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We have a massive amount of Edge Pro products so we figured it would be good to have a whole section on how to use the machine and what to use on it.
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Amakusa won't cut

Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:01 am

I figured for $15 I couldn't go wrong ordering a closeout Amakusa for the EdgePro. While there were no reviews for the EdgePro version, the reviews on the full size brick were promising.

But I can't for the life of me get this stone to do anything. It slides over my Tojiro Shirogami Nakiri as if it were a slab of plate glass, not a sharpening stone. There's next to no "gritty" feel to it at all unless I really bear down on it, stressing the EdgePro arm, and even then it just barely feels gritty. The Tojiro Shirogami line may have its faults - can we say "reactive"? - but difficulty of sharpening is not one of them. My Shapton Glass 4K feels way grittier and when used as a follow-up to the Amakusa almost instantly started to show removed metal from the Tojiro - like within a single pass - whereas after at least five minutes of sliding it back and forth over the knife's blade the Amakusa showed not the slightest hint of either mud or any removed steel. There was just a slick wet surface jeering at my paltry efforts.

I don't have a Nagura stone but I used the 400 grit side of my combination 400/1000 diamond plate to see if I could raise a slurry, thinking that maybe the stone had been accidentally coated with lacquer or resin or something. The plate definitely sanded the stone down as evidenced by the powder left behind on the plate, but the resulting new surface behaved identically - slick as plate glass, not the faintest hint of abraded steel particles anywhere to be found after several minutes of working on the Tojiro. I decided maybe it needed to be soaked for a while, so I dunked it in water for ten minutes and went back at it. No difference.

I had hoped to use the Amakusa as my 1K, as that's the approximate range the description on the website pegs it at, but it's obvious that won't be a viable strategy. I'm now looking at either a Chosera 800 or a Shapton Glass 1K.

I'm baffled and unhappy, and definitely not seeing the appeal of Japanese naturals.

Re: Amakusa won't cut

Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:16 pm

Oops. I forgot to ask the question.

Any opinions on which would work better between my 400 grit Chosera extra thick and my 2K Green Brick - the Chosera 800 or the Shapton Glass 1K?

Re: Amakusa won't cut

Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:52 am

Mark H. wrote:Oops. I forgot to ask the question.

Any opinions on which would work better between my 400 grit Chosera extra thick and my 2K Green Brick - the Chosera 800 or the Shapton Glass 1K?

Does the Amakusa polish the edge, as if it's acting like a high grit stone? Just curious as I don't have a answer for why it won't cut.

As far as the Chosera 800 or the Shapton glass 1k, I'm sure either will do fine in your progression. I have the Shapton glass 1K and I'm very pleased with it, it removes the scratches nicely from my Shapton glass 500 and cuts nicely.

I have read quite a bit about the Chosera line for the edge pro cracking. I also remember reading it may be due to soaking the Choseras for to long, when they are used as a splash and go I believe they hold up better. But I'm sure either would work nicely.

Re: Amakusa won't cut

Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:48 pm

The Amakusa is a hard stone for Jnats in this range , on the EP its not a particularly muddy stone. Give it a 5minute soak and then use a well broken in diamond plate to raise a slight slurry. It should still feel glasslike , but the slurry should darken quickly with use.

What are you using prior to this stone , Jnats are not particularly good at removing diamond scratches without lots of overlap. Even if you go to a shapton 1k the Amakusa will take some time to remove those scratches.

You cant go from a diamond stone , to a jnat , to a synthetic stone. It just wont work well.

Re: Amakusa won't cut

Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:45 pm

Thanks Sadden. I worked on it for a while with my 400 grit diamond plate, taking off a noticeable amount of stone. Maybe a tenth of a millimeter? Then I soaked it for ten minutes and did a final scuff with the plate before taking it to a Shun classic Asian paring knife. Lo and behold, it felt slightly grittier, and did finally generate some swarf. Not the fastest cutting stone I've used, that's for darn sure, but at least now it is cutting.

The surface of the Amakusa now feels distinctly different. It's almost like there was some kind of surface glaze to it before that has now been abraded off.

I followed it up with a Shapton Glass 4K, which polished the bevel nicely. Not mirror, but definitely brighter than the Amakusa finish.

A bit off topic, but I think I know now why people dislike sharpening Shuns - that VG10 burr is a major pain in the butt to get rid of. I'm not even sure I managed to get rid of it all. What techniques do you EdgePro users utilize to de-burr Shuns?

Re: Amakusa won't cut

Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:05 pm

Finish off with a handful of alternating , extremely light edge leading passes to remove any residual burr.

If your used to shapton glasstones then the Amakusa will definitely take you for a 180 ,

Again , I wouldn't recommend going
Natural - Synthetic stones.

Should be
Synthetics - Naturals

Its just that they don't work the same way , and theres no point to doing a natural finish on a knife , just to cut it off with the shaptons. Try adding a couple finishing stones to follow your shaptons , such as Meara and Yaginoshima Asagi , then you will be really impressed.
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