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Old 04-30-2008, 11:17 AM   #11
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I'm kind of in the same boat in my kitchen, Rob. I'm the resident "knife guru" when it comes to sharpening. If, and that's IF, I pull the kitchen's stones out, between one and three other people will start bringing knives to me.

We are having some "training" classes, in house, for all the cooks. It's all old-hat stuff to me, but for the cooks that haven't received formal training, it's really informative. I've told the boss that I'd be willing to hold a demo on knife sharpening for all the cooks, and try to impart some of my knowledge. They will have to develop their own skills.

There are some things I see at work that are just plain sad. One of the cooks leaves his main knife, an 8" Shun, out pretty much every day. It's dirty, and dull. This particular cook really abuses that knife on a steel. There's another cook that abuses his knife on a steel as well.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jeekinz View Post
If you were able to look at the knives before they got butchered, you could see if they were mishandled. Then offer some advice on proper use/care. I've sharpened a few knives for different friends. Some were used on glass cutting boards, some had knicks and some just were not shaped correctly from the factory. The blade tells a story if you look close enough.
I didn't get to see them until he brought them to work for me to look at. In all fairness to the the "sharpener" that worked on them they could have been in horrible shape when he got them. They're really ancient Chicago Cutlery knives- you can tell they're old by looking at the wear on the handles and the "seasoning" of the block they inhabit. But no matter how bad they were, they were ultimately fixable. Well, the Chef knife was, anyways. The only one I'm a bit dubious of is the slicer; that one is literally so dull that I could probably take my pick as to which side to sharpen!

I'm actually planning to attend a sharpening school this summer, with my dad. I hope to pick up some skills related to some equipment I haven't used much. The school is basically one guy teaching just one or two people; it's completely hands-on and one-on-one. I do most of my sharpening freehand on stones or on an Edge Pro Apex, along with my Spyderco Sharpmaker for touchups and my Edgemaker Pros for work knives and quick sharpenings (and I recently got an HF 1x30 belt grinder that I plan to mostly use for power stropping/polishing). But the classes cover the use of the Tormek, paper wheels, belt grinders, the F. Dick commercial sharpeners and lots more.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:43 PM   #13
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Hardly anyone I know has knives worth of setting up the Apex. I do them on paper wheels and give them edges like they've never seen mostly because I finish with a quick chromium oxide stropping.

Rob, when you PM expatgirl mention Chico Buller. I'm quite sure he has a scissors attachment for his EP Pro and I can attest that he's the best I've ever seen first hand with that device.

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Old 04-30-2008, 12:47 PM   #14
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I'm kind of in the same boat in my kitchen, Rob. I'm the resident "knife guru" when it comes to sharpening. If, and that's IF, I pull the kitchen's stones out, between one and three other people will start bringing knives to me.
I never take stones with me to work. For one thing, at my present job there isn't much prep space to set up to sharpen, and I don't have as much time as I did when I was "The Chef". I keep my Spyderco Sharpmaker in my work-knife bag along with my Edgemaker Pro's. The nice thing is that once I get the edge I want with waterstones I can usually bring it back with a smooth ceramic "steel" for quite awhile, and then do a few swipes on the Sharpmaker when the ceramic doesn't do it anymore. That'll keep 'em all shaving sharp for a long time between actual sit-down-and-sharpen-it sessions. If someone requests I sharpen one at work I generally use one of the aforementioned tools.

For those junkier knives the Edgemaker Pro is a godsend. It's not that it won't work on good knives; it's just a very fast way to bring up a good edge on a knife that's in terrible shape. I keep all three models in my bag, and the blue Bevelmaker will cut an edge into almost anything. It's not very good for removing chips in the edge, though- for that you almost always need to break out a coarse stone. Can't fault any gadget for that, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenOK View Post
There are some things I see at work that are just plain sad. One of the cooks leaves his main knife, an 8" Shun, out pretty much every day. It's dirty, and dull. This particular cook really abuses that knife on a steel. There's another cook that abuses his knife on a steel as well.
It's tragic to see a Shun treated that way! It's difficult to even imagine a dull Shun! I never use a steel steel, ever. If I ever break down and get a Hand America smooth steel that might be of some utility, but the ribbed ones suck the big one, especially for Japanese knives.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:19 PM   #15
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Hardly anyone I know has knives worth of setting up the Apex. I do them on paper wheels and give them edges like they've never seen mostly because I finish with a quick chromium oxide stropping.

