Author Topic: Kikuhiromaru.  (Read 1547 times)

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Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 260
Kikuhiromaru.
« on: October 20, 2017, 12:35 PM »
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This morning I got an e-mail from Shinichi Watanabe because he found some old blades for me if I can afford them. The sizes are 9, 12, 15, 21 and 24mm made from White #1 steel and the brand is Masanari. He told me these blades were made in the late 70's and that they have age hardened. I had no idea steel could become harder by aging but Watanabe tells me this is most certainly the case. Given his reputation and knowledge of steel I don't doubt what he tells me. Anyway, he also told me that the hardness is of Kiyotada level (apparently Kiyotada made ridiculously hard blades) and that blades this hard and tenacious are no longer made. The price is a bit steep though so I have to think it over a bit. I'm probably going to buy them because this is a once in a life time opportunity.
Well, the guy who was selling the Masanari chisels decided not to sell them in the end. So Shinichi Watanabe went directly to the Kikuhiromaru factory, it's just 500m form where he lives and he bought me some mentori style bench chisels. Apparently Shinichi's grandfather was friends with the current lead blacksmith of Kikuhiromaru so there was a connection between the two of them and because of this he got them for a very good price. The hagane layer is White Steel #1 hardened to 63-64HRC, quite hard indeed. I haven't used them yet but Kikuhiromaru has the reputation of making some of the best chisels money can buy. I have no doubt they will hold up very well. The finish isn't as fine as say Tasai or Kiyohisa but that doesn't matter to me because it means the money went into what matters, the steel. The lamination on all the blades is clean and tight which is usually a sign that a lot of attention was spent on the hardening and tempering. The ura is also clean and well done on all the blades. The sizes are 9, 12, 18 and 24mm. I have asked Shinichi Watanabe to also buy me a 15 and 30mm chisel.




The reason the stickers on the handles are torn is because I asked Shinichi to do it to make them look used in case a customs officer opened the package, Totally unnecessary because it sailed through customs.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 03:20 AM by Lemwise »

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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3021
Re: Kikuhiromaru.
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 03:23 PM »
"Shinichi's grandfather was friends with the current lead blacksmith of Kikuhiromaru"

That is so cool! Glad you have great set of chisels now.

Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 260
Re: Kikuhiromaru.
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 05:28 PM »
Shinichi Watanabe told me he knows a couple of the famous chisel blacksmiths in Sanjo so I even had a choice which chisels I wanted. I went with Kikuhiromaru based on the price and their reputation. I would have loved to have a complete set of Tasai chisels (I love my 30mm Tasai) but they're so darned expensive.

Re: Kikuhiromaru.
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 06:41 PM »
Congratulations on a great set of chisels - may you put them to great use!

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Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 260
Re: Kikuhiromaru.
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2017, 06:28 AM »
Shinichi Watanabe also bought the 15 and 30mm Kikuhiromaru chisels for me and I picked them up at the post office on Tuesday. I now have all the sizes I need. He also included a very nice present, a Shobu finishing stone and a small nagura stone. The Shobu was a rough piece so I had to shape it and flatten it myself which took just a few minutes with my stationary belt sander. I then glued it to a piece of Aluminium and I lacquered the sides to stabilise it. And I have to say this stone is better than any other stone I have ever used. It also works extremely well with the nagura. With a slurry it's quite fast but still very fine. As with most natural stones the sharpening particles break down in use. This stone starts at roughly 8000 grit (the nagura is a bit courser but the sharpening particles also break down easily) and it becomes finer the longer I sharpen. I'd say it ends at roughly 10-12.000 grit. I've often read about the magic of Japanese natural stones and now I get what people mean. But this is not a stone for the majority of wood workers who obsess over shiny, highly polished bevels. It creates a hazy finish and most wood workers will think this means the edge is not as sharp as a highly polished edge. But that's the effect Youtube "experts" have on gullible people.

« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 10:56 AM by Lemwise »

Offline jimbo51

  • Posts: 402
Re: Kikuhiromaru.
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2017, 06:54 AM »
"But this is not a stone for the majority of wood workers who obsess over shiny, highly polished bevels. It creates a hazy finish and most wood workers will think this means the edge is not as sharp as a highly polished edge. But that's the effect Youtube "experts" have on gullible people."


A hazy finish means that there large numbers of different size particles interacting in the sharpening slurry. On a microscopic level that could mean a more striated edge that could act as a sawing action and well as a slicing action. A downside might be a less durable edge.

Does anyone know of a controlled study of hazy vs shiny edges and the effects on sharpness and edge durability.

Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 260
Re: Kikuhiromaru.
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2017, 07:37 AM »
Does anyone know of a controlled study of hazy vs shiny edges and the effects on sharpness and edge durability.

In my experience there is no correlation between a polished or hazy finish and edge sharpness or durability.

Also, your assumption that there are a large number of different sized particles in the slurry is not necessarily correct. A good example is the Sigma Select II 6000 grit stone. It also creates a hazy finish on most Western tool steels but it doesn't have a large variety of different sized particles because like with every synthetic stone the particles are screened for size. It's a true 6000 grit finish. It all depends on the composition of the stone and how it interacts with the steel.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 12:20 PM by Lemwise »

Offline six-point socket II

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Re: Kikuhiromaru.
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 06:38 PM »
(...)

Does anyone know of a controlled study of hazy vs shiny edges and the effects on sharpness and edge durability.

Hi,

you might want to do a search for: "Experiments on Knife Sharpening by John D. Verhoeven"

Or use this link:

https://archive.org/details/Experiments_on_Knife_Sharpening_John_Verhoeven

Have fun - if you're into this kind of stuff it's a great read and amazing piece work!

Kind regards,
Oliver
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 06:46 PM by six-point socket II »