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View Full Version : Did i mess up my Yanagiba? Complete Newbie/Amateur seeking advice



Plepis
07-13-2013, 11:06 AM
Hello!

I've been lurking around the forums for about maybe two weeks now?

Anyways, greetings, i'm Erick and i'm hailing you all from Brazil, so bear with any bad ingrish :laugh:

First a lil background:

Since sushi is a favorite dish of the SO, I recently took the liberty of dabbling into japanese cuisine by myself, learning from the internet and by trial and error, i maneuvered my way around a simple, yet satisfying meal for her.

Being a Dental Surgeon myself, i do respect the usage of the proper tool for a job - and more to the point - i can appreciate a good, well sharpened blade. Only problem is, being left-handed, my choice of knives (bar importing) that i could choose from were either a R$99,00 ($50 ish US) or a R$780,00 (~$400ish) Yanagiba blade. Since it was going to be both my first japanese knife and i KNEW i was bound to ruin my first blade(s) till i get the amateur hang of it for home cooking, i didn't think much of it and got this one (http://i.imgur.com/StLpBqoh.jpg). I'm not sure what brand is this, and neither did the vendor, cause the japanese-apeaking one on the store was his wife, and she was home sick.

The vendor also talked me into getting a whetstone for sharpening it, claiming that most OOTB knives are better off getting a decent sharpening work done before usage. Since i was on a rather tight budget, i got a King K-80 sharpening stone (250/1000), which i later found out was a very slim stone compared to others. It was around the knife price range too (R$103,00, or around $52 US).


I've read and watched and read again on lots of forum posts, Youtube videos and discussions about the knife elements, how they are made and the basics of sharpening.

After a few minutes playing with only the 1k side of the stone (since i read and learned that apparently the 250 side is far too coarse to play with especially for beginners), i took a few pictures and, thinking something was off, decided to seek some advice on how to resume the sharpening, and what can i do, if anything at all to correct a few mistakes i seem to have encountered with both the blade and my sharpening:

Here's the album picture:

http://imgur.com/a/o9Jrx/embed

Things i noticed on the blade: (again, pardon my incorrect term usage)

-When i bought it, it had a fake kasumi/(acid?) etched line which looked rather dark grey that was about 1cm width all over the blade road, ending at about 4mm off the edge, which was somewhat 'polished'. At first i assumed this was the different cladding of steels, since on the heel of the blade there's a notch there that you can see on one of the pictures. This "acid etching" ended close to the shinogi line (assuming it's where the flat part of the blade and the primary bevel begins) ranging from half a milimeter above it on the heel, up to 2mm above it on the tip. Not sure if i should consider this line of the bevel angling as the real shinogi.

-the above mentioned grey line is still present on the pictures i took, simply because playing with the 1k grit part of my stone didn't seem to be able to wipe it off as easily after some time like it was at the beggining.

-The blade's Ura doesn't SEEM to be as hollow as i see on some knives posted all around the internet, maybe being a 'cheapo' knife might have something to do with it, not sure if it's going to impact something.

- I couldn't notice the difference on the cladding steel from the core steel. Heck, not even sure there ARE two layers of them in this.


Even with all this, i still went ahead and tried sharpening it, and since the result (so far) are on those pics, i'd appreciate some tips on what/how to change? I was primarily trying to flatten the blade road until i saw Jon's youtube channel from Japanese Knife Imports, then i immediately begen trying to define the shinogi and work from there. From sharpie trick to trying to figure out how to get a hamaguri edge, and even a micro-bevel (although the knife won't see constant usage, i do like to get it as sharp as possible for as long as possible)

So, for all of those who managed to bother reading up till here, i wanted to ask a few questions:

-Did i already mess up my Yanagi, or does it actually look like it needed a lot of work OOTB in the first place?

-What kind of advice could you give me on how to "fix" the knife?

- For an amateur/home usage, is the 1k grit stone enough to do all that's needed aside from the mirror finish of it?

-From what i understand, while sharpening with edge facing me, i put pressure on the push while doing the shinogi line, and on the pull while sharpening the edge, is that correct? How much pressure should be put to minimize scratches?



=====


Thanks in advance!


(oh BTW: i got more pics of the box itself if more info about the knife is needed)

greasedbullet
07-13-2013, 11:39 AM
Did you spend much time sharpening The back of the blade? It looks like the ura is very uneven and scratched up. But I don't know much about single bevels I just got my first one. They are really fun.

JBroida
07-13-2013, 11:41 AM
i've sharpened these before... they are not true single bevel knives... the backs are almost entirely flat, the edge is not hamaguri, they have a huge secondary bevel, and the steel is not so great. I dont think you're going to get far with this.

Plepis
07-13-2013, 12:10 PM
Did you spend much time sharpening The back of the blade? It looks like the ura is very uneven and scratched up. But I don't know much about single bevels I just got my first one. They are really fun.

Believe it or not, i think i did some 7~9 passes with the 1k stone with what didn't feel like too much pressure... I was actually trying to remove the scratches, but i gave up on it after i felt they weren't 'responding'


i've sharpened these before... they are not true single bevel knives... the backs are almost entirely flat, the edge is not hamaguri, they have a huge secondary bevel, and the steel is not so great. I dont think you're going to get far with this.

Those were my main concerns when i started messing with it.. As i said, it was either that or spending around 7x that on a stainless steel handle knife.. I think it was Global brand?

Since the aim was to 'ease up' doing sashimi and sushi at home, i didn't think much of it at the time, and scratched importing a knife from the options list due to Brazil's customs laws and bureaucracy.

Jon would you recommend i sharpen it to a single, flat bevel from shinogi to the edge, and call it a day? Where should i define the shinogi, the bevel dip, or the dark gray etch mark?

JBroida
07-13-2013, 12:22 PM
this is a bit more complicated than i have time to write here (especially being almost 1:30am here in japan)... shoot me an e-mail and i'll try to follow up with you as soon as i have time (which might sadly be after i get back to LA considering my schedule for the next few days).

Plepis
07-13-2013, 12:31 PM
Will do... As soon as i find out where i can check your e-mail. Is it on JKI?

Thanks a LOT for being so forthcoming to help out a newbie

JBroida
07-13-2013, 01:02 PM
jon@japaneseknifeimports.com