My first gyuto was this baby, the Tojiro DP 240mm. The knife had been a workhorse for about 2 years before other knives took over its day to day roll. Now it is my beater/take-to-the-in-laws knife.
Over the years though it got fairly beat up. My first magnetic knife rack had the metal rails on either side of the permanent magnets and the soft cladding got pretty scratched up. Being one of my first knives it was also subject to my worst abuses as a sharpener, so it got more scratched up
. So, inspired by a Taz's description of polishing up some knives, I took a crack at cleaning this guy up a bit.
I used snadpaper and Scotch-Brite pads from the local hardware store. I used a progression of 100 grit sandpaper, 220 grit sandpaper, Maroon, Dark Grey, Light Gray, and White pads (http://academic.evergreen.edu/projects/ ... finish.pdf
). While the manufacturer machining striations went height-wise on the blade I polished length-wise. I do not know if there is a "preferred" direction, but since I was doing this on a picnic bench, free handed I did what was easiest for me.
The cladding steel abraded very quickly. The printed logo on the blade was lost within a half dozen passes or so. Keeping the scratch pattern uniform in direction was difficult though I was not being exceptionally anal about it. I have since used a similar progression on some other knives and found that the Tojiro cladding is particularly soft. I also found that using some mineral oil helps keep the mess in one place. Though it ends up being a wet mess instead of a diffuse, dry mess.
I am pretty happy with the outcome. I like the look pretty well. I can discern shapes in the reflection though it is not mirrored. I think moving to a polishing compound next would be the next progression if mirrored were the goal. The finish smudges up a lot, that is my biggest disappointment. The slightest touch leaves a print. The biggest surprise was that the knife felt like it wedged less. It may be psychosomatic but it would make sense that if friction were reduced, the knife would slide in product better.