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What should a sharpened aisuki look like?
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Author:  Hideki Arichi [ Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:46 pm ]
Post subject:  What should a sharpened aisuki look like?

What should a sharpened aisuki look like?

I think I've made a mess of sharpening it... :(

Just re-read the pages in the book and now...

I suspect that I may have been using it wrong side up as well...its a wonder I managed to make a print at all! :o

Author:  David Bull [ Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I only have one whetstone; is this enough?

What should a sharpened aisuki look like?

I'll attach a shot here of the action end of a typical aisuki ...

There are lots of small variations possible - how rounded to make the corners, and what angle the main bevel should be, but this is a standard pattern.

And the normal way to use it is to keep the bevel side down ... have you actually been trying to use it upside-down; I don't think it will cut at all that way ...

aisuki_edge.jpg [ 39.31 KiB | Viewed 54910 times ]

Author:  Hideki Arichi [ Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I only have one whetstone; is this enough?

Thank you for getting back to me and apologies for all the questions.

Yep, I worked on three sheets of ply a couple of months ago as a right hander with a left handed hangito and I've been using the aisuki upside Homer might say...'Doh!'

Right have to get the blade back into side elevation is there an ideal angle?

Author:  David Bull [ Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What should a sharpened aisuki look like?

If you get too far from the standard angle you are going to have difficulties. A lower angle (thinner point) tends to dive down into the wood, making it more difficult to move forward with the usual scooping motion. And a blunter angle will move along more like a bulldozer, snapping off chunks of wood, rather than smoothly slicing. Until you get rather a bit more experience, it would probably be best to try and retain the original angle when sharpening ...

(I moved this question to its own thread ... the idea is to make it easy to scan the list of topics to find items more easily ...)

Author:  Steve Sisney [ Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What should a sharpened aisuki look like?

i'm having some trouble keeping the rounded shape on my small aisuki. it's coming out with square edges, which slices into the wood at the corners, making it almost impossible to use.

can someone describe the motion they use give an aisuki that rounded flat edge?

as i sharpen to and fro on the stone, i try to gradually create an angle relative to the line i'm making against the stone in either direction, all the while trying to rub across the entire surface of the stone. it seems too difficult.

i seem to be creating many grooves in my medium stone too, which almost certainly is working against my sharpening effort. i've leveled it out again with my roughest stone (wonder what that's called?), but it seems that i'm chewing my medium stone up pretty quickly. i really have no idea.

i haven't been able to find a "nagura". so, i've just been using water, and a kind of mud is created on the stone purely from my sharpening action. does that sound right?

thanks for any info.


Author:  David Bull [ Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What should a sharpened aisuki look like?

It's very difficult to describe the motion for sharpening the aisuki - all one can really say is that you kind of gently 'roll' the tool a bit as you wipe it side to side across the stone. That takes off the corners a bit. It's actually more difficult to do it the other way around - to sharpening it with an absolutely straight tip.

As for the grooves in the stone, it helps a bit if you try and do your sharpening on a 'here and there' basis - keep moving around the stone, and not simply following the same track repeatedly. Once the grooves get too deep to allow clean sharpening, you have to get outside and flatten them, as illustrated on this page.

And about the mud - it will form 'naturally' when working on medium or rough stones, but you won't get enough of it from a hard and fine stone. For that, you'll really need your nagura ...

Author:  Daniel Vance [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What should a sharpened aisuki look like?

After far to long of having some tools and this book in a box, I have decided that I will finally make an honest attempt at making a wood block. Everything was going well until I got to the aisuki. I am using a sheet of shina that is 6 - 8 (so it is a smaller print) with fairly simply lines. I did a lot of the clearing with the hangi-toh (outlined everything and then started making some "v" cuts to remove waste wood in areas too small for the aisuki or komasuki). The Komasuki went well (will probably need to sharpen it soon which will be another adventure all on its own), but the aisuki was terrible.

After reading this post, I realized that I was using it upside down, and in doing this I really messed up the edge. So, after about an hour and half of trying to reshape them (6mm and 3mm), I think I have it coming close to where it should be, but I thought I would ask if you could post a video of you sharpening one of these, so I can see if what I am doing is right.

I had to totally scrap the block I was working on, and will restart tomorrow sometime this week, but do not want to get too far until I know that I will be using the aisuki correctly and that it is sharpened well enough to keep me from having too much trouble.


Author:  David Bull [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What should a sharpened aisuki look like?

For a long time I've an 'aisuki sharpening' video on my 'to do' list, but it's just not something I can spare time for right now. It's actually quite easy, because the natural rolling motion of one's forearm when swept side to side (pivoting from the elbow) tends to put a gentle curve on the blade as it moves across the stone (bevel side down, of course).

As for the corners of the tool, each carver has his own taste - some like quite rounded corners (a bit difficult to follow the lines, but 'safe'), others like them sharp (very easy to follow the lines, but if you get a fraction too close ... dangerous!)

Author:  Daniel Vance [ Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What should a sharpened aisuki look like?

No worries David, I know you have a lot going on.

I sat down again today for several hours after work and started again from scratch, and this time it went much better. I will assume that I must be sharpening the aisuki right, or at least closer to right now, since it worked like a charm.

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