Sharpening our own tools can be a very overwhelming task for most beginners, but it’s not as bad as we usually imagine it to be. Really there are three very basic steps to the entire process and once the first step is taken care of, the rest of the job is as simple as 1..2..3.
Step 1. Flatten the backside of the blade, also referred to as lapping. You don’t have to flatten the entire backside, just the first 1-2 inches depending on the blade. Always start with your coarse sharpening surface, either a 220/320 wet/dry sandpaper or a 800 grit waterstone.
Once an uniform scratch pattern has been developed move up to a medium surface to refine the backside, either a 600 wet/dry sandpaper or a 1000/1200 grit waterstone.
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