Man cleans and sharpens old rusty knife to better than new in very satisfying video

Most places that do granite countertops have piles of the stuff laying around. My wife’s hometown has lots of quarries and granite wholesalers. So I bring back lots of it. One year I had them make her a 12 foot granite obelisk for a yard decoration. It was super inexpensive, but I had to haul it myself. If I had rear-ended someone or slammed on the brakes, it probably would have gone right through the car.
But it is definitely worth asking at countertop places if they have a scrap pile. You can use a tile saw to square up the pieces.


Brass and aluminum will bend concave or convex from temperature gradients being different from side to side. (The warm side goes convex) It may not be an issue here but it’s pretty important when working with glass or high tolerances. Iron, steel, stone and pyrex are pretty stable though.


If you want to do that to veggies yourself, the secret is sharpening one side of the knife and holding it at a more severe angle with the flat side of the blade facing the counter. It’s pretty easy to do with a big effect.


The most amazing part of the story is that somebody looked at that knife and said, “Yeah, I can get $3 for it. Just you watch.”

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I’ve been looking for some sort of material/object to polish, just as a way to diffuse nervous energy. Huge bonus if this involves restoring something old. I looked into silver for a while, but to do it properly you need all kinds of industrial stuff (like cyanide).

[quote=“simonize, post:2, topic:103050, full:true”]
Unimpressed cat is unimpressed.[/quote]
He and his wife have some interesting cats:


You and I share that sentiment. Late in the evening, when we settle in for a movie or whatever, I am always polishing something. Often it is old holsters or knife sheaths. Or whatever. gun stocks, swords. If I don’t have something I am currently working on, I will go down to the vault and pick something out.
One of the big secrets to aging new made leather items is to do it the same way Penn & Teller do some of their illusions. They get so good by putting an insane amount of effort and practice into what looks like a simple move. I can make a newly made holster look like it has been well taken care of for a century by polishing it over and over, and taking the pistol in and out hundreds of times. And wearing it.


Granite, if you can be reasonably assured that it’s perfectly flat. You see a lot of people using glass plates. Tiles. Or even metal plates. Though usually steel not something soft like brass. Anything sufficiently hard and perfectly flat supposedly.

Warped sharpening surface means warped knife. Brass may not be sufficiently flat to begin with. But more importantly its soft. So its easy to dent, bend, warp. And may become misshapen from use.

I mostly see people using spray adhesive to stick the paper to whatever plate their using. And you can also use stropping/abrasive compounds with this method. Seems like a nice cheap way to expand the range of sharpening grits you’ve got access to. I’ve yet to try it though.

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Yeah, my immediate thought was, ok it was (aprox.) $3, but how many hours of work?


Thick, polished edge glass works well also. You can get a piece sandpaper size fairly cheaply.

Good instructions in anotherone’s post, i would just add to clean well between grits.

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For some clarity on this, the guy in the video is being dishonest in a couple of things. He’s saying it’s just a rusty old knife, but his polishing skill, and skill with using the knife tell us that he’s wise to the bargain he got for $3. That’s a forged Japanese Usuba style knife, for cutting vegetables. It’s a hand made blade, as evidenced by the hand-engraved maker’s name on it. The company that made it is 関孫六 包丁 (Sekimagoroku knives), a company that used to make samurai swords. It’s just got a bit of surface rust on it, and no pitting or cracks because it’s really high quality steel. It probably is worth close to $100 even in that rusty state. He wants to make the guy jealous for selling it for $3, like a punishment, but in reality he should’ve given the guy an honest amount for it. How do I know this stuff, I have several similar knives, and have lived in Japan for 15+ years.


“Pleasing to watch…”? Would you say it’s r/oddlysatisfying?

Did he glue that cat to that chair?

“Cat is fascinated by house-ape’s obsessive behaviour”.


[quote=“Ryuthrowsstuff, post:28, topic:103050, full:true”]
You see a lot of people using glass plates. Tiles. Or even metal plates.
I mostly see people using spray adhesive to stick the paper to whatever plate their using. [/quote]
You must live in a strange neighborhood, In mine, I mostly see people walking dogs.


Not exactly polishing, but with old cast iron pans you can scrub and season them up to perfection. It can be very cheap because they look nasty and irreparable, you only need steel wool at the most, and then paper towels/oil.


Also call me lazy but the knife looks fine & useable after the first 1-2 cleaning steps. By the end it’s very good, even TOO good.

A machinist-flat piece of stone will also cost a shit-ton of money. If all you need to do is clean up a knife with surface rust on it, machinist grade tools are way overkill.

I have a piece of tempered glass that was salvaged from a dead toaster oven for occasionally sandpaper sharpening. It works perfectly well even if it would not make a decent machinist surface plate.

The knife shown is afflicted with simple surface rust. It really isn’t a big deal cleaning up a rusty knife when it has no significant pitting.

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I’ve got to warn you, I’ve been down that road and it’s risky business. For me it started when an antiques dealer made me an offer on a holster that I had aged in the same fashion you describe. I didn’t feel great about it, but it amounted to a week and a half’s pay at the crap data entry job I was working. More importantly, the validation. An honest $600 earned at the expense of your pride and dignity simply doesn’t compare to a dishonest $600 that you earn by outsmarting people who are taking you for an idiot.

Pretty soon I was earning an appreciable second income, selling “genuine” 19th century holsters to small time antiques dealers, but that’s not a huge market and people were starting to ask questions. I realized that if I was serious about quitting my job and living my dreams, I’d have to move up to the top tier of the antiques business—Sotheby’s, Christie’s, etc. The trouble is, those guys know the difference. A weapon that’s been drawn in anger by an experienced gunslinger wears on a holster differently than one that’s been carelessly whipped-out by some random buffoon.

To get the look of a gunfighter’s holster right, you need to draw like a gunfighter. You need a target. I started aging my holsters by drawing in front of a mirror. Over and over I would stare myself in the face, draw a gun, and pull the trigger, conjuring urgency and aggression out of my own self-loathing for the dishonest lifestyle I was leading. In the end, it worked. I sold two holsters through major auction houses for six figure sums, which I then used to quit my job and buy a house.

But it’s a kind of black magic—shooting yourself like that, again and again. Focusing your will on your own murder. It manifested in self-destructive habits and risky behaviors. Drinking and driving, Craigslist infidelities. It ended with my house in flames and the right side of my face scarred by the explosion—I had “forgotten” to close the valves on my stove top and carelessly lit a cigarette.

I nearly died that night, but in the end it was the best thing I had ever done. Only when I had destroyed my misbegotten treasures was I truly able to forgive myself and move on with my life.


My secret: If you’re going the sandpaper route, use a very thin layer of rubber cement on your stone, metal, micarta, glass, (whatever your preference is for non-bendy and hard), and another thin layer on the sandpaper. Viola! Easily removable contact cement that will keep your paper in place. Faux stone of whatever grit you want!