Splitting hairs questions for the sharpness junkies

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by kristopher, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. kristopher

    kristopher

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    I started sharpening a few years ago the line I work on requires a lot of fine knife skills that  and I sharpen about twice a week my 3 primarily used knives 2 8 inch k-sabatiers my line knifes and a tojiro shirogami nakiri i use for a good deal of veg table prep. I when i profile i use a double sided course and less course Norton stone and polish with a soft, hard, and a surgical black Arkansas. I use a mac black steel to maintain my knifes between sharpening. The Arkansas finishes very fine and shaving sharp. What are the benefits of further polishing such as stropes, pastes, glass stones, or extremely fine grit water stones 12000s etc. Also if anyone knows where i can find triangles with specific angles like 15-75-90 for angle guide instead of using paper guides or who could make them for me that would be awesome. 
     
  2. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    It's really accuracy overkill, but you might consider buying a set of machinist's angle blocks (numerous sellers, eBay, for about $30 per set), then make a holder/angle guide to keep them upright by gluing two straight edge pieces of ½ inch plywood onto a plywood base, so that you have a groove or channel ½ inch deep and which is just barely as wide as the thickness of the individual angle blocks. I am assuming that these would be 3” x 1/4” angle blocks, with a 1/4” base (the usual size for small angle blocks). This allows you to stack two angle blocks in the “groove”. You will have the ability to set your angle guide to a specific degree, and your accuracy will be much greater than you could possibly measure.

    Two additional tips:

    First, drill a hole through the angle guide somewhere along the groove, so that you can use a pen or pencil to push your angle blocks out of the groove when you want to change your angle.

    Second, when putting more than one angle block into the groove, put the smaller angle guide in first, then the larger angle guide.

    Galley Swiller
     
  3. benuser

    benuser

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    When I started free handing, I've made a set wine corks cut with different inclinations corresponding to the sharpening angles I use, between 4 degree for thinning to 35 degree for microbevels. Just for the purpose of verification.
     
  4. mike9

    mike9

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    I tape pennies together to check my angles - three and two for my J-knives which are mostly asymmetric 70/30 grinds.  Really since you sharpen so often it seems like splitting hairs to me.  How wide of a cutting edge are you making?  I like to go 2mm - 3mm depending on the knife and it's use.  For proteins I stop at 3k know and strop with cardboard then newspaper.  For veg/fish I go to 6k then strop.
     
  5. benuser

    benuser

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    With good thinned blades and somewhat convexed bevels the actual edges are barely perceptible.
     
  6. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    Super high grit 10K+ stones are either for sharpening junkies or straight razor owners.

    How do the knives perform on product with that black Arkansas edge? That is the big and most important question.

    See if you can find a sharpening junkie and do one knife to uber refinement and see if it cuts and holds up better for you.

    Jim
     
  7. kristopher

    kristopher

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    The black Arkansas gives an outstanding finish very very shiny even polish I sharpen most of the time with a paper folded to a 11.5 . They cut a rolled magazine page or through a tomato dropped on the blade and they feel like they drop through food. The Mac steel brings them back with a finish of somewhere between a my Soft and hard Arkansas in terms of polish all of my carbons seem to respond very well to the Mac steel. The edges hold up because I sharpen so often. I actually usually maintain the edge on the finer stones unless it needs to be reprofiled on a course stone. I bought some machinist angles they look very similar to what I was looking for.

    How is the polish from a newspaper. What is the process for thinning a knife.
     
  8. benuser

    benuser

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    About stropping on newspaper: expect something in the Cr2O3 range, but far more aggressive. I guess it has to do with a more square structure of the agent - black ink. Gives a lovely bite but doesn't last. I use it with carbons after a Chosera 5k.
    About thinning: any sharpening at a lower angle than the one you use for the primary - final - edge is a form of thinning behind the edge. Building a relief bevel is another form of thinning.
    The purpose is to restore the original geometry while the edge is being moved - a very little - towards the spine and compensate for the taper, the blade being thicker at the spine than at the edge. If you sharpen just the very edge, the steel behind the edge gets thicker and thicker.
     
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Once Arkansas stones enter the discussion, references to grit numbers -- unless they're extremely coarse or fine -- become problematic.

    In my experience (and I've got a lot of it when it comes to carbon Sabs), the Sabs won't benefit much from stropping on newspaper.  Their "scratch hardness" is so low that no finish finer than the surgical black will last long enough to be a practical improvement.  And, fwiw, a black Ark finish is FRIKKIN' PERFECT for the knives. 

    That doesn't mean you shouldn't fool around.  There's almost no limit to how much polish they'll take -- just how long it will last -- and there's no reason you shouldn't establish what works best for you.  If you (a) know how to strop; and (b) have some unused manila file folders hanging around, try stropping on that.  It does about the same thing as newsprint and holds up to the stress a little better.   

    I don't have enough experience with the Tojiro Shirogami to offer an opinion on how much polish would work for you.  Based on very short acquaintance, I'd say the quality of their smithing and overall ergonomics were such that it doesn't make any more sense to go for a really elegant edge than it does for an Old Hickory.  On the other hand, its alloy has a lot more scratch hardness than the Sabs alloy, and it's not like polishing them out a little farther will hurt anything.   

    Your Norton India/Ark sharpening set is really too slow for the Tojiro.  If you're going to keep the knife you should invest in a couple of water stones, or at least a combi.  Also, unless you're sharpening a very symmetric bevel, the knife is marginal for truing on a rod.    

    BDL
     
  10. kristopher

    kristopher

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    I have been sharpening my tojiro nakiri and my misono sweden on the arkansas but the angles are symmetrical. What would you recommend for waterstones if you had a high budget.
     
  11. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    With a "what's money?" budget: 
    • Gesshin 400;
    • 2K; and
    • 8K. 
    With a rational budget, and the ability to plan in advance (the Beston and Bester need soaking): 
    • Beston 500;
    • Bester 1.2K;   
    • Naniwa SS 3K; and
    • Naniwa Pure White.
    Or, if you don't want to go all the way to 8K -- but are willing to stop at a more practical and saner finish:
    • Beston 500;
    • Bester 1.2K; and
    • Suehiro Rika.
    (Note that this is an extremely popular set -- for the simple reason that every stone not only works extremely well, but that there's a lot of synergy between them.  Note also that it was an extremely popular set before CKtG started selling it as a set; and possibly even before Dave Martell recommended it.)

    But, if you can't plan ahead, can't leave your stones permanently in the bucket, want a very consistent feel from stone to stone, and only roll splash and go:
    • Naniwa SS 400
    • Naniwa SS 1K; and either
    • Naniwa SS 5K; or
    • Naniwa SS 3K and Naniwa Pure White.
    Another good splash and go line is Shapton GS -- but I don't like them as much as the Naniwas for their feel and their price. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  12. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013