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View Full Version : Awakening a new Deba and Usuba--How would you do it?



Mucho Bocho
04-26-2012, 10:51 AM
Just received my Deba (Sakai Blue #2 195) and Karmagata-Usuba (Sakai Blue #2 210). Hon Kasumi. Sold from BluewayJapan--Keiichi Omay San. I only had time to unwrap them and have not cut anything yet. However, I did try to shave arm hair and it did not shave. I realize that this is common with traditional Japanese knives.

Question: How would you open these blades up given I use the edge pro? I know some of you are cringing. Sorry.

I was thinking about:
1.) Finding the front bevel angle and using mothers polish on belt leather, stroping the blade a few times.
2.) Then doing the same with the back on untreated roo leather. Then running it over the felt block.

this has given me good results with my Yanigiba.

What would you do given my variables? Thanks for your help.

http://i1051.photobucket.com/albums/s426/dennismpintoii/back.jpg

http://i1051.photobucket.com/albums/s426/dennismpintoii/front.jpg

Duckfat
04-26-2012, 11:01 AM
Is that blade in the top photo on the left over ground at the heel? Nice looking Deba. Hopefully you give it a work out this year on the Grouper!

Dave

Mucho Bocho
04-26-2012, 11:12 AM
I'm not in front of them but I think its the lighting. I did put it up to the light with a squinted eye to check the evenness of the grind and they looked evenly with no high and low spots. Also, put the Usuba flat againts the cutting board and there was an evenness of light being reflected by the actual cutting edge. Flat, flat, flat in the rear. Make my moritaka nakiri look bloated ;)

TB_London
04-26-2012, 01:55 PM
you'll struggle with an edge pro on these. do you have any other stones?

Dave Martell
04-26-2012, 02:00 PM
Yeah the EP has it's place but it's not for single beveled knives. The EP will transform the front side to what it can do vs you adjusting to what the knife needs which is what needs to be done. Then there's the backside where you need a large flat stone (or two) to maintain. I think that you'll need to do some stone shopping if you want to get & keep these sharp without mutating them into something they shouldn't become.

heldentenor
04-26-2012, 02:08 PM
Dave's too modest to say this, but if you don't have a stone setup and don't want to learn as you go on your new knives, sending them to him for an initial sharpening job will transform them into screaming sharp cutters that, with some care and maintenance, will serve you well for quite some time.

Shinob1
04-26-2012, 02:26 PM
Dave's too modest to say this, but if you don't have a stone setup and don't want to learn as you go on your new knives, sending them to him for an initial sharpening job will transform them into screaming sharp cutters that, with some care and maintenance, will serve you well for quite some time.

:plus1: I agree, you've already invested the money to get some new knives, might as well go ahead and get them setup properly so they serve you well. Then you can follow up with some stones in order to maintain and sharpen them yourself.

Mucho Bocho
04-26-2012, 02:28 PM
Dave M. I hear ya. I've read hundreds of threads on sharpening single bevel knives. Most by you, including your comprehensive article on "how I sharpen single bevel knives" I have one bench stone, its a synthetic 1000/400 grit Shun stone. Its a crap stone i'm sure thats why i've never used it with ***. knives. I'd love to send them to Dave but its not a permanent or sustainable solution. Plus, the Usuba, Deba and Yang have great grinds already.

Dave, Lets say that I can get a uniform bevel cut on the front, itsn't sharpening the back just a matter of removing the burr?

Any help you can offer guys is mucho appreciated.

Justin0505
04-26-2012, 02:49 PM
On a new/factory edge, I always start with just stropping first before I decide if the stones are need, so i think you're on the right track there.

As for the EdgePro, I also have one, but dont use it on my single bevels.

There are 2 qualities of single bevels that make them difficut / impossible to sharpen correctly with an EP:
1) the bevel angle changes from heel to tip
2) most bevels are not flat, but actually slightly convex. Its not difficult to adjust and blend a coumpound bevel by hand, but it would be very fussy to do on the EP.

With that said, i dont think that the bevel will change much or at all on your usaba, nor does a convex bevel matter as much. So, you may be able to make your EP work, but freehand will still be easier.

Pensacola Tiger
04-26-2012, 02:55 PM
Dave M. I hear ya. I've read hundreds of threads on sharpening single bevel knives. Most by you, including your comprehensive article on "how I sharpen single bevel knives" I have one bench stone, its a synthetic 1000/400 grit Shun stone. Its a crap stone i'm sure thats why i've never used it with ***. knives. I'd love to send them to Dave but its not a permanent or sustainable solution. Plus, the Usuba, Deba and Yang have great grinds already.

Dave, Lets say that I can get a uniform bevel cut on the front, itsn't sharpening the back just a matter of removing the burr?

Any help you can offer guys is mucho appreciated.

My advice is to not to use the Edge Pro on a single-bevel knife, ever. I did it once, and it took a lot of work to fix the damage I did to my inexpensive yanagiba.

The Edge Pro is designed to hold a constant angle, and this is exactly what you don't want on a single-bevel knife. You want to follow the bevel angle as it changes from heel to tip, and only freehand sharpening will allow you to do this.

