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Old 11-25-2010, 02:26 PM   #31
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What stones do you use, JPaulG? I've found that the 400 & 1k Chocera makes pretty quick work of most steels. Ditto for the 320 Shapton Pro. When in doubt I'll use a DMT XC and/or DMT C to cut a bevel.
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:01 AM   #32
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What stones do you use, JPaulG? I've found that the 400 & 1k Chocera makes pretty quick work of most steels. Ditto for the 320 Shapton Pro. When in doubt I'll use a DMT XC and/or DMT C to cut a bevel.
I have a Henckels 220/400 waterstone, which is hard hard hard and I mainly use for flattening my J-stones or repairing chips.
The stones I actually use are:
1K King (I thinks its 1K, it might be 800 or 1200 but I no longer have the box)
3K King
6K Shun (well Shun branded, not sure who makes it for Shun)
10K Naniwa
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:53 AM   #33
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I used to know who made the Shun-branded stones but I've forgotten. I almost want to say it's King or an Ice Bear but I just can't recall. Is your 10k Naniwa a SuperStone or a Chocera?

The King isn't really all that agressive at 1k. The Naniwa Chocera 1k cuts so fast that I often use it instead of an Arato. If I need a really fast cutter I'll often grab the DMT Dia-Sharp diamond plate or the 150 grit Ohmura. I also have a belt grinder for realllll stubborn steel!
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:12 AM   #34
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Superstone I'm pretty sure, but I don't keep the boxes or anything like that. By the time I get to the 10K I'm being all soft and gentle with the knives and giving them my final polish so I'm not sure if it makes too much of a difference anyway.

Since I'm mainly working on CS blades I don't want aggressive stones. The Shun branded stone almost certainly is not a King, as it feels very different. I got mine second hand so I'm not sure how old it is and there may have been a change of suppliers at same stage.

Those DMT plates are the bomb for cutting steel, I chewed up a couple of knives on one a while ago and gave up on diamond plates. They have some awesome properties but cut too fast for my liking.
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:37 AM   #35
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Yeah, you have to be really careful and controlled with the DMTs. They do cut really fast, so you have to make each stroke "purposeful." No room for errors. But when you have a specific task that they're suited for few other items can compare.

The amazing thing about the Choceras is that they're at once aggressive and refined. It's hard to explain until you've tried one. They're aggressive because they're "nutrient dense"- they have an astonishing particle-to-binder density. But in spite off all that they leave a polish that's incredible. Admittedly they're among the most expensive synthetic stones on the market but well worth the price. The 10k Chocera really does crush the 10k Superstone (which is a fine stone in it's own right), it's not even close. The abrasive to binder ratio is much better on the Chocera- albeit at twice the price. The SS is a bit softer, though.

I agree about the soft touch on the 10k. The aratos do the "heavy lifting." By the time you reach the shiage-to you're refining the work you did on the coarse stones.
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:03 PM   #36
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Well, you guys never get to see my Henckels ;) I would be embarrassed by my sharpening technique.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:40 AM   #37
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Well, you guys never get to see my Henckels ;) I would be embarrassed by my sharpening technique.
Nah, we know we're knife nerds and that we're doing things that 99% of people who work with knives for a living don't bother with. There is a point of diminishing returns and we've passed it.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:16 AM   #38
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Well, you guys never get to see my Henckels ;) I would be embarrassed by my sharpening technique.

Hey, if it works for you no problem! As Jpaulg says, we're dyed-in-the-wool knifenerds!
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:39 AM   #39
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As much as these guys know about knives, one thing they are not is knife snobs. That is one of the reasons I love getting advice from them. They have never looked down on anyone for what they have in their kitchen. They know a ton and are willing to share it at any level you may be at.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:26 AM   #40
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Thanks for the kind words, GB. I think I can support your claim with an anecdote. When I got to work today I faced a Perfect Storm: Every cook that owns his own knife asked me to sharpen for him before I even got my chef coat on! I don't mind sharpening for the boys but normally it's not every single knife at once! At any rate, one is an unidentified school-branded knife; one is a Shun Onion Kaji; one is a garden variety Shun Classic; the other is a higher-end Wusthof Ikon.

First off, the Ikon didn't really need it. The owner is a young pup, and he only had it for a month. I took a look at it and the bevels were very crisp. It wasn't "sharp", but that doesn't mean it was "dull". I grabbed a Hand American ceramic rod and gave it four purposeful licks, two per side. It then would shave have and make 1/8" confetti of printer tickets. Hmmm...does anyone know how to use a steel/hone nowadays?

But more to the point. When I got home, I had a glass of Pinot and decided to start with the "school mystery knife." By the markings denoting the steel it's obviously a blade made with the standard German formula (basically the standard Chromium/Molybenum/Vanadium ratio) that they all use. Okay, those of you who read my ramblings know I'm a "J-Knife Snob" to a degree. But setting that aside, a job is a job. This blade had no discernable bevel. Either it had never been "professionally" sharpened or it had been done so long ago that no trace remained.

I spent about an hour and quarter carefully creating a bevel on this one. I made sure to cut a nice wide bevel from heel to tip, laying down the roadway for future sharpenings. Frankly if I owned this knife I'd use it chip ice off my windshield or cut weeds in my yard. But the owner is a good kid, just out of culinary school and really without a clue. He expects to pay for the job, but to be honest, if I was to charge him what the job is really worth, he couldn't afford it. So instead it will be free. And I didn't do a half-arsed job; once I finished it I split a hair lengthwise and cut a magazine in half with one draw stroke. And it push-cuts paper an inch out. Not bad for a department store blade.

Hattori KD, Kramer Damascus, Murray Carter, Chicago Cutlery, Wusthof, butter knife- I don't care. If I agree to take it on I will create what I feel is the best edge I can make for the given blade. Part of it is ego, part is pride- but the larger part is simple honesty. I will always do my best. Why would you ever approach a job with any other attitude?
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