That was fun

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jmcnelly85
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That was fun

Post by jmcnelly85 »

A chef friend of mine had some of his loaner/beater knives sharpened by some idiot that works under him. The friends a good sharpener as it pertains to making something sharp out of necessity, but it’s not really a passion or hobby as much as one of the tools of the trade. I told him as a favor I’d see what I could do. The profile was pretty chewed and anyone without power equipment can see exactly how much bolster I’m up against. This is the first project I’ve gotten a chance of using my cktg cheapo 140. The plate works quick and aggressive, but still makes you envious of those with power equipment. Targeting the high spot of the bolster, I proceeded to painstakingly patiently grind an obese, obsolete glob of wear resistant soft stainless the fuck away forever. Rounding all evidence of a coarse diamond plate with the now 100% broken in new plate is kind of a fun challenge, creating an absence of pressures on unfamiliar angles to follow a shape is an interesting challenge. It surprised me how smooth of a surface the aggressive plate can leave. The overall finish of the blade was the rough life of being tossed around for years in the heat of a professional kitchen. Once as much of the bolster as I’d remove for free as a favor was destroyed, on to thinning and reprofiling. Starting with the same plate, I targeted above the edge with the same diamond plate. Being mindful not to grind with plates to the point that I wanted, but stop well before thepoint knowing a large part of the metal removal process will be targeting and eliminating diamond plate scratches. This part of the process is particularly challenging with the bolster impeding the ability to watch the choir shot and check your work visually. Using a shapton glass 220 stone proved to be exponentially faster than my shapton pro 320 to eradicate deep diamond scratches; although l, I admittedly didn’t continue until all of the scratches were gone. There is such thing as perfect, but this ain’t it. I’ve never thinned a knife with a bolster before. I wasn’t able to figure out how to thin/polish directly behind the bolster with stones and created an aesthetic Bermuda Triangle of learning curve, but improved the overall functionality of the tool. I then jumped onto 800, and 2k stones to bring the finish together above the thinning spots and ended the surface detail with wet dry 400 and 600 grit paper working in a horizontal direction. While I had sandpaper put a figured I’d just smooth all the edges with a half assed “why not” that may have made a difference.

More to come...
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Bensbites
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Re: That was fun

Post by Bensbites »

Wow... that sounds like a crap ton of work. You are far more skilled at freehand work that I will ever be. Clearly years of dedication to the craft.

I have a cheap 1x30 for my work on western handles, I have to imagine at $100 price point, the biggest barrier for most people that enjoy thinning/reprofiling would be where to put it and the potential metal dust. I also have a small 10 inch round 220 grit grizzly wet grinder that eliminates the dust issues. I have been amassing workshop tool, I am contemplating trying bladesmithjng again this year.

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Random
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Re: That was fun

Post by Random »

jmcnelly85 wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:38 am
A chef friend of mine had some of his loaner/beater knives sharpened by some idiot that works under him....
Your idiot insult is misplaced. The idiot is the chef who gave a job to someone who was unqualified.

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lsboogy
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Re: That was fun

Post by lsboogy »

Random wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:05 am
jmcnelly85 wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:38 am
A chef friend of mine had some of his loaner/beater knives sharpened by some idiot that works under him....
Your idiot insult is misplaced. The idiot is the chef who gave a job to someone who was unqualified.
Nah, my chef sharpens his own blade. But I did a couple for on of the line cooks I work with. A chef needs to trust those under him until they show their true colors.

jmcnelly85
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Re: That was fun

Post by jmcnelly85 »

Not everyone who puts in 60-70 hours a week in a kitchen feels like sharpening every knife they have. I don’t think other people sharpen his good knives, but he will gladly delegate a shitty knife. Someone isn’t an idiot for finding out the competencies of their workers.

Back on the knife. Tip work has always been easy, especially when you know the profile is being modified and an excessive amount of material will be removed. I worked mostly from the spine side towards the edge; however, I spent some time going edge side towards the spine knowing I’m going to thin everything anyways. I introduced a useful amount of flat spot at the heel while maintaining the rocking nature of the knife, it rolls smooth without a thud but should be able to push and pull without accordions. The final edge is getting as much polish as I can with a green brick, it’s not hitachi carbon sharp but it certainly falls under the category of “sharper than before.”

