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 Post subject: Just got Kai 240/1000 whetstone set for Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:34 pm
Posts: 87
So I had a few questions. First, I'm not totally sure whether these are water stones. The instructions are only in Japanese, but I ended up soaking them in water before trying them last night. Surprisingly, my first attempt didn't quite end up with the atom splitting edge I was fantasizing about. Luckily I have a bunch of crappy knives to practice on. There's a pretty hefty Henckel's chef's knife I got over a decade ago, another flimsier Henckel's that came with a set. Once I get some skills, the plan is to try it on my Forschner Chinese cleaver, which is my favorite right now. They have all been sharpened with a Chef's Choice 130 electric sharpener, which I believe sharpens to a relatively wide angle, so I may have been trying to make that more narrow. Regardless I couldn't feel much of a burr, even after going to town on the 240 grit for several minutes. Once I really get some skills it will be time to drop a few hundred on a nice knife.

I guess my main question is whether anyone is familiar with these stones, and what else I need to have a decent sharpening solution. I figure I need one of those dmt xxtra coarse stones to flatten, and probably something a bit finer than the 1000.

Thanks. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Just got Kai 240/1000 whetstone set for Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 4241
Not familiar with the stone you have.
As far as not raising a burr you are probably gust grinding the shoulder. Paint the edge of the knife with a sharpie marker and grind some more. This will show you if your hitting the edge or not. You should raise a burr rather quickly on a 240 grit stone.



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 Post subject: Re: Just got Kai 240/1000 whetstone set for Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
Posts: 633
I think the KAI/Shun stones are ceramic, so they should essentially be splash and go but a short soak won't hurt them just in case. lol

While many of the better knife brands can get sharp, the steel is often too soft to get as sharp as most Japanese knives. They are built for brute strength where the Japanese knives tend to be more brittle and built for finesse. You should still be able to get a shaving sharp edge though even with the steel the Forschner uses. Just not atom splitting. ;)

Try "painting" the edge bevel with a sharpie and see if you are hitting the actual cutting bevel or the spot right behind it on the shoulder. If you are hitting the bevel the sharpie mark should be gone and the bevel clean. If not, you can see what part of the edge is contacting the stone by where the sharpie was removed from and adjust your angle from there.

One last tip... unless your edge is really messed up go straight to the 1k side. The 240 is good for blade repair and grinding a new bevel, but not really needed for "normal" sharpening.

I would say to at least add a strop and flattening stone to your set, like what is in this kit: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/stsetwiunhob.html

It gives you a flattening plate, a nice stable stone holder, and two strops (leather and balsa). Then you can add to it with the 3" x 8" strops on this page: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/strops.html if you want to. The compounds/sprays are also on that page.

As far as another stone, a 4 or 5k would be a nice addition. Something like the Shapton glass stone here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shgl40gr.html

or the Shapton Pro here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shpro50.html

Both are ceramic stones and splash and go as well, plus either would work well with the flattener and holder in the strop kit I linked to.

Edit: Jeff beat me to the sharpie suggestion, but I'm posting it anyway. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Just got Kai 240/1000 whetstone set for Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:34 pm
Posts: 87
Thanks guys! That was fast! I will definitely try the sharpie trick next session. My reasoning for using the 240 grit was thinking of narrowing the bevel angle, but I guess I should learn to walk before I run. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Just got Kai 240/1000 whetstone set for Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:54 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:34 pm
Posts: 87
Those sets look perfect too! Thanks defmunky! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Just got Kai 240/1000 whetstone set for Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
Posts: 633
You might want to leave the bevel as-is with your current knives. If you get the softer steels too thin they will pretty much roll over every time you use them. The factory bevel is effective as far as the German/French/Western knives go and should be very strong. Now if you want to thin the blade behind the edge a bit (which is essentially what you are doing if you hold the blade at a lower angle) that can help immensely and shouldn't effect the strength of the edge itself. You would be making the "wide" shoulders of the edge bevel narrower making it easier to get through the food once the edge makes the initial cut. To change the edge bevel it would be the same process, you'd just keep going until the flat you are grinding on the shoulder becomes the edge. I probably wouldn't do that with your current knives, but if you want to try it out it's not the end of the world if it rolls. You can always raise the bevel again or just make a good sized micro bevel (very small bevel actually on the edge bevel which increases strength) at a shallower angle. lol


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 Post subject: Re: Just got Kai 240/1000 whetstone set for Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:34 pm
Posts: 87
Cool, that helps. I'm really impressed by these videos I see of blades horizontally passing through an onion like a phantom, and I suppose thinning would help with that. If I'm not mistaken the electric sharpener I've been using makes a micro bevel. I think they're actually supposed to make a triple bevel, but holding a three different angles consistently is a pretty tall order fro me at this point, and it doesn't seem like this is the ideal edge for the sharpest knife possible. I will keep at it though. Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Just got Kai 240/1000 whetstone set for Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
Posts: 633
Some people like micro-bevels, some don't. Some blade steels might actually benefit from them. At the end of the day it depends on what works for you. Personally I like to keep it simple, hold a steady angle and not worry about a micro-bevel. I think it would be more of a benefit to the softer steels anyway, but I keep a single bevel on those as well. No need to make things any more complicated. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Just got Kai 240/1000 whetstone set for Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:34 pm
Posts: 87
Yeah, the goal for me is to develop the skills to maintain a nice high end knife, so I'll probably aim for the single bevel. But for now, I've never been so happy to have junky knives. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Just got Kai 240/1000 whetstone set for Christmas!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:14 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:34 pm
Posts: 87
Ok, so this is getting a little frustrating. I seem to be doing a lot of work to create dull knives. Can anyone tell what I'm doing wrong from these pics?


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