Polishing, Kasumi Finish & Etching

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Polishing, Kasumi Finish & Etching

Post by pd7077 »

From the start, which was not too long ago, I have enjoyed sharpening. With how crazy my work schedule can be, I cherish when I am able to just shut my brain off and put my knives to the stones for a few hours. I've had quite a few mishaps/slips when I first started (and it still happens from time to, albeit at a much lower frequency) so a few of my knives have errant scratches here and there. I have also been gradually tweaking my Takeda bunka in order to get her to perform a bit more to my liking.

I have been reading all the info I could find on how to achieve a nice kasumi finish, and a few members were able to give me some pointers. Even so, I don't really know what the hell I'm doing so I'm hoping that you guys can help educate me on all of this.

My Takeda had a pretty stout arrowhead shape to it so my goal was to knock down the shoulders so that it could glide through taller/denser ingredients better. I took them down gradually and then cut with the knife for a few weeks before deciding whether or not I needed to take them down some more. In total, it took 4 long sessions over the course of a few months, and in the process I lost some of the KU finish in patches. This bugged the hell out of me. She cut great, but I couldn't stand to look at her :x So I taped her off and busted out the sandpaper so that I could get a clean KU line. I started with 220 grit and slowly worked my way up to 800 grit. This is what she looked like at that stage:

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You can see quite a few scratches so I'm guessing that it would be a good idea for me to take it up to an even finer grit (maybe 2000) to remove the scratches. Would using metal polish serve any purpose to making the final finish look better? Does the grit at which I end at make any difference with the final result?

Anyhow, I moved on to some uchigumori fingerstones that Jdavid was kind enough to send me. I fumbled around for a while, but I was finally able to prep a few nicely sized fingerstones. He sent two types of uchi, a hard and a soft. I seemed to get more mud and a darker contrast with the harder stone so I ended up going with that. This is the mud I got after a few minutes:

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- Does the consistency of the mud affect the type of finish that you get? I kept adding a drop of water from time to time but I'm not sure if it would have been better to keep the mud on the thicker side.
- How much pressure should I be using? I tried to keep the pressure fairly light because I assumed that more pressure would run the risk of introducing scratches.
- Can any generalizations be made in regards to hard vs soft stones and the finishes that they're able to produce, or is this a case-to-case/stone-to-stone type of thing?

Here are a few pics to show what she now looks like:

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One other thing that I was curious about was the differences in cladding. The Takeda is stainless clad, and I tried the same fingerstone on an iron clad kogatana that I have. I got a much darker contrast and smoother finish on the iron cladding. I didn't sand it down prior so this was purely from the fingerstones:

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- Is this simply a function of the cladding (iron vs stainless), or is there something that I need to do differently in order to get stainless to have that dark/smooth of a finish.

This is my first time ever playing around with fingerstones, and I'm pretty stoked with the results. Evenso, any advice/tips/pointers would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by pd7077 on Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by Kit Craft »

Very nice post, thank you for taking the time to put it together and share it with everyone. Finger stones is something I really don't play around with so I have no advice of any kind. Practically speaking, I am rather new to naturals so I am in no position to give advice at all. However, to me, a muddy stone is a muddy stone no matter how you slice it. More mud or less mud is not something I have found to make a huge difference but how thick the mud is, that is another story. With my Monzen, for example, I find that thicker mud leaves a darker finish and thinner mud leaves a more polished look. However, thicker mud also seems to leave more visible scratches, for whatever reason. That could simply be user error.

Anyway, nice even finish.

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by arthurfowler »

Love that finish, I think it looks amazing. Great post.

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by pd7077 »

So I've been able to play around a bit more, and I'm slowly starting to figure some things out. I believe that the lack of contrast that I was getting on the Takeda was probably due to the fact that the stainless cladding is so much thinner than on other knives. I toyed around on a stainless clad W#2 Kono, and the amount of contrast that I was able to get was worlds different than on the Takeda. The progression I used was a bit different too so I'm guessing that played a part as well. My progression went from SP 1k -> 2k -> 5k -> Takashima -> finger stones (uchi hato -> Shinden kiita -> uchi jito).

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by J david »

That looks amazing. Very nice job.

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by ken123 »

Very nicely done!! I think you've 'got it'!

