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I did a class with Leigh Hudson (the guy in the video earlier in the thread from Chef's Armoury) and after I brought home the knives I'd sharpened during the lesson I amazed my kids by shaving the hair off the back of my hand with the Wusthof chef's knife we usually chop carrots with. I was hanging to do his class after walking in one day and handing over my every day pen knife, a Fallkniven U2, which I use for everything from opening letters to peeling fruit to cutting boxes to gutting and gilling fish. Jason (one of the guys who works in Leigh's shop) sharpened it in 5 minutes for $9. He not only sharpened it, he re-profiled it to a more useful shape. It has been 4 weeks now and it remains shaving sharp whereas before this I would get maybe a week out of it and then spend a good 30 to 40 minutes wrestling it into a semi decent sharpness using Fallkniven's recommended diamond stone and strop. The U2 is a premium knife made out of a premium laminated stainless steel and although the Wusthof is good German gear I don't know how long the edge I put on it will last but it really is amazing. For example it sliced through an apple in one swoop, cutting through several seeds cleanly and without displacing them and with absolutely no tearing. It slices thin spirals off A4 paper from the base all the way to the tip of the knife's edge. It's basically been transformed from a glorified chopper/cleaver into a really fun and versatile knife. I'm looking forward to trying out the deba and yanagiba I picked up there too.

In the class you learn how to sharpen anything including single bevel knives like the deba and yanagiba. It's so addictive to finally know how to sharpen easily and quickly. Leigh and his staff are a wealth of knowledge and I can't recommend his class highly enough. He tells me he will be uploading a series of more detailed how to videos soon but if you can get to one of his classes just do it. http://www.chefsarmoury.com/classes-and-events/sydney-classes/knife-sharpening-class/cat_81.html
 

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Brad I bought the 3 stones as I have a lot of knives that will need the 400 treatment but once they are up and running only the 1000 and the 3000 will be needed. 1000 may be all that's necessary for the pocket knife but the edge retention is better with the 3000 and all the kitchen knives including the Japanese need to finish with 3000 or higher. Apparently there are even 8000 to 10000 grit natural stones that give you a "black mirror" finish (drool). All the double bevel knives are finished with a leather-on-timber strop that has chromium (green) compound rubbed into it, the single edged knives are just finished on the stone. There is also a "sacrificial stone" which I forgot to buy which is rubbed into the finer grit stones to make a kind of lather that reduces the surface tension when you are polishing the flat side of the single bevel knives as they tend to kind of stick without it.

Leigh (and Jason) can hear and feel the quality of a steel. I developed a very rudimentary sense of what they meant at the end of the class after sharpening a stiff German, a flexible German, a H1 Spyderco and finally a blue steel deba and blue steel yanagiba. The blue steel is dense and hard and glassy and raises the finest thinnest smoothest burr, the H1 is kind of furry and the burr is easy to achieve but it's also hard to get it uniform as the slightest pressure in the wrong place or change in angle makes it kind of wavy along it's length - this is because it was the softest. The stiff German chef's knife was in between the blue steel and the H1, a lot closer to the H1 than the blue steel though. The flexible German was the hardest to sharpen evenly but with Leigh's gentle reminders about stance, posture, bending of knees and finger pressure we got there. I didn't get to my D2 stainless steel knife and didn't need to sharpen my white steel knife so I can't comment on those. We talked about the way steels are forged and how there is tension even in the best finished blade so that even a perfectly sharpened and straight blade will change with temperature and pressure and need to be resharpened after flying over from Japan. The way even where you rest your blades between quenching and heating changes them, how covering them with wet straw will mollify the cooling process and produce less tension in the steel, how there are perhaps 8 qualified sharpeners in the whole prefecture where Leigh gets his blue steel single bevel blades, how the owner and his idiosyncrasies when sharpening kind of train the knife into his own patterns and much much more. Oh and I came to understand why bolsters are a pain when sharpening with waterstones.
 

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I said I couldn't justify the cost of 3 stones so he said take the 400 and 1000 and that's what I've been using.

I spoke to him years ago about doing a class where we each bring in a kingfish and he would take us through every step of fish and knife prep.
That was when we could go out and guarantee getting a fish, if they run again like that I would still be keen to do the class.
 

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Have you done the knife prep class mate? If you have I reckon you would learn what you need using a deba on sambos in about half an hour and they aren't too hard to come by atm. Maybe if we can find a weather window and Leigh is happy to do an outdoor morning class somewhere northside specifically on deba filleting....we could get a few of us together...Just sayin'...
 

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Fillet and sashimi was the plan.
I think he did them at his shop but not sure as the kings went off and we sort of forgot about it.
 

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