Always beAlert and never attempt to sharpen if you are not in full command of your mental and physical faculties.
If you maintain your knife blade after it has been sharpened you will not have to sharpen it. To maintain the blade give it a couple of strokes as suggested below, with the 1,000 grit or 2,000 grit wet/dry sand paper or stone. Then strop it with the 10,000 grit paste.
Straight Single Edge BladeIf the knife is very dull start with a 600 or 800 grit wet/dry sand paper. Lay the knife flat on the edge of the paper. Lift the back of the knife slightly about 5 to 10 degrees so as the edge that is to be sharpened is resting on the sandpaper. Slide the knife away from the cutting edge. See diagram on the bottom. Do this two time on one side then turn the blade on the other side and repeat the same process on the opposite side of the blade. You have removed metal about 1/16” from the cutting edge, which is normal. The key is to keep it almost flat on the paper and rotate from side to side. The pressure you put on the paper should be light but firm. After you have a good edge with the 600 or 800 grit paper you will want to repeat this process with the 1000 grit paper and the same with the 2,000 grit paper . You may want to go to a higher grit, for a finer edge. You may also want to strop the blade, on leather with the white compound , to clean off the burrs at the end of your sharpening. To strop put compound on the strop and raise the back up 5 to 10 degrees and use the sharpening motion. You can go back and forth so long as you keep the knife fairly flat so you don’t cut the strop. When the compound gets black and shiny it is used up so scrape it off and recharge it and let it dry.Caution: Do not raise the back of the blade too high you will remove the cutting edge with a couple of strokes or put shoulders on the or cutting edge side of the blade.
Double Edge Curved BladeIf the knife is very dull starting with the 600 to 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Rip the paper sheet into ¼’s. Wrap one of the ¼’s around a dowel that will fit on the inside of the curve or hook on the blade. Lay the paper & dowel flat on the blade. Lift the paper & dowel up 5 degrees toward the cutting edge then stroke away from the edge. Do the same amount of strokes on each side until you have the desired edge. Remember to do the same amount of strokes on each side for even wear. Repeat this same process with 1,000 and 2,000 grit wet/dry sandpaper or sharpening stone. You may want to go to higher grit, for a finer edge. You may also want to strop the blade on leather to clean off any burrs at the end of your sharpening. Spread some white lightning stropping compound onto the leather strop. When the compound dries on the strop use the sharpen method on the compound. When your compound gets black and shiny gently scrape it off and recharge it with clean compound. It is about a 10,000 grit and brings the tool up to a super fine edge.