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Sharpening Courses
Freehand Knife Sharpening
and Maintenance
with Rocks & Stones

(One-2-One Tuition)

Sharpening Course – Freehand Knife Sharpening and Maintenance with Rocks & Stones

Knives on Sharpening Rocks Knives on Sharpening Rocks

With the discovery of materials such as Flint and then Steel, which could be made into efficient cutting tools, man has became the dominant species of this planet. It is this ability to cut and chop at wood, plants, leather and flesh that has allowed us, as a species, to define ourselves within the world. We are the only species on earth that is able to slice and cut these items by the manipulation of tools that are not grown as part of our own bodies. Rightly or wrongly, with such tools as these, man has moulded and shaped the world around him, removing obstacles such as trees and even his fellow man to suit his needs; with such tools man has tamed wild frontiers, making hostile environments safe and safe environments hostile.

It is ironic that even with modern metallurgy and all of the technology available to us today, man is still unable to create cutting tools that even comes come close to being as sharp as a simple flake of natural Obsidian. To make matters worse, when it comes down to Mr Everyday Man On The Street the issues of sharpness goes exponentially downhill.

Like helpless babies your average Joe will hack and slash his way through a myriad of substance unaware that he is able to give his cutting tools even the most rudimentary of cutting edges let alone an efficient razor sharp cutting edge with minimal effort and skill. It is our experience that Kitchen and working knives become so dull they actually become dangerous to the user. The perceived danger, which is very real, is understood deep within our psyche making many afraid to use these essential tools. For the brave souls who understand the irony that ‘The sharper a cutting tool is, the safer that cutting tool is,’ the stumbling block have usually only just begun. For these lucky, or unlucky folks, the desire to sharpen usually leads them down the road of quick fix sharpening gadgets and devices that were only designed to make their wallets lighter and provide the saleman with a new car or house. Nearly all of these gimmicks do not do what they claim, some will irreversibly damage a cutting tool, causing slivers of sharp wire to be formed, which are wrongly perceived to be a sharpened cutting edge. In fact, such cutting edges are quite dangerous; these flimsy strands of wire are easily torn off as we cut through our food, which can then be eaten!

Shark (Sharp) Designs Knife Sharpening Courses are designed to give you a deep understanding of the principles and techniques that have been tried and test and are guaranteed to work. Straight away the sharpening principles and techniques that we teach, will enable you to sharpen any cutting tool to a level of sharpness that is by any standards considered extremely sharp, even with materials that are present in the wild. With a little practice, using these simple principles and techniques, the ability to achieve Razor Sharp (Shark) Perfection will be within your grasp.

Aim of the Course :

Mora Clipper & Knife on Sharpening Rock and Brick Mora Clipper & Knife on Sharpening Rock and Brick

This course is run on a One-2-One Personal Tuition basis.

Our aim during this intensive one day course is to instruct you in all the necessary concepts and principles that you will need to be able to sharpen a knife, or any cutting tool for that matter, to the highest level of sharpness that it is possible to achieve with just the Rocks and Stones that nature herself freely provides. You will be able to sharpen any knife or blade using just your own muscles, bones and tendons to a standard that most would find most improbable, and even most impossible, to attain.

You will be taught the step-by-step processes and techniques that will enable you to maintain your knife at a level of sharpness, whilst out in the wilds, usually only reserved for those who are willing, or able, to carry around with them a sophisticated sharpening kit, and all with simple rocks and stones.

Our ultimate aim, with this course, is to instil and inspire in you the confidence and sure knowledge that you are able to repair, maintain and sharpen your knife, machete and axe, or any improvised piece of metal, should it become damaged or dull, with only what is available to you in nature; removing yourself from all of the trappings of modern, high tech sharpening aids and stones.

Overview of the Course :

To begin the course your instructor will give you a quick rundown on workshop safety and procedures (i.e. what is safe to touch and what is not etcetera). Once these important preliminaries have been introduced to you the principles and practice of sharpening can begin :

  1. The course proper begins with a short rundown on the basic principles of knife safety what constitutes a good knife and what does not, how to, how to clean a knife, check a knife for damage and most importantly how to check a knife for sharpness in a safe and accurate way. You will learn why a sharp knife is a safe knife and why a dull knives are so dangerous.

  2. You will be taught all of the essential principles that can be applied to any kind of cutting tool, to ensure that the cutting edge is as sharp as it can possibly given the improvised sharpening tools that are available to you in any given situation. There will be essential information given that is needed about the nature of abrasives and what constitutes one. You will also be taught how to make improvised sharpening tools such as water stones and sharpening sticks, as well as how rocks and stones can be shaped so that they become more efficient platforms from which to sharpen your knife.

  3. With guidance from the course instructor you will be shown how to prepare knives for sharpening, how to removing rust and chips as well as reform a broken knife tip.

  4. You will be guided, during the sharpening practice session, so that you can quickly hone your skills as a competent freehand knife sharpener, enabling you to develop the necessary skill level to quickly and efficiently sharpen your knives so that they can be as sharp as possible.

