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Fine tuning

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:02 am

I have another free handing question:

Once I have achieved a nice burr with my coarse stone on both sides of the blade and then removed the burr I'll move on. I will stay with my 500 Shapton glass stone until I can get the knife slicing thin paper. After that it is just a matter or refining the edge on the higher grit stones, nothing new here of course.

When I reach the 2k stone, I may spend anywhere from 5-10 min on it and then either stop or move up in grit depending on the knife. If I were to spend 20 minutes on that 2K stone, remembering that the knife is already sharp coming off the 500 stone, is the knife going to get sharper, what if I spent 40 minutes on it?

Am I correct in thinking that that "no it won't", I'd be wasting time, metal and stone by just continuing to move the edge over the 2k stone, (or any other stone in the progession) Is there any advantage to spending more time on each stone in terms of achieving a sharper knife?

All I would be doing it basically polishing, removing scratches, the real "work" would be on the initial stones correct?


Re: Fine tuning

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:28 am

Well, if you keep working on any stone longer, you will continue to remove material. So that would mean that you are moving your edge closer to the spine and making the area behind the edge thicker. Once you get the edge to the finest finish that stone can produce, it's time to move on. Once something is at say a 2000 grit, spending more time on it won't change it that much unless the edge wasn't truly sharp previously, then you need to set the edge with the 2K, which will take longer than at the 500 grit stage.

With the J Nats, they continue to break down, so working the edge on the slurry will continue to break down the slurry into finer particles until they reach their smallest size, so they would polish a bit more as you continue to work them. Most synthetic stones don't do this as much; working the mud may get the edge more refined/polished, but not like a J Nat will.

So if you have a sharp edge at your 2K stone and the finish on the edge bevel is 2K with no remaining scratches, working on the 2K longer won't really help it once you have achieved the sharpest edge that you can achieve on the 2K stone. But if your edge isn't at it's best on the 2K stone, you may want to drop down 1 step and get the edge where it needs to be and then move back up.

Re: Fine tuning

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:42 am

What 2k?

How hard is the steel?

How large is the grinding surface?

Kinda like asking a painter how long it took to paint a picture.

Re: Fine tuning

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:50 am


Sorry if my question was vague. I was working a Shun, so VG 10 steel and using Shapton Glass stones. The question wasn't about one particlar knife, in this case the Shun 6inch Nakiri but knives in general.
I understand that the different steels will have an impact on the final edge.

Thanks taz, the edge is great coming off the 2k glass stone, I was curious if I could get it better, you've answered my question though, thanks.

thanks Jason.

Re: Fine tuning

Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:46 am

Not quite sure where we're headed here, but:

Once you remove the scratches from the prior stone and have an even "x,xxx" grit scratch pattern, that stone is no longer able to provide a better edge than it already has given you.

Whether it takes you 2 minutes, or two hours with a given stone....once you've refined the scratch pattern to that stone, you're done with it.

Re: Fine tuning

Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:54 am

Thank you very much for providing the perfect answer to my less than clear question, just what I was looking for and taz pretty well confirmed that too.
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