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Advantages and disadvantages of different sharpening techniques

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This topic contains 61 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Mark76 10/14/2017 at 10:12 pm.

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  • #41442

    MarcH
    Moderator

      Redheads as long as I have participated in this Wicked Edge Forum, long before being moderator, we forum participants and contributors have always been about helping to find and provide solutions, and learning while doing this.   I don’t know what else to say.  I apologize for my assumption that you were sharing with us because you sought our help, a solution, to a knife sharpening issue with your Wicked Edge System.  As you say, maybe this is not the right forum for your discussion of the long-term viability of a knife edge.  Actually, maybe just the wrong thread.  I’m sure there are plenty of this Forum’s Participants that find the subject matter interesting.  Possibly the discussion deserves it’s own Topic?

      As for the steel in my Kramer Knives, when I was sent them in exchange for several Miyabi 5000MCD Birchwood Knives that I was unsatisfied with, I was told by the Zwilling Representative, my Kramer Euroline  Essential Collection Knives they were sending me in replacement were VG10 steel hardened at HRc61.  I read that there is some discussion that the steel may be AEB-L, and some say VG10.  So you may be right and I may be wrong, either way, I apologize.

      Marc

      #41446

      MarcH
      Moderator

        Redheads:

        I just started a Forum Topic:  Long Term Viability of a Knife Edge (Metallurgic Theories) Under Thoughts/Theories/Science Related to Sharpening which is in the Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Forum.  I invite Redheads and others to continue this conversation with our Forum Members there.  There are many knife sharpening issues we come across that are not WEPS related or WEPS solved.  A variety of metallurgic issues are common.  This is a good place to share these issues, concerns and theories.

        Marc

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        #41450

        tcmeyer
        Participant

          TC you bring up something I’ve been wondering about. Many knives I come across have those pesky little chips. As we remove them by taking off quite a bit of steel (relatively speaking) we start going into thicker parts of the blade which long term will require thinning of the blade. Is it possible to do thinning with the WEPS ?

          Thinning a blade is a task best suited for a belt sander, where quite a bit of material can be removed in a short time.  Where the blade has a grind that is more complex than an FFG kitchen knife, you’d need some special fixturing as well.  I’d send you directly to Josh at Razor Edge Knives, knowing that he does outstanding work.

          For the FFG kitchen knives, I have a 6″ – wide belt sander.  I hold the blade flat against the belt, with my finger tips applying light pressure right behind the edge.  When I feel heat starting to build, I remove the knife from the sander and dip it in a pitcher of water.

          I did about fifteen very inexpensive 7.5″ Chicago Cutlery chefs’ knives like this which I gave as Christmas gifts.  They come with an already-thin bevel shoulder at about 0.025″ and I thinned them down to between 0.010″ and 0.015″.  Several recipients have said it was the best knife they’ve ever used.  Of course, they’ve probably never even held a knife that thin, because only the best steels could stand up to regular use with an edge that thin.  The steel in these knives is pretty good and they are a joy to use.  I gave them with a promise of free sharpenings for life.  Mine, not theirs.

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          #41451

          tcmeyer
          Participant

            TC you bring up something I’ve been wondering about. Many knives I come across have those pesky little chips. As we remove them by taking off quite a bit of steel (relatively speaking) we start going into thicker parts of the blade which long term will require thinning of the blade. Is it possible to do thinning with the WEPS ?

            Unless the face grinds are relatively steep, as with a narrow-bladed folder, each sharpening probably removes less than 0.010″ at the apex, or about 1/4 of a millimeter.  (This is about the average depth I see with typical chip damage.)  Chips are supposed to be an unusual occurrence, compared to normal wear, so it should take quite a few sharpenings for the thickness of the blade at the bevel shoulders to be a factor.  This would indicate that the knife is getting a lot of use and we must keep in mind that this is a consumable item.  They don’t last forever unless you keep it in a display case.

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            #41455

            MarcH
            Moderator

              Thinning a blade is a task best suited for a belt sander, where quite a bit of material can be removed in a short time. Where the blade has a grind that is more complex than an FFG kitchen knife, you’d need some special fixturing as well. I’d send you directly to Josh at Razor Edge Knives, knowing that he does outstanding work. 

              Tom, thanks for sharing this.  It reminds me that my experience (or actually “lack of experience”) is very limited because I sharpen almost exclusively FFG Kitchen and Chef’s knives.  I forget to consider the various grinds involved in EDC knives let alone all the other shaped knives like hunting knives, and fishing knives.  Everyone of those is certainly more complex than FFG knives when it comes to a regrind.

               

              Marc

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              #41459

              Mark76
              Keymaster

                Many knives I come across have those pesky little chips. As we remove them by taking off quite a bit of steel (relatively speaking) we start going into thicker parts of the blade which long term will require thinning of the blade. Is it possible to do thinning with the WEPS?

