I just finished sharpening a couple for one of the new line cooks. The first was a chef's knife by Icel
- I'll admit that's not a brand I've ever seen before. He got it at culinary school. It's pretty much the equivalent of a Forschner or Dexter, stamped, no distal taper. I started with a 500 grit Shapton GlassStone and cut an even bevel, then deburred a bit on an Idahone ceramic rod. Then I cut thru a block of hard felt, followed by stropping on hard felt impregnated with 1/8 micron Cubic Boron Nitrate. This does a really good job of cleaning off the burr- it would shave hair very cleanly with a 500 grit edge. I then finished with a 2k Naniwa Aotoshi ("Green Brick") and a quick strop. A pretty nice edge for a glorified house knife. I will the knife wasn't in awful shape. The kid who owns it has a 1k/4k combo water stone (or 1k/6k, I forget) which he used on his knives. The bevel wasn't super clean but it cut well. I'd say he's the only guy in the restaurant save myself that really understands how to sharpen. With some practice he won't need me to do his knives.
He had another one for me to do, a Masahiro. This one was used very little and just at home. He was afraid to try to sharpen it because it's a heavily biased, differentially beveled blade- about 80/20 (ie 80% of the edge on the right side, 20% on the left). This can be intimidating to nOObish sharpeners but ultimately you don't do anything really different. You just start on the right side and follow the bevel, then flip it over and essentially deburr like you might with a yanagi-ba. I worked thru my standard Chocera progression: 1k, 2k, 5k, 8k Naniwa Jyunpaka (aka "Snow White", not a Chocera but a sweet stone), finishing on the 10k. Then I switched to felt with 1/8 micron CNB at a higher angle, then lowered the angle again and hit it with 2 different balsa strips- 0.5 micron Chromium Oxide, then 0.25 HA diamond. I finished with another higher angle pass with the felt/CNB. I feel this gives a very minute amount of convex/microbevel to the edge, hopefully making it last a bit longer.
The resulting edge was off-the-hook
sharp, if I may say so myself! The knife is a 210mm, and pretty damned thin. I think he'll be pretty surprised and pleased.