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by pd7077 »

Well, my next attempt required a lot more elbow grease than I had initially anticipated. I picked up a knife on the classifieds, but after removing the patina, I found an area of pitting on the left blade face. The pitting wasn’t extremely deep, but I knew that it would add a lot more work since I’m doing this all by hand.

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I wasn’t sure how coarse to go so I started with 400 grit sandpaper, and I slowly worked my way up to 1500 grit. From there, I moved on to micromesh and took it through the 9 pad progression (1500 to 12k). Here’s what it looked like at that point.

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When it came to the fingerstones, I tried changing up how I applied pressure. In the same manner as when we sharpen, I started off with each fingerstone by using a fair amount of pressure. This allowed me to generate mud more quickly, and after going over the entire blade face with that amount of pressure, I slowly eased off until I was just using the weight of the fingerstone. This seemed to get me a much more even finish than previous attempts. The final result, while not perfect, is the best I’ve done yet. And the journey continues... ☺️

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by J david »

Very nice finish and a proper blade as well. I'm sure you are enjoying this one. I love a finger stone finish and find it is easy to maintain once the initial work has been done.

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by pd7077 »

Thanks David. The fingerstones you gave me are getting put to good use, and all your advice has really helped me along the way 👍🏻👍🏻
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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by Kalaeb »

Really well done. I have to find some finger stones at some point. Surprised people don't offer them for sale.

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by ken123 »

Kalaeb wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:20 pm
... I have to find some finger stones at some point. Surprised people don't offer them for sale.
I've tried to keep it a secret for as long as I can lol. :)

I have an extensive selection of natural and synthetic fingerstones. Just send me a PM or give me a call.

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by pd7077 »

I finally got around to playing around with fingerstones again. I’ve been very happy with my kasumi journey thus far, but I wanted to see how much of a difference it would make by having a better “mirror finish” base prior to a fingerstone progression. I didn’t change anything in terms of what grits/pads I used in my progression. The only difference was that I tried spend a sufficient amount of time with each grit to make sure that I removed the scratch pattern of the previous grit. My patience, or lack thereof, still got the best of me, but I was able to get a hairline-mirror polish that was leaps and bounds better than any of my previous attempts.

Verdict: Having a very polished base prior to fingerstones yields a much different kasumi than a brushed base. While I may not always put this much effort on all of my kasumi finishes, it was very cool to see the differences. (Note: this is the same knife as the previous pics I posted)

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by J david »

I'm gonna have to start sending you my knives for refinishing.

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by MisoSatisfried »

Dang man, really nice work! Thanks for posting as this is something I've been really curious about and hadn't seen a solid post on. Well done!!
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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by pd7077 »

Before finishing up on some last minute Christmas gift wrapping, I was able to put in some time on my current project knife. This knife just got back into my hands after Carter made a gorgeous handle for it. However, the blade just didn’t match the beauty of its new handle. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the vertical grind marks so that definitely needed to go.

I decided to try out a different brand of sandpaper. Rhynowet came highly recommended so I picked up the progression of 400, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, and 2500. I was on the fence about getting 800 grit as well, but in my previous projects I didn’t have too much of an issue jumping from 600 to 1000. I will say, this sandpaper was definitely better than the stuff that I was getting from my local hardware store. After the 2500, I followed up with the 3200 micromesh and continued up to the final 12k pad. I read somewhere online that the micromesh grit rating was 2.5x that of sandpaper grit ratings, however, I’m not sure I believe that. The 3200 pad looked and felt like the proper step after 2500 sandpaper.

As usual, my impatience got the best of me, but this is still more than good enough of a result for me. On certain angles, I can still see some ultra-fine hairline scratches, but the reflection coming off of the blade face is pretty damn close to a mirror. It’s so nice that I’m not sure if I’m even going to hit it with fingerstones.

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by nevrknow »

That first pic is Kabam! Steve!

Now what am I missing in that sec pic? It looks ummm................. :)

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by pd7077 »

Haha...that second pic is the reflection of my fireplace wall.
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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by Kalaeb »

Was it better using the Rhino followed by micro mesh, or micro mesh all the way through?

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Re: Kasumi Finish & Fingerstone Polishing

Post by nevrknow »

pd7077 wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:08 pm
Haha...that second pic is the reflection of my fireplace wall.
I was hoping/thinking that. Hard to tell from the pic. To me. Or is it the pre holiday beer i have been into already? :D

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