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Hello. Some Question about knives - Page 3

post #61 of 79
Ya' know, I thought about this statement for a few days, and admittedly you are 100% right. And diplomatically, what difference does it make? Let me explain.

If we are indeed a forum of experts (or those seeking to perfect their craft) we must excel at providing a better product--in this case, food.

A head chef doesn't roam willie-nillie through a produce aisle or butcher shop and glom onto the first example that falls to hand. Rather, he spends time searching out a superior product.

And this is what I mean with sharpening.

Edit: This concept is not limited to the country club set. I was once hired for a local Panera Bread outlet. I sharpened. We replaced many of their knives. One of the managers reported that the "lunch rush" went smoother and faster. The sandwiches had a better presentation, and every single employee involved reported that their work was easier.

First, a head chef "hires" me. He won't find my name in the yellow pages. He finds me by word-of-mouth. And to be fair, I don't work for anybody. I 'fired' a head chef from a four star. I won't do work for him anymore.

If the chef and I are to spend our time and patience to produce a superior product, then we make sure our mission statements are geared to the same goal.

We form a relationship. Most chefs evolve. They make a better kitchen. They seek out quality sous-chefs and cooks. The introduce signature dishes. Heck, they even buy new crockery and pans.

My contribution is taking better edges to the food. Period. If the knives are dull, I polish them. If the knives are worn or of poor quality, we replace them--sometimes over time as funds permit.

But I don't feel that the idea of "hard, expensive and complicated" is the right mind-set to begin a job of superior food service. You don't have to hire me. I don't have to work for you. But that first interview is free. And yes, I'll teach a chef how to sharpen--for free. Most come out of culinary schools with only rudimentary skills.
post #62 of 79

jap knives rule  and can be sharpened on cheap silicone carbide stones bought at the local lumber yard  and finished on home made leather strop!

post #63 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by knifesosharp View Post

jap knives rule  and can be sharpened on cheap silicone carbide stones bought at the local lumber yard  and finished on home made leather strop!



Whether or not Jap knives rule or not is up to the user's choice.  That being said there are excelent Japanese knives, and gawd-auwfull Japanese knives out there.

 

"Cheap silicone carbide stones at the lumber yard" are best for lawn mower blades.  The stones are small, so using them on a 10" or larger knife is problematic, but hte thing is, what grit are the stones?  What you will find at hardware store is 200-500 grit, wich will leve subsequent 200-500 grit scratches--or smilar to rubbing the blade on a sidewalk.  Leather strops will leave a fine finish, but how do you finish a blade that has 200-500 grit scratches?  All the leather strop will do is shine up the scratches.

 

One of the most basic rules of sharpening is that the finer the abrasive you use, your longer the edge will last.  Most pros go to 6000 grit or 8000 grit, with some going as high as 12,000 grit.

 

Please b careful with  the advice you see and here

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post #64 of 79

all my knives shave and stay sharp a very long time. you dont have to sink in  tons of cash just use your head for more than growing hair.

post #65 of 79



Knife,

 

You wrote in your first post,

jap knives rule  and can be sharpened on cheap silicone carbide stones bought at the local lumber yard  and finished on home made leather strop!


Whom are you talking to?  This thread was dead for a year until you posted.  There doesn't seem to be any reason to believe that anyone's still looking at it, and the OP has long since bought his knives and moved on. 

 

Most SiC stones are very slow when it comes to decent Japanese made knives.  Actually, with the exception of something like a Norton coarse Crystolon, which is the rough equivalent of 150# JIS, they aren't just very slow, they're painfully slow.

 

Of course, down at those really coarse grits nothing's very good.  Diamond plates wear out in no time.  Waterstones dish like crazy.  Oilstones are slooooooooooooow dry, slower still with water, and glacial with oil.  

 

Foodpump makes several excellent points about SiC stones, including the difficulty of using small stones with large kitchen knives.  Another regards the relative utility of jumping from a coarse stone to a fine strop.

 

Japanese knives are typically sharpened on Aluminum Oxide (AlO) waterstones because they are so much faster.  They need a lot of maintenance though. 

 

About your leather strop:

  • Is it hard or soft?  In my experience, a soft strop is definitely not good for kitchen knives.
  • Plain or pasted?  Plain strops don't do much, if anything.  And certainly not much compared to pasted strops?
  • What kind of paste?  Jewelers rouge?  CrO?  Diamond?  ???
  • How do you avoid dubbing?

