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 Post subject: Buying first set of stones for brand new knives
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:25 pm
Posts: 5
Hello!

Here is what I picked out:

Red Brick 1k
Snow White 8k

A couple things I need answered...

- Do I need a stone inbetween the two or is it ok to jump right into 8k from 1k?
- Do I need a stone below 1k if I am only working on brand new knives? (no reshaping going on)
- What Plates do I get for flattening the stones? I am a little confused on picking out the grit of plate for the grit of stones
- Would you still recommend a honing rod if the HRC is above 60 on the knife?

These will be for Chef Knives, but I also plan to get a straight razor for shaving. Would you happen to know if the Snow White will work for that? And then I assume I would need an even higher grit to finish the razor off, yes?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Buying first set of stones for brand new knives
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:26 pm 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 12:29 am
Posts: 920
Wes wrote:Hello!

Here is what I picked out:

Red Brick 1k
Snow White 8k

A couple things I need answered...

- Do I need a stone inbetween the two or is it ok to jump right into 8k from 1k?
- Do I need a stone below 1k if I am only working on brand new knives? (no reshaping going on)
- What Plates do I get for flattening the stones? I am a little confused on picking out the grit of plate for the grit of stones
- Would you still recommend a honing rod if the HRC is above 60 on the knife?

These will be for Chef Knives, but I also plan to get a straight razor for shaving. Would you happen to know if the Snow White will work for that? And then I assume I would need an even higher grit to finish the razor off, yes?

Thanks!


1k to 8k is a pretty big jump and it would be wise to have a stone between.

You can do a lot with a good 1k stone including re-beveling or fixing a chip but its kinda slow and will cause excessive wear to your middle grit stones. Factory bevels are not something you should rely on as a good starting point, I've seen some of the best blades have the worst edges.

This diamond plate you will use for all stones

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/140grdistflp.html

As to your question about honing rods: IMO you only need a honing rod if your access to sharpening stones is limited by time. I would also only recommend ceramic which is good for all steels at any hardness. If you are a home cook and sharpen on stones then there is no need for a honing rod.

For razors the 8k will probably do but you will need a strop with some Chromium oxide to make it shave ready.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying first set of stones for brand new knives
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:25 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for the reply, Jason.

So if I hear you right, I should include 4 stones in my knife sharpening progression. What grit should I use before 1k? And then also what grit should I use before 8k?

Thanks for the help thus far!


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 Post subject: Re: Buying first set of stones for brand new knives
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2391
Wes - you have a ton of options, but a lower grit stone like the Latte 400 would be good for setting bevels and minor repairs, before refining with your 1K and up. Once you have a knife that you've sharpened before, meaning you've created the initial edge bevel, then you can start on the 1K or possibly even higher to re-sharpen, since you'll already have a decently sharp, nice bevel to start with.

If you'll sharpen knives that are in bad shape and need lots of metal removal to get a good new bevel cut, you might even consider the Nubatama Bamboo 150. I know Jason B. goes from the 150 to a 1K often and has stated it works fine for him. (Jason B. is a professional sharpener with lots of experience)

For a tweener stone you could do a 3K or 4K as a nice step to the Snow White. The Suehiro Rika 5K might be a nice choice - many people say it sharpens like a 3K and it's a very user-friendly stone. Jason should have some expert input here as well.

Wes, have you considered this set: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mrfa3stcoset.html?


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 Post subject: Re: Buying first set of stones for brand new knives
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:29 pm
Posts: 500
I agree you need a stone between. Snow White is a great stone. When I sharpen my straight razors, the stones I use are the latte, green brick, Snow White, Shapton glass 16000, strop on balsa with chromium oxide, finish on leather. Sometimes I also throw in the Shapton glass 8000, but it may be redundant with the Snow White. In my opinion, when you move to razors, you will need to go beyond 8000. Until then, the green brick instead of the red, paired with the Snow White will do for now. After that I'd get the latte next


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 Post subject: Re: Buying first set of stones for brand new knives
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:59 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:25 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for the input! I chose the Red Brick over the Green because I read that the Red will stand up to harsher abuse and longer life (Green Brick is soft). Granted, what I read only has impact on me in theory because I have never used either.

As far as going below 1k -- Doesn't a new knife already have a set bevel? Meaning, I wouldn't want to take it to <1k stone UNLESS something has drastically gone wrong?

Also, still confused about Diamond Plates. I appreciate the rec. but read that that grit should be used for stones under 5k. Is it a good idea to get two Flat Plates or can I get away with just one but with a higher grit like XC or C rather than XXC...?

Thanks for showing me what betweener stone to get!


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 Post subject: Re: Buying first set of stones for brand new knives
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2391
Wes - it depends on how the factory edge bevel was ground. They are not always the same angle or amount on each side of the blade. You may or may not be able to match the exact angles when sharpening, even using the Sharpie trick. Hence, many people just sharpen the knife at an angle they are comfortable holding when using the stones, and create their own edge bevel. You can use a 1K to cut a new bevel, but it may take quite a while. It depends on the knife, steel, thickness at the edge, edge angle, etc.

You do need to be careful using lower grit stones like the 400 (or lower) - they can remove metal pretty quickly, thus allowing you to screw up a knife's edge more quickly as well. People usually suggest going slower and checking your work frequently while using lower grit stones - at least until you get proficient in their use.

I personally like the Shapton Glass 500 stone because it strikes a balance between speed and finish for cutting bevels. If a knife is in really bad shape, though, the 500 might be too slow for many people. The Shapton stones are hard and demand more precision than some. Some sharpeners are proponents of learning precision w/these type of stones vs. starting on more forgiving stones. It's just a particular learning philosophy.

I would suggest to just strop or use something like the Idahone Fine Ceramic rod to maintain a new knife(s) while you're learning to sharpen on other knives. You can then do a full sharpening when you're ready and those methods no longer restore the edge to your liking. You'll then have your own edge on the knife and future sharpenings can probably start at the 1K level or even higher if you don't let them get too dull.

On the plates, you can use less coarse plates, but they'll take longer to flatten dished stones. One method I've used is to deploy the XXC plate to flatten my stones up to 1K and use the 1K to flatten the next higher stone, that stone on the next higher stone, etc. Just make sure to wash them good to remove the lower grit material from the higher grit stone before using. Most people just use the XXC on everything.

I actually purchased an Atoma 400 plate and I'm now using that for all my flattening. It does take longer on more badly dished stones. The Atoma plates are awesome at flattening while creating much less stiction, which can really suck the stone to the plate at it gets flat and require lots of water to keep things moving. Hope all this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying first set of stones for brand new knives
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:14 pm 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 12:29 am
Posts: 920
Like I said, don't rely on factory edges.

To smooth out the surface of fine grit stones after lapping use a nagura.

As for your stone selection I think it could be a bit better. 8k is a bit extreme for most any knife and in reality the edge will not last very long. The 1k you have picked will work but your reason for selecting it is kinda off. If you want it to last and hold up to abuse then a hard stone that resist wear is what you should be looking for. You cannot compare the red brick and green brick, the red brick is a 1k and the green brick though listed as a 2k is more like a 4k stone. They could be used together as a medium and fine combo set but they are not interchangeable in use.

As for coarse stones,

I have a different view of coarse stones. I believe they are the base for which a edge is created and are a necessity in sharpening. Others feel that beginners should stay away from them. A 400 or 500 grit stone would be a good addition and is not so coarse that you will easily distort the edge geometry.

To start a 1k will do fine, you can do a lot with a 1k including regrinding a edge or fixing chips.Personally I would go with the Arashiyama set and add a natural stone to finish the razor.


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