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Dec 20, 2011 03:51 PM

My latest knife and stone acquisition

The knife's a vintage Chicago Cutlery 8" chef's. I plan to repair the blade and recontour/refinish the handle.

I have no idea what the stone is. I haven't tried sharpening anything on it yet. :-)
(Any guesses??)

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  1. That knife sure is cool. Does it have any areas where the edge is recessed? Can't see any from the pic. What repairs do you have in mind for the blade? Is it carbon steel?

    It's hard to say whether your stone is a carborundum or an Arkansas stone. I believe that if it is an Arkansas stone, the very dark color would indicate that it is what they sell as a 'surgical black,' which is a very fine finishing stone. So if your stone isn't quite fine, it's probably a carborundum stone... if I'm right, which I may not be. Chances are it's a carborundum stone anyway.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cowboyardee

      CBAD, do you mean non-straight (concave?) from previous sharpenings? It looks to be pretty straight. I like the general shape of the blade, so all I really had in mind was cleaning it up to new condition. The blade is stainless.

      I also thought Arkansas "surgical black." It's very fine-grain, not at all like the man-made combo carborundum I use for my garage tools.

      1. re: Eiron

        Yeah, I was talking about concave parts of the edge. I've also seen it called a regrind (though I think that usually refers to a convex curve in the edge that's intentional). It's a common problem with used vintage knives.

        I was assuming you had seen a thread I made about fixing a vintage knife, but looking back on it now, I notice you didn't post on it, so maybe you didn't see it. Just in case, here it is:

        The carborundum stones I've seen have had a sort of distinct feel to em, even the fine ones. I just can't tell what your stone is without seeing it in person. But it's entirely possible that it's an Arkansas stone.

        1. re: cowboyardee

          CBAD, no, I'd not seen that thread. Thanks for the link! That must've been during my extra-busy time at work, preparing new business proposals.

          The carborundum stones I've ever handled were all very "grabby" against my skin, even on their fine grit sides. They give me sort of a "cinder block vibe." And all very pre-fab feeling. I'll take some pictures of this stone next to my garage tools stone.

          I tried polishing a cheap Farberware paring knife on it last night. It actually worked pretty well, but the stone's surface is both gouged & glazed. And it seems pretty soft, but maybe that was all the glazing feedback. Any suggestions on cleaning up the stone's surface? I mean, both to deglaze it & to remove the gouges?

          1. re: Eiron

            Carborundum & Mystery Stone.
            (Hmmm, sounds like a good name for an album...)

            1. re: Eiron

              ... and the pics that fell off during File Save ...

    2. Cool. I don't have any good guess, but are these white line marks on the stones? Are they fine fracture from a natural stone?

      15 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Chem, the white lines are actually grooves worn into the stone. It's almost like someone was using it to sharpen fish hooks, maybe? It makes me think it's relatively soft, but I haven't tried working anything against it yet.

        1. re: Eiron

          :) I see. I thought they looks like those typical lines from natural stone, like this:

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I see. I thought they looks like those typical lines from natural stone
            That was my first thought too

            1. re: Dave5440

              Chem/Dave, I'll get some better low-angle pictures of the stone's surface. Everything on its surface looks like gouging to me.

              1. re: Eiron

                No, no. I believe you. They initially made me think it is a natural stone, but you get to see the stone in person, so you know what is going on.

        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Stone pics, as purchased (before surface re-finishing).

          1. re: Eiron

            Stone pics, after surface refinishing.

            1. re: Eiron

              ... and again, the pics that failed to load the first time they were posted ...

              1. re: Eiron

                Cool.... although you took more photos of your stones than any of your knives. Did you buy the stone off the street? It certainly looks different than the two layers carborundum stone. I can't be sure what it is. Rob may know.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Chem -
                  I bought both the chef knife & stone at the same time, from the local Habitat For Humanity store. I took extra pictures just for you, buddy! :-)

                  CBAD & I were both thinking it's an Arkansas Black (see the earlier posts in this thread. :-P). I actually used the coarse side of the carborundum to remove the surface crud off of the black stone.

