Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:47 am
I have found some improvements in my free hand sharpening when I used the entire length of the stone and not just sections of it. All the way from top to bottom and without too much water.
I used to use a lot of water but for sharpening I now just use a little. For polishing, i.e. compound bevels, I use lots of water but for working on the edge I just just a few drops. (After the stone has been soaked that is)
Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:47 pm
What effect does this have? I am always looking to learn as much as possible!! I currently use a lot of water on my 1000 but less on the 4000 and 8000. Actually on the 4000/8000 i just use the water to see what rinses off and if the stone is loading.
Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:15 pm
Thanks for this post Pete, I've been having similar experiences lately using less water. I was always afraid to let my stones get too 'swarfy' while sharpening so I'd splash them constantly throughout the process. Now, I do think there's a certain point where too much swarf is bad, as it will start interfering with the abrasive too much and reducing cutting power to a crawl.
Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:33 pm
i use a lot of swarf with my softer stones. seems to help with polish and sharpening overall =D
Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:01 pm
I was watching a Korin video and Master Sugai was demonstrating his technique. The first thing I noticed was how little water he used so i tried that myself. In the past I had used an abundance of water on the stones even though I understand the need not to wash away the slurry. So since that time, after soaking the stone I just use a few drops. The difference is not something that is terribly obvious, however I just found my edges a little more "crisp". I've done about 100 knives this way and I'm very pleased with the results.
Along with using the entire stone, things also seem to move along more quickly. I agree that too much swarf can't be good, but even a few drops of water can disperse the swarf. I have also got into the habit of creating a slurry/flattening with an Atoma 140 plate before I start, it just takes a few sweeps across the stone.
Also, forcing myself to quit at the 2k-4k range. I remember when I started sharpening, I would take the edge all the way to the highest grit stone I had. Sure the edges looked awesome and they were sharp enough but over time I realized that we don't need a 10K finish on a knife that will potentially slide off a tomato instead of biting into it. Two days ago I had a chef at home and he watched me sharpen his 9inch Miyabi chef knife. We experimented with it, I had a bunch of tomatoes and went to town on the knife. It was very dull and it took me about 5 minutes to raise a burr with the 400 Chosera. ( I was too stubborn to drop down to the 240 grit Sigma Power Select II). Once the burr was raised, as we know, everything is golden, the knife is sharp, the old, fatigued metal is gone and we have a fresh edge with lots of scratches in it. We moved to the 1K Chosera and in no time, the chef was slicing through that tomato beautifully. However, once I went beyond the 8k, he needed to apply a little more pressure to get the knife through the outer skin. Once inside the skin it sliced nicely of course but the knife edge was too smooth. Now it would cut protein nicely but it ran over the tomato a little. (I'm talking about being a little nit picky here, the pressure needed was hardly noticeable but still more than with the 1k and 2k Edge)
Having said that, some chefs really like a polished edge and I do what they like. If it was me, I would have a 2k edge max on my veggie knife and a 6k-8k edge on others. This doesn't apply with carbon steel knives, there seems to be no limit on the edge they can take.
Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:11 am
I 100% concur with a 2k veggie prep edge. Time after time after time, a 2k edge will outlast any other edge on a poly board. Something about using a polished edge on poly, it just goes dull too fast. I can make an edge past 8k that will scream through tomatoes, it still goes dull after a few minutes of use. 2k will stay sharp most of the shift if not through it, and honing works better also at bringing it back.
Now, these experiences are mostly with stainless steel that I speak of, as I'm not so savvy with the nuances on carbon.. although as I understand it carbon comes back easier, even at higher refinements.
Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:40 am
I have no carbon knives myself, however I play\n to correct that shortly by purchasing a Moritaka guyoto.
Last night I had to work on 12 knives, 3 of them were over sixty year old bone handled carbon carving knives. Seriously the oldest knives I have ever seen and the elderly owner told me that to her knowledge they had never been sharpened beyond the factory edge. Although they looked like artifacts rather than knives, they were quite special to the owner. The other knives were the typical Wusthof and Henckels.
Sharpening those old carbon knives was a breeze, even after all that time, they came up beautifully and quickly. Sharper at the end of the night than the 2 year old Wusthofs.
These are the moments that I love most, getting knives that were probably kept in a drawer for the last 40 years because they were too dull to use. The contrast between the bevels after I sharpened them and the very old looking blades is pretty cool. I suppose I could have polished up the blades but that would be like putting a fresh coat of paint on the mona lisa. I know you folks have all experienced things like this, just chatting here
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