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Thread: how do you turn a mirror-polish into a satin finish?

  1. #11
    Wouldn't you have to flatten a good portion of the knife in order for stones to work? If not flatten in the sense of flat grind, you'd at least have to flatten out most of the inconsistencies in the jigane to even do a convex polish on stones, no? At least that's been my experience when I tried to polish the sides of a knife just using a stone (or even a fingerstone that was a little too big).

  2. #12
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    Wait, don't you have fingerstones? Herrroooo
    i find they work great on the blade road of a single bevel, but i have trouble getting an even finish on double bevel knives, and the finish i get is not really the kind of satin i want.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by wsfarrell View Post
    That's really pretty. Good job!




    Quote Originally Posted by EdipisReks View Post
    i find they work great on the blade road of a single bevel, but i have trouble getting an even finish on double bevel knives, and the finish i get is not really the kind of satin i want.
    Oh I see. I agree. I see what you mean now.

    I find that sandpaper + lubricant is a winning combo. If you use careful, consistent, unidirectional strokes, you can get a phenomenal finish.

    I had an obsession for a little while, and wouldn't stop screwing with my Tojiro until it looked like the satin handle on my Gray Kunz Spoon. I believe it was either 220 or 400grit wet/dry sandpaper and mineral oil.

  4. #14
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heirkb View Post
    Wouldn't you have to flatten a good portion of the knife in order for stones to work? If not flatten in the sense of flat grind, you'd at least have to flatten out most of the inconsistencies in the jigane to even do a convex polish on stones, no? At least that's been my experience when I tried to polish the sides of a knife just using a stone (or even a fingerstone that was a little too big).
    i've given both faces of this knife a bit of convexing over time, and i rather do think one would have to flatten the sides to work with a stone. anyway, this is what i've ended up with. the light is bad, and it's hard to capture what it looks like. i think it looks good enough that i won't bother to do anything more to it unless i have to. i'd love to end up with wsfarrel's results, though!



    it's still a bit reflective, but i think it'll be much easier to maintain. the original mirror was done with micro-mesh pads and hand soap foam.


  5. #15
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsfarrell View Post
    I've polished a couple of Shigefusas to a really nice satin finish using 220 wet/dry sandpaper. Put the knife in a knife vise if you have one, put the sandpaper on a sanding block backed by hard rubber (buy one if you don't have one). Lubricate with water with a couple of drops of Dawn added. Polish in one direction only (heel to tip is recommended). Very important: change sanding sheets every time you turn the knife over to work on the other side of the blade. Strive to move the sanding block in a straight line.

    I've tried going to 300 and 400 grit, but this starts to give a polished finish, so I always drop back to 220.

    Here's a picture of one I just finished:



    P.S. I polished the hagane on a Woodcraft buffer, but that's a whole 'nother story.
    just out of curiosity, how long did it take you to get that satin finish?

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by EdipisReks View Post
    just out of curiosity, how long did it take you to get that satin finish?
    Your knife looks good to me.

    I hate to admit it, but it only took 10 minutes to do put that finish on mine. Knife in vise, sandpaper on block, 50 strokes on one side, change sandpaper and flip knife over, 50 strokes on the other side, done. Before I had the knife vise I was using all sorts of bizarre setups with c clamps and such, and that was a royal pain. Really helps if you have the right tools.

  7. #17
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    hah! i guess the first thing i need to get is some coarser paper. the coarsest i have is 500. i really like my method of moving the knife, as i can get a very consistent draw, heel to tip

  8. #18
    I saw a knifemaker use that technique of moving the knife rather than the sandpaper. Looked pretty slick. Many paths to the same destination.

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