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 Post subject: Overboard
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:09 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 487
(Kind of a strange Topic title from a guy who has spent most of his life at sea I suppose):

I believe that I am not using my EP stones efficiently, here is my dilema, and I know you folks will chime in here and further my education, I learn much from you all.

The process of sharpening for me involves three steps, knowledge of the steel, knowledge, or a thought process at least of what the knife is being used for and finally the art of actual sharpening the knife. For me, I have only until recently focused on the last process. I can get a knife sharp, have been doing that for a long time but now I realize there is more to it.

Please keep in mind that I have a knife sharpening business and 75% of my knives are European, Wusthof, Henckels and many Victorionox, Dexter Russell. The rest are Global, Shun or MAC. Also please note that until recently my sole focus has been to get each of these knives, regardless of their quality or purpose to an extremely sharp, polished edge with a minimum of 5K finish followed by stropping.
(If I am applying compound bevels on the knife, I will naturally go much higher in grit on the Relief Angle but the 5k is my normal Micro Bevel finish)

Now, I have come to realize that it is not necessary to to put a 5K Shapton Pro edge on a 30 dollar Henckels and in fact it could be detrimental to the user.

That was then, this is now:

I now finish European knives at 2K or even the 600 EP and I'm finding several advantages to this.
*I spend less time sharpening the knife
*The edge is still screamin sharp and meets my standards (remember I have to satisfy customers);
*Saving wear and tear on my Shapton and Chosera stones by using the EP stones for the heavy lifting and they do a fine job on the knives anyway. ( I save my Shaptons for better knives)
* I believe the customer will be happier in the long run because their knife will retain that edge a little longer.

I use the 5k now for the VG10 knives - I stop at 5K

I do not understand yet why this is working the way it does, i.e. why a 2k finish is better for some knives, and perhaps that is due to my lack of education on steel. I do know that after 900 knives (and not one complaint by the way) that I still love to learn new ways to be smart about the edges and not just blindly sharpen every knife to 5K, test it on telephone book paper and then move to the next knife. I suppose this is what following a passion like this is all about, learning, improving, making mistakes and education, being here is an education process for me.

(The next part of my journey is to purchase a Japanese knife from Mark and sharpen that, I look forward to that because one of these days, I'll get one from a customer, I've only had about 5 so far and I'd like my own to be completely comfortable)

I don't really have a question but I welcome any comments that would support what I'm doing or even better say "what are you thinking....this is the way you should be doing it"

Peter


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 Post subject: Re: Overboard
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:52 pm 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 12:29 am
Posts: 880
The reason a 2k finish is better than a 10k finish on a softer steel is simple science.

Steel of a lower Rc has lower toughness which makes the edge easily deformed. Because each step up in grit and sharpness equals a ever decreasing thickness of the apex a lower hardness steel with a high polished edge becomes too thin at its given hardness to resist deformation.

If you increase the hardness of the material you can sharpen to lower angles and higher grits because the edge stability is higher thanks to increased toughness from material hardness.


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 Post subject: Re: Overboard
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 487
Thank you Jason, I was hoping that you would reply.


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 Post subject: Re: Overboard
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:32 pm 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 12:29 am
Posts: 880
Thanks, Sailor

I would like to add some personal experience though. I have a strong feeling much of the edge dulling is actually not from cutting but the average care most low end cutlery receives. My mom has a few Henckles and I've used them a few times with a 6k finish and they performed without a issue, hardly any edge damage after a single meal prep. 3-4 meal preps and its starts to dull but I see that as normal per the hardness of the material its edge stability and the Volume of work performed.

Most of the flat spots, dents, and rolls found after "all I cut was" are not even from cutting but contact with the ceramic plate, the glass cutting board, put in the sink with other dishes, random gardening tasks, or simply the way the knife is set down. All of which typically do more damage in a shorter time than the food being cut could have done.

