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Old 05-18-2019, 12:09 AM   #1
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Adventures with Knives

No pictures here, as my focus has been exclusively on experimenting with edges. No time for pictures and other tomfoolery.

Several weeks ago I took possession of my Fan$y A$$ Edge Pro. It's precision over the Chicom clone really does enhance the quality of my work. But sadly, within the space of a week, all the knives I care about were exactly the way I wanted them. Now what do I do?

Since I threw down for the $ci$$or attachment, it was time to give it a go. I got out the kit, got ready to install it on the Edge Pro Professional... and couldn't figure it out. So I got out the manual. It made no sense. Closer inspection revealed that a little adjuster block was for the Apex model, not the Professional model. Ugh. I contacted Edge Pro, and the correct part was in the mail the following day.

So yesterday I found a few pair of scissors that I could work on. A couple were stamped steel, and a couple were old school, riveted, about 20-40 years old. The shocking part was how awful the edges were from the factory. Scissor blades are a complex shape that's hard to describe, but the suffice it to say that the bevels on all scissors were not at all flat. I found the best attack was to reshape with 140 grit diamonds. Toward the end, I was finishing with a 1000 grit diamond stone, and the results were pretty good.

I have ideas for the next scissor, and am confident I can make it SWEET. The cost of the scissors used by my hair stylist start in the high three figures, and go up to the low four. I'm not ready to work on hers, but there are newby stylists in that salon, so I'll offer to work on one of theirs for no charge. I'm excited to try out new ideas.

I've been doing knives two ways. I like polishing wiht 0.025 μ cubic boron nitride, it gives a beautiful edge that is quite sharp. But recently I've been experimenting with coarse 40.0 μ diamonds. It's interesting that the edge will more readily grab my fingerprint than will the highly polished steel.

Last night, the experiment was artichoke stems. The coarser finish cut the stems much more readily than the finer polish. I don't know what to make of it all, so the experiments will continue.

This evening we went out for sushi. One of the things I like to have the chef create is a slice of salmon, avocado, mango, and topped with jalapeŮo. It's truly fabulous, but all the ingredients are slippery. It's a challenge to pick it up with your chopsticks, keep it balanced, and glup it down. I understand that it's beautiful the way he prepares it, but consumption would be better if it was smaller. But you can't cut sushi... or can you? It's gauche, to be sure, but who is going to argue with a guy waving around a frighteningly sharp Spyderco? The highly-polished edge dissected the sushi like Luke Skywalker dismembering a Sith Lord.

So the last week's edged tool experiments have been quite gratifying. The experiments will continue. Perhaps next time I'll think to document things with pictures.
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Old 05-18-2019, 04:47 AM   #2
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Generally speaking, I believe you'll find a course edge works well if you're cutting with a draw. If you are simply pushing the blade then a polished edge works well.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:48 AM   #3
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I have nothing productive to add, but this topic did make me think about how much less seems to be going on every day here at KT while Chico is on hiatus. Who was it that was giving him crap about all the knife topics? Somebody smack them in the back of the head.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
I have nothing productive to add, but this topic did make me think about how much less seems to be going on every day here at KT while Chico is on hiatus. Who was it that was giving him crap about all the knife topics? Somebody smack them in the back of the head.

It had nothing to do with the knife topics. It was the harassing he felt he was getting for all the Harley Davidson, motorcycle gang, red headed and mafia references he would make in his posts
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:45 AM   #5
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It all seemed to be rolled up in the same ball to me. Regardless, there is a hole where he was for the people who enjoyed him here, which is currently being filled by someone I can't even remember.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:03 AM   #6
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He will be back but if the harassing continues he will be gone for good. I have asked him to cut back on the references he likes to make and let me deal with those harassing him. Chico is something special, he is like a finely tuned machine when it comes to polishing a knife. He can turn an inexpensive knife into a deadly weapon but it takes a handful of doctors keep him running right. I have told him many times that he is his own worst enemy, he reads things in posts people make that aren't there.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:29 AM   #7
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I think your experiment with edge finish/coarseness is interesting. I have heard that a coarser edge is better for meet and tough vegetables. The refined edge is useful for things like tomatoes.

As far as scissors, I have to admit to cheating and using the Tormek system that I have in the shop. Works great on the general household scissors, but I have not been allowed to try my wives fancy sewing scissors.

Hopefully Chico will be back to fill in the gaps on these topics. His personality is what it is. We all have ours, and that's what makes these groups what they are. But always remember, if you don't like someones personality quirks, move on, don't try to change them, and certainly not worth tearing them down.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:29 AM   #8
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I understand where this all started from but cannot agree where it finally ended up as I made clear in a previous PM to you Chuck. Yet there has been a void recently. I do agree with your assessment and the attempted solution in post #6. You do seem to do what your "forum title" states....moderate ( and you do a commendable job IMO). A lot of times it's real easy to get "carried away" for a lot of us when posting online. I always try to re-read posts here and on other forums before I hit the "Reply" button and, more often than not, I just delete it and forget about a response.

I do enjoy Rusty's recent experiences in the sharpening world!

Take care,
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:58 AM   #9
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Rusty Iron,
Thanks for keeping us updated on your experiences with the new EP Sharpener. Iím afraid Iíve caught the knife collecting bug that started after receiving one of Chicoís Barges and some of Cucamongaís posts on the Buck Autos. Iím now starting to research a sharpener.

Iím also thankful for this post in that it has a trace of explanation on why Chico has gone radio silent, just when I needed some of his advice.

Thanks again Rusty. Keep those knife sharpening posts coming 👍
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tejun View Post
Iím now starting to research a sharpener.
It's a hard to make an expensive decision using minimal knowledge and experience. I went with the EP because that's what my instructor uses. But I didn't go with the real EP. I went with the $35 deal off Amazon. For me, it was a sensible way to get my feet wet for the first couple years. But the screws pulled out pretty quickly, and if I hadn't the ability to solve that problem, I would have given up rather quickly.

Soon I could do better work than before. Eventually my skill increased, and I realized my Chinese stones were holding me back. So then I threw money Ken Schwartz's way, and he sent me better stones. And I used those until I wanted finer stones. And eventually I went to Ken's slurry. Each step of the way, my edges got better.

Recently I realized my cheap Edge Pro Clone was holding me back, and it was time to spend some real cash. Now all the tools exceed my skill, so any flaws are my own fault.

I think this progression has worked out well. As a rank beginner, I made plenty of stylistic mistakes, and the inexpensive tools were fine for that.

I've read that a lot of folks like the Wicked Edge. I think Chuck uses one. What really intrigues me is freehanding an edge. Of course everyone does it a little at times, but I don't see ever fully embracing that method or making the investment.
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