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edz
08-07-2011, 11:34 AM
I have a Takayuki Damascus Santoku (http://www.japaneseknifecompany.com/KNIVES/HANDMADE/JKCTAKAYUKIDAMASCUS/SANTOKUCHEF180MM.aspx) and have just started sharpening it on a Japanese Whetstone. I've noticed that there are scuff marks just above the edge and below the damascus pattern.

Is this an unavoidable result of sharpening or am I doing something wrong? Many thanks!

tk59
08-07-2011, 11:47 AM
If it is actually getting sharper, it just means you're wobbling. It happens. As you get more proficient, you'll wobble less. If it isn't getting sharper, you need to increase your angle or keep grinding at the angle you're using.

UglyJoe
08-07-2011, 12:28 PM
Also if you are using a muddy stone and allowing the mud to build up on the stone it's going to be pretty much impossible not to scuff the blade face just above the bevel that you are actually hitting. The knife is kind of like a snow plow. As you hit the bevel you are intending to hit, the mud builds up like snow on the face of a plow and - particularly if it is a lower grit stone - will cause some scuff marks just above your bevel.

Wear your scuff marks with pride!

TB_London
08-07-2011, 01:17 PM
As has been mentioned it's probably due to wobble or sharpening at too low an angle, if you put marker pen on the bevel do you remove this evenly? When learning to use a stone it's a good trick as it's easier to see where you are hitting.
If it bothers you the scuffs could be removed, if they are not too deep something like this:
http://www.mehr-als-werkzeug.de/product/716364/Suita-Japanese-Polishing-Powder.htm
Rubbed along the blade using a wine cork, but being a Damascus blade this will interfere with the contrast from the etch...
I'd leave them be, wait until you're proficient at getting the knife sharp without scratching further, and then decide if they bother you still.
If it is wobble, you could practice on a cheaper knife until you get the hang of holding it steady, that way you'll avoid further scratches

Eamon Burke
08-07-2011, 02:25 PM
It is just you wobbling. It's normal for hand-sharpened knives, hopefully it means you are erring on the side of acuteness, which is better than the opposite.

I agree you should give the marker trick (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?2023-Kitchen-Knife-Glossary#markertrick) a whirl.

If you want to polish it up, I suggest Barkeeper's friend. Dr. Naka showed that, while it isn't fantastic as a finisher, it will polish Damascus with minimal pattern destruction (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?2049-Kitaeji-Maintenance).

edz
08-07-2011, 04:08 PM
Thanks for all the feedback folks, you've confirmed my suspicion that it's my lack of skill :)

I do need to maintain a steady hand and will get better, I'm sure. BTW, can anyone link to videos on sharpening a Japanese knife on a whetstone as I've come across conflicting advice.

Pensacola Tiger
08-07-2011, 04:12 PM
Thanks for all the feedback folks, you've confirmed my suspicion that it's my lack of skill :)

I do need to maintain a steady hand and will get better, I'm sure. BTW, can anyone link to videos on sharpening a Japanese knife on a whetstone as I've come across conflicting advice.

One of the best series of videos is by Jon Broida, who runs Japanese Knife Imports.

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/media

or

http://www.youtube.com/user/JKnifeImports?feature=mhsn#g/u

TB_London
08-07-2011, 04:16 PM
Some good vids to get you started are here:

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/media

And Dave can be seen here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MezIEKGk9T0
and here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSyK67mqXEI&feature=related

Scott has some good knife vids on his channel here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/Saltydog55252

I'm sure people will add others, as this list is in no way comprehensive. There are a number of intro to sharpening threads on here that will give you further details

SpikeC
08-07-2011, 04:31 PM
If you slow down and watch the blade you should be able to see the angle shift as you stroke back and forth. The idea is to keep the angle the same as you move the blade, and starting slowly gives you a chance to change the way you use your arms until you develop the right muscle memory.

Vertigo
08-07-2011, 05:36 PM
And if it makes you feel any better, Edz, I've been freehanding for a little over a year now and I still get scuffs now and then when I stop paying attention.

stevenStefano
08-07-2011, 05:43 PM
This thread is a good example of another advantage carbon knives have. If you mess up and scuff the knife the patina will cover it up! Then when you strop it appears you have put a perfect precise bevel on the blade