View Full Version : Shig help

08-23-2012, 05:40 PM
So, I am now the proud owner of three shigs. How can you make the metal a bit less reactive. I remember some posts last year by DrNaka? He suggested hot water. Can anyone remember the post, have experience, suggestions etc. I really don't want a ton a patina.

08-23-2012, 05:48 PM
but patina is cool.

Eamon Burke
08-23-2012, 05:58 PM
Patina. Or else get some polishing compounds and rub rub rub on a regular basis.

I refinish mine with a fingerstone, but it's not the Kasumi variety, so I've got an advantage there.

08-23-2012, 06:08 PM
I have only single bevel shigefusa, and don't feel that his knife/cladding is anymore reactive compared with other carbon steel knives I own.
Constant wiping with a clean cloth during cutting definitely helps.

08-23-2012, 07:00 PM
I seem to remember someone saying that they etched theirs and that helped considerably. Patina is cool on mine although I will be keeping the miroshi deba clean I am sure.

08-23-2012, 07:29 PM
Yep, Michael Rader actually etched mine, but the process is simple enough that you could do it yourself. Dave made a really fantastic detailed post on thr etching process. If you want to try something simpler still, even cheaper, and a bit more natural, you could try the hot vinegar patina method (there is a thread in the media center).

08-23-2012, 08:10 PM
Can someone give me links to polishing compound and fingerstones

08-23-2012, 08:21 PM
i've found that regular polishing radically diminished the reactivity on mine.

08-23-2012, 09:08 PM
I've noticed that if I build a patina and then polish it away with Flitz several times, eventually my knives become less reactive. I still let the patina build, but they go slower and seem more stable now. /anecdotal evidence

08-23-2012, 09:09 PM
Are you using fingerstones or compound. Would love names and links.

08-23-2012, 09:09 PM
Whoops, just saw the post from jason

08-23-2012, 09:28 PM
Dr. Naka did post that rinsing the blade with extremely hot water repeatedly would greatly reduce reactivity. The post was followed by a variety of opinions.

sachem allison
08-24-2012, 12:00 AM
Do like the Japanese and use ajax or comet or some other abrasive type soap every time you are done using it.

08-24-2012, 01:19 PM
I'm putting a mustard forced patina on my little shig today just for fun. And to keep the smell down. They look pretty cleaned up, but that stink really gets to me.

08-24-2012, 02:35 PM
Two rounds of mustard--probably will do a couple of more. This is acting quite differently from mustard on 52100. It's getting almost a frosty look:


08-24-2012, 03:06 PM
here (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/2749-Passivation-of-Carbon-Knives?highlight=pourbaix) is the thread of interest. I'm interested in seeing a shig kitaeji post etch, so that's always a welcome option :D. Also, darkhoek made a blog post about the same issue a while back; he forced a patina with mustard and vinegar and it seemed to have reduced the reactivity.

08-24-2012, 04:28 PM
Ouch, I'd rather keep that little kitaeji ajikiri cutie clean and tidy. Fish does not make much stink and stain, may be a bit with oily fish. And that little awsomer can actually stay wet through out your fish cutting session.

Just wipe it clean and dry at the end. It is also easy to clean single bevel stain with power cleanser applied with cork or cut out daikon stick.

Two rounds of mustard--probably will do a couple of more. This is acting quite differently from mustard on 52100. It's getting almost a frosty look:


08-24-2012, 04:38 PM
I have to agree with schanop.

08-24-2012, 08:19 PM
Call me uncouth, but it gets used for more than fish. And it's another stinky knife--bad enough to my nose that it needs a patina buildup so that I can use it without :puke:

It was getting a patina on its own, but I cleaned it off and my nose complained. I'm trying this for kicks; I can always take it off again. This knife didn't have much of a visible pattern anyway. It's looking more interesting as the mustard layers build up. If it weren't for the smell, I'd clean it up every time, but it's a functional thing.

08-24-2012, 08:32 PM
Makes sense, if you use it with things other than fish :-)

08-25-2012, 03:44 AM
The hot water thing is debatable, the hot vinegar or acid etch is unquestionable.
The acid etch creates a very vivid and high-contrast look. The vinegar method is must more subtle and natural looking. It's doesn't come across well in video, but, from certain angles, the steel looks silver and reflective, and from others it looks dark grey /kinda gun-metal / pewter. It also really brings out the little details in the metal like the hamon on my honyaki or what looks like carbide banding or "white steel clouds" below it.
TO get the most even finish possible, you start with a polished and completely clean blade (use soap and then something like acetone to remove any remaining oils) .
The "etching" process consists of cycles of full immersion in very hot vinegar, and rinsing and polishing. So after each soak, you are removing all but the most stable patina.

08-25-2012, 09:44 AM
I may have to give the vinegar a try. Not quite brave enough to try an acid etch...yet.

08-25-2012, 12:29 PM
First side done...while not as attractive as in the original state, the mustard finish is interesting. Going to try it a while and see how it performs.


08-27-2012, 10:32 PM
thanks for the advice. any youtube videos on acid etch