Some will tell you to use the Edge Pro to put a what amounts to a large micro-bevel on the existing edge. Yes, you will get a sharp edge, but at the cost of compromising the intended design of the knife. It will not perform anywhere near as well as it could if you do this.

Please learn from my experience, and don't use the Edge Pro on your single-bevel knives.

But they are your knives, not mine.

Rick

zitangy
04-26-2012, 03:13 PM
" I have one bench stone, its a synthetic 1000/400 grit Shun stone. Its a crap stone i'm sure thats why i've never used it with ***. knives. I'd love to send them to Dave but its not a permanent or sustainable solution. Plus, the Usuba, Deba and Yang have great grinds already. "

I believe that every grit of whatever makes would be useful under certain conditions or expectations. the 400 grit would be useful for re-profiling job and at the very least, the 1000 can be used for the haze/kasumi effect for polishing ( with a cork with teh slurry as mentioned in this forum) the bevel on the Deba to have the haze effect

My preference has always been for softer stones.. ( its just the feel/ feedback that I like) eventhough I still harder stones to remove burrs; on the assumption that it will be more effective.

So don't write it off the stone yet as some day it may be a discovery...

have fun..

bieniek
04-26-2012, 03:50 PM
I have one bench stone, its a synthetic 1000/400 grit Shun stone. Its a crap stone i'm sure thats why i've never used it with ***.


Why is it crap? Even of a 1000 grit you can get very good edge with a little stropping.
As to the mud I dont know if shun stone would provide you with as much as king 1k, which is great for that purpose, but why not trying?


Plus, the Usuba, Deba and Yang have great grinds already.


Dont be so shure... Before you put a knife against flat stone, you never know.
Even more expensive knives requires little work to get it great. Especially nice and flat front.
I bought a knife from this producer and initially the blade was far from straight and the grind was, well, OK.

Mucho Bocho
04-26-2012, 04:04 PM
Bienek, thanks for the feedback. Maybe I should take a second look at that stone. I did flatten it with my DMT x-course plate, so its good and flat. Also, did you get the Hon Kasumi Blue #2? I heard that the white has inconsistent grinds? Keiichi said that the knife was ground properly.

TB_London
04-26-2012, 05:05 PM
I'd use the 1K on the bevel,going slowly, and you'll want something a bit finer on the back side, if you don't have a stone a sheet of polishing film on a flat surface may be sufficient in the short term

Eamon Burke
04-26-2012, 05:57 PM
Dave, Lets say that I can get a uniform bevel cut on the front, itsn't sharpening the back just a matter of removing the burr?


The bevel should not be uniform...at least not in the EdgePro sense.

It's not THAT hard to learn to do, you've just got to know it's a totally different animal.

mpukas
04-26-2012, 06:08 PM
Dave, Lets say that I can get a uniform bevel cut on the front, itsn't sharpening the back just a matter of removing the burr?

No, there's more too it than that. Even though there's considerably less work being done on the backside, it's just as important to do it properly.

DO NOT use the EP on these knives, not even the backside. It may take some time to understand why, but trust the folks here who have experience in this. The EP will not be able to follow the angles of the bevels, and will not be able to blend them together.

JBro has a couple of vids on his youtube channel that you should watch, if you haven't done so already, before you touch your knives.

You have bought yourself very nice knives, it'd be a shame to make costly mistakes on them before understanding what you're doing.

bieniek
04-26-2012, 11:59 PM
Bienek, thanks for the feedback. Maybe I should take a second look at that stone. I did flatten it with my DMT x-course plate, so its good and flat. Also, did you get the Hon Kasumi Blue #2? I heard that the white has inconsistent grinds? Keiichi said that the knife was ground properly.

You have a good base to get going with stones. You have a dmt and flat 1k stone:)
Think of it as you have to work with what you have and get the best of it.

Yes, I have 270 yanagi honkasumi and while it isnt bad, better than my masamoto, I still had to straighten it myself and the knife wasnt sharp at all when it came.

Dave Martell
04-27-2012, 12:10 AM
Dave, Lets say that I can get a uniform bevel cut on the front, itsn't sharpening the back just a matter of removing the burr?




I would say no. I actually look at the backside as being the very first thing I set & sharpen on single bevel knives.

When a single bevel is new you need to set the back side bevel flat but even more importantly you need to ensure that this edge contacts the edge on the other side. I could tell you stories all day of people doing the front side sharpen/deburr only on the back side with a new single beveled knife and it doesn't cut squat and they're frustrated.

So as a rule I do the back side first, I use a 1k to set this flat and then polish. They key thing here is to go LIGHT with your touch, stop every other second to look what you're doing, and only do just enough to make the connection with the front side edge. Do not worry about how pretty it is or making it perfectly even - think pure function and as little steel removal as humanly possible.

Now after you've done this 1k flattening you only have (and only should) use a polishing stone on the backside from then on out for maintenance. This is where the strop on the back side to deburr comes into play.