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Question for Shaun and newsletter.

Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:51 pm

Question for Shaun based on his sharpening piece in the newsletter ...

I love my japanese water stones on the fine end of the spectrum, but I haven't been as thrilled with the coarse stones. Would the Shapton 120 or 220 that you suggest fit in well with my stones (I've been told that Shapton and DMT plates don't really fit in with my other stones)? Would it be a step up from the Naniwa Omura 150 grit that I use to set bevels? I find that it does not usually work as quickly for me as other people have described.

My progression is:

Naniwa Omura 150 --> Beston 500 --> Bester 1200 --> Arashyama 6K --> Kitayama 8K

I sharpen various outdoors knives with steels including 1095, sr-101, ELMAX, and VG-10. Someday I may also get some nice kitchen knives. I'm probably not set up to deal with the super tough supersteels.


Re: Question for Shaun and newsletter.

Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:19 pm

As far as coarse stones go, you can simply add the DMT XXC to that lineup for a serious boost. If your Naniwa 150 still doesn't cut fast enough with a slurry you may want to look into getting a Shapton 220 glass. It will fit right in with your 500 and 1200 stones. After that you need something for a jump between 1200 and 6000 to get better results. As a rule of thumb I try not to jump grits more than 4 times (aka 1,000 to 4,000) as this will greatly speed things up and improve your overall results.

Re: Question for Shaun and newsletter.

Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:23 pm

Some of my favorite steels!

I had a similar question and came to the realization that what I had was really good enough. The Naniwa Omura 150 cuts fairly fast and I would say fast enough for the knives and steels you are sharpening though a less muddy stone may be beneficial. I have no problem though recommending the Nubatama 180 bamboo stone, harder, less mud, and about double the cutting speed or the Omura.

The steels, such as SR-101 which is Swamp Rats special name for 52100 ball bearing steel, 1095, VG-10, and the best stainless ever... ;) Elmax, are all able to get very sharp but unless some are custom made with premium heat treatments then you are taking them waaaaaaay to high in the grit scale. A 8k+ finish on these type of knives with the softer heat treatment they have means they don't have the edge stability to support such a high finish and hold it through the cutting they experience.

Re: Question for Shaun and newsletter.

Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:49 pm

I don't bother with stones below 500 grit. Diamond plates.

Re: Question for Shaun and newsletter.

Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:19 am

Jonathan asks:

Here is my quick question Mark based on our conversation. As you know, I have the 1000 and 4000 Shapton Glass Stones. We discussed me purchasing a 500 grit and the DMT XXC at a later date. So after reading this article, I was interested on his take on which stone he would recommend. I was confused as to whether it would be the 220, the 320, or your recommendation of the 500.

Re: Question for Shaun and newsletter.

Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:23 am

If you have a 1000 then I would recommend you get the 320. It generates some slurry and cuts faster than the 500. Personally I have the 320 Glass, but I've heard excellent things about the 320 Pro from Michiel Vanhoudt. I like to have 500 for bringing back a semi-dull edge. 320 will do that and cut steel fast, not that the 500 is slow! I don't like taking forever to sharpen, so I go for the big guns: Shapton 120, 220, and 320 are definitely the "big guns" in my collection. Just keep in mind it is advisable to have a DMT XXC before you own either the 120 or 220 as they work 10 times better with slurry. The 320 will work fine with or without slurry I find, with minimal glazing. If the stone glazes you just add some water and more pressure with the knife.

Re: Question for Shaun and newsletter.

Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:15 pm

I'm the person who asked the original question about the newsletter article. I was asking about the coarse stone issue (me not loving my Naniwa Omura 150), but it looks like I also have an issue in terms of the gap between my 1k and 6k stones.

For the first problem, it looks like I have a few options here:

1. get a Shapton glass 220 or 320 or 320 Pro from Michiel Vanhoudt (this would also require getting a DMT XXC to work up a slurry on these stones)
2. get a Nubatama 180 bamboo stone
3. just get a DMT XXC or maybe a few coarse DMT plates

I'd be interested to hear what you all think in terms of which is the best option. I am a little unsure about how the shapton glass stones would fit with my waterstones. Would there be any issue moving from one to the other?

Also, for working up a slurry, could I just use a small DMT plate? I have heard that you don't need DMT plates just to flatten stones -- you can use the sidewalk for that.

For the other problem (the gap between my 1k and 6k stones), I trust that the Chosera 3K would be an excellent filler, but I am not wild about the price tag. After all, I am pretty happy with my 1k and 6k stones, and really would just want something to fill the gap. I do notice that it is a pretty big jump.

The only other one I could find on this website that looks like it could fit in would be the Naniwa Super Stone 3k. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Re: Question for Shaun and newsletter.

Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:36 pm

1. There is no issue moving from glass stones to waterstones, or any other type of stone. It will be different, but not incompatible. It's fine, and often is the most fun thing about sharpening.
2. You don't work up a slurry on glass stones or shapton pros. They are splash and go, and using slurry on them makes them behave very differently(slurry on a glass stone just makes it suck).
3. You can(and I used to) flatten a super coarse stone on concrete. But not your other stones(at least not without learning a whole new hobby). A diamond plate is reliably flat, and you can get one and use it on all of your stones. You can even build up a little slurry on your higher grit synthetic stones with it.
4. I don't think 1k to 6k is a very big jump. Maybe a Shapton Glass Stone 4k, or a Shapton Pro 2k, or a Chosera 3k, or a Super stone. The truth is, if you are fleshing out the finish to the full extent of the 6k(I.E. removing all previous scratches) the stone between 1 and 6 is going to get erased, so it doesn't matter. Its just a time saver(so maybe get a fast cutting one), or a stone to use for fun(so get whichever one you think smells the best).

Re: Question for Shaun and newsletter.

Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:30 am

Whoa, let's back up the train a little bit. I hate the internet sometimes..

Creating a slurry on the 120 or 220 makes them cut TWICE as fast, but the 320 doesn't benefit as much from a slurry, so building one on the 320 will not benefit you as much IN MY OPINION. You don't need to build a slurry on ANY of them, but just saying, I own all 3 of them, use them daily, and the 120 and 220 are totally different than the 320.

The newsletter article stated that getting a 320 WITHOUT the diamond plate is preferable if you are on a budget right now. Some people don't want to buy a diamond plate AND a coarse stone AND a finer stone, so I suggested the 320 and the Green Brick as a cheap combo. Again, take into account the editor's bias is for the products he owns and uses every day, I gotta suggest what I know actually works.. or at least works for me personally. I'd love to try more sharpening stones, but honestly with my glass stone setup I see no point in ever using anything else again, unless purely for fun.

I've given away my King 6k and Super Stone 8k. For the most part I hate soft stones to death, but the Green Brick is an exception. It will clog a touch, but that's easy to get rid of by simply scrubbing your coarse stone on it.

Don't mean to sound too disgruntled or anything, just defending my babies. "Love my Shaptons; From my cold, dead hands!!!!" :D

Re: Question for Shaun and newsletter.

Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:18 am

Wait, you raise a slurry on glass stones??

The coarsest glass stone I've used much is 500x. IF it gets a slurry on it, it cuts like doo doo.
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