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 Post subject: one santuku, one combo arkie stone, on the cheap,
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:58 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:50 pm
Posts: 88
Here's one of the knives on my radar...Goko Santoku
is just one example of a few. I was trying to find one
that both my wife and I would like. Got a lot of feedback
within the forum. Now, she says, just get what I like.
Good deal! Something different from our european chef's knfe...light,
sharp, not as long, and wider/thinner blade.
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/gosa16.html

This upgrade would be forprepping vegetables, but I want to avoid an expensive
outlay of sharpening tools while still making our vegetables
proud. Typically, I prep for soups and finally minced salad items.

I thought that I would lay out my introductory experience with
trying to go on the cheap as a way of testing reality wiithin this
forum.

I watched a few videos on arkansas stone sharpening. Came
to the conclusion that I did not want to get obsessed with one more
thing in my life. Seemed like anything beyond some arkies and a good
santoku was about as far as I had better go. Will this work? When I
scout around, not many choose this path, or at least they don't post.

So I ordered the combo soft/black arkansaw stone from
NaturalWhetstonesCo. In it for 36.00/incls shipping. 2x8x1.
Not the most generous width. Decently long. Seems flat but
quality is not something I can judge with my limited experience.
Videos with these stones are limited. Not much detail that I could find,
particuarly with an Asian knife.

Richard Blaine is informative.. I liked him best, fwiw..how to
find the angle, hardly any pressure on the edge, make your own strop..
are my favorite nuggets.

My flash drive is out and modem download speed
crippled until cable company resolves. Could not play the videos here.

Stones arrived yesterday. Played with a few older knives: stainless steel
Victorix, SS Marks, and old carbon gerber utility carver. I had read many
times to not go use any oil. Better to go dry, water, simple green etc.
If I use oil, can't go back to something else. So, I went with dish soap
and water. The stainless knives improved. Could almost feather a piece
of paper. Never came close to taking hair off my arm. The gerber kife
is hopeless.

Questions and comments:
The gerber was messy, so I must have been taking something off.
How does one deal with the grayish mess. I wiped with a paper towel
but I could tell that their was residual pulp. Best way to deal with
the mess, during and at the end of sharpening?

Should I give up on the water/soap and use Norton's oil, which I have?

The easiest knife to sharpen was the thin victorix. What a surprise.
I could keep the edge flush with just the weight of my hand and a
wide blade helps. Fingers need to go somewhere.

I did the push, drag back method. If the knife edge was not flush
it caught the edges. With it flush the knife blade sings. If not,
it feels like rocks. Should the edges have a slight bevel to make
the stone a little forgiving? Any trick to avoiding those edges besides
practice?

The gerber was the hardest to attempt to sharpen....about 8 inches long, pointed, narrow. Narrow
really makes it hard to keep the angle and to keep it flush.

When finally done, the stone was a wet soapy mess. Is it ok to
run the kitchen faucet over it? Combo is not sealed stone on stone.
Instead, they use an oversized composite board that lies between the two stones.

After the stones, my measly third progression are cheap ceramic
smooth rods that sit in the holes of a piece of wood. Lansky style but
made by another company. The rods are gray. Now I know why...that's
metal! Washing/scrubbing in soapy warm water helped..a little. How
should these rods be cleaned?

Bottom line...Is it reasonable to go on the cheap? With my current knives
and/or with the likely addition of a santoku what should I add or modify for
sharpening? Re santoku, my bias is to go with the carbon edge, SS clad knives.
I like the Super Aogami but wonder if it's too hard for a low budget sharpening
plan.

Additions under consideration:
An inexpensive steel smooth honing rod that I hold.
Find an old piece of leather, or another medium, and
add metal polish, let it dry, and use that for a stropping pad.
Or, another compound, not expensive...?

Thanks for indulging me.


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 Post subject: Re: one santuku, one combo arkie stone, on the cheap,
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
Posts: 573
I can't speak for the arkies, as I've never used them.

If you want to strop on the cheap, try cardboard or newsprint. I've had better luck with cardboard myself, but both should have some effect without adding any compound. Try that first and see if you still feel you need some leather (which would work) or balsa + compound (which would also work but might be a little pricier).

I wouldn't worry about the smooth steel honing rod for knives like the Goko: you could use one but it is unlikely to get you anywhere that stropping would not.