All in all it was a fun three hours, I easily could have spent plenty more time on fit and finish but think it’s at an acceptable place.
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Wjhunt
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Re: That was fun

Post by Wjhunt »

Nice job Jmcnelly85. I agree, that looks like the perfect knife to test someone’s ability with. I’m sure the chef will be impressed.
I always seem to scratch up abused knives while thinning or chip and tip repair. To remove the scratches I’ve found small pieces of wet/dry sandpaper backed by small pieces of leather work well.

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Re: That was fun

Post by Bensbites »

Nice job.

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ken123
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Re: That was fun

Post by ken123 »

These knives can be a challenge especially the bolsters. You inevitably overgrind the bolsters into the blade and are left with even more work. A bit like having someone just wash up one spot on your car, leaving you with the rest of the car to wash up :)

If you are doing it by hand, use a coarser grit stone - a 46 grit would be nice. A 24 will leave too deep of a scratch pattern to remove easily creating more work than it removes. A variable speed belt grinder is ideal otherwise. I would take down the tip a bit more. Otherwise an excellent job!

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Ken

jmcnelly85
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Re: That was fun

Post by jmcnelly85 »

Forgot the after pic on the tip.
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ken123
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Re: That was fun

Post by ken123 »

Much better :) I know I'm picky. You've done good :)

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jbart65
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Re: That was fun

Post by jbart65 »

I've done similar to an older German knife. Lot of hard work needed!

Makes me want to get a belt grinder, but then I'd have a learning curve with the grinder. More money and time.

Earlier this week, I sharpened some of the worst knives I've ever dealt with. Belonged to the parents of my son's girlfriend. I don't know if it's me, but some stainless knives seem very hard. Harder than Wusthofs and Henckels and very hard to sharpen.

On this knives, I tried starting out with a 120 Nubatama. I had to switch to a Atoma 140 to get a burr in a reasonable amount of time. Then I dropped down to the 120, moved to a Shapton Glass 500, Nubatama 1200 and a few strokes on a Nuba speckled 2000.

Didn't cut paper great, but they could slice grapes paper thin instead of squishing them as they did initially. I don't think these knives were ever sharpened. About 30 years old, at least. Actually had decent wooden handles. Three boning knives and a parer that have been used as main knives. When I first tried to slice a potato with one of them, it gave me a jagged cut after I applied lots of pressure.

Could be my future inlaws, so I think I will just get them a decent knife - and not a boning knife. They tried mine and were ... suitably impressed.
Jeffry B

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ken123
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Re: That was fun

Post by ken123 »

Boning knives can be a pita. I have good luck with diamond plates on these getting a toothy edge on them and little else. Some older boning knives just don't sharpen well. Same with many Pakistani blades too. Its not the stones this time. Always frustrating sharpening for relatives on beat up old junkers when you know you are a good sharpener.
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Re: That was fun

Post by Drewski »

ken123 wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:24 pm
Boning knives can be a pita. I have good luck with diamond plates on these getting a toothy edge on them and little else. Some older boning knives just don't sharpen well. Same with many Pakistani blades too. Its not the stones this time. Always frustrating sharpening for relatives on beat up old junkers when you know you are a good sharpener.
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Ken
I tried to sharpen my relatives knives over the holidays. They are only a few years old but they are the ones with a different colour blade for each style knife. Green santoku, blue chef, purple petty. They might be from Costco or somewhere like that. Anyway, they weren't in rough looking shape but very dull. I tried aggressively with a 400 then 1k, but could not get the knives to slice paper cleanly, which has not been a problem before with other knives. I blamed the steel but it was quite frustrating and a bit embarrassing.

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jbart65
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Re: That was fun

Post by jbart65 »

I sharpened a bunch more knives this week, but the quality was definitely a bit higher. A few Wusthof gourmets, a Victorinox and a couple of no-namers.

The Wusthof Gourmets sharpened rather nicely. I like sharpening them better than the Classics. Gave a carver a 1000K edge and took a santoku up to 2K.

