Refurbishing a heavily damaged knife

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I found this in a block of knives at a thrift store and got them to practice learning fixing techniques.
The knife is a Alan Roberts Stainless Steel Japan, 9".
It looks like the previous owenr(s) did a lot of sharpening or attempted to do so, maybe tried some sort of grindwheel, and then used it to cut steel wire or something, it pretty damaged, the chips going in about 1mm or so (haven't mic'd it, but it's something like that.
I would like to get this into decent condition.
Should I just rough stone down the edge until the area around the chips are abraded away, work the primary and secondary edges, and polish it up?
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Keep in mind that whatever you lose from the edge you'll have to lose from that clunky bolster. This will be deeply unpleasant without something that goes 'buzz' or 'whirr'.
I'd scrap this one and find a practice knife more akin to what you plan on fixing.
 
Keep in mind that whatever you lose from the edge you'll have to lose from that clunky bolster. This will be deeply unpleasant without something that goes 'buzz' or 'whirr'.
I'd scrap this one and find a practice knife more akin to what you plan on fixing.
Yeah, that's some bolster isn't it? At least 1/2". Maybe 3/4"
 
Keep in mind that whatever you lose from the edge you'll have to lose from that clunky bolster. This will be deeply unpleasant without something that goes 'buzz' or 'whirr'.
I'd scrap this one and find a practice knife more akin to what you plan on fixing.
I'm ok with grinding it, actually looking forward to grinding something and then using a stone.
I don't mind that it's going to be a lot of work- I learn by making mistakes, so I start with junk and see what happens.
 
Maybe it’d just the pic, but a good bit of the steel looks burnt too. Not worth the effort, even as a learning experience. All you’ll learn is that you hate life. This knife is burnt toast.

Edit: oh, you have a grinder.
I was wondering about that too, if it was burnt or some form of rust I am not familiar with.
 
Honestly dude, I'd do the universe a favor and toss that thing. Hopefully, you'll garner some good karma.

Soft stainless sucks to mess with.
I don't dispute what you are saying, but the universe speaks to me through experience.
Speaking of which, after a few minutes of rubbing it on a $1 stone, it is apparent this is freakishly soft steel. Took me like 3 minutes and the chips are almost completely gone...
I had considered maybe because it's Japanese steel it may be better... nope.

I'm not discounting all yalls advice not to bother, I am just trying to get a feel for crappy steep so I will have it as a point of reference in my mind.
 
See if you can find a cheap carbon knife, or at least a stainless knife without a bolster to practice on. There’s also used or vintage Japanese knives of EBay if you want to roll the dice.
 
Although I'm pleasantly surprices by your results so far, I wouldt start practising a little bit different.

I like the theorie of starting with crappy, damaged knives to learn the very basics.
I bet your have a lot of friends, family, colleages that cook. Most of hem, if not all, have cheap stainless knives which have been abused for years.
They are blunt, damaged and will get sharper after you repair and handle them.

None of them will be in the condition the above knive was. And you have a lot more knives around to try what works best.


Unless you really want to dive into adjusting/making knives, I don't see the point of starting with a knive beat up this heavily.
 
Although I'm pleasantly surprices by your results so far, I wouldt start practising a little bit different.

I like the theorie of starting with crappy, damaged knives to learn the very basics.
I bet your have a lot of friends, family, colleages that cook. Most of hem, if not all, have cheap stainless knives which have been abused for years.
They are blunt, damaged and will get sharper after you repair and handle them.

None of them will be in the condition the above knive was. And you have a lot more knives around to try what works best.


Unless you really want to dive into adjusting/making knives, I don't see the point of starting with a knive beat up this heavily.