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 Post subject: Re: one santuku, one combo arkie stone, on the cheap,
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:50 pm
Posts: 88
estayton,
I found a nice scrap piece of thick leather. I could glue it to a one ft of 2x4 stud.
Richard Blaine mentioned rubbing cheap metal polish on corrugated card board.
Amazing how much metal he polished off. Flitz...which I think I have..is what
he what he might have used. Leather alone, or rub some of the polish on it?
Stropping buzz...just an impression...is that it can suffice as a very effective
and inexpensive way to both polish and lightly remove metal in the last step
of a progression. I need one more step in my progression from medium and fine
grinds.
I just saw...and am watching...Mark's excellent video on stropping
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhD7QYO8G5U

estayton wrote:I can't speak for the arkies, as I've never used them.

If you want to strop on the cheap, try cardboard or newsprint. I've had better luck with cardboard myself, but both should have some effect without adding any compound. Try that first and see if you still feel you need some leather (which would work) or balsa + compound (which would also work but might be a little pricier).

I wouldn't worry about the smooth steel honing rod for knives like the Goko: you could use one but it is unlikely to get you anywhere that stropping would not.


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 Post subject: Re: one santuku, one combo arkie stone, on the cheap,
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 974
Location: Raleigh, NC
I've used oil stones in the past fairly extensively. They get the job done, but they are much slower than synthetic waterstones and don't feel as natural (harhar). I've only used them with oil, though. I would really worry how long it would take to sharpen a harder, more abrasion resistant knife.

Use a mild abrasive, like Bar Keepers Friend or Ajax, on your ceramic rods. Metal comes right off.


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 Post subject: Re: one santuku, one combo arkie stone, on the cheap,
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:42 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:50 pm
Posts: 88
Lepus...great idea for cleaning the ceramic rods...nice to get an solution. Thanks.

The strop approach has gotten my attention. If I start with a really good edge, I don't mind
doing some meditative stroking on a the harder arkansas stone. But, it's the strop that I want
to explore and maybe it would replace the honing that I now do in between prep sessions.

I have a large remnant of fairly good leather. Thick, well kind of, 2mm or 1/16".
Smooth on one side, rough on the other. Originally used to cover the insert of an old "partner's
desk." I have enough to have two strips, (rough and smooth sides up) glued to a plank. Then again
I don't know if this is the same as "horse butt." Mark sells strips at a reasonable price. My
thought is to use the rough side with a compound and the smooth, as is. Or, just buy
a strip of balsa from Mark. I prefer to use what I have. Frugality calls. As for a compound
any suggestions? Compounds are entirely new to me. Not a clue as to what to expect
from them. From Mark's video the strop stroke is the same as with the leather, as is, and
last quite a long time. Is there a point that it's washed off? Which compound would be
recommended for the likes of one trying to keep it simple?

I'll be ordering one, maybe two knives from Mark . So, doing some homework
to have it all bundled. Santuku for me, and my wife just said that it's interested in
a "stainless" petty.


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 Post subject: Re: one santuku, one combo arkie stone, on the cheap,
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:01 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
Posts: 573
My gut feeling would be to keep the leather clear of any compound and use Flitz polish on some cardboard. Go from medium stone to fine stone to treated cardboard to plain leather as the last step. And if you just need to touch up, go only as low as you think you need to get the edge back. Some trial and error will tell you whether you need to go down to the fine stone or can stick with the cardboard and leather strops.

If you have two pieces of leather, you could do one with compound and one without. I don't know which one to use in which orientation, but I have heard multiple people say they like to use the rough side of the leather raw, without compound. Since I haven't used leather much I can't give more specific advice.

Strops are a pretty good edge maintenance tool in between sharpenings, and will provide a little more polish in my experience: I use balsa with diamond spray which usually brings an edge back at least a few times. Otherwise I will "strop" on a fine grit stone, using a couple edge trailing strokes on either side very lightly, just as if I were using a strop, and then move to balsa from there.


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 Post subject: Re: one santuku, one combo arkie stone, on the cheap,
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:50 pm
Posts: 88
estayton,
I'm beginning to have a little more confidence in my choices. Thanks!
Curious as to what others think about orientation of leather, rough or smooth?
I'm going to have to glue down the leather, so that side will be sacrificed.
The other one question, any merit to using a diamond spray on the leather?

I never thought of using the finer stone for stropping.

I passed on a more generously sized arkansas stone...now that I'm
practicing, maybe a 3x8 is easier than the 2x8. Mark has an excellent
collection of videos. Currently handicapped by problems with the modem.
Wish that I had spotted them before. I'm doing all the common mistakes.
Is there a way to mark the stone in order to know if it is flat and used
as such? Black marker lines down the length?


