Messing around with edges and stones
So I have been working on that Tojiro cleaver I posted a while ago about and the knife is still being tweaked in order to make it work up to my expectations. Currently the knife is just a bit more polished and pretty much stock, EXCEPT! for the new sharpening job I just did on it. The bevels are at around 20 degrees each side so they are pretty tough I would say. I did the whole turkey thing twice and the knife held up like nothing using a bamboo board which is in itself pretty good marketing for tojiros.
Now the interesting part, I used to own all the chocera's but sold them as I thought I didn't really like them that much, except for the 2k. It seems no one wants the 2k, so I went ahead and messed with it. I can without fear of being wrong say that the SS1k works ok on the tojiro steel, it cuts it fast and leaves a decent edge which I tested out on some tomatoes and potatoes and well, it performs ok if not mediocre. It seems the softness of the stone at such a high angle (20 degrees) doesn't really work well for some reason.
So after that I sharpened the knife using the chocera 2k and I am pleasently surprised. Usually when sharpening a knife I do a hamaguri edge using SS series or similiar soft, bouncy stones (king 6k and 8k comes to mind). All those stones seem to work wonderfully when doing los angles but didn't really sing to me with regular large angles. What I didn't like was the harder stones on hamaguri edges, they would leave the scratches in random patterns and the edge left something to be desired.
So my question to other fellow knife nuts is has anyone experienced something like this before? I am inclined to say that the harder the stone the better off you are at doing a higher angle edge, the burr BTW fell off almost automatically which was a nice surprise. But the cool part about this (at least to me) is that while the hard stones are good at higher angles and the softer stones are better at low angels, why not do a complex sharpening job and do the edge at a high angle with a hard stone and then finish off the form of the bevel using a softer stone? I am currently experimenting doing this and seem to be getting good results, figured I would share it to see if someone else jumps on the bandwagon and further clarifies if this works better or not.
Thanks for reading!
Seems like a sound strategy to me if I had any hard stones I'd give it a shot too, but I am looking forward to what results you can yield
So I have continued messing around with the bevel and stone hardness theory. So far I can testify to two things.
A.- Hard stones create burrs that break off pretty easy on the tojiro steel at a angle of about 20 degrees. Like not even strop it kinda easy, it seems the high angle creates a very week burr and just running your thumb against it breaks it off.
B.- The edge off a 2k chocera which is pretty hard leaves an edge that seriously reminds me of a 10k SS edge when push cutting Kirkland paper towels. I only stropped it on newspaper with no abrasive since I wanted to make sure there wasn't any burr at all, and there wasn't. I also didn't notice a significant increase in sharpness or smoothness.
The other part I messed around with today was then refining the edge to thin it out, it pretty much works the same way as sharpening and then doing a micro bevel I guess only backwards. You create a large micro bevel... this sounds retarded. Anyway the idea behind this is creating a strong edge and then lightly refining it, once done the edge should look like a micro bevel edge BTW.
On cutting it performs very similar to the regular progression, BUT I do get a longer edge life, today I went through about 10 tomatoes for tomato salad, some purple onions, and basil chiffonade at the end. I saw absolutely no edge wear at all, still push cut paper towels like nothing and the edge appears to be all sturdy and stuff.
For car afficionados, I would rate a regular progession edge like a formula one car, extremely fast and nimble but boy are they fragil. This different type of edge I just came around seems to perform more like a rally car or something that you know if it flips over you can just flip back and continue going. Since I am a pro cook, I am willing to sacrifice a little of that speed for something hat I know for sure will not quit.
I plan on testing the edge on some sandy mushrooms next, last time I had an edge fail it was with freakin morels that had a ton of sand in them, so this should be a good test. I also plan on taking the steel to the next step which is going to be the naniwa 4k stone that is made out of magnesia (same series as the snow white I think) that stone is pretty hard too and then I will refine with a king 6k too see if I get a better edge out of it. In case that does work the next step will be the snow white and the king 8k, I don't have any hard stones beyond that so if anyone wants to try out shaptong's glass series with the 16k that would be much appreciated.
Thank you for reading!
To me, the King 6K feels 'bouncy' but not at all soft.
Lately I've been messing around with eliminating my tried and true finisher (leather strop w/ 1 micron diamond) and just stropping on my 5K SS as the last thing the edge touches...having very good results: the usual killer edge, but what seems like better retention. Maybe its just because the edge has more bite without that final refinement on the leather, but I think I'm actually liking this better--for now.
BTW, this is not because I'm in the "stropping endorses sloppy technique" camp...I just like messing around with an even more simplistic approach than I already had.
Just to further explain what I consider a soft stone, if you happen to be able to scratch it with your knife by lifting the angle a bit to much is pretty much in the ball park. Hard stones on the other hand will ignore the edge and just reshape it.
The all time classic soft stone feel I would say is the 10k naniwa super stone which I still think is the stone most people measure other finishers against. All the glasstones I have tried are pretty much rock hard and good candidates for the reverse micro bevel technique, which is what I am calling this.
I think newbies will appreciate the ease of burr elimination using this technique and pro cooks should enjoy the longer edge longevity for on the line cutting. I would still go with the sharper than hell edge when it comes to prep, but for proteins and other line work I am starting to really dig this edge.
I've definitely had to adjust how I apply pressure during my stroke on the soft stones. Out of curiousity, what's wrong with putting a micro on last with a hard stone? I think that's what I would have a tendency to do, if I wanted to go for that effect. Go throught the normal progression and then a few strokes on a hard finisher. I guess the big problem would be the loss of toothiness. Food for thought...
Since this method I tried is all new to me I am not quite sure of a lot of things son, for example I am pretty sure the edge of the 2k chocera if given to someone that has sharpened knives will definitely confuse it with something that is quite a bit finer, at least 5k. The other funny thing is the edge doesn't feel toothy, it feels if anything smoother using this method. It really is a bit confusing to me since I thought that 10k was the way to go and I still do, but the cool part is what exactly is happening to the edge when incrementing the angles? Maybe this is why the chocera 10k edge hasn't really shined and maybe other similar stones don't shine unless a certain large angle is applied.
Originally Posted by tk59
All I can think of is that maybe the abrasives leave a different depth and cutting pattern at higher angles... I don't know...
At a high angle, there's less metal-stone contact so the pressure on the edge would increase, I suppose...
Originally Posted by memorael
Could be, maybe the scratch pattern leaves a more refined tooth pattern? I don't want to say more refined but maybe the teeth are smaller and spaced out evenly? kinda like a high frequency high pitch wave? I don't know if that makes sense.