question for you polishing guru's

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this is hands down the nicest looking polish/knife i have ever seen. hats off to the guy who ground + polished this. its insane.

im curious how you personally would go about getting a polish like this? also i noticed its a carbon clad/carbon core knife. could you get similar results if it was stainless clad?

 

EricEricEric

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There’s two ways to go about this, in the case of this particular knife that you’ve pointed out it’s geometry is such that it’s easy to polish the entirety of the knife on a stone and is very much preferred

However, there’s a second option that would involve non traditional methods including sandpaper powders and finger stones as needed

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There’s two ways to go about this, in the case of this particular knife that you’ve pointed out it’s geometry is such that it’s easy to polish the entirety of the knife on a stone and is very much preferred

However, there’s a second option that would involve non traditional methods including sandpaper powders and finger stones as needed

View attachment 166731

fantastic work on the knives in the pics. one question about the mazaki quoted above though, was any of this work done w/ power tools? only reason i ask is because im not very familiar with knife polishing yet. i started this whole journey @ straight razors and gravitated towards kitchen knives these days and im still learning about polishing. the reason i ask about power tool use is: i used to see mirrored restored straight razors that would almost always come about with buffing wheels and polishing compound that gave the razors a sort of rounded edges+mirrored look. maybe its just the lighting but the shallow kanji in parts and basically mirrored finish give me those kinda vibes, maybe its just the picture though.

also when you say the work in the vid on that kaiju can be done and preferred to be done on the stone, how would you go about it? what type of progression if say it was a knife with a satin finish say 600~ grit range i see many knives around(a guesstimation) would you polish with the knife completely perpendicular to the stone or would scratch direction not matter if you did a good job removing scratches from the previous grit and going to a natural stone?

also, if anyone has any good videos/posts/guides on how to go about getting started i would love read them.
 

EricEricEric

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I would recommend specifically for a Mazaki to obtain this type of finish to use a machine, unfortunately I didn’t it was all by hand🤦🏻‍♂️

I will never ever do one of these again, the person that bought it got a deal of the century also because if it’s one of a kind

The only people that can even begin to understand would be somebody that intricately knows his work and his knives, it’s impossible to do the work on a stone for the entirety of the knife. I did as much as I could with stonework but there’s two large divots on each side of the area where you would pinch grip

Which is part of the genius of his knives, it just makes it incredibly difficult to finish the way I did

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EricEricEric

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As for the knife in the video, the stone progression depends on the state of the knife. The question is; what state is the geometry in?

If the geometry is perfected and you’re saying it’s around 600 grit then I personally would continue all the way up to 5K grit. Then I would personally choose to finish on a shiro nagura or my jito with strong slurry on either one, other people would probably finish on a fine shiro suita or medium hato

There’s another method in using stone dust or my method that I used on my Mazaki in the picture.

I finished my Mazaki off with vinegar soap and a rough cloth (it’s dangerous but I had to rub very hard and very vigorously, but slowly over the entirety of the blade ) in order to give it that unique kasumi look. Then some stone dust and diamond dust as needed. It’s an incredibly unique look that you won’t see anywhere else

If your geometry isn’t perfect on your know if you have no choice as you cannot use a stone. Your best bet would be to first try some finger stones ie soft hato or other soft finger stones that have strong polishing effect
 
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I would recommend specifically for a Mazaki to obtain this type of finish to use a machine, unfortunately I didn’t it was all by hand🤦🏻‍♂️

I will never ever do one of these again, the person that bought it got a deal of the century also because if it’s one of a kind

The only people that can even begin to understand would be somebody that intricately knows his work and his knives, it’s impossible to do the work on a stone for the entirety of the knife. I did as much as I could with stonework but there’s two large divots on each side of the area where you would pinch grip

Which is part of the genius of his knives, it just makes it incredibly difficult to finish the way I did

View attachment 166791 View attachment 166792 View attachment 166793 View attachment 166794 View attachment 166795


these pictures look vastly different from the photos above, its more of a high satin finish which looks FANTASTIC w/ this knife. ooc do you have any pics with handle installed? also, if you didnt point out the parts you struggled with, i wouldnt have even noticed. how much time would you say you put into this?

As for the knife in the video, the stone progression depends on the state of the knife. The question is; what state is the geometry in?