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 Post subject: Re: one santuku, one combo arkie stone, on the cheap,
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:37 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:22 am
Posts: 662
wphill < > In your first posts you enquired about using Arkansas stones and ceramic rods you already own to sharpen hard Japanese steels. The responses were along the lines of yes, you can, but... The advice given was akin to you asking if the 4 mismatched tires in your garage will work on your new Corvette and the forum saying if they're round and fit in the wheelwell they will get you to the gas station. But you drove to the gas station and put on a set of Uniroyal whitewalls. You actually spent money and bought another Arkansas instead of a more appropriate stone such as this http://www.chefknivestogo.com/imtwosi1kst.html (There are better people on the forum to guide you through the benchstones than I.) For some reason that kind of irked me.

We here always recommend to budget enough for the knife and for the appropriate sharpening gear. Yeah, a lot of us, myself included, go overboard. But you do need a proper stone that is up to the task of cutting the hard Japanese steels. I don't think an Arkansas is capable of doing that efficiently. (And I have plenty of experience with Arkansas, Washita, etc. stones.)

I understand being on a fixed income, etc. I remember a time when the highlight of my week was $1 spaghetti day at the Chief's club. But I also personally know a few acquaintances and even some friends who are multi millionaires, own 5-6 rental properties, yet live in a hovel themselves and don't spend a dime. Then complain that they can't meet women. (Hey, baby, come back to my place for a bowl of broth.) I don't have time for that nonsense. Being an aficionado of good knives isn't exactly the sport of kings, but you do have to pay to get commensurate performance. Now paying the miimum and getting maximum performance? Yeah, we can do that!

Please don't be offended. I'm not trying to be a dick. (I never have to try since it comes naturally to me.) I just don't want to see you setting yourself up for frustration down the road and ultimately wasting money.

Cheers,

Rick


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 Post subject: Re: one santuku, one combo arkie stone, on the cheap,
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:43 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:50 pm
Posts: 88
Rick,
I'm not sure who you are irked at, but you are getting to the heart of the matter if not being more unnecessarily wordy
than I might have been. Perhaps, I should have started this with the simple questions, "will arkie stones fit the bill if I pull the trigger on getting
an asian knife"...period. Previously, I've been down that path at another forum at this website. I really thought that I got more of a green light than
anything close to your analogy of four mismatched tires; a rant that's a bit insulting, YET, it is the reason that I started this thread. A little voice in my head was saying, I need more confirmation. My more optimistic view is that it's more about how much time I want to spend putting an edge on the knife and 36.00 is
not a big dent.
A hobby can turn into an expensive obsession and there can be plenty enablers along the way. The gun crowd is notorious for this. I shoot small bore
and I can tell you that the ones that win consistently are the ones that spend the least, on the order of what I estimate to be one dollar for every ten
from Mr. Big.
My goal is not to get "maximum performance"...but enough to get pleasure from maintenance, prepping vegetables, and pride in ownership of cutlery that
is better than what I have now. We love having a constant mix of uniformly sliced or miced veggies in the frig. The easier it is to this and the more satisfying it is to do the deed, then I'm a happy customer.
If this means that I need to begin with a different progression of material, make a suggestion as to what is necessary without entering the realm of high performance. I'm not in a speed race. This is very civil crowd, no dust up implied. I think the diy
strop approach has a lot to offer. It's what precedes this. Sincerely, your thoughts knowing that I'm on the frugal side of the search.

My own thought:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dmtdushsy.html
Does not have the meditative pleasing value of a stone, but no mess, quick, and less worry with dishing a stone.
Then again, is it appropriate for an asian knife even if not a very pricey one. ?


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 Post subject: Re: one santuku, one combo arkie stone, on the cheap,
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:22 am
Posts: 662
Really no insult meant brother. Peace?

Your path towards small bore competition is a lot like mine with fly fishing. Everyone else in the stream looks like an Orvis catalog and I just wade out in cargo shorts and Teva sandals. Then I get the stink eye when I'm in the fish.

That DMT you linked to isn't bad. A bit coarse for my liking, with the extra fine side specing out to around a 1.5K Shapton. If you can make the nut, this is the way to go IMO. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sh2pcstset.html You probably will never need more, but if you do that set can easily be built upon. It will handle anything you throw at it. I'm not a strop guy, but there are plenty here who can guide you there. Be aware that there is a rabbit hole there also which can get expensive.

Whatever you choose, please keep using us as a resource. We really do love to help where we can.

Cheers,

Rick


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