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 Post subject: The Yanagiba-ba that was.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 461
It just seems like yesterday that people were yelling at me for talking about single bevel knives and the EP :)

Now I am faced with a challenge myself:
A little background, and I will keep it short. Until I opened my business here, the only option for folks to have their knives sharpened was a professional service that uses grinders, very expensive grinders however, or gadgets or they did it themselves. This includes the chefs in town
(That professional sharpening service was my only competition in other words)
That was then, and as a result I often get knives to sharpen that have been to "knife hell" and in most cases it triples the time to sharpen a knife but thats about it, it just takes some time to replace the "industrial edge" and scars left on the bevels. So what happens when a Chef takes a very expensive Yanagi-ba to this facility? In 3 minutes that exquisite knife he purchased in Japan was transformed into a 50/50 beveled knife that has remained hidden in his restaurant.
That knife is in my hands as of today and while I am delighted that this particular chef trusts me with it, it is a challenge that lies ahead. (he needs it for a competition in two days). I have sharpened many of his knives, there is pressure (self imposed) to do well of course.

I have a plan, the way I look at it, I can't go wrong. I suspect the uraoshi sharpening will be the biggest challenge, the back of the knifes geometry has been altered but I'm confident I can get it sharp for him. It is the most expensive knife I have ever had in my hands to sharpen but I've just gone through this process with other knives that had a similar experience. I look forward to the challenge. Wouldn't it be cool if I was in same room with you guys and we work on it together and you could say: "what the *ell are you doing man, we thought you knew how to sharpen a knife..give me that thing"

:)


I love sharpening knives.


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 Post subject: Re: The Yanagiba-ba that was.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:31 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Good Luck! I hope you manage to fix that yanagi... without too much grey hairs :)

P. s. Out of purely morbid curiosity, would love to see the before pictures.


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 Post subject: Re: The Yanagiba-ba that was.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:11 pm
Posts: 250
Location: NE
There was a recent discussion of how to fix an usuba that was sharpened 50/50. The approach should be to sharpen the secondary bevel on the face side of the blade until the uraoshi bevel is gone.(At this point, the secondary bevel will now be your new primary bevel). The knife probably needs to be thinned after the fresh bevel so sharpen the section between the "secondary" bevel and shinogi line. Last steps are sharpening the uraoshi side and removing the burr. If the blade is still tall, you'll have enough metal to work with and shouldn't have any problems.

Would like to see some pics too. Good luck


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 Post subject: Re: The Yanagiba-ba that was.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 461
Image

This was the knife when I got it, no longer convinced it was an expensive knife though.

Image

Image

It's as sharp now as any knife I've seen, the owner will be pleased. Not a kasumi finish of course and as I said, there is no cladding, no blending point anyway.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: The Yanagiba-ba that was.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:31 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Just FYI... It is an Aritsugu Yanagi-ba, made with stain resistant steel. It is about $100 US if bought in Japan.

http://www.aritsugu.jp/cart/html/awsk001.htm

Nice repair job! :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Yanagiba-ba that was.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:15 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 461
Thank you, cool that you told me what it is, much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: The Yanagiba-ba that was.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:11 pm
Posts: 250
Location: NE
Sharp!


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 Post subject: Re: The Yanagiba-ba that was.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7206
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Good work. It looks great.



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 Post subject: Re: The Yanagiba-ba that was.
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:27 pm 
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Well you've been handed a pretty abused knife and made a reasonable degree of improvement. You could go further, but there are restrictions.

So as atang mentions (I believe), you could grind the front bevel down until the incorrect microbevel is completely removed - a lot of work and this will move the shinogi line back further towards the Kanji so it is somewhat disfiguring. This will leave you with a more acute edge, but the steel may be of poor enough quality that it will be too delicate. You could make the front bevel or blade road reground to a more obtuse angle - something I would only attempt with a Gizmo or perhaps an EP. Not easy and you will be doing some trig computations to match the angle of inclination with the amount of blade length left. It is fascinating to watch the blade road move towards the shinogi line until they meet and not a task to be done freehand.

A more moderate approach is to convert the incorrect front bevel to a hamaguri grind, so that the edge is a more acute angle than you have, letting it gradually taper into the blade road over the area closest to the edge and maintaining a somewhat flat upper half of the blade road to the shinogi line. This is essentially thinning behind the incorrect front bevel until it blends into the blade road. As it is, the remaining front bevel is still too thick.

If the steel is still holding out at this included angle, then you can make the back of the blade more acute in a somewhat similar manner. While you could flatten the back until the incorrect back bevel is gone, this is a LOT of work and you will loose the hollow grind in the back. So again a moderate middle approach is appropriate where you strive to make the back bevel more acute - close to flat but not completely flat as this will remove the hollow portion of the back of the blade. At best this is a compromise making a bad situation less bad. I would do this with a Gizmo at perhaps 2 or three degrees. At some point it has to be recognized that even with a lot of work, the result will not be as good as starting with a new knife. This may be adequate as the owner who let the knife get this way may not have such high standards in terms of what he expects you to do with it.

So in terms of the overall goal you should reduce the included angle of the yanagi as much as possible towards the original and determine how much work you are willing to put into the knife and be fairly compensated for your labor.

---
Ken



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