Some years ago a neighbor and very close friend, Susan, brought me a fine kitchen knife she had made a large chip in (about 1/8") while trying to cut
through some small bones. She said she had gotten it while in Japan. Susan went on and on about how special this knife was. Well, I could have done a fairly
quick job of it by grounding the entire edge down to remove the chip, then grind and sharpen new bevels of about 35 degrees (typical of our western cutlery).
But as I looked at it more carefully I realized the bevel
was exceptionally fine, about 12 degrees (total), running all the way to the edge except for the tiniest microbevel! I decided
I would be true to the maker and maintain the 12 degree bevel while removing the chipped area. Because it was already heat treated, I would have to use brand new grinding belts
to avoid overheating. An hour of very careful grinding and
about $30 of belts later, I was finally done. I brought it home and put it in my wood knife block for Susan's visit to come get it. That night, while cutting raw carrots for stirfry,
I wondered if it really made any difference, that fine bevel. So I grabbed Susan's knife and took a few chops on the carrot. The knife went through the carrot so easily,
I honestly thought I missed it - wow, it really did make a difference! I was impressed, and decided that if I were ever to make cutlery, that was what I was going to shoot for.
I figured my forged bevels and special heat treating would be a great combo for the ultra fine edge!