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From oil to water

Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:30 am

Hello All,
First off, I thought I knew something about sharpening and knives that was until I found this site and Mark's videos. Hats off to you sir!!!

I am a home want-a-be chef who values and understands the importance of good sharp knives. I don't have good knives-hopefully changing soon-, but I try to keep them sharp. I've been using Arkansas stones for my knives and edged tools-I also dabble in woodworking-for years and made the mistake of using them as oil stones when I first used them and now really wish I had started with water.

In any event, I want to switch over to water stones. I believe they will produce a better edge then the Arkansas stones on the high-carbon steel knives I plan to upgrade to. Plus I would rather the mess of a water stone in the kitchen than the mess of oil. My problem is tight budget and not sure what grade of water stone to replace each oil stone with. I am going to slowly replace the stones I have for the water stones and used them both until I have a complete set of water stones for my knives. Any problem with doing that besides having to clean the blade thoroughly before going from oil to water.
Here's what I have: Washiba Arkansas
Soft Arkansas
Hard Arkansas surgical black - I have seen this compared to a 4000 grit water stone, true???
I also plan on adding a strop, thinking balsa, to my tool box not sure on which compound to use. Any suggestions as to which stones to switch to and what compound to start off with will be greatly appreciated.

Re: From oil to water

Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:35 am

Get a piece of leather and 1µ Boron Carbide from HA - it will keep you more than happy with a really scary, yet toothy sharp edge.


Re: From oil to water

Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:05 am

I recently just got back into freehand sharpening and I started out with 3 stones. I bought the red brick 1k, green brick 2k, and seuhiro rika 5k. Now these 3 perform beautifully but I would also suggest getting a 400-600 range stone for bevel setting. Also for you I wouldn't see a problem skipping the 2k. You will just need a bit more time on 5k. These stones are also very reasonable, although I do not know your budget.

Re: From oil to water

Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:44 am

Thanks for coming over to the forum. I'm glad you liked the videos.

As Drew suggested a good 1K stone should be your first choice. Then use your black ark. You can use the ark dry with no oil on it and it should give you a better edge than with oil. That will cut down on the mess.

Here are a couple good 1K stones that are not that expensive:

For strops try some leather and some boron carbide as Rookie suggests.

This should get you a really nice edge.

Re: From oil to water

Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:55 pm

Thank you all for the info, it has helped.
He's a few more questions. The other two stones I have, Arkansas soft and Washiba, how should I use them? I would like to get a flattening plate, I recently use sand paper and it took a good part of the day for 3 stones, but I see myself only able to get one for now. Any suggestions for a all-around-starter stone I could use for the oil and whetstones. I was thinking of the 140 Grit Diamond Stone Flattening Plate.

Re: From oil to water

Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:34 pm

The 140 grit plate is a good way to get your knives started, and it will flatten your stones just fine.

For your Arkies, don't use oil. Use Simple green--if you get the regular stuff mix it 50/50 with water, and if you get concentrate, use 1oz and 4 cups of water. It'll cut faster and keep the stone cleaner.

Re: From oil to water

Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:23 am

Edmon, thanks for the tip, but can I switch to using the Simply Green after I have been using oil for years on these stones?

I have been checking out the stone suggestions and some others. I am thinking about Naniwa Super Stone 1000 as my baptism into Whetstones. They fit my current budget and I like that they are splash and go stones. Anyone got any input?

Re: From oil to water

Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:33 am

Shapton Pro's are splash and go as well. The 1k is similarly priced and as you will notice in time, there a A LOT of people on the forum who live and die shapton. There must be a reason???

Re: From oil to water

Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:23 am

There's no comparison between the Shaptons and the Arkansas stones. They are so much faster it's really insane.

The 1k Pro is a fantastic stone imo. The 1.5k is great as well, and finishes more like the 1k Chosera.

Re: From oil to water

Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:59 am

It will clean the dirty oil out, you might want to sharpen some cheapos on it for a while, it will clean up the stone.

But yes, the Shapton Pros are so much faster it's like comparing a skateboard to a corvette.
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