Specimens containing sharp cracks are needed in certain types of mechanical tests, first and foremost for fracture toughness measurement of materials. Their use, however, is not just limited to this type of test. Another category of experiments deals with characterizing nonlinear vibrations of beams containing breathing cracks. To produce cracked beam specimens, fatigue cracks can be grown ahead of sharp notches under controlled loading. ASTM E399 and ASTM E1820 standards provide guidance on such procedures for preparation of fracture toughness test specimens. However, certain issues which might become important in testing of vibrations of cracked beams, such as the time required for specimen preparation is not addressed in these standards. In this article, both low cycle fatigue methods and linear elastic fracture mechanics methods are used to estimate the number of loading cycles required to have a crack of desired length at the notch tip. Calculation results are compared with experimental ones, and the effects of various factors influencing the required number of loading cycles for a certain crack size are discussed.