Need advice on what to do with a learning knife

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The knife is a Hinokuni Shirogami #1 180mm Gyuto that has been through the wringer (pictures below). I have been at this for less than a year, have a lot of time on my hands, and have been spending about eight hours most days learning to sharpen. I've acquired four good Japanese knives which I won't subject to my sharpening skills before I have become more competent. So far I have only worked on ss and cheap carbon knives, so this is the first Japanese knife I will have worked on. It would appear to provide opportunities not only to work on sharpening but on starting to learn thinning and polishing.

The depth of knowledge on this forum is matched only by what I have seen of everyone's willingness to share it. So please share some of it with me and tell me what you recommend that I do with the knife?

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For some knife history, I received this knife incorrectly on an order I placed quite some time back. Although the vendor offered to swap it out, I just kept it and used it a bit. But it quickly became evident that there was a decent recurve ground about 1-1.5" from the heel.

So it sat for quite some time until I put it to a Crystolon course and bread knifed it until the recurve was gone. I decided to make it a project knife but after some initial rough thinning and rebuilding an edge on it, I never really got back to it. So, as @Miguelito's Blade said, the knife needs a good bit of love but it should be a great learner. It's his now and I'm hoping KKF can pitch in and help him on his journey.

:)
 
Without seeing a choil shot or using it....

Raise the wide bevel.

Ignore making the bevel flat.

Smooth out the wide bevels up to the highest grit stone.

Rub loose grit from one of your higher grit stones across the bevel evenly.

Come back here be mad at me for all this work hopefully be satisfied with the finish.

Sharpen it.

Come back mad at me because you scratched it.

:dancingchicken:
 
@Miguelito's Blade when @M1k3 says "ignore making the bevel flat" I agree. What he means is, you can see all the low (some very) spots along the side of the knife. If you try to make them truly flat and even, you'll be a month of Sundays and end up with a petty knife. 😁

But, by rubbing the advised loose grit across the face, you can blend the appearance and make it look visually even.

That's a pretty thin blade and the geometry seemed pretty good on my tests at the edge. Attacking the visuals is likely the most important thing right now and then use it until the Shirogami edge dulls.

At least that is my thoughts.
 
@Miguelito's Blade when @M1k3 says "ignore making the bevel flat" I agree. What he means is, you can see all the low (some very) spots along the side of the knife. If you try to make them truly flat and even, you'll be a month of Sundays and end up with a petty knife. 😁

But, by rubbing the advised loose grit across the face, you can blend the appearance and make it look visually even.

That's a pretty thin blade and the geometry seemed pretty good on my tests at the edge. Attacking the visuals is likely the most important thing right now and then use it until the Shirogami edge dulls.

At least that is my thoughts.
Honestly, my only thought was "That'd be a lot of work to make the bevels into suction cups flat."
 
I must ask... *** is this I'm reading/seeing exactly?

"Ok... so you can talk the talk... can you walk the walk?"

FMJ - Stanley Kubrick
 
Here's that knife brand new:

z8iVHHl.jpg


Best pic I have of it but it was wobbly and those two dark spots are about where the recurve was.

I've been quite clear here that I don't have experience with that sort of thing, especially making it look good. This was going to be a learning experience for me but then I'd hoped it would help @Miguelito's Blade more than me. Putting an edge on a knife is not the same as fixing one and I readily admit that.

If anyone thinks I've done him a disservice please say so. This was intended to be a sincere endeavor.
 
Exactly what @M1k3 and others have said - just maybe push the shinogi/bevel line up a bit, and use stone mud on the low spots if you want to make the low spots look a bit nicer. They're slightly part of the game with inexpensive Tosa style knives, it's one of the reasons you see sandblasted finishes, or grind marks left on the knives intentionally - to disguise that a bit aesthetically.

TBH there's not a massive amount of work that still needs to be done necessarily, you don't have to move the bevel up now if you don't want. I think @HumbleHomeCook has done a very nice job on the profile already.

One thing I would say is if using any coarser stones for work on the bevel; go slowly, and check it often, especially down near the core steel. Very thin knives can behave a little more erratically than thicker grinds.
 
Holy sh*t, man!

