Some time ago somebody from my country has contacted me with some questions about knives. We started talking and after some time we became friends. This guy is a Ph.D. on Department of Parallel and Distributed Computing. Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science on Nicolaus Copernicus University. Yeah. Even I don't know what does that mean, but it's not about computers anymore. Trust me or not, but for me this guy is doing the best sushi in Poland. And he is not a pro. Just home cook and sushi enthusiast. Want to check it out? Check out his facebook and do not forget to like his page.
So after few attempts I've managed to force him to send me his knife. He has sharpened it and when I got it I thought that it is ok. It is sharp. The only problem was visual and it doesn't affect cutting. He was also complaining about shinogi line, because it was rounded, which was mostly visible near kanji. I didn't know what to do with that knife. As I said, it was sharp, it doesn't need any repair etc. Shipping from Poland to UK is quite expensive so it was pointless to just send it back. Then I have decided to make him surprise and to modify his yanagiba.
These are pictures of knife when I got it.
I hate those cheap handles with big ridge between handle and the ferrule. Also it was plastic.
So I started my work from fixing ura. As usual I have paint the back with red marker to see where I remove the metal.
So I thought that it will be cool if I try to even out the lines and then polish the ura. Back of the every single yanagi has diagonal scratches from the grinding wheel. To do that I used ura fixer which is a small rough stone. All you have to do with it is to hold it somehow and then grind some metal with forth and back moves.
And here it is. It is now even and smooth. All scratches from grinding wheel has dissappeared. Also now you can see the place where iron and steel became one. It was visible previously but not like that.
Now became the time to do something with shinogi line. Repairing shinogi is not easy and it's time consuming. I had two options to do that. First I could simply sharpen it for a very long time to lift shinogi line. The second option was to sacrifice a little bit of kanji and then make top part of the blade totally flat. With a little bit of normal sharpening I could make two bevels meet exactly where shinogi is.
To do that you must use 100% flat stone or diamond plates.
I've learned that before that every single bevel knife is concaved in place where everybody thinks that it's flat. On the picture below you can see that i am removing metal near shinogi and near spine.
Here it's almost complete. You can see almost sharp angle on shinogi line. It's still not sharp near the heel, but I was working on it.
Honestly I am happy with saya. I have managed to grind a very nice bevel on my new belt grinder. This also made me thinking and I think that if I did it in wood then I could make it in steel as well:D
Obviously saya is made from very bright cedar and colour doesn't match with handle so I have dyed it with mahoganny and walnut dyes.
So here it is. The complete modification. The owner of that knife is also hobbyist photographer. Some time ago, after little conversation he made me buy new camera. It is dslr Nikon D7100. It took me 4 days of experimenting with different exposures to take those pictures.
Here you can see new shonogi line. Due to some light reflexes you cannot see it, but trust me it is straight and sharp.
This is the picture which Michal, owner of that knife took before posting it to me.