If the geometry is perfected and you’re saying it’s around 600 grit then I personally would continue all the way up to 5K grit. Then I would personally choose to finish on a shiro nagura or my jito with strong slurry on either one, other people would probably finish on a fine shiro suita or medium hato

If your geometry isn’t perfect on your know if you have no choice as you cannot use a stone. Your best bet would be to first try some finger stones ie soft hato or other soft finger stones that have strong polishing effect


any specific synthetic stone recommendations or will about anything work? also when you say shiro nagura, do you mean specifically just a piece of shiro suita tomo nagura? and hato/jito im assuming you are talking about uchigumori to which i still havent tried one of yet.

my current collection of synths up to 5k~ shapton 220, gesshin 400, chosera 400, chosera 800, chosera 1k, cerax 1k, shapton pro 1k, shapton pro 1.5k, gesshin 2k, chosera 3k, rika 3k, rika 5k.

as far as naturals im fairly limited in that regard as most of my jnats/stones are of the very hard razor finishing variety. have a couple suita's okudo/shinden 3.5-4~ and an aiwatani lvl 4~.

any progression advice or am i better off going with a sandpaper/jnat powder method like shown above?
 

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That’s something that’s very important to keep in mind, because different angles and different lighting can have a huge impact on how the finish is viewed, even when it’s the exact same knife.

Nagura and suita are two different types of stone.
This is another issue you’ll run into as the terminology is not consistently used correctly.

when properly describing stones we start with the mine it’s from, then we describe what layer it’s from, then we can describe its physical characteristics (color and patterns) followed by how soft it is etc
For polishing purposes I would just recommend the softest of those stones that you have. When getting close to finishing.

The only way you can use all stones is if your geometry is correct, so if you still have high spots and low spots the stones are going to only be use in the areas where knife is making actual contact with the stone

If you want a plan of attack what I would recommend is for you to remove the knife from the handle and then use a black marker to blacken the whole knife and explore the knife on your shapton 5K stone. You have to flatten the stone and get rid of any edges by rounding everything out and only put the knife on the stone once the stone is 100% clean no slurry

This would reveal the high spots and the low spots, it will help you understand how much or how littlemetal you would have to remove to create an all stone finish

If it’s too much metal that needs to be removed then you would be forced to use sandpaper up to ~2k, then 1200 white aluminum powder with hard felt, then finger stones, then uchi powder with hard felt again

Both options are a long process, however the first option is the best option if possible
 
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That’s something that’s very important to keep in mind, because different angles and different lighting can have a huge impact on how the finish is viewed, even when it’s the exact same knife.

Nagura and suita are two different types of stone.
This is another issue you’ll run into as the terminology is not consistently used correctly.

when properly describing stones we start with the mine it’s from, then we describe what layer it’s from, then we can describe its physical characteristics (color and patterns) followed by how soft it is etc
For polishing purposes I would just recommend the softest of those stones that you have. When getting close to finishing.

The only way you can use all stones is if your geometry is correct, so if you still have high spots and low spots the stones are going to only be use in the areas where knife is making actual contact with the stone

If you want a plan of attack what I would recommend is for you to remove the knife from the handle and then use a black marker to blacken the whole knife and explore the knife on your shapton 5K stone. You have to flatten the stone and get rid of any edges by rounding everything out and only put the knife on the stone once the stone is 100% clean no slurry

This would reveal the high spots and the low spots, it will help you understand how much or how littlemetal you would have to remove to create an all stone finish

If it’s too much metal that needs to be removed then you would be forced to use sandpaper up to ~2k, then 1200 white aluminum powder with hard felt, then finger stones, then uchi powder with hard felt again

Both options are a long process, however the first option is the best option if possible

on the jnat naming convention: i have a decent grasp on how jnat naming works. i was just kinda confused when you said shiro(white) nagura. im sick atm and kinda had a brainfart with my mind on a one way train of thought about suita. do you mean mikawa shiro nagura? ie botan, tenjyou, meijiro, koma etc? i have all of the above listed but not full size bench nagura, only 200-250g~ chunks.

is it always going to be a better option to do a full stone progression if the geometry allows it? i notice just by putting a credit card on some of my knives that many are convex and some concave.

also another question, i have a few shiro #2 knives and the ones that have higher levels of polish seems to be way more reactive than the ones that are very matte. is this something im imagining because i dont have 2 knives of the same line or do knives with a higher polish develop a patina way faster? or does it seem to be more related to the smith/heat treat etc.
 

EricEricEric

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It’s fine don’t worry about it, but yes

It depends on the finish, if the finish is already really good then it’s possible to just use things like finger stones or powder polishes to get the desire to effect

Only go for a full stone finish if you really want to put in the work to learn and understand, because in the beginning it will be a lot of work. And then you’ll need someone’s help to help you assess whether or not it’s an intelligent decision to do a stone finish on said knife or not

It may be more prudent to start with just finishing a bevel first

A lot of people seem to think white steel is more reactive, I think the other elements could be a factor as well concerning the finish and how it’s finished
 
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