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mirror finish honyaki

Discussion in 'Sharpening forum' started by Rami, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. how do I get to new condition? what buffing compounds should I use? whats the process here, its in good shape but wondering if can get better?
  2. Kim Bronnum

    Kim Bronnum Founding Member

    I would use a sandpaper progression up to 1000 grit and finish with fingerstones. I suppose Maxim sells them. I'm no expert but I've polished a few cladded gyutos with sandpaper to a near mirror finish. It takes hours by hand but 'those who know' don't recommend buffing wheels.
  3. JBroida

    JBroida Founding Member

    Really? How do you think the craftsmen in Japan are mirror finishing the knives they make? That being said, buffing setups for knives can be extremely dangerous so I don't recommend it to most people.
  4. so i should find a professional to do it for me? I just want to do it once.
  5. PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue Tactical Walrus Founding Member Contributor

    Most mirror finishes are the result of excellent surface prep, and careful buffing with appropriate compounds.
  6. How would you maintain a mirror finished knife? I am guessing high grit sanding and buffing?
  7. schanop

    schanop Founding Member

  8. Thanks Schanop, you are a legend :). Any special techniques/ guides?
  9. schanop

    schanop Founding Member

    Probably just something as simply as going from course to fine grit; spend enough time on each grit level making sure you have erased most or all of previous courser scratch pattern; use some sort of soft backing; and sand or polish in the same direction to keep scratch pattern consistent.
  10. V1P

    V1P Founding Member

    Besides hand sanding with sandpaper and compounds, is there a motorised tool to make it easier and faster?

    I think I read something about using a bench grinder but with buffing wheel.
  11. Twistington

    Twistington Founding Member

    I use a benchgrinder with a buffing wheel, the wheel is too close to the motor for my liking though but it works for the minimal use it gets.
  12. V1P

    V1P Founding Member

    How many watts motor do you have? I saw a few bench grinders at my local hardware store and was wondering if the cheapest one would suffice. I know that the commercial specced ones may be too fast and dangerous to be used on knives.

    My idea is just to maintain the look of my knives and I sometimes do a spa treatment of work colleagues' knives. It is the usual scratches on the blade face, either from sharpening or daily use.
  13. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

    Just to throw this out- was the knife mirror finished already? If so it may only need some metal polish and a soft cloth, Sorry if I am missing something as some of the luminaries of the custom knife world have already given some gold star advice. :cool1

  14. butch

    butch Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    ust remember you can not buff out scratches you jsut round off edges and melt away any grind lines. i have a blade i need to put a hell of a shine on and am putting it off by only doing a bit of it at a time cause doing it right sucks
  15. V1P

    V1P Founding Member

    First of all, sorry to hijack your thread Rami. I do feel that we are in the same boat and can both benefit from this.

    Jim, I myself have both factory mirror polished knives and also the normal belt finished ones.

    I agree with your suggestion of just using metal polish to maintain factory finished ones.

    My original question relate to more general polishing, to get rid of minor scratches on the blade face of normal belt finished knives.

    What I have been doing lately is to just use a progression of sandpaper and flitz to finish and it has been working well for me.

    I do find it time consuming and tedious and was wondering for a quicker method, with the use of a bench grinder turned into a buffer.
  16. V1P

    V1P Founding Member

    Butch, is buffing out scratches with sandpaper also round off edges and melt away grind lines, or does that only apply to bench grinder turned buffer?
  17. Feel free I don't mind :). Let me elaborate on my own circumstances. I found a nice mirror finished honyaki. It has some very minor scuffing from normal use and I would like to restore it to like new or as close to it as I can. Not sure of the process. Would fine grain sanding restore it or should I get buffing?
  18. PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue Tactical Walrus Founding Member Contributor

    Gents. Any scratches, as Butch mentioned, need to be removed by sanding. Depending on the depth of the scratches a coarser grit may be required. You don't remove scratches. You are removing the metal around the scratches, until the bottom of the scratch, and the surface of the blade are on the same plane. Then you polish/buff. You cannot remove scratches without removing metal. Polishing without a buffer or disk grinder is labor intensive. Polishing with a disk sander and buffer can be dangerous, and caution is required. Once you are at 1000 grit, you can go to a buffer. It would be better if you go to a higher grit.

    A lot of buffing compounds have abrasive particles suspended in a waxy/grease base. Depending on the quality of the product, odd size particles can worsen scratches quite quickly, taking you back to where you started, or further.

    I have been doing this for a while, not as long as some, but am comfortable with my equipment. I have a variable speed disk that goes from 10 to 1750 RPM, I also have one at 3600 RPM that runs flat out. I also have the luxury of 2 x 72" cork belts that I can load with what compound I choose. Trust me when I say a moments hesitation, or distraction on any machine, will result in a blade no longer in your control. Hopefully it hits the floor or wall, and not you.

    Some people do it slowly with a dremel, and a little buffing wheel. Making knives, I dont have the luxury of being slow, so I typically use the fastest tool I have. Any bench grinder will double as a buffer. Just put cloth wheels on it. There are many types of wheels. I use a tight sewn muslin treated wheel, and a loose sewn untreated wheel. Some compounds with fine grits, and some scratchless compounds.

    Crappy thing with a mirror finish, is it will show any and all scratches. You can scuff a softer steels mirror finish, by drying it with a rough drying cloth. Decide if the finish is worth restoring. Yeah its pretty, but its a PITA. A nice even smokey finish may prove better in some situations.

    V1P: Sanding if done correctly can enhance grind lines. If you sand over any surface, plunge line, grind line, you will round it over. You need to sand with the intent of keeping those features crisp. Sand up to them, along them, but not over them.
  19. zitangy

    zitangy Founding Member


    a good general reference.. i believe..
    At all times.. safety is the key. A good general sense of common sense, being extra careful and some degree of being afraid or much respect to what an uncontrolled might do to my digits makes sense.

    I still do it at times and over the years... still a little afraid

    have fun whilst you are at it
    rgds D
  20. Guess what. I tried the high grit jewellers paper and saw a very small change. Next time I take the knife to an onion it patina's like crazy. So now I can't see the scratches. :D not sure what's the point of getting a honyaki

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