The above still holds true for the most part but its my belief that the majority of dulling can be prevented through better care of the cutting tool.


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 Post subject: Re: Overboard
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:38 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 487
I hear you Jason.
Many times I get the opportunity to go into peoples kitchens when I pick up their knives and it is very common to see a glass cutting board, no steel in the kitchen at all and so on. Folks are willing many times to spend good money on a knife but when it gets dull in a few weeks, I think that they lose the motivation to care for it, or at least store it properly. So they are left with a drawer full of dull knives thinking "why bother". Then I find then, sharpen them and in many cases the cycle continues.

Thanks again Jason


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 Post subject: Re: Overboard
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:01 pm
Posts: 203
Very well said, Jason, as usual. Been sharpening for a decade now, but only freehand within the last 12 months. Since then, my wife, sister-in law and other visitors have had to endure friendly lectures from me about proper knife handling/care in the kitchen. It's interesting how one's attention to these types of details becomes more sensitive as the art of freehand develops.


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 Post subject: Re: Overboard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:50 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:59 pm
Posts: 35
Sailor wrote:(Kind of a strange Topic title from a guy who has spent most of his life at sea I suppose):

I believe that I am not using my EP stones efficiently, here is my dilema, and I know you folks will chime in here and further my education, I learn much from you all.

The process of sharpening for me involves three steps, knowledge of the steel, knowledge, or a thought process at least of what the knife is being used for and finally the art of actual sharpening the knife. For me, I have only until recently focused on the last process. I can get a knife sharp, have been doing that for a long time but now I realize there is more to it.

Please keep in mind that I have a knife sharpening business and 75% of my knives are European, Wusthof, Henckels and many Victorionox, Dexter Russell. The rest are Global, Shun or MAC. Also please note that until recently my sole focus has been to get each of these knives, regardless of their quality or purpose to an extremely sharp, polished edge with a minimum of 5K finish followed by stropping.
(If I am applying compound bevels on the knife, I will naturally go much higher in grit on the Relief Angle but the 5k is my normal Micro Bevel finish)

Now, I have come to realize that it is not necessary to to put a 5K Shapton Pro edge on a 30 dollar Henckels and in fact it could be detrimental to the user.

That was then, this is now:

I now finish European knives at 2K or even the 600 EP and I'm finding several advantages to this.
*I spend less time sharpening the knife
*The edge is still screamin sharp and meets my standards (remember I have to satisfy customers);
*Saving wear and tear on my Shapton and Chosera stones by using the EP stones for the heavy lifting and they do a fine job on the knives anyway. ( I save my Shaptons for better knives)
* I believe the customer will be happier in the long run because their knife will retain that edge a little longer.

I use the 5k now for the VG10 knives - I stop at 5K

I do not understand yet why this is working the way it does, i.e. why a 2k finish is better for some knives, and perhaps that is due to my lack of education on steel. I do know that after 900 knives (and not one complaint by the way) that I still love to learn new ways to be smart about the edges and not just blindly sharpen every knife to 5K, test it on telephone book paper and then move to the next knife. I suppose this is what following a passion like this is all about, learning, improving, making mistakes and education, being here is an education process for me.

(The next part of my journey is to purchase a Japanese knife from Mark and sharpen that, I look forward to that because one of these days, I'll get one from a customer, I've only had about 5 so far and I'd like my own to be completely comfortable)

I don't really have a question but I welcome any comments that would support what I'm doing or even better say "what are you thinking....this is the way you should be doing it"

Peter
I think some of the edge retention comes to abrading the entire bevel good and just not the edge,I ran into the same probs with getting a knife screaming sharp and becoming dull after a few uses.In the lower grits I moved away from aluminum oxide to sic up to the 1200 for the ep,which I consider to be about a 5k,then just strop on some boron carbide,diamond spray etc.The reason I like sic stones is because they will sharpen anything but straight up carbides,and they are very cheap.


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