 

In your second post you wrote,

all my knives shave and stay sharp a very long time. you dont have to sink in  tons of cash just use your head for more than growing hair.

 

Shaving hair off your arm isn't much of a test.  I know guys (including me) who can sharpen a knife on a cinder block and get it sharp enough keep my forearms bald.  John Juranitch used to sharpen an axe on concrete, then shave his neck with it.  "Shaving sharp" or not, it's not exactly what you'd call a fine edge.

 

It's unclear what you're trying to say.  So far it's more "drive-by" than anything else and not terribly informative.  Why don't you start a thread and talk some more about your equipment (knife and sharpening) and your methods?

 

Always open to learning,

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/30/10 at 10:00am
post #66 of 79

what are you cutting atoms.my stones are cheap and my strop is home made but it works very good.my point is you can get it done without huge amounts of coin .

post #67 of 79

puddingpop

post #68 of 79

Well, yeah there are quite a few ways to sharpen on the cheap.  Diamond pastes smeared on a hunk of mdf is very cheap and does a good job.

 

Sandpaper on a piece of glass or a flat hunk of cast iron (like a table saw wing) are just as good, and teh better sanpapers like teh kind autobody shops use or even the micro-abrasice papers taht 3M puts out are cheap--under 2 bucks a sheet.

 

So, choice of abrasives is highly personal, with no one type of abrasive being ideal, all of them are good, and all of  them have one or two downsides.

 

Like I said in my above post, the finer the grit you use to finish your edge, the longer the edge will last.  Every craftsman the world over knows this rule, and has known about it for centuries.

 

You can sharpen with 500 grit, and polish it up a bit with a strop, but it will dull very quickly.  I don't like to sharpen, so when I have to, I do as good a job as I can so I don't have to sharpen more frequently--I also don't like to see my knives and other tools "shrink" by sharpening frequently

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post #69 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by knifesosharp View Post

what are you cutting atoms.my stones are cheap and my strop is home made but it works very good.my point is you can get it done without huge amounts of coin .

IMHO, the "quality" of a craftsman's tools are a reflection of a craftsman's skills, ability, and professionalism.

 

One who "cuts corners" when it comes to maintenance of one's tools makes me wonder what other corners might be cut.

 

Thrifty makes sense, cheap for cheap sake is simply the choice of someone who either:

  • Doesn't know better, or
  • Doesn't care about their tools, or
  • Doesn't give a d@mn about most anything except being cheap

 

At least, IMHO.

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Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #70 of 79

why is it killen you people that some person can have a good sharp set of knives without a truck load of high priced equipment?seems that high priced equals better in yalls book.

post #71 of 79

Not everyone. I'm a cheapie and own no high end kitchen knives. Forschner in many of the roles, a Meyer slicer, a 10" Henkels.

 

I sharpen the kitchen gear mostly on a heavily swarfed xtra fine diamond stone and some  wet dry sand paper with a loaded strop for finishing.

 

This works for my kitchen needs and budget. And I tend to prefer convex edges over a specific angle.

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post #72 of 79

 phatch ,            pardon me i apologise                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

post #73 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by knifesosharp View Post

why is it killen you people that some person can have a good sharp set of knives without a truck load of high priced equipment?seems that high priced equals better in yalls book.

Why is it "killen you" that some people spend money to sharpen knives? Seems that "cheap" equals better in yalls book.
 

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post #74 of 79

Pete,    in this world there is a lot of excess and wast. to do more with less seems like a good thing.i simply pointed out a much less expensive method of getting your knife sharp which seemed to bother some people.oh my lawn mower cuts real good also.
 

post #75 of 79

Well Knifesosharp, there is "less expensive" and there is "cheap", the key is whether one achieves the same result.

 

I cannot speak for anyone else, however, I do not treat my knives like a lawn mower blade. If you wish to do so, that is your choice but it is not mine nor would I recommend it to anyone else.

 

End of conversation.

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post #76 of 79

well pete  i use a right angle grinder on the lawn mower blades

post #77 of 79

I'm another Forschner ("economical" Swis knives) guy, and what aren't Forschner are garage sale finds that I have re-gound and profiled or made new scales for and re-riveted them back on.  Sandpaper on  tablesaw wings works just fine, and if you can find used stones at garage sales and flea markets, then go for it, but they also need work to flatten and to boil out the crud they're choked and glazed up with.

