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 Post subject: How to approach thinning
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:48 pm
Posts: 165
Hi all, as the title says I'm looking to try thinning one of my knives. Never tried it before. I have a Richmond wa-artifex that is my project knife. My stone set up starts with the bester 500. I'm only a home cook so my thinning needs will be limited

Is this stone going to work?
How much easier would a lower grit stone be? Suggestions?
Should I just eyeball a spot on the knife and basically create a shinogi line?

Any suggestions are appreciated


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 Post subject: Re: How to approach thinning
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:01 pm 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 12:29 am
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I would use a coarser stone but the 500 will work. Basically hold the blade as low as your comfortable with and start grinding until you create a new edge. With a 500 grit stone it will probably take a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: How to approach thinning
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:02 am 
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Chrismit29 wrote:
Is this stone going to work?
How much easier would a lower grit stone be? Suggestions?
Should I just eyeball a spot on the knife and basically create a shinogi line?

Any suggestions are appreciated


Yes, it will work.

Depends. How much thinning, what kind of steel, and how coarse you're talking.

Normal, everyday thinning with an easy to grad steel, the Best on will work fine.

Seriously thinning a Yoshikane which has a very wear resistant steel I wouldn't try without diamonds or power tools. I did, so I know this first hand.

You need to grind only on the shoulder. Whatever you do, don't touch the edge while thinning, especially if it's severe thinning. With a really coarse stone, you can totally fubar a knife if you are not careful. Sharpies will be your best friend. Only start touching the edge at the very end.



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 Post subject: Re: How to approach thinning
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:03 am 
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I hate my phone and its damn autocorrect.



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 Post subject: Re: How to approach thinning
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
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Ok something the learned one, Jason said leads me to a question.

"Basically hold the blade as low as your comfortable with and start grinding until you create a new edge. With a 500 grit stone it will probably take a bit".


This is what I do, jump in if this is incorrect and I will check out some youtube videos on this.

As Jason indicates above, I lay the knife down almost flat, in fact I do lay it down flat and just raise it a little to START the thinning process using a coarse stone, atoma or 150 Nubatama. I repeat that process with higher grit stones to achieve a polish, I make it look pretty. Then to FINISH, I raise the blade just a little and then start on the edge and I start with a 500 SG then and then 2k SG and finish on a 6k or 16k stone.


It sounds like I may be doing this differently than you fellas, do you thin/sharpen at the same angle?

Perhaps a step by step solution would be beneficial if someone would be kind enough because I'm afraid I have been doing it wrong, I will wait to see.

peter


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 Post subject: Re: How to approach thinning
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:08 pm 
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I've done, and continue to do, it both ways. I've had a flat bevel from spine to edge on some knives and also a higher angle edge which is more common. Obviously a higher angle edge is stronger.

Which one depends on what you're after and the knife in question.

There is no absolute answer here, me doesn't think.

You're not doing it wrong.



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 Post subject: Re: How to approach thinning
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
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Thanks Adam, appreciate your reply.

I'm sure I will be wrong about something soon though.

peter


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 Post subject: Re: How to approach thinning
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:11 pm 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 12:29 am
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That's one way to do it. I don't change angles when thinning I keep with the same one from start to finish. If the actual edge apex angle is too acute for the knife then I do a little convex grinding. Basically like adding a microbevel except I blend it.


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 Post subject: Re: How to approach thinning
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:56 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:48 pm
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So you can thin from any point on the face of the knife down to the shoulder. Most important point being make sure you are not hitting the edge and messing up this bevel. Do I have this right?


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 Post subject: Re: How to approach thinning
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
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Hi, I don't want to leave you hanging so I will provide you with some direction, what works for me.

Adam is suggesting that you don't hit the edge (edge of the edge) with a coarse stone, i.e. the coarse stone that you initiate the thinning process with, you don't need to touch that area, the sacred zone just yet.

The intention is to maintain the geometry of the knife to some extent by knocking off the metal than tends to be thicker than necessary behind the edge, it either comes that way from the factory or becomes that way as a result of sharpening the primary edge only (cutting edge). If one were to sharpen the primary edge only, over time, that edge becomes thicker and thicker and the knife is not only difficult to sharpen but also difficult to use. So to overcome that, we need to thin the knife, make it more user friendly. (So I just told you a bunch of stuff you already knew)

Lay the blade flat on the stone, now you could just start grinding away at that level but you will scratch the heck out of that knife and while it is easy to say that subsequent stones, the higher grit stones will remove all those scratches, the truth of the matter is that the blade has low and high spots so you won't get a uniform pattern, not without spending a lot of time on that surface,on both sides too.

So lay the knife flat on a coarse stone, this is the scary part, how low do you go, use whatever you have in your arsenal, that metal has to go. Raise the spine a little, enought to clear the blade but low (acute) enough to ensure the target area is being reached. Grind away and commence the thinning process, grind, inspect, grind, inspect and so on, you are not sharpening at this stage, the knife is going to be dull. Patience is probably the biggest barrier between a great job and an "it will do job". Once you are satisifed after inspecting the blade that you have actually thinnied it you can now move through the rest of the stones.

Now for me, I raise the spine again to hit the edge of the edge with the medium and fine stones (not the coarse stone) and I sort of rock the knife a little during this process to hit both the secondary and primary bevels but my focus now is to sharpen the thinned knife.

The alternative is to maintain that initial angle as Jason indicates above, he thins the knife and removes the metal until he is hitting the primary edge, and if the knife is incapable of holding that very acute starting angle, he will adjust a little to blend in the two zones.


This is just my way of doing it, there are some great videos out there too that will likely provide a better explanation visually than I can here.

Peter
(coincidentally, last night I was given a 20 year old Victorionox to sharpen, it was terribly thick, it resembled an axe edge, so to just sharpen that knife, i.e. to continue the thickening process that has occured over time, I would have had to sharpen at about 35 degrees on each side to hit the edge. I'll need to spend about 2 years thinning this one to be able to get it as sharp as I would like to)


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