                  As a side note, I used the black stone this afternoon while sharpening 6 of my MIL's knives. I used it as a finishing stone on her 2 Messermeister cook's knives, after medium & fine Spyderco ceramic bench stones. The finish is very, very close to the finish left by the Spyderco fine ceramic. Maybe a touch nicer, but not much.

                  1. re: Eiron

                    "from the local Habitat For Humanity store"

                    I have not heard of it until now. Now I do.

                    "I took extra pictures just for you, buddy! :-) "

                    :) It seems you are more excited about the stone than your knives (because you took many more photos than your past knives.... alternatively, you got a new camera). That's all.

                    "CBAD & I were both thinking it's an Arkansas Black"

                    Yeah, I read the earlier posts. I lean toward you guys, but I don't really know.

                    "The finish is very, very close to the finish left by the Spyderco fine ceramic"

                    That's cool.

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Dave -
                    Yes, all of the writing is very clearly stamped. In fact, I've never seen something made in China quite so proudly identified. :-) Must be a "house specialty"! I'm not near the knife right now, but IIRC the brand is Forshan & it has "Three Rams Brand" and "#2" also stamped on it.

                    And yes, Jim is correct, it's a cutting board. We were at one of those "boutique" furniture stores on the walking mall (in Boulder) & they had a pile of "reclaimed furniture scrap" boards in various sizes. It was a little over-priced, but it's appearance is worth something extra, IMO. We've had it for just over a year, but I never really liked using it until this past Thanksgiving. That's when I finally sanded the corners & edges from sharp angles to rounded transitions.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Sorry Dave, I don't know why this posted way up here. I'm having to type this all out on my phone & the Chow Android app seems to be having some kind of difficulty processing it.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          LOL, I know! I was replying to Dave's post 5 or so below us, where he asked about the knife markings & the background. I don't know why it attached way up here!
                          The Chow sprites must be toying with me...

            2. Those old CC's recover quite well. Clean and oil the handle, polish the steel, and resharpen.
              For $1.00 that is a find. Looks better that some I run across.

              *rant* It is a crime how good those old CCs are compared to the ones they make today.


              12 Replies
              1. re: knifesavers

                Jim, LOL, I know what you mean! The Habitat store had quite a few CC knives in this same condition, so I'm guessing they were all donated together. I almost bought the companion slicer, but I was really only interested in the chef's. The handle has many layers of some kind of coating, & the brass rivets are greening around the edges from moisture. I'll try to get some good pre-rework pictures. I'm planning to completely remove the sealing finish & then recontour the shape of the handle to something less blocky. I pretty much like the shape of the blade the way it is. I might try to take a little of the belly out of it; we'll see. Otherwise, I'm only planning to repair the blade back to as original condition as possible.

                1. re: Eiron

                  Handle closeup, as purchased.

                  1. re: Eiron

                    Here's how the handle looks now.

                    1. re: Eiron

                      Nice work, Eiron. I'm pitifully clueless when it comes to woodworking - what did you use to shape and finish the handle? I'm thinking my vintage dexter could benefit from the same treatment?

                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        CBAD, I used the same 1x42 belt grinder that I use for repairing the steel ends of the knives. :-) I dedicate belts solely to the woodworking side of things & keep them separate from the steelworking ones.

                        I did the shaping free-hand, working on each side a little at a time until I got something I wanted. It's not exactly where I want the handles of my own knives (when I get to that point), but it's a lot nicer than the original block shape.

                        When I was done I gave it a hand sanding & then a mineral oil application. I let the oil soak in for a day & then applied a beeswax paste with the heat from a hair dryer.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Thanks Chem, it's SO much nicer to work with now! :-)

                        2. re: Eiron

                          Nice! How did the edge turn out?

                          I have 3 of those in the recondition que to do tonight.