You can either keep practicing your sharpening or try to even out that wide bevel. Try the latter!
I don't really know how to alter the wide bevel other than by removing a significant amount of steel. If there is another way to do it with which I am unfamiliar, please tell me what it is and I certainly will try it.
 
Exactly what @M1k3 and others have said - just maybe push the shinogi/bevel line up a bit, and use stone mud on the low spots if you want to make the low spots look a bit nicer. They're slightly part of the game with inexpensive Tosa style knives, it's one of the reasons you see sandblasted finishes, or grind marks left on the knives intentionally - to disguise that a bit aesthetically.

TBH there's not a massive amount of work that still needs to be done necessarily, you don't have to move the bevel up now if you don't want. I think @HumbleHomeCook has done a very nice job on the profile already.

One thing I would say is if using any coarser stones for work on the bevel; go slowly, and check it often, especially down near the core steel. Very thin knives can behave a little more erratically than thicker grinds.
Sorry but I really don't know anything about moving the bevel other than intuitively grinding steel off and then making a new edge. I do not, however, believe that's what you guys are talking about.
 
Sorry but I really don't know anything about moving the bevel other than intuitively grinding steel off and then making a new edge. I do not, however, believe that's what you guys are talking about.


Here are a couple of pics I've just snapped to try to explain what people mean here...

If you lay the knife with the main bevel (i.e. the shiny part not the dark kuruochi) 'flat' on the stone, and apply your sharpening pressure up at the line where it begins - then you'll move that line up toward the spine of the knife and make the bevel wider:

IMG-9649.JPG




The kuruochi part of the knife and spine are not touching the stone here, it's the bevel that's on the stone. But because you're applying pressure at the line where it starts - that's where you're going to remove metal, not down at the edge.

(Did that make sense...?)
 
The kuruochi part of the knife and spine are not touching the stone here, it's the bevel that's on the stone. But because you're applying pressure at the line where it starts - that's where you're going to remove metal, not down at the edge.

(Did that make sense...?)
Yes that did make sense to move the line up, and perhaps I'm being thick, but I thought the point was to make the wide bevel narrower rather than wider. Also, I have never had any success at laying the bevel flat by applying pressure at the edge. I've tried to do it to judge the approximate angle I need to hold for sharpening, and, although it appears to me that by starting at the point I would hit the line, I don't see how to continue beyond the tip (I can't try it right now as it is 1:30 a.m. and I am sitting in bed.) Then again I might just be missing something.
 
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Yes that did make sense to move the line up, and perhaps I'm being thick, but I thought the point was to make the wide bevel narrower rather than wider. Also, I have never had any success at laying the bevel flat by applying pressure at the edge. I've tried to do it to judge the approximate angle I need to hold for sharpening, and, although it appears to me that by starting at the point I would hit the line, I don't see how to continue beyond the tip (I can't try it right now as it is 1:30 a.m. and I am sitting in bed.) Then again I might just be missing something.
When the knife has a wide bevel it’s actually pretty easy to lay it flat and follow it. It’s a built-in guide of sorts.

With this knife you have I don’t expect it to be a joy ride though, shinogi is wavy and probably inconsistently thick at places which means scratches may tend to go a bit all around the place.
 
When the knife has a wide bevel it’s actually pretty easy to lay it flat and follow it. It’s a built-in guide of sorts.

With this knife you have I don’t expect it to be a joy ride though, shinogi is wavy and probably inconsistently thick at places which means scratches may tend to go a bit all around the place.
Thank you for the explanation. Yeah, I don't expect it to be even close to a joy ride, but I knew what I was getting into when I got it from HumbleHomeCook. I'll be happy if I can just avoid destroying it utterly before I get it under control.
 
Thank you for the explanation. Yeah, I don't expect it to be even close to a joy ride, but I knew what I was getting into when I got it from HumbleHomeCook. I'll be happy if I can just avoid destroying it utterly before I get it under control.

I'd say don't stress it buddy. What do you see as your goal right now? Make it look better?

Again, you might want to just use it and then play with "maintenance" thinning when you need to sharpen it.
 
I'd say don't stress it buddy. What do you see as your goal right now? Make it look better?

