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Thread: Awakening a new Deba and Usuba--How would you do it?

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    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Awakening a new Deba and Usuba--How would you do it?

    Just received my Deba (Sakai Blue #2 195) and Karmagata-Usuba (Sakai Blue #2 210). Hon Kasumi. Sold from BluewayJapan--Keiichi Omay San. I only had time to unwrap them and have not cut anything yet. However, I did try to shave arm hair and it did not shave. I realize that this is common with traditional Japanese knives.

    Question: How would you open these blades up given I use the edge pro? I know some of you are cringing. Sorry.

    I was thinking about:
    1.) Finding the front bevel angle and using mothers polish on belt leather, stroping the blade a few times.
    2.) Then doing the same with the back on untreated roo leather. Then running it over the felt block.

    this has given me good results with my Yanigiba.

    What would you do given my variables? Thanks for your help.




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    Senior Member Duckfat's Avatar
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    Is that blade in the top photo on the left over ground at the heel? Nice looking Deba. Hopefully you give it a work out this year on the Grouper!

    Dave

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    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    I'm not in front of them but I think its the lighting. I did put it up to the light with a squinted eye to check the evenness of the grind and they looked evenly with no high and low spots. Also, put the Usuba flat againts the cutting board and there was an evenness of light being reflected by the actual cutting edge. Flat, flat, flat in the rear. Make my moritaka nakiri look bloated

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    you'll struggle with an edge pro on these. do you have any other stones?

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    Yeah the EP has it's place but it's not for single beveled knives. The EP will transform the front side to what it can do vs you adjusting to what the knife needs which is what needs to be done. Then there's the backside where you need a large flat stone (or two) to maintain. I think that you'll need to do some stone shopping if you want to get & keep these sharp without mutating them into something they shouldn't become.

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    Dave's too modest to say this, but if you don't have a stone setup and don't want to learn as you go on your new knives, sending them to him for an initial sharpening job will transform them into screaming sharp cutters that, with some care and maintenance, will serve you well for quite some time.

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    Senior Member Shinob1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heldentenor View Post
    Dave's too modest to say this, but if you don't have a stone setup and don't want to learn as you go on your new knives, sending them to him for an initial sharpening job will transform them into screaming sharp cutters that, with some care and maintenance, will serve you well for quite some time.
    I agree, you've already invested the money to get some new knives, might as well go ahead and get them setup properly so they serve you well. Then you can follow up with some stones in order to maintain and sharpen them yourself.

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    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Dave M. I hear ya. I've read hundreds of threads on sharpening single bevel knives. Most by you, including your comprehensive article on "how I sharpen single bevel knives" I have one bench stone, its a synthetic 1000/400 grit Shun stone. Its a crap stone i'm sure thats why i've never used it with ***. knives. I'd love to send them to Dave but its not a permanent or sustainable solution. Plus, the Usuba, Deba and Yang have great grinds already.

    Dave, Lets say that I can get a uniform bevel cut on the front, itsn't sharpening the back just a matter of removing the burr?

    Any help you can offer guys is mucho appreciated.

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    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    On a new/factory edge, I always start with just stropping first before I decide if the stones are need, so i think you're on the right track there.

    As for the EdgePro, I also have one, but dont use it on my single bevels.

    There are 2 qualities of single bevels that make them difficut / impossible to sharpen correctly with an EP:
    1) the bevel angle changes from heel to tip
    2) most bevels are not flat, but actually slightly convex. Its not difficult to adjust and blend a coumpound bevel by hand, but it would be very fussy to do on the EP.

    With that said, i dont think that the bevel will change much or at all on your usaba, nor does a convex bevel matter as much. So, you may be able to make your EP work, but freehand will still be easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mucho Bocho View Post
    Dave M. I hear ya. I've read hundreds of threads on sharpening single bevel knives. Most by you, including your comprehensive article on "how I sharpen single bevel knives" I have one bench stone, its a synthetic 1000/400 grit Shun stone. Its a crap stone i'm sure thats why i've never used it with ***. knives. I'd love to send them to Dave but its not a permanent or sustainable solution. Plus, the Usuba, Deba and Yang have great grinds already.

    Dave, Lets say that I can get a uniform bevel cut on the front, itsn't sharpening the back just a matter of removing the burr?

    Any help you can offer guys is mucho appreciated.
    My advice is to not to use the Edge Pro on a single-bevel knife, ever. I did it once, and it took a lot of work to fix the damage I did to my inexpensive yanagiba.

    The Edge Pro is designed to hold a constant angle, and this is exactly what you don't want on a single-bevel knife. You want to follow the bevel angle as it changes from heel to tip, and only freehand sharpening will allow you to do this.

    Some will tell you to use the Edge Pro to put a what amounts to a large micro-bevel on the existing edge. Yes, you will get a sharp edge, but at the cost of compromising the intended design of the knife. It will not perform anywhere near as well as it could if you do this.

    Please learn from my experience, and don't use the Edge Pro on your single-bevel knives.

    But they are your knives, not mine.

    Rick

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