The Vic got shockingly sharp to me, and rather quickly. Felt nice on the stones. I swear, I have noticed quite a difference in the quality of steel used by Vics over the years. The older Vics seem to have been made of better steel.
Jeffry B

jmcnelly85
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Re: That was fun

Post by jmcnelly85 »

A wusthof gourmet is another one I sharpened. It didnt get quite the spa treatment but got a proper edge and tip. I hadn’t sharpened one before but was also surprised at how easily it sharpened. I left it at 800 grit and it seemed like a good fit. Vic’s get a bad rap for the steel but I’ve always thought they come off a green brick screaming. I can’t say I’ve had enough old vs new to compare.

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Re: That was fun

Post by lsboogy »

jmcnelly85 wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:30 pm
A wusthof gourmet is another one I sharpened. It didnt get quite the spa treatment but got a proper edge and tip. I hadn’t sharpened one before but was also surprised at how easily it sharpened. I left it at 800 grit and it seemed like a good fit. Vic’s get a bad rap for the steel but I’ve always thought they come off a green brick screaming. I can’t say I’ve had enough old vs new to compare.
I'm with ya on wusthof stuff. Soft, gummy steel that requires open stones that don't load up. I have had some success on them with a red brick/green brick setup, but the last ones I did were very dull to start ith, and they took me a half,hour a knife to get them to 2K. I find that most who own German steel sets (big knife block with 15 or more knives) just have them to cut things. I've never found owners of them to be interested in proficient cutting or really showing any interest in food. My brother got a set of white handled ones when he got married years ago, and he has finally taken the plunge (Tanaka Chromax bade). Wusthof owners can be shown, but only if the want to. I struggle with them every time

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Re: That was fun

Post by jmcnelly85 »

I think so much of what makes Germans a pain to sharpen is the life they live. What I mean by this is I own three wusthofs, two of their higher hardness ikon line, and one very thin, flexible slicer from the 50’s 60’s. I don’t hack away at them with a steel, I keep them in line on stones just like all of my other knives. A quick touch up might even be quicker than some hard carbons, their final edges are all in a respectable, capable place. I’ve come across so many soft germans that’ve been used by people who’s technique has evolved to use enough force to compensate for a lack of edge with a coarse steel at the ready at all times. Establishing a new, even bevel from this stage can be treacherous, but once accomplished moves up progressions quite nicely compared to most knives not from Japan. It’s no different from the (now fading) vg10 bashing, so many people have been tasked with fixing quality knives from unqualified owners that the common signs of abuse and frustration of sharpening permeates into the overall view of particular knife lines or steel composition. As with all knives, it will always be easier to keep a sharp knife sharp than to fix a dull damaged blade.

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jbart65
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Re: That was fun

Post by jbart65 »

On Vics, there’s definitely been a change in steel. Sharpened a newer one, less than five years old, an at Element hotel. Then last week I sharpened a roughly 20-year-old Vic I originally bought and gifted to a friend.

The older Vic was easier to sharpen, got sharper and felt good on the stones. The newer Vic was okay to sharpen, but it took longer, didn’t get quite as sharp and didn’t feel as smooth on the stones. Very noticeable difference.

I could be wrong, but the older Vic felt a bit like a less refined version of Swedish steel. The newer one felt more like lesser quality Chinese steel .
Jeffry B

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Re: That was fun

Post by dAviD »

I have to do this allot for cooks I know or work with. It can be a fun way to spend time at the end of a long day..... or....a horrible nightmare.
Lol.
Like my brothers global knives....holy cow they were in bad shape!
But it's also rewarding to take something that's normally meh and give it new life. I've been doing it more and more and seeing how much I can improve on your basic stainless or cheap carbon knife.
I feel like it's the first step in getting interested people into better knives and or sharping.

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Re: That was fun

Post by Robstreperous »

jbart65 wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:19 pm
On Vics, there’s definitely been a change in steel. Sharpened a newer one, less than five years old, an at Element hotel. Then last week I sharpened a roughly 20-year-old Vic I originally bought and gifted to a friend.

The older Vic was easier to sharpen, got sharper and felt good on the stones. The newer Vic was okay to sharpen, but it took longer, didn’t get quite as sharp and didn’t feel as smooth on the stones. Very noticeable difference.

I could be wrong, but the older Vic felt a bit like a less refined version of Swedish steel. The newer one felt more like lesser quality Chinese steel .
Yepp.. and some of the newer Henckels and Wushofs . (not all). Just before Thanksgiving friends start giving me their knives to sharpen and I like to oblige. Some of them thoug.... it's like trying to sharpen chewing gum.

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