil cause it the easiest to grab in my
VERY IMPORTANT: Choose a knife that is already sharp with a well defined
bevel. One that you wouldn't cry over if you scratched it is a bonus. A
paring knife (preferably unbolstered) is ideal to start with because
it's easier to control.
1. Tape the knife 1/4 inch or 5 or 6 mm back from the edge, making sure
that both sides are as even as possible. For bigger knives a little
farther back maybe 8 to 10 mm
2. Put the wet paper towel on the kitchen counter and place the mouse
pad over it should not slide around ( it might move at first but the
pressure of sharpening should keep it down)
3. Wet you fingers and spread some water on the back of the sandpaper
and stick the sandpaper to the mouse pad. the water should hold it.
4. Put a dime size drop of oil on the sandpaper and rub with your
fingers until it is evenly coated. Rub the buffing compound all over so
a nice layer is formed.
5. You need the oil and compound consistency to be slick enough that the
knife doesn't yank the mouse pad around and sticky enough to feel some
resistance. Add oil or compound as needed.
6. Hold the knife at an angle that is very shallow, but not so shallow
that the area past the tape is touching the surface.
7. Like stropping, you want to drag the blade across the sandpaper.
Periodically wipe the blade it gets very slippery. Add oil and compound
8. For initial edge shaping my sequence is 50 strokes per side. Stop.
Look a the blade and see if it's looking more convex if not you may have
to do another 50, maybe more . Then 10 strokes per side, 5, 4, 3, 2,
until you get to 1 stroke per side and alternate sides for 10. For
upkeep 20 strokes per side and then 5, 4, 3, 2, until you get to 1
stroke per side and alternate sides for 10.
9. Peel the tape off and wash your knife. You should now have a convex
edge. You should also have what looks like a hamon on a katana.
10. Finish on a strop if you have one, or steel ever so lightly.
"Chris Issariotis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Personally I would not use the sandpaper and the buffing compound at the
same time. The two scratch patterns are not compatible. I would use the
600 grit alone until I got the shape I wanted, and finish with the
buffing compound on a piece of leather or cloth with the mouse pad
backing. You might try using 1500 or 2000 grit, available at auto
stores, in between.