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 Post subject: Good god
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:40 am 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 651
Part commentary, part Q&A:

Let's start with the commentary/novella:
First, I've been lucky enough to accumulate some fantastic steel lately which, thanks to input, direction and instruction from the CKTG community, I've absolutely loved. Second, with each purchase/decision came the caveat "you should really invest in a set of stones etc". Well, as I live next to a very fine JK retailer/service provider (Korin), I didn't feel a pressing need to invest in sharpening gear and learn a new skill set. To boot, I've got a penchant for dicking around with my blades after I've put a serious dent in my liquor cabinet. So between visions of warped blades, gouged stones and meeting my HMO deductible faster than anticipated, figured it really wasn't essential. Especially as I can bring a blade in for a very quality post-factory tune up simply by walking 5 mins and spending $15.

Well, I won't blab endlessly about why I decided to start sharpening myself or why I chose EP instead of freehand (could fill pages with that crap which probably wouldn't interest anyone but me), but eventually I ended up grabbing an EP Essential kit with an extra 8K stone. Put it to work for the first time today..... Unreal.
Took about two stones, 0.5 and 1K grit, on a Global Sai to become comfortable at a functional level (which also required putting a new edge on as I thought 12 deg. was too thin for the knife). Over the next couple of hours, I put 3 Globals and a Shun to the stone finishing at either 1K or 4K with some touch up on a ceramic rod. These got sharp. Really sharp.
Capping it off, I took a new Shigefusa through 8K. Absolutely speechless.... Talking Austin Powers/Dr. Evil scrotum shaving w/out cream sharp. This is probably no surprise to anyone, but still... Utter revelation for me.

Now, on to the questions:

1) Best way to keep the stones clean?
2) Worry a bit with some of the knives I own that get really thin behind the edge that I may fudge up the grind. With the Shig, I kept the contact point almost flush with the edge of the holder to prevent this. Is there a standard protocol/best practice? I'm guessing tracking original edge will prevent any issues, but what if one wants a more acute or obtuse angle?
3) How important is the actual technique of the stroke itself? I.E. is it OK to move perpendicularly across the blade in smaller swathes, or better to try to emphasize an arc across a larger section of blade?


Sorry for the incredibly long winded spew, but was just so pleased with the results that I was able to achieve out of the gate.
Thanks in advance as well for help with the Q&A

Chip


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 Post subject: Re: Good god
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 1979
Hey Chip, I edited your post for the "F" word. Let's keep the language within reason :-).

On to answers:

I'm glad you like the EP - it makes you feel like a sharpening champ! I'd actually NOT use the ceramic rod right after the EP, you'll be putting a less perfect edge on the knife after using the guided system. Use the honing rod later, when you feel the need for a touch up.


1) I used to add water to the stone often and wipe w/my finger to remove most of the metal swarf and help prevent loading. Now, I just pop the stone out of the holder and rinse in the sink rubbing to clean it a little, then pop it back on. It doesn't take long to do this, so I do it as needed while sharpening. If you let the stone get too dry, they can load up a bit.

2) As long as you're careful with the strokes and moving the knife, lifting the rod well clear of the blade when moving, you shouldn't have issues with messing up the blade above the edge. I always put blue painter's tape on both sides of the blade, from the spine to about 2/3 to the edge to keep the sides from getting scratch up.

3) I like to move a bit in smaller arcs, then finish with larger sweeping strokes to blend the edge a bit. I don't ever hit a small area really hard unless that's needed to get to the edge of the edge, such as near the tip sometimes, or at the heel if there are minor grind issues. When it get to higher grits, I make mostly sweeping strokes as I refine the edge from the previous stone.

I also do VERY light edge trailing strokes with pretty big sweeps to finish on each different stone to help deburr before moving to the next stone, etc.

It sounds like you're getting the hang of the EP very quickly - nicely done!


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 Post subject: Re: Good god
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:28 pm 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 651
Awesome, very helpful! Sorry for any offensive profanity. I am from NY after all :) I didn't end up taking the rod to the Shig as the 8K finish was a mirror and thought the only thing the rod would do is add toothiness to the edge which I didn't really want. Great idea about the masking tape and very nice color on the strokes. Like you, I did find myself working a small area at the tip, but tended work about 2-3 inch bands. Will work on emphasizing an arc a bit more for sure.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Good god
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:07 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 137
Welcome to the EP world Chip!

