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Going freehand from EP

Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:09 pm

I am itching to try freehanding again. I have the EP with choseras and though it is great it is missing something organic in the process. I will be sharpening a mixture of knives (messermeisters and old wusthoff and chicago cutlery) as well as Tojiro DP's and soon Konosuke HH. The steel will be all over the place. I was thinking I could use the EP in lower grits if needed to reshape, profile or thin and to fix chips and get a medium grit and higher stone. Trying not the break the student budget bank and was looking at the Shapton Pro 1K and Suehiro 5K or Shapton Pro 5K as a two stone starter set. I like the idea of splash and go or short soak and go. Anyone care to chime in on suggestions, thoughts, comments, opinions, etc?

There is some connection to sharpening I am missing with the EP. It works just fine. Maybe too good. It is almost like I am disconnected from the knife.

thanks!

Re: Going freehand from EP

Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:56 pm

You can't go wrong with the Bester 1200 and the Suehiro Rika 5000. Really a great pairing. For German/softer steels the 1200 is fine as is, or you can go to the 5k for better/harder steel. Both stones don't take long at all to soak, less than 3 minutes for me usually, and that's if they're bone dry.

Get the 5k without the base.......... :mrgreen:

I love my Edge Pros, don't get me wrong, but I only use them for EDC stuff now, and less and less even with those, kitchen stuff is all freehand.

I know what you mean about disconnected.

Rich

Re: Going freehand from EP

Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:51 pm

Thanks Rich. I was looking at the Bester1200 as well as the shapton pro 1k. I'm sure there are other splash and go or short soak and go stones out there. I know the shaptons are just spray and go and have a following but so to do the Besters. I guess all have their following. Price wise I think they are relatively close at least from CKTG.

Re: Going freehand from EP

Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:15 am

Shapton 1k is not as fine as most 1k stones. It's close to 800 grit, something to consider. If you want to jump to a 5k or 6k stone, I'd get the 1500 Pro. It's pretty much the same finish as the 1k Chosera (haven't used a 1200 Bester, so I can't comment on that stone)

Re: Going freehand from EP

Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:01 am

It's the love of sharpening that draws you towards freehanding and while I absolutely love my EP Pro, the joy of producing a razor edge by freehand is quite rewarding.

Like you probably, I had a million stones for the EP but not many to freehand with, I will backup what Michiel, The Learned One says about the Shapton Pro 1500, it has become one of my absolute favourite stones, having that and the Rika will undoubtedly satisfy your needs.

Good post, I just went through this myself.

Re: Going freehand from EP

Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:36 pm

I was going to pull the trigger on the 3 stone bester kit but just don't want to soak as long as the 1200 requires. Still mulling. Not sure it is worth the extra dough for a chosera but it does seem to be a semi splash and go. The Shapton pro is becoming more appealing and I could almost get another stone for the difference in price.

Re: Going freehand from EP

Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:16 am

Well, here's an option - freehand sharpen with your EP stones! Just get a standard stone holder and put your ep stones in it! If you think there isn't enough clearance, just put an EP blank below the stone to give it more height. (Use the same length)

There really is no reason a competent freehand sharpener can't freehand on a 1x6 stone.

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Ken

Re: Going freehand from EP

Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:46 am

That's so true Ken. I was considering doing just that but the key word was competence. I don't have the muscle memory yet. It was a great idea if only. Thank you.

Re: Going freehand from EP

Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:40 pm

Well developing the muscle memory on EP sized stones or full sized stones would be the same issue. Then if you like the freehand feeling, then go out and get some full sized stones. Think of your EP sized stones as a 'sampler platter' :)

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Ken

Re: Going freehand from EP

Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:52 pm

Too late. Bought the sample pack of bester 500, 1200 and rika 5k with loupe and felt. Birthday money does not last long.

Cool thing I did see this weekend though was the kikuichi forging team do a demonstration in Brooklyn, NY as their 'closing' exhibit for the US tour. Almost pulled the trigger on a knife but no one could tell me the kind of steel it was. I guess I'll wait for the konosuke HH but even that steel is a 'secret' I think.

Ken, I am really enjoying your videos. It is difficult to know which youtube videos to follow for technique and advice. I trust you and Mark and Jon at JCK. Murray Carters are too short to glean any real info.

I almost bought an addict 2 and would have shipped it to you but the Kono awaits. I just hope they don't raise the prices when they come in like so many others. Maybe by the time I get it I won't be so concerned with my sharpening skills and hesitant to bring steel to stone. There is always the EP.
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