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Old 08-25-2008, 07:44 AM   #11
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Well, she did it again. Managed to knick the palm of her hand this time. She's been glaring daggers at me again :)

Chico, just like I do at work. Only difference is, it's a different tri-stone setup. It's got one aluminum oxide stone of undetermined grit, and two Natural Arkansas wetstones, also of undetermined grit. I spread a little mineral oil on the stone, and start working the blade across the stone, I try to maintain a 20 degree angle on the blade, all by hand. I start with the coarse stone, and work that just until the bevel becomes uniform and the rounded, dull edge is ground off. This takes constant checking, as I don't want to grind to much metal off the knife. Once that is achieved, I clean the stone off, and advance to the next stone. I was actually surprised by the Arkansas stones, as they produce a more polished edge than the artificial stones at work do.

I maintain my edges with a steel.

I will admit that I am but a lowly apprentice compared to your skill level, Chico. I need to look into getting some better stones and teaching myself to use them properly.

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Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:31 AM   #12
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AllenOK, I always wonder what people use on their edges. And frankly, I have bizarre rituals and procedures, myself.

As you might know, I toss knives into the freezer if I think it might help on a really good edge. Right now, the nakiri I repaired is taped up and sitting in the the freezer since yesterday. I have frozen a knife for several weeks, and it came out great.

After much debating, the professional sharpeners have come to think that freezing a knife before sharpening isn't really doing anything to the HRC of a blade itself.

Since the edge is the thinnest, most fragile part, a good freeze may be keeping the very edge rigid for any work the tinker must do.

Is this really worth the effort? Well, until some philanthropist shakes my hand, the nakiri will be for my personal use--because the cost is skyrocketing.

Look at the time I invested in research and sweat equity just to get the blade straight. And when I mean "straight" I mean 'OCD straight,' like better than factory.

Now it's about to receive several hours of carefully making the bevel uniform front-to-back, and then left-to-right. That's a slow pain for any knife. (When Buzz came to see me I wanted to do a knife for a demonstration. As is my luck, the only knife I had that needed a sharpening was so far out of whack it shouldn't have escaped the Q/C at the factory.)

After all of this, the knife is then re-frozen for a polishing. Finer stones, polishing papers, paste and glass, and then finer paste on finer papers on Glaziers glass.

Now, is this work practical, worthwhile, affordable or even logical? Of course not! As a dealer, I paid 59 bucks for this knife. Considering all of the extra-curricular monkey-motion this knife has caused, I might be investing 200 to 300 dollars worth of time and materials into a six-inch knife.

To a professional chef (and I mean, think "Iron Chef"), acquiring the knife for perfect slices may indeed be worth it for presentation at a four-star. They write off their costs, and who knows, they might even toss the knife in the "junk drawer" when it got dull.

For us peons, it means "the biker got bored, needed a project."

Edit: You do realize that as a consumer, I'm not wealthy enough to afford a "Bada Bing polish." The knife will ultimately get sold to a chef. I cannot even afford my own work.

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Old 08-25-2008, 10:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by AllenOK View Post
She's been glaring daggers at me again :)
As long as you didn't sharpen those daggers maybe they won't penetrate too deeply!

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:14 AM   #14
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I know I am spoiled, my DH keeps my knives sharp - when I visit my Son (who seems to make time for every other project BUT sharpening his knives) I always end up cutting myself and grumble a great deal. Sharp is best!

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all. Oregon native transplanted to Chicago....
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