Hand Tools Archive

Re: Kanna blade sharpening issues

I have a gagilion stones, though 1/10th of a gagilion compared to David, though I am not sure that is a handicap. My go to stones are pretty similar to what I started with, two 800 kings; a 1500 something, maybe a lobster; the two king finishing stones. You can get far finer shavings than there is any purpose to, using that combo. You can read the writing, in the mirror surface of the wood, in an overhead lightbulb.

The blade I use the most, and the only one I have worn out 2 dais with and reduced the length to any degree, cost me 13.50 Canadian around 1980. That was cheap then. It's a great blade.

I would say the back of your blade is not that smooth, but nothing to explain the results you are getting. With my earliest blades, I did the whole SC grit on iron drill. Pretty miserable. But you do get a very flat and extremely polished surface. Some say it is too polished. I always prefer to finish the prep with a scratch pattern perp to the blade. Just makes sense to me, but then again, it would not explain the trouble you are having.

One of the few justification for using Japanese blades overall, is they mesh so well with the right Japanese stones. I don't particularly like using diamond on them. Though I will admit that back when I bought most of my diamond stones the swarf may have been harder than the bond on the stones, and certainly the mud from stones was harder. I never hear people complain about that these days, so presumably it is a non-issue.

If it were my blade, and I have never had a crumbly Japanese blade, but if I did. I would probably (short of returning it, never a good option up here) dry grind it to get back from the potentially brittleness of the edge. I dip blades in water, and grind till the water evaporates, and repeat. You will never burn an edge if you follow that routine. The water is not to cool the edge, but to reveal when you hit nearly 200 F. Way below the tempering level. I never dry grind Japanese chisels in normal use, but stuff happens like the time workmen came to remove the oil tank, and used an Ouchi chisel like a cold chisel. That took a lot of repair. Prior to that I had taken nicks out with the 600 carbo stone, but even back then I didn't have the patience to repair that level of damage by hand.

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