 

No more lawnmower!  Pulled out the lawn ( it was nothin but weeds anyway) and put in river rock interspaced with herbs and by leaf trees.  Hate lawns anyway, waste of time, money, and water.

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post #78 of 79

None of my current knives are very expensive.  With the exception of a mid-sixties carbon Chicago Cutlery cleaver, all of my primary knives are Sabatier carbons from a variety of makers, and of one vintage or another; and the remainder are all old Forschner Rosewoods.  The only knives I've bought and kept recently are some TI "Nogent" Sabatiers which were actually made in the thirties.

 

Still, I've had, used, and sharpened a LOT of different knives.

 

You usually don't find high performing Japanese made knives priced at the low end -- and especially at the current rate of exchange.  So, I wonder how much money someone would actually save?

 

I currently own two separate sharpening kits.  One, oilstone (but no oil!) I've had for awhile, and something darn near identical for more than forty years.  It's made up of a (Norton) coarse India and fine India, and (Hall's) soft Arkansas and surgical black Arkansas.  Do you consider this an expensive set?

 

I've had several waterstone sets over the years -- none of them cheap.  The one I've got now is admittedly high-end:  Beston 500, Bester 1200, Chosera 3K, Naniwa 8K.  Fortunately I bought three of the stones used, from a friend, and the Chosera from another friend who sold at about half the usual discount price.  Taken altogether, it was still a lot of money. 

 

The oilstones work fine on all my knives.  The waterstones are better on the carbons, and much better on the sorts of steels -- carbon and stainless -- commonly used in Japanese made knives. 

 

After years of sharpening Japanese knives with just about anything you can think of, IMO anyone who uses an oilstone for all but the roughest profiling and repair work is nuts.  Silicon carbide is especially problematic for it's tendencies to scratch and load up.  Cheap SiC -- anything cheaper than a Norton Crystolon -- tend to crumble and otherwise break.

 

Over the years, I've used various kinds of strops (soft leather, hard leather, mdf, etc.)  and reference plates (glass, iron) for a variety of purpose.  And so on, and so forth.

 

You certainly can sharpen as well on hard strops as on stones, but it requires a succession of pastes which means a succession of strops as well.  When all is said and done, it takes as much technique as stones and is at least as inconvenient.  Messy, too.

 

I'd like to ratify or argue against your technique, but can not since I have no idea of what you're actually doing, how you're doing it or to what you're doing it.  Please get specific.

 

Here are some questions for you:

  • Which knife models and brand(s)?
  • Do you pull a burr on your stone?
  • What brand, grit size, and size of stone?
  • Are your strops rough or smooth leather?
  • Are your strops soft or hard (a hard strop is stuck on a piece of wood, or something else)?
  • Do you use pastes?
  • If you do, what kind (CrO, Diamond, etc.)?
  • What are some examples, besides shaving arm hair, of things that make you think a knife is sharp? 
  • What "tests" do you use?  (For instance, I use thumbdragging, and fine slicing things which would crumble if cut with a knife at all dull.)
     

Do I need to say that answering these questions isn't some kind of test meant to make you look bad.  We really want to know more about what you're doing, instead of filling in the vast blanks ourselves and probably getting it completely wrong.

 

Cutting atoms?  No.  But it brings up the point that we two may simply mean different things when we say "sharp."  I like my edges as sharp as possible -- while retaining some measure of durability.  On the other hand, you may be able to live with significantly less.  Certainly, most people do.

 

Really want to know,

BDL

post #79 of 79

bdl,  i realy didnt mean to get this involved but i do know what real sharp is. my knives arent expensive. i have five different stones have had   some for thirty years  one very fine ceramic weighs a ton a gift.one fine natural stone my oldest son found twenty years ago on the shore of a local lake but it is a sharpening stone you can see where it was cut. the rest are sic combo stones from the lumber yard coarse on one side and fine on the other longest about ten inches. the strop my dad made when i was about ten its on a walnut board one day i sharpened my pocket knife stropped it then tested it by splitting the leather the full length of it ,its been mine from then on i would say its hard. im sure that some people can sharpen better but i do pretty good makes my wife happy and that is all that counts!    

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