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Old 01-02-2018, 06:45 AM   #1
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The Kirinaga Edge.

Yes, I love to polish. I will put a 300 dollar edge on a 15 dollar Barge just for the fun of it.

But the first time I felt a kirinaga edge, I knew true alchemy.

One of our members, Doc, has a handmade Emerson, it used to be mine and the edge is a thing of beauty. If you've ever seen one you'll notice it has the raw teeth marks of a Cub Cadet lawnmower blade. However, it's slices like a laser beam.

About a year ago Ken Schwartz and I were on the phone, and I asked him about this edge. He informed me it was a Japanese edge, valued for its performance and durability. Yikes, I had to have one!

But since the last Samurai died about 1870, and real togishis guard their polishing secrets like Chuck does his last fiver at a cash bar, I had to formulate the anatomy of this divine, untouchable cutter.

Oh, I cut an edge with an Atoma, then did a micro bevel with a polishing stone. Just a counterfeit.

The edge of a kirinaga runs straight and true from the edge to the shinogi line. You can cut a mugger or a wet tomato with equal dexterity.

Yes, I flipped the knife a few dozen times. I failed the first time. But old bikers have a saying, "Sometime you find yourself in the middle of nowhere--and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself."

How do you like my knife?

002.JPG
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:57 AM   #2
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The edge looks perfect, very uniform and I'd bet based on owning 2 knives you've polished for me scary sharp.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:07 AM   #3
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Yeah, Chuck, that's the thing that dazzles me.

When exactly does rough become smooth, and do I want to lay my fingers on it?

Next I want to try this technique with a 220 black Nubatama. Ken says he has a client that swears by it--so I bought four of them...

(BTW, when you blow up the picture you can see the tool marks. Then you look at the edge and it's a flawless flat line).
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:22 AM   #4
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So your finish is 220? Do you take it beyond 220, and then go coarser to finish?
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:59 AM   #5
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It's a little of both. I start coarse and never back up. If I rough in the edge (next time with a 140), I'll finish with a 220. Up, never down.

The idea is to create a strong sharp edge. If you think about it, polishing the edge makes it sharp, but also "thins" the edge. With modern steels, not that big a deal anymore. I was going to do something to challenge myself, I'd come close before.

You can start as coarse as you want, but the idea is that the bevel is dead flat, and uniform on both sides creating the edge.

Then it's up to your "touch." You're using what most refer to as "shaping stones" to actually provide the 'finish,' and still keep the stone flat to the bevel.

Personally, I'd still like to watch Ernie do it--just once. I've seen tool marks on his edges you could plant seeds into, and the knife was still like a razor.

I'm glad I got this close at 140 grit.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:26 PM   #6
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I had a brief conversation before dinner with Ken, and told him about this knife and my approach.

He positively critiqued what I had done, but made one suggestion. He felt the scratch pattern should be removed a bit more. He suggested an Aoto stone in the +1200 grit range. He refers to it as a "muddy stone," meaning that it will build up its own paste, imparting an edge more in the 2000 grit range.

...naturally, Ken had one to sell me...

I'm excited about this new venture. I bought a lot of cheap knives on the last order. This is something new!
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:28 PM   #7
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Definitely interested to see what it looks like after the 'new' stone.

Is it an optical illusion in the photo where the Tonto bevel and main edge meet, it looks like the 'blackout' junction of those two does not meet at your corner. Not sure that's the right way to explain it, but it may also just be the way the light is hitting that juncture.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:56 AM   #8
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If you mean that slight curvature, yes, it's really there.

Unlike a CQC7 which is composed of flat planes, this knife has slightly dished planes that meet at that juncture with a curved section.

One of the things that I have learned is to create the edge first. Over time I'll find ripples or junctures that are not 100% perfect. As a starting polisher, they used to drive me crazy and I would hunt them all down and grind them all off before I went to bed--who knows how much metal I wasted over vanity and ego.

That little defect will be erased over time. Then again, this was an exercise in a new procedure, on a cheap knife, that I'm going to keep for myself as an EDC. Defects will present themselves, and I will learn how better to work through them.

For example, on the knife Chuck sent me the tanto bevel was so poorly formed I simply ground the entire section off on a black brick. I had done this before on Richard's knife, and Ken had a video on YouTube. I felt I was on safe ground.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:55 AM   #9
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Chico,

Thanks, that explains it. I couldn't imagine you allowing those two planes NOT to have a perfect corner, but it just looked off in the photo. Also could be my old eyes.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:01 AM   #10
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I believe over time that the little defect will disappear.

Either it will be nibbled away by accident, or I'll learn how to blend two concave and dished out planes.

I'm more of a slicer, so the belly bevels go first. looking at the photo, "nibbled from the bottom" appears to be a better overall plan.
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