Again, you might want to just use it and then play with "maintenance" thinning when you need to sharpen it.
Really I'm not stressing on it. I used the Sharpie trick and ran the edge over my snow white to learn something about angles without damage and since then have pretty much limited myself to pondering while I work away on something else. I sort of decided not to use it when I got it so that I wouldn't be reluctant to take chances on damaging it. I am very interested in learning as much as I can about thinning, and that will probably be where I start.
 
but I thought the point was to make the wide bevel narrower rather than wider.

I'm not sure I completely understand what you mean, but perhaps you might be confusing what people call the 'width' of the bevel with how 'thin' it is?


I've tried to do it to judge the approximate angle I need to hold for sharpening,

Again I might be misunderstanding you here but: The sharpening angle is pretty much up to you, especially on a very thin knife like that, and it's going to be notably higher than the angle of the bevel, otherwise your edge would be far too thin and delicate. If you 'sharpened' with the bevel laid flat - that would be akin to thinning the knife. For the edge - just take an angle at somewhere between 15 and 20 degrees and sharpen until you raise a burr.


I think HHC's advice below is probably good. Because the knife is very thin already all this talk of moving the bevel up isn't really going to affect performance, it'd just be an aesthetic thing. It's far more important to learn how a new steel behaves when you sharpen the edge, how to deburr it properly &c. And you'll probably I imagine find it easier than the cheaper knives you've been practicing on so far :).

you might want to just use it and then play with "maintenance" thinning when you need to sharpen it.
 
I'm not sure I completely understand what you mean, but perhaps you might be confusing what people call the 'width' of the bevel with how 'thin' it is?




Again I might be misunderstanding you here but: The sharpening angle is pretty much up to you, especially on a very thin knife like that, and it's going to be notably higher than the angle of the bevel, otherwise your edge would be far too thin and delicate. If you 'sharpened' with the bevel laid flat - that would be akin to thinning the knife. For the edge - just take an angle at somewhere between 15 and 20 degrees and sharpen until you raise a burr.


I think HHC's advice below is probably good. Because the knife is very thin already all this talk of moving the bevel up isn't really going to affect performance, it'd just be an aesthetic thing. It's far more important to learn how a new steel behaves when you sharpen the edge, how to deburr it properly &c. And you'll probably I imagine find it easier than the cheaper knives you've been practicing on so far :).
HHC's advice is good, but as I have pointed out to him elsewhere, I won't use this knife because I did get it to practice on, and in all likelihood, damage, which is okay because I can't hurt it. If I start using it and like it, then I will have lost it for practice, and I don't need to use it because I have that covered by other, fully functional knives. I've started sharpening the edge by refining the present one; HHC left off at 500 grit so I am starting at 1000 grit and will continue on up to 6000 or 8000, which I understand will increase keenness but not sharpness, which as I understand it is established by the lower grit stones. If I were to do more harm than good, then I would simply drop down as much as need be and start from scratch, which would be necessary anyway to being able to raise a burr and remove it, with which I have so far had but limited success and hopefully improve with this knife.
 
Can you post a choil shot of this knife? Not sure if it’s just the lighting problem or I see a lot of low spot? Is this concave ground knife? If yes, it can be confusing to practice your sharpening skills with, because you have to spend alot of time flatten the primary bevel first. It can take days or months for beginners. So a flat or convex bevel would be easier to practice with.

JKI have a good “how to thin” video with blue marker as guidance.


I also see that your very tip of the knife doesn’t touch the stone, this will make your tip look liked hook shape in the future. To sharpen the tip, you have to raise your sharpening angle a little bit higher and changing motion depends on how curve your tip is.
 
Can you post a choil shot of this knife? Not sure if it’s just the lighting problem or I see a lot of low spot? Is this concave ground knife? If yes, it can be confusing to practice your sharpening skills with, because you have to spend alot of time flatten the primary bevel first. It can take days or months for beginners. So a flat or convex bevel would be easier to practice with.

JKI have a good “how to thin” video with blue marker as guidance.


I also see that your very tip of the knife doesn’t touch the stone, this will make your tip look liked hook shape in the future. To sharpen the tip, you have to raise your sharpening angle a little bit higher and changing motion depends on how curve your tip is.


There's a lot of low spots.
 
I can't post a photo right now, but it's as HHC said, as there are a lot of them. I think the primary bevel is mostly flat though I really am not yet certain. It is of course concave in the low spots. Also, thanks for the videos.
 
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