Take those knives to a shooting range for target practice. I wouldn't start out with a Konosuke knife. It might be better to purchase a less expensive blue steel or white steel knife in the lower price bracket to practice thinning, and bevel work. From there you can upgrade to the Konosuke after you've got a good feel for sharpening and metal removal. Everybody is personally different in movement, but the object of getting two points to meet is the same for everybody.
Lot's of great knives with ugly handles...
The diamond hones are no good.
I bought Naniwa flattening plate - grit 120, the 2.5 Kg beast, that I don't use due to my Atoma plate that works wonders with the stones.
My question is - is there a reason not to use it as a huge grinding stone for rough jobs - will it perform ok as a waterstone or should I just sell it?
Trust your freehand bevels.Esp. since you come from a chisel background & outgrew the guide. I have sharpened wood chisels & Ice carving chisels quite a bit. All freehand used Arkansas oil stone & waterstones. For Kitchen knives always used waterstones. They are better for chef knives they clean up well so you are working with a clean stone which is important.
Originally Posted by Maylar
The knives you have are not that easy to sharpen(soft stainless steel). I am sure you know the difference between really cheaply made plane irons & wood chisels compared to the quality stuff. It is the same with kitchen knives.
Don't worry about how small the knife bevel is just check out some good freehand video's. Jon at Japanese Knife Imports has online vids that are good. Dave Martell has a DVD that is excellent for beginning sharpeners with lots of tips.
I teach culinary students most who have never put any steel to a stone before. Starting from scratch. I show them how fast I can take a totally dull knife, sharpen it ,sail it thru paper with little sound. Then I slow down the technique so they can see what is going on. I do one on one correcting their mistakes, the students watching my corrections learn that way as well.
Most are using King 1000 stones they get cheap from Cherry co. here. Most all are able to hold a steady spine with one on one guidance. Many are able to get an even burr heel to tip with one class. Some come back on their own time to hone their skills.
I would say get a better knife, forget the oilstone, watch some video's. No need guides either. The aim is to get a sharp edge that glides through food. A little freehand mastery does that very well.
Thanks for that. I have acquired a set of waterstones and a diamond plate, as even the woodworking guys I hang with say that's the most effective way to keep kitchen knives sharp. Keep the oilstones for the carbon steel chisels and plane irons. The cheap stainless knives will probably get treated to a disc sander - as someone here said, "abrasion is abrasion". But I'll practice keeping a freehand angle with them on a stone until I'm comfortable doing that... then get a nice knife.
Originally Posted by keithsaltydog
Thanks for the advice.
Once I read that diamond plates are not good for soft steels - the diamonds get plucked away from the plate? Is that the case too with the Atoma 140 - if I use it on soft steel is it safe for the plate?
Let me guess, you'll be using those waterstones on plane irons very shortly. Vastly easier if somewhat messy, and I suspect you will find you can get a better edge faster than Arkansas stone, in particular on things like vanadium steel plane irons. Almost impossible to sharpen well on those stones, steel is too hard.
your cheap knives will be a good way to learn, just remember that you need WAY less pressure -- waterstones will cut very well with an ounce or two of pressure. Press hard and the stone wears incredibly fast with no increase in grinding speed.
The only drawback to waterstones is the need to flatten all the time, but you have that under control. Worse with plane irons and chisels since they must be dead square, less of an issue with knives.
Soft steel is fine on the Atoma plate. Just don't use much pressure, that is what causes problems. Fracturing the diamonds in coarse grits is more of an issue than actual removal, but neither will happen with light pressure.