I hear ya. The knife shown was part of a block I picked up at the thrift store with about ten knives it by far being the worst, I mostly just needed the block. I intend to practice with all of them.
The way my brain works requires me to understand all of how something works for me to be capable of any of it.
I have made knives at a blacksmith place with my sons and they loved it and want to do more, so I figure anything learnt is worth learning for future endeavors.
I started getting into sharpening for straight razors and the honing is far more enjoyable to me than the shaving.
I'll be on the lookout for carbon knives, I was looking for some but I live in a very small town and the thrift stores don't got a lot of selection.
 
Probably fairly soft steel that won't hold and edge well, but learning is learning. If it ground that quickly on what I assume is a "carborunmum" hard vitrified silicon carbide "hardware store" stone, it will be a pain on good stones, it's gummy steel and will have an edge that rolls easily.

Clean it up, grind off some of that monster bolster, and see what it's like off a 1k grit stone. For very soft steel there isn't any point in going higher as the edge won't develop properly, and it if it's CroMoVa, you don't want to pull the coarse carbides out.

It might in fact be a decent "beater" knife, with an edge that can be restored easily with a serrated knife steel and a light touch. Or it's a piece of scrap steel, you'll find out.
 
You cant sharpen the whole knive.
And this isnt out of frugality (? had to look up this word, never heard of it)

With this bolster, the last bit of the knive becomes thick. You can't sharpen it without demolishing the stone. It simply isnt flat the way the rest of the edge is.
Plus, after more sharpenings, the knive will get lower, because you remove steel. The the bolster stays at the same place. So in time, more and more of the knive won't touch the board while cutting.

Small or big bolster, doesnt matter. Same effect I think.
 
You can get around the thick part of the edge with a belt sander (very likely the way the knife was made in the first place), but unless you grind some off the bottom of the bolster the edge will not touch the board for some distance ahead of the bolster. And even with a belt sander the last bit of the edge will be dull right in front of the bolster.

Nominally they are there to keep you from cutting off a fingertip by getting it under the knife, but even primitive knife technique will prevent that.
 
There comes a time in every knifes life when it is time to stop sharpening amd start shaping and thinning

Anyhow those burnt spots were from whomever was trying to fix that knife with a dry grinder and no cares about heat..

in funky old soft stainless like that the only way Ive seen work that did any good after removing the hardened bits was to work harden the edge, Which only makes it slightly harder but turns the brittleness dial up to 11
 

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The bolster might still have retained its hardness. If so, and if you are a hunter you could turn the bolster into a sharpened gut hook and cut off the rest of the blade .

Just kidding. Now is an oportunity to try things on this knife that would seen too risky on a knife that you love
uined
Anybody who says that they never harmed a knife probably never tried to modify one. Or sharpen one :)
 
The bolster might still have retained its hardness. If so, and if you are a hunter you could turn the bolster into a sharpened gut hook and cut off the rest of the blade .

Just kidding. Now is an oportunity to try things on this knife that would seen too risky on a knife that you love
uined
Anybody who says that they never harmed a knife probably never tried to modify one. Or sharpen one :)

If the knife were carbon steel, I'd agree with you about the opportunity. But crap stainless is in a category of its own. I regard it as a waste of time. A bunch of the difficulty is in getting the gummy stuff to behave, and those skills don't transfer to anything good.

I can't say I've never harmed a knife, but I can say I've never ruined one. I've just uglied them up some.
 
If the knife were carbon steel, I'd agree with you about the opportunity. But crap stainless is in a category of its own. I regard it as a waste of time. A bunch of the difficulty is in getting the gummy stuff to behave, and those skills don't transfer to anything good.

I can't say I've never harmed a knife, but I can say I've never ruined one. I've just uglied them up some.
The first knife that I can remember ruining was one of my moms good table knives at thanks giving when I was about 5. Table knives , as i found out are far too soft to be good screwdrivers on stubborn screws. I think she was madder at me for pretending i did not know how that knife could have possivbly gotten bent and chewed like that than she was mad at me for wrecking it
 
Keep in mind that a bench grinder can damage heat treat if not careful. Not that it would make much difference with this piece
 
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