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Thread: doing it wrong

  1. #1

    doing it wrong

    just a little story and a few questions here if anyone cares to share experience/advice

    ive been using j-knives and sharpening freehand on waterstones for about 6 months now, and it seems like ive kind of hit a wall.
    by my standards i can get a knife pretty sharp - but with the talk on here about edge retention and wire edges etc, i feel like im definitely not up to a good standard on a broader scope.
    i work in a small, busy kitchen(on poly boards) and my knife rarely makes it more than one shift before i need to go to at least 2000grit to get a decent edge back.

    is it just practice practice practice until my technique reaches my needs? honestly i would rather spend money on stones or accessories than get an edgepro or other device. and at this point im definitely not going back to forschner/henckels/etc

    ah, frustration

    how did you all learn how to do it right?

    bonus info on my setup if that helps:
    tojiro dp 210mm gyuto(have a few others but this is getting the most use the past few months)
    dmt xc(stone flattener, used it once to set a new bevel)
    beston 500
    bester 2k
    arashiyama 6k
    felt pad(for deburring)

    thanks for reading

  2. #2
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Amstelveen, The Netherlands
    At which angle do you sharpen your Tojiro?

  3. #3
    i tried to keep it as close to the factory bevels as possible, i dont have a way to measure it accurately. i assume 12-15*?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Amstelveen, The Netherlands
    That would be reasonable values for the VG-10 core. To calculate divide the height from stone to spine by the height of the blade from edge to spine. That is the tangens of the angle.

  5. #5
    Hmmm...sounds like a clear wire edge issue, but it is possible that the edge is too acute. What happens to your edges? Do they just stop cutting, or does the edge get tiny chips?

  6. #6
    i havent had any chipping issues, at least nothing thats visible to the unaided eye. it just feels duller after a few hours. for exapmple i can dice up 15 or so tomatoes just fine at the beginning of a shift, but if i take it on line for a few hours(or do some other prep - mostly veg) then go back it will hesitate to go through the tomato skin

  7. #7
    also i just did the paper-folding trick to approximate 11.25* and i definitely sharpen above it. im guessing based on that info that i go 15-18* normally

  8. #8
    Well, you may not want to do it this way, but I test for wire edges on kitchen knives(especially inexpensive users like that Tojiro) by abusing them. I just sharpen it up par, cut some paper, a tomato, a potato, shave some hair. Then I grab it like a framing hammer and slam the edge into a cutting board likewise. It's steel, you see, and really good quality steel at that, it should survive this kind of abuse, because that's what you are doing to it at your job anyhow.

    If you notice the exact same edge degradation, it is a wire edge.

    There are other ways to test an edge conclusively for a wire edge, but none that aren't fairly abusive. Ever considered removing a constant in this scenario? Yourself?

    You could send it off to have someone else sharpen it, like Dave. He's not going to mail back a 1-shift edge, to be sure. If the same thing happens, then either your standards are too high(lol), or something about your work is damaging your edges. Plus you'll get a look at a fantastic sharpening job.

  9. #9
    how about this....?
    If you've been sharpening a lot over 6 months, and you're hitting a stone to touch up mid service...have you thinned the shoulder out yet? Maybe you've sharpened so much that you're forcing yourself into an ever increasing obtuse angle, and as soon as it degrades, you're left with a thick slab?

    Thin the blade at your 11* mark, then add a micro bevel at 15 and see how it performs...I'm just guessing...

  10. #10
    I had this happen to me until i picked up a piece of balsa from a craft store and a yellow crayon (flexcut gold) from a woodworking store. Stropping will help tremendously in removing your wire edge and the setup i listed set me back all of $10

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