Rob, when you PM expatgirl mention Chico Buller. I'm quite sure he has a scissors attachment for his EP Pro and I can attest that he's the best I've ever seen first hand with that device.

Buzz
Agreed, on both counts. I've still got to pick a knife for Chico to work his magic on...I'm leaning towards the Hattori Forum gyuto.

The knives that my coworker brought in really aren't worth setting up my Apex, but nothing less would have allowed me to fix them! I was just curious to see what I could do with them; I think he's gonna be shocked!
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:23 PM   #16
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BTW, Buzz- the class I'm hoping to get squeezed in is by Steve Bottorff. Everything I've heard about him is positive and Dave Martell has a link to him on his DR Sharpening site, iirc. There isn't much higher endorsment than that!
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:33 PM   #17
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I think he's gonna be shocked!
Ha haaaa haa haaaaaa. Oh man I hear you. Even the less expensive lines from Wustof, Henckels, and Forschner will fairly well handle a 15* edge, so if the friend's/neighbor's knife is going to be used strictly for veggies and boneless meats, that's what I give it. The first time I do one of these for them I go (after reprofiling) EP 800 stone, 10k Naniwa, .5 micron CrO. When they get the knife back I first do a paper push cut demo and then give them a little lecture about knife handling, paying attention, etc.... You know the drill.

They all cut themselves within two days. No exceptions.

I love it.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
BTW, Buzz- the class I'm hoping to get squeezed in is by Steve Bottorff. Everything I've heard about him is positive and Dave Martell has a link to him on his DR Sharpening site, iirc. There isn't much higher endorsment than that!
I hope you get in. Should be fun and informitive. I've been happy with his wheels. One does have to be careful not to overheat the blade but a bucket of cold water eliminates most of the danger.

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Old 04-30-2008, 08:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by buzzard767 View Post
Ha haaaa haa haaaaaa. Oh man I hear you. Even the less expensive lines from Wustof, Henckels, and Forschner will fairly well handle a 15* edge, so if the friend's/neighbor's knife is going to be used strictly for veggies and boneless meats, that's what I give it. The first time I do one of these for them I go (after reprofiling) EP 800 stone, 10k Naniwa, .5 micron CrO. When they get the knife back I first do a paper push cut demo and then give them a little lecture about knife handling, paying attention, etc.... You know the drill.

They all cut themselves within two days. No exceptions.

I love it.
ok, I'm sending your email to my Korean doctor who stitched up my last finger......he actually had the nerve to ask if I had thrown out my Wusthof Santoku knife....I looked at him like he had asked if I had thrown out my firstborn......of course not, are you nuts I retorted.....it comes with the territory----'sides I have 8 more fingers to go
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:53 AM   #20
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ok, I'm sending your email to my Korean doctor who stitched up my last finger......he actually had the nerve to ask if I had thrown out my Wusthof Santoku knife....I looked at him like he had asked if I had thrown out my firstborn......of course not, are you nuts I retorted.....it comes with the territory----'sides I have 8 more fingers to go
Maybe someday we can get some salamander stem cells injected, maybe we could get our fingers to grow back!

Buzz- there are still quite a few open dates for Steve's school, and I think my Dad & I will probably call him and send the deposit to hold our slot. I'm leaning towards sometime in July. Obviously some of the stuff he teaches I can already use, albeit probably not at his level of proficiency.

When I got home from work tonite I sharpened the rest of the block. There's obviously a limit to the amount of grinding I'll do on a 30 year old Chicago Cutlery, for free, but I think he'll be stunned; he won't recognize them. As Buzz can probably attest, the easiest thing to sharpen on the Apex is a completely straight slicing knife. I'm not exaggerating, you could hardly tell which side was the cutting edge- we're talking butter knife territory. But now it will shave easily (but won't treetop hair). I stopped at a medium stone, then finished on the ceramic hone.

I hope he passes 'em around the store...there are three other people who've asked me about sharpening, but I think these are the last ones I'll do for free. I don't mind donating my time but everything I'm given is butter-knife-dull and I'm burning thru my 120 grits at an alarming rate. I'm gonna have to at least charge enough to cover the cost of new waterstones.
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