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basic stone primer....

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El Pescador

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Hey Dave!
I was looking for a basic explanation of what sharpening with stones is and realized you hadn't put anything like that up. I know that your explanation as to what is going on between the blade and the stones made me a better sharpener.

Pesky
 

MadMel

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I second the notion haha. I'm a novice by any standard so I'll be glad for any input!
 

Eamon Burke

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I agree! I am sure he has some excellent copypasta he can feed us on the subject. After all, I learned to sharpen almost exclusively by reading Dave's posts on the subject.
 

Potato42

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This is a good idea. I kinda wish I had saved snippets of useful Dave posts so I could contribute here. Dave has written so much on the subject already he really doesn't need to do much other than put it together.

Also, I don't know if you own it but Chad Ward's book "An Edge in the Kitchen" has some great info in there about sharpening as well. Chad wrote an online guide years ago I think on egullet, and you might search that out.
 

El Pescador

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Keep it simple.
1. What is a sharp edge
2. What each stone does in progression to the edge.
3. What honing and stropping does.
4. False/wire edge

Pesky
 

MadMel

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After that maybe we can progress onwards to what tools are available, which are needed for certain knives etc? And lastly any buying advice for beginners like myself haha
 

Eamon Burke

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I would advise the structure be something like this:
1. What is the goal--how sharp is sharp
2. Different kinds of sharp
3. Things to sharpen with--different kinds of stones and strops
4. Angles
5. Steel/stone matching
6. tricks(like counting, beginner's blade guids, pennies, sharpie, etc)
7. Maintenance of edge
 

Dave Martell

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I really would like to do something like this but my head spins just thinking about it. Let me give it some thought guys.
 

Potato42

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I was thinking more along the lines of what he put up about stropping. If you're going for a primer, then it's all about the basics. A couple of stones, some method of flattening them, and basic technique.

I think many of the readers here are a bit beyond that, and more into "sophomore sharpening":cool2: This is the group that wants the full dissertation. The subject is so vast that Dave could probably write a book if he ever had time. We have all absorbed pieces of wisdom over time from Dave over the years so maybe we should post the most helpful tidbits somewhere?
 

unkajonet

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I think it's time for that Advanced Sharpening DVD...:poke1::happyyes:
 

MadMel

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I was thinking more along the lines of what he put up about stropping. If you're going for a primer, then it's all about the basics. A couple of stones, some method of flattening them, and basic technique.

I think many of the readers here are a bit beyond that, and more into "sophomore sharpening":cool2: This is the group that wants the full dissertation. The subject is so vast that Dave could probably write a book if he ever had time. We have all absorbed pieces of wisdom over time from Dave over the years so maybe we should post the most helpful tidbits somewhere?
A sticky or a sharpening sub-forum? haha
 

WildBoar

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"It was a dark and stormy night..."

Okay Dave, I got you started! :poke1:

:wink:
 

Jay

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Due to the dirth of information here, I'll start.

First off, from the book Sushi Hygiene and Basic Techniques, from the Organization to Promote Japanese Restaurants Abroad, p63.



Now the term kongosa is a relatively new one for me, but it makes sense. Think of a DMT XXC- you can't call that a simple coarse stone. I'd advise the novice to forget this ultra-aggressive level of sharpening, as it's mainly for repairing severely chipped or damaged knives. Though many categories of grit overlap, I would think it's safe to say that these stones are in the sub-200 grit range.

The arato, or coarse stone, is another stone the newbies are warned to avoid, but eventually you'll realize that it's a critical step in giving a good, lasting edge. These are roughly in the 220-600 grit range, although you can find a wide variety in the cutting speed and level of polish that different examples will produce. These stones are great for quickly establishing and flattening a bevel, and everyone should have at least one. Examples would be the DMT C and XC or Atoma 400 diamond plates (diamond plates double as fantastic fixing stones), Shapton 220-500, and other coarse stones from Naniwa, Beston, and others. Once you have mastered basic technique and angles, the arato is indspensable for good results, as well as your sanity.

The nakato stage, in the 800-1500 range, is where the edge starts to become useful. If you only have one stone, a 1K should be it. With enough work and patience it can address most neglected blades, albeit slowly, and it can leave an edge that if not highly polished is certainly serviceable. Excellent examples are available from King, Naniwa, Shapton, Bester, Suehiro, and almost any producer of note.

Of course, we're all nuts here, so no one would ever be satisfied with a 1K edge. Increasing levels of polish can be obtained with shiageto stones, whose fine grit may range from 2K to 12K or more. Here we tend to focus more on personal preferences in terms of finish and feel, and bring money- these are the most expensive stones.

The preceding has just barely scratched the surface of what's available and what's involved. Hopefully, others will chime in, add to this, or even complain. Fighting over stones and techniques is half the fun.
 
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