Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Chris Meikrantz (cjmeik) lives in Augusta, GA and does Knife Improvements - Specializing in kitchen cutlery, using traditional techniques. [email protected]

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Altadan
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Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by Altadan » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:59 pm

I'll make this short and sweet;

Chris is a pleasure to work and interact with. He is patient, informative, and at the same time both intuitive and cautious.

I this Tanaka B#2 Damascus I really liked, but it would not square off carrots anywhere near what other knives I've had (owned or passaround), and it was either gonna hit the classifieds, or be modified. I read what a few folks had to say about Chris' work, and I was intrigued.
After a few preliminary emails, I sent him the knife, and basically told him I'd like the Tanaka to preform more like a... Kono Fuji FM :P
He said... Ok, I can do that :shock:
Long story short, the knife came back, and it's a slayer!
It does not quite posses the rhombus grind of a Kono FM, but it sure feels a lot more like one than anything else I've had :mrgreen:

Bottom line, I can't recommend Chris enough. His integrity and customer service are above reproach, and if you've got any drawer-queen that you can't part with, you may want to send it his way.
~
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Choil.jpg
Choil shot, courtesy of Chris Meikrantz
Choil.jpg (39.01 KiB) Viewed 856 times
[Tanaka B#2 CJMl]-7887.jpg
Fresh from Chris' hands, finished on a 400grit belt
[Tanaka B#2 CJMl]-7890.jpg
After a progression of Rhinowet 500 - 2500 grit
[Tanaka B#2 CJMl]-7903.jpg
Working the mud on a Takashima tomae

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Altadan
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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by Altadan » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:02 pm

After some work on the Takashima, and then toning/smoothing that down with some hard-felt and 1micron diamond paste, this is what came out.
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[Tanaka B#2 CJMl]-7904.jpg

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Altadan
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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by Altadan » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:02 am

The tip on this Tanaka was quite able before the thinning, but Chris has given this knife back with a superb distal-taper that ends in a wispy tip that literally ghosts through anything.
Onions give dangerous little resistance, hahaha :D
More importantly for me, hard produce like carrots and sweet-pots, things I used to switch knives for - or use the heel of the Tanaka and apply strength to - are now like butter. The front third of the blade just sweeps quietly through sweet pots, and its beautiful! As if I was cutting something much softer.
Chris, once again, thank you for an excellent job!

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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by Bensbites » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:04 pm

Sounds about right.

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jbart65
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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by jbart65 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:16 pm

Interesting, Dan. Chris is one of only four other people who have used my Sekiso. He liked it so much he got one himself, though he later sold the 240 and kept the 210.

My grind seems to have a more classic convexing compared to your original. The tip feels thicker compared to my other knives, but it cuts every bit as thin and beats most of my other stuff on tougher ingredients.

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Altadan
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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by Altadan » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:12 pm

jbart65 wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:16 pm
Interesting, Dan. Chris is one of only four other people who have used my Sekiso. He liked it so much he got one himself, though he later sold the 240 and kept the 210.

My grind seems to have a more classic convening compared to your original. The tip feels thicker compared to my other knives, but it cuts every bit as thin and beats most of my other stuff on tougher ingredients.
Seems so indeed!

As I've mentioned before elsewhere, Jeffry, it was your accounts of the Sekiso that got me to buy mine.
After a year's use I realized that
A) my tip is very able (thicker than others I've tried, yes, but very able).
B) Whatever convex mine had going on, it was not very effective at releasing food.
C) It simply does not ease itself through anything. Soft stuff, yes. Dense stuff... just couldn't compare to many other knives I've had here on Passaround.
It took me a while to accept the fact that my Sekiso is not your Sekiso, hahaha :D I think it was one of the other four who've used your knife who commented somewhere that they're not all created equal, and that you may have had an exceptional example.

I did love the profile and appearance, AND I wanted to have an excuse to try my hand at polishing, as well as etching :) so instead of selling, I figured I'd try out Chris's services.
He did a very good job :)
Between more penetration and more food release, he answered the former request in spades.
I finally purchased another gyuto that should fill the food-release slot; one of only two passaround knives that really wowed me - the Yahiko W#2 KU Hammered, in 210.
Should arrive any day now :D

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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by jbart65 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:39 pm

I was almost too scared to sharpen it, Dan, for the longest time. Thought the clock would strike 12. That’s what a great grind can do. Good thing mine has AS-like retention.

Finally sharpened this weekend and ... still not midnight. Cuts as well as ever.

Got me a 210 and 240 Tanaka Nashiji recently btw. Different grinds and somewhat different profiles, but almost as good.

I’ve used the Yahiko you bought. Excellent line of knives. Eventually you’ll need a semi-laser. My go-to is the Yahiko Ice.
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Altadan
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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by Altadan » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:10 pm

jbart65 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:39 pm
I was almost too scared to sharpen it, Dan, for the longest time. Thought the clock would strike 12. That’s what a great grind can do. Good thing mine has AS-like retention.

Finally sharpened this weekend and ... still not midnight. Cuts as well as ever.

Got me a 210 and 240 Tanaka Nashiji recently btw. Different grinds and somewhat different profiles, but almost as good.

I’ve used the Yahiko you bought. Excellent line of knives. Eventually you’ll need a semi-laser. My go-to is the Yahiko Ice.
I really wonder how different a "semi-laser" would be from where my Tanaka is now.
Wait, you have the Ice? I thought you sold it... :|

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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by jbart65 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:52 pm

Had the Ice 240, sold it to get the Ice bunka. Decided I liked the gyuto better. Sold the bunka and got a new Ice 240.

I do stuff like that. (-:

My Ice 240 weighs around 5.5 oz, methinks. Makes a huge difference compared to a knife that weighs 7 oz or more. The best cutter I've ever used was a Shibata AS laser. The Ice is not far behind. Very different compared to the Yahiko Nashiji even though the same shop makes both.
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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by cjmeik » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:32 am

Yikes. I've been away for a while. Life's a little crazy right now.

Dan! Thanks so much for the kind words. You, as well, were a pleasure to work with and I'm delighted that you are pleased with the results.

Candidly, this Tanaka had a pretty bizarre stock grind and it was a bit tricky to rectify. It wasn't a bad performer to start off with, it just didn't have the level of quick penetration and ease through product that Dan was looking for. In the end, I was pleased with its performance and I think we definitely increased its performance significantly in those two areas.

How's the polishing going Dan?

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Altadan
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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by Altadan » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:18 am

cjmeik wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:32 am

How's the polishing going Dan?
After bringing it to a rather bright mirror polish with SP, followed by that Takashima as seen above, I've let her patina through use.
Here's another picture from back then:
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DSC_7894 (2).jpg
After SP and Takashima Tomae polish
~

I've acquired a fine nagura stone that I intended to break into a finger stone (though I'm afraid it may be hard). I need to find the time...
I've also gotten a hold of some PCB etchant, but have yet to do the homework before trying my hand at that.
Finals week is upon us. Soon I graduate.. then there will be time ^_^

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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by mauichef » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:07 pm

Cool thread Dan. Many thanks!

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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by -toa- » Wed May 29, 2019 4:10 am

Excellent, just what i was looking for. I must say that the result looks ace!

ps: jbart - i found the picture you talked about.

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Re: Tanaka B#2 Damascus thinning

Post by Altadan » Wed May 29, 2019 7:58 am

-toa- wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 4:10 am
Excellent, just what i was looking for. I must say that the result looks ace!

ps: jbart - i found the picture you talked about.
A coarser finish and some etching can also improve performance and appearance (according to taste) ;)
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