                          1. re: knifesavers

                            Jim, the edge will push-cut paper, but it won't shave arm hair. I didn't take the angle down below about 20 degrees, since I'm handing it over to a friend who has no knife sharpening accessories or experience.

                            In comparison, the Sabatier I just fixed will shave. But as you know, the blade is thinner behind the edge on that one. After the belts, I used the Spyderco bench ceramics on both knives.

                          2. re: Eiron

                            I have some CCs and while I don't find the handles uncomfortable, they are ugly as sin. Looks very nice.

                            Any recommendations on the belt(s) for the 1x42 for wood?

                            1. re: SanityRemoved

                              Well, I used what I had on-hand: 120/220/320

                              The 120 removed material very fast, so be careful with that grit. I used it mostly to remove the squared-off edges.

                              The 220 had the best all-purpose "feel" to it (to me). It removed material at a decent rate but slow enough that I could change contours without an "Oh Crap!" moment. It also left a nice enough finish.

                              The 320 let me get into the close-quarters work (the taper towards the blade & the point at the rear of the underside) with less fear of leaving gouges in the wood. It was also great for overall finishing.

                              Since I'm not a woodworker, my general recommendations would be:
                              Masking-tape the edge of the blade
                              Use light pressure with all the belts, especially around the metal bits
                              Take it slow to give yourself time to consider what you want to remove next
                              Stop & hold your work the way you do when you use the knife

                              1. re: Eiron

                                Thanks, I'll have to order some 220.

                    2. And the new knife from yesterday's trip to drop off a clothes dryer. (The originally posted knife & stone were the result of dropping off an electric range.) :-)

                      18 Replies
                      1. re: Eiron

                        That's a very interesting looking knife Eiron, can you make out the writing on it , and what is the background you are taking the pictures on, it looks stunning.

                        1. re: Dave5440

                          Bet it is a fancy wooden cutting board. A guy is few booths up from me sells some similar to that.



                          1. re: knifesavers

                            There's no way I could use a knife on that piece of wood even if it is a cutting board,

                        2. re: Eiron

                          What is going on, man? I am starting to worry about you. Is there like a strange dude hanging around your local dry cleaner store selling knives and stones?


                          I recognize this knife.... is it a used knife or a brand new knife? It is a very specialized knife for duck and particularly duck skin.... I don't think you will get to use it often. :P

                          If you scroll down to the near bottom of the page (third row from the bottom), then you will see these duck slicer knives:


                          It is use to slice the crispy skin off of Peking duck:



                          Edited: Forget I asked. I took a closer look.... it is a used knife.

                          Edited Again: I just looked at the second video more closely.... man, those customers are annoying as hell. (customers are not always right)

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            "What is going on, man? I am starting to worry about you. Is there like a strange dude hanging around your local dry cleaner store selling knives and stones?"

                            *sheepishly looks at the 18 knives in the recondition pile from this week*


                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Chem, the CC knife that Eiron first posted about is one of the CC knives that I have told you about. I just picked up another one of these the other day. I have 6 of those 8" inch chef's knives and I never paid more than $3 for any of them. I have passed on CC when the handles are bleached white from a dishwasher because although I know I could sharpen the blades again I don't wish to mess with the wood.

                              I also have the duck slicer knife although I admit I did not know it was for ducks until reading your post. It has the same design on the handle with some Asian characters on the blade, a '2' stamped on the blade and what looks like a goat and a pig stamped on the blade as well. (Why not a duck?)

                              I don't really need any of these knives but it's not how many a person needs but how many are desired. I don't need any more knives. My eyes have been known to glaze over when reading the minutia of some of the knife threads. But when the opportunity to buy a new, decent knife at a cheap price I usually do not pass on it.

                              1. re: John E.

                                "I have 6 of those 8" inch chef's knives and I never paid more than $3 for any of them."

                                6 Chicago Cutlery knives alone, huh? Where do you storage all these knives?

                                "a '2' stamped on the blade and what looks like a goat and a pig stamped on the blade as well. (Why not a duck?)"

