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 Post subject: Re: Lessons Learned
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:34 pm
Posts: 340
Very informative Sailor. I am fairly new to Japanese waterstone sharpening, but I have been able to put a good edge on my knives, it just takes me longer..
I start with the Latte, your article tells me to stay with the Latte a little longer, then a little shorter on the other stones in the progression.
Many thanks for the great article.


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 Post subject: Re: Lessons Learned
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 7:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 512
Hi phillysco, thank you.
Patience with that great Latte of yours will leave you rewarded when you move to a finer grit, let that coarse stone do it's magic, get the knife sharp, really sharp on it before you advance. You won't have to spend a lot of time on the finer grits, it's not so much a rule of mine, i.e. more time on the coarse stone then the finer stone, it just happens that way. If I spend 15 minutes on one knife, 9 of those minutes is on a coarse stone (s). Again, this is a lesson learned from previous mistakes on my part by jumping up in grit too early, thinking a 2k or 5k stone for example would erase the mistakes generated by my impatience.


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 Post subject: Re: Lessons Learned
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 8:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 512
LL 5 - Stropping.
Again, these are just my own personal observations, we all do things a little differently but I know we can all accomplish what we set out to do with regards to making a dull knife sharp, there is more than one path for sure.
Stropping my knives was something that came later in the game for me, I didn't quite understand what the purpose was, the technique seemed simple enough, but what the heck was a micron and why did I need those sprays on my leather or nano cloth. I didn't know but it seemed like the right thing to do because my mentors did it. That was a while ago now and I have used many different products, different leathers, including the ultra smooth kangaroo hide, heck if an animal had skin I probably bought it. Balsa, nano cloth and newspaper print and some really nice leather strops that I purchased online. I don't use any of those now, obviously they do the job, very nicely but I found something that works better for me. I found that no matter how careful I was, I was cutting the leather, it always felt dirty and gritty to me and after 2 years I gave up, it wasn't working for me.

Then I tried stropping on a wonderful water stone that I have, a Sigma Power Select 2, 13, 000 grit. Now when I do strop, if you can call it stropping, basically I am just using extremely delicate trailing strokes, sometimes I feel like I'm trying to pin back in a grenade, I really focus on what is the final stage and there is absolutely no pressure added from me. The stone is wet and there is a slurry from a good quality nagura stone on top and it's 4 -6 strokes only. This is not something I do just for the sake of doing it, I tested this approach in two professional kitchens with the help of the Executive Chefs. I wanted to prove that what I was doing was making a difference, I thought it did, but what would these nit pickers think, these are gentleman who have been kind enough to let me sharpen their knives for 2 years. ( It is through watching them at work that I came to appreciate folks like Melampus and others in the industry). Anyway, not to drag this out, they did feel a little improvement, and that's all I was hoping for, we did several tests on veggies and fruit and at the end of the day I'm still happy with this method, I won't go back because it works for me.

My Lesson Learned here was that it is important to not only be open to other things but choose a course of action that build layers of confidence, methods that leave you patting yourself on the back. Now is that 13k stone better than some pristine bovine laden with CBN spray or the exquisite roo leather.....it is better for me that's all, I am no way suggesting it is better for you.

(As for the 13K stone, I picked it up because of a great review I read on it from someone I trust, it was compared to the Chosera 10k but I don't know if that is true, I have not had the pleasure yet of using that particular stone.)


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 Post subject: Re: Lessons Learned
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 4216
Very good read Peter, That is when my sharpening went to another level is when I decided to experiment with stropping. I too have a technique and materials that seem to work best for me but I'm always trying something new, well, just because you never know.

Thanks again for sharing your experiences and will be watching for the next lesson in case I haven't learned yet! ;)



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