The biggest help to my technique was learning to do light strokes. Just the weight of the stone arm really.
Most use the synthetics which cut very well. If you use heavier strokes, you wind up grinding the stone as well
as the knife. If it's even a slightly convex blade table (above the edge on the knife) you will rock the knife with heavy strokes and can even bend the edge as you sharpen it you get feeling strong...think of the liquor cabinet.
The abrasives work well by themselves.
You'll want to get something to flatten the stones http://www.chefknivestogo.com/at14dipl. ... 62_17HySSo or http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dmtextrac ... 63AGbHySSo , as a dished one won't give you a perfect edge and most feel that Angle Cube is a must because the dots are just a general idea. The Angle will put you spot on every time. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/anglecube ... 63ASbHySSo

Welcome

Douglas


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 Post subject: Re: Good god
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:09 pm
Posts: 85
The angle cube is awesome. It helps immensely when you have different grinds like a hollow, or a flat.


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 Post subject: Re: Good god
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:25 am 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 651
Thanks Doug and Oataku. Will add a cube and diamond plate to the basket without a doubt. Doug, fantastic color as it relates to muscling the stone and the grind. Noticed that problem with my "tester", a Global Sai. Not so much convex as series of less than subtle grinds, but the effect was similar to what you describe.


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 Post subject: Re: Good god
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:18 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:22 am
Posts: 547
All of the previous tips have been superb.

To answer your question 1, I keep my kit set up in a commercial grade half sheet pan. When the stone requires water I just squirt it right hen and there, allowing the swarf to drain into the pan. No fuss, no muss. Out of propriety I do clean the sheet pan out once a month or so. Especially since it is the centerpiece of our dining room table. :lol: And I flatten the stones on a DMT Duo-Sharp 2x6 XC/C combo afer every knife. (Can't find it on the website.)

WRT your question 3, it depends upon the knife.

A parer is a no-brainer, you just keep the knife in one place and sharpen from heel to tip. You can keep either the edge or the spine perpendicular to the blade table, but you should always do it that way for subsequent sharpenings. Always measure the bevel at the center of the blade table.

I usually sharpen gyutos in 2 sections, heel and tip, treating them like two separate knives and resetting the bevel angle betwen sections. For longer gyutos I treat the heel portion like a slicer and the tip like a paring knife.

A long slicer is best done by moving the blade along and keeping the stoke as perpendicular to the blade table as possible until you hit the tip curve. I try to place the last of the straight spine before the dropped tip on the holder and sharpen the tip separately, resetting the bevel angle between the long part and the tip. With each knife I PLAN, MARK alignment points on the blue tape, and keep NOTES. 15 minutes of mental geometry the first time you sharpen a particular knife will pay off in repeatability for as long as you own that knife.

BTW, I never sweep myself, but always sharpen perpendicular to the table with edge leading strokes. Lots of talented people do sweep, but for some reason not my style.

With any knife you need to learn where to place it on the grind (away from you or towards you) to maintain the correct angles. The Richmond AS Laser is super easy, just make sure the flat is on the blade table, set the EP to 12 degrees relative to the blade table, and blamp. Anything with a significant convex requires a bit of feel. You don't want it wobbling while sharpening. Full flat ground knives require you to measure the included angle of the grind with the angle cube, dividing that number in half, and adding it to the desired bevel angle. Let's saya fat wester knife measures 5 degrees included bevel and you want to sharpen to 17 degrees. Divied 5 by 2 and add it to 17. So the angle cube should rad 19.5 degrees relative to the blade table. I don't introduce this to be anal, but rather to help you avoid putting a too acute angle (in this case 14.5 degrees) on a western knife.

The hardest part (for me) is eliminating the angular bias introduced by the offset stone arm pivot. If Mark could cobble together (I refuse to say 'hack') an EP Apex mod with instructions to make a MadRookie style stone arm pivot the world would pave a way to his door with coin of the realm. Or I could do it myself but either way would require a drill press in order to properly drill the EP. No, I'm not going to freehand drill and end up with yet more angular variance.

Get back if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Rick


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 Post subject: Re: Good god
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:30 pm 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 651
Rick, that was a tremendous post, much appreciated and very helpful! Indeed, I own a flat ground knife in the Haruyuki, so the extra detail is certainly welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Good god
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:01 pm
Posts: 315
Location: ATL
I tend to follow Ben Dale's recommendation of working on a small section and then sliding the knife and inch or two to get to the next section. I also do the tip area as it's own section. One thing I've always wondered and don't recall ever seen asked is how many strokes do you all do on a particular section before moving on? I used to do 3 then slide it, another three, etc. double up on the tip and work my way back. Then flip and repeat. I've since moved on the 5 strokes until I get to the last couple finishing stones where I reduce it.

How do others handle this? My goal is to try to minimize the flipping, but keep both sides equal in material removal.


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 Post subject: Re: Good god
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:09 pm
Posts: 85
I usually start with short sections while going down the length of the knife and do the tip by itself. On the higher grits I do one large sweep and count my strokes. I find that the edge gets sharper if I do 10 sweeps, flip, then do 5, 3, and then 1.


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