                                The "2" is the size number. The Chinese has a numbering system which I don't quiet understand. I think the lower the number, the larger the knife. The goat is probably a brand symbol, much like the Zwilling Henckels symbol:


                                I hope the duck knife will encourage you to cook more ducks. :) Although I have to say it is probably unhealthy to eat all those duck skin. :D

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  We ate a lot of duck when I was a kid because we did a lot of waterfowl hunting but they didn't have the fat of domestic ducks. I keep the CC knives in a box in the basement. I also have several slicers, serrated bread knives, boning knives, paring knives, and three sets of 6 steak knives. As I have said, I am giving them away to family members as needed. I have also found several different brands of forged German knock-off knives. Although they are made in China, they are still better knives than most of what is out there. Sometimes the thrift stores put several knives into a plastic bag so I have gotten crappy knives too. I donate those back.

                                  We occasionally stop at a Dairy Queen in northern Minnesota on the way to our cabin. On the bulletin board is an index card advertising ducks and geese for sale, $5 per duck, $8 per goose. I called the guy up and asked if that's cleaned and frozen. He replied "It's on the hoof". If I want fresh duck or goose I suppose I'll have to bring my own gunny sack. I have not bought any yet, it just has not been convenient to pick a duck or a goose. I did enough of that as a kid.

                                  1. re: John E.

                                    Eiron just reminded us that these knives are also known as watermelon knives.


                                    Now, you have no excuse not to eat your watermelons. :)

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Maybe this one:

                                The brand that John (below) is mentioning is "Three Rams Brand," with the rams pictured. I sounds like the same thing I bought. I don't know what makes a "fruit knife" a specialized item.

                                1. re: Eiron

                                  Ah, oh yes, it could be a what many people call a watermelon knife. A knife for large fruit. They are very similar in shape and in size. Here is also a picture of a watermelon knife and you can find many more on the internet:



                                  To be honest, I don't know if a duck knife is much different than a melon knife.

                                  Well, eating fruits are certainly healthier than roasted ducks.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    But - but - but - I certainly love a well-made roasted duck! 8-D

                                    Obviously, if Chase is selling these things for $3.99, I didn't get such a great deal at $3.00. But I'm seriously thinking of grinding down the squared-off end & turning this knife into a big ol' santoku. :-)

                                    The blade is very thin, hollow-ground about 1/2" up on the back & then sharpened with the same 1/2" high primary bevel & very small (1/64"?) secondary bevel on the front. (So the grinding you see in the picture is the hollow ground back side.)

                                    1. re: Eiron

                                      "I certainly love a well-made roasted duck! 8-D "

                                      No duck for you. Eat a watermelon instead. 8D

                                      "Obviously, if Chase is selling these things for $3.99"

                                      Was yours a new knife or a used knife? Do you know if it is carbon steel or stainless steel?

                                      "But I'm seriously thinking of grinding down the squared-off end & turning this knife into a big ol' santoku. :-) "

                                      Is this part of your training to be a professional knife maker? Selling gigantic sankotu.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        Chem, mine's definitely used. The price I paid was $3+tax, so new ones at $3.99 (+ shipping?) Would seem to be a much beter deal!

                                        I'm not sure, but most of the info I've been able to dig up leads me to believe it's a carbon knife.

                                        LOL, no, I was just looking at the shape & thinking I wanted to round off that top end corner of the blade. A giant santoku would be the result. :-) Or I could just cut the end off of it & turn it into a micro-cleaver. :-D

                                        That would confuse a few folks, wouldn't it?

                                  2. re: Eiron

                                    Looks like someone takes some pride in their product to me, nice find E , hey did you ever post that review on chem's knife?

                                    1. re: Dave5440

                                      Dave, no, I've started it, but it's still not finished. :-O

                                      And I need to finish it, 'cuz I'm waiting to post mine before I read CBAD's review of it! :-D

                                      1. re: Eiron

                                        whew glad I didn't miss it, always late to the party

                                        1. re: Eiron

                                          You are not writing a long dissertation, are you? :P