  5. Concluding the course, will be a comprehensive rundown on knife maintenance and care, as well as the main differences between High Carbon Steel knives and those made from Stainless Steel and why you would choose one over the other. You should leave the course with a full working knowledge of freehand knife sharpening that will allow sharpen a knife, machete and axe or in fact any improvised piece of metal or cutting tool, anywhere in the world where you can find rock. If you are able to sharpen a knife with just simple rocks and stones, think just how sharp you could make them if you were to use modern sharpening stones!

Course Requirements :

Students require no background knowledge of knife sharpening, however, since extremely sharp knives and blade will be handled throughout the course, we suggest that students who are a little squeamish or shy about handling knives approach the course with an open mind. We promise you that you will quickly develop a confident, but respectful, attitude towards knives by the end of the course. And whilst we cannot guarantee that you will have developed All of the skills necessary to create a Razor sharp knife, you will have the knowledge base so that your skills can be developed.

Additional Course Equipment :

Whilst all tools, materials and equipment will be supplied to you during this sharpening course, we have noticed that during these knife sharpening courses we tend to run out of dull knives with which to practice on. We would therefore ask that, if at all possible, students attending this course, could bring with them a dilapidated knife or blade that they would be happy to practice on.

Additional Course Advice :

PLEASE NOTE: We would like to point out to you that whilst you have a legitimate reason for transporting any knives that you may bring with you to this course knives in a public place, it is very important that students observe and uphold the law with regard to carrying an offensive weapons whilst in public places. We also recommend that students observe a sensible degree of knife safety, to this end we would advise that all knives and blades are individually wrapped in several sheets of newspaper and carried in the boot of your vehicle. At no times should a knife be placed on display to the public and all tools should be secured for transport.

It is advised that you bring with you an apron or coverall that should be worn over your clothing. This will protect your clothes from potential damage or harm, since some of the tools and materials used during this course can damage clothing. Students will be provide with disposable hand protection if needed, however, it is expected that students bring their own eye protection for health and safety reasons.

Catering, Camping and B&B :

Whilst students will be expected to provide their own food and drinks for lunch, or snacks during the day, light refreshments such as tea, coffee and orange squash, will be made available at certain times throughout the day.

Students who wish to camp in the local area, or in our garden, whilst attending the course, are more than welcome to do so, however the facilities that we can offer are very limited, our garden is the size of a postage stamp and will only hold a single 2-man tent comfortably, plus there is no access to the garden except through the house.

For students who wish to stay in a B&B, we can make arrangements for you to do so if you wish. Please let us know your intentions well before your course start date, so that we can make all necessary arrangements.

Course Location :

The Freehand Knife Sharpening and Maintenance with Rocks & Stones course will be held in our Kent based workshop, the specific location details, along with full directions (for those who do not have access to a Sta. Nav. that is) will be given when the course is booked.

Available Course Dates :

Please Note: This course runs at all times throughout the year. Since there is no fixed time or date that this course is set in, students who wish to attend this course can make bookings during Daytimes or Evenings - 7 days a week at your convenience (See our Course Calendar page for available Times & Dates).

Course Numbers :

This course is limited to just one student, who will receive personal one to one tuition throughout the day, however, should two students (max) wish to attend the course together they will be most welcome. Course numbers are limited to this number so that each attendee is given the maximum attention and instruction as possible in a relaxed and friendly environment so that the completion of the project, within the time constraints of the course, is pretty much guaranteed.

Course Numbers :

This course is limited to just one student, who will receive personal one to one tuition throughout the day, however, should two students (max) wish to attend the course together they will be most welcome. Course numbers are limited to this number so that each attendee is given the maximum attention and instruction as possible in a relaxed and friendly environment so that the completion of the project, within the time constraints of the course, is pretty much guaranteed.

Course Fees :

  • Weekday (Day) Courses:
    • Single Student: - For a single student to attend, including All materials, this course the total fee is £110.
    • Two Students: - For two students who wish to attend the course together, including All materials, the total course fees are £195.
  • Weekend (Day) Courses:
    • Single Student: - For a single student to attend this course, including All materials, the total fee is £120.
    • Two Students: - For two students who wish to attend the course together, including All materials, the total course fees are £210.
  • Evening Courses (Both Weekdays & Weekends):
    • Single Student: - For a single student to attend this course, including All materials, the total fee is £125.
    • Two Students: - For two students who wish to attend the course together, including All materials, the total course fees are £220.

Booking :
(Please read our Terms & Conditions prior to booking)

The Booking Fee for the 'Custom Belt Making' course is £50, to be paid in advance this provisionally books your place on one of our courses. You will be invoiced for final course payments 4 weeks, and then 3 weeks, prior to the courses start date. Final payments should be made a maximum of 2 weeks prior to the courses start date. Remaining course fee payments can be made over the phone, or through Pay Pal, with any major Credit Cards. By clicking on the Booking Fee 'Add to Cart' button (below) you are provisionally guaranteeing a place on this course.

Booking Fee: £50.00 (inc VAT)

Course Summery

Course Name: Freehand Knife Sharpening and Maintenance with Rocks & Stones
Location: Shark Designs Workshop
Course leader: Mark Hordon
Course Size: Usually 1 (maximum 2 if together)
Cost: Time & Dated Dependant (See Course Fees above)
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