                I have thinned the profile of several knives, that is the shoulder behind/above the edge and higher, still, above the shoulder. Some issued I ran into: 1) it’s hard to achieve an angle that low with the WE System, without hitting the jaws and/or vice. 2) It’s a lot of steel to try to remove by a method intended to remove small amounts of steel. (Especially if it’s a very hard steel). 3) It’s hard to remove that amount of steel and maintain the smooth, consistent and uniform shape of the knife’s original grind. My impression, to truly thin the grind of a knife is a regrind requiring the use of a proper tool like a belt grinder or a long slow process by free hand on a large flat stone.

                Readheads, I think thinning is definitely possible, depending on what you mean by it. If you mean just reprofiling a knife (i.e. putting on a new bevel with the same angles on both sides), I guess we both do that regularly. If you mean putting on a new bevel with higher angles, it depends. You are restricted by the physical possibilities of the WEPS (depending on the version you have and possible attachments, but say, 13 degrees) and the time you have 🙂 . The higher the angle, the lower the new shoulder and the more steel you have to remove.

                Which also brings me to a question: Marc, what do you mean by (thinning) the profile of a knife? I agree with you (I think) and others that if you want to reprofile an entire blade (i.e. put on a new bevel that requires you to remove metal from the entire blade), there are more appropriate tools than the WEPS, like a belt grinder.

                Which does not mean it’s impossible. In fact, these day I am watching in amazement photographs on the Dutch knife forum by a guy who is reprofiling an entire blade by hand. And he is aiming for a flat edge, not a convex one.

                Thinning a blade is a task best suited for a belt sander, where quite a bit of material can be removed in a short time [..] I’d send you directly to Josh at Razor Edge Knives, knowing that he does outstanding work.

                I couldn’t agree more.

                And could somebody please explain to me the difference between a bevel and an edge? (Some time ago already, I was corrected by someone who said I was mixing up a bevel and an edge. In these cases, Google is often your best friend, but in this case it only confuses me more when I encounter discussions on bevelled edges or discussions throwing in the concept of a chamfer (versus a bevel, not versus an edge) only to confuse more.)

                Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

                #41461

                MarcH
                Moderator

                  MarK76 by (thinning) the profile I meant thinning the knife so the width or thickness of the knife’s steel above/behind the shoulder is narrower.  When you do this with the Wicked Edge you are really grinding or adding/profiling another bevel above/behind the knife’s cutting bevel. As you remove metal this extends this new bevel closer and closer to the knife’s edge.  You can use the knife with the additional bevel and it is thinner than it was. Or eventually if you continue to remove metal, as these two bevel sides are extended towards the tip, it will become the new edge or apex of the knife.

                  By the way Mark76 the way the Forum mechanism adds quotes from the above post, to your forum response, it does sometimes place the wrong writer as responsible for the paraphrase quoted.  In the case I refer to I am given credit for saying something Redheads wrote.  I have noticed this in other instances too.

                  By my understanding, “the bevel” is the flat, slanted, narrowing sides of the knife ground into the knifes actual grind or shape.  The bevels can be extended right to the apex where it becomes the edge.  It also can be in incorporated with other bevels and not extend to edge.  The point where the two opposite side bevels converge at the apex is the knife’s edge.

                  Marc

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                  #41462

                  Mark76
                  Keymaster

                    MarK76 by (thinning) the profile I meant thinning the knife so the width or thickness of the knife’s steel above/behind the shoulder is narrower.  When you do this with the Wicked Edge you are really grinding or adding/profiling another bevel above/behind the knife’s cutting bevel. As you remove metal this extends this new bevel closer and closer to the knife’s edge.  You can use the knife with the additional bevel and it is thinner than it was. Or eventually if you continue to remove metal, as these two bevel sides are extended towards the tip, it will become the new edge or apex of the knife.

                    Thanks Marc, I think I now get what you mean. And thanks for explaining the difference between an edge and a bevel.

                    By the way Mark76 the way the Forum mechanism adds quotes from the above post, to your forum response, it does sometimes place the wrong writer as responsible for the paraphrase quoted.  In the case I refer to I am given credit for saying something Redheads wrote.  I have noticed this in other instances too.

                    I don’t know whether in this case the forum software screwed up or I did. I was just editing my previous reply in order to get both the quotation and the responsible author right. I hope it is ok now. But that is indeed not easy to do with the current forum software. I’ve opened a new topic on that.

                    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

                    #41465

                    MarcH
                    Moderator

                      I have thinned knives on several occasions using WEPS, admittedly and not proudly, with the best looking results.  Here are some photos of one of my efforts done on a “Richmond Artifex Santoku in AEB-L.  It’s a rather hard, tough steel.  I wore out my WEPS Diamond Stones prematurely and scratched the knife badly.  So much for the cosmetic character of the knife.  In these photos you can see the two distinct bevels.  As the profile of the knife changes along the knife’s length the shape and eveness of the thinning bevel also is affected.  This can be seen by the shape of the bevel towards the heel of the knife.

                      Thinned-Edge-or-Second-Bevel
                      The bad scratches on the knife’s sides towards the tip are from when I attempted to widen the thinning bevel “free hand” using an “Atoma” Diamond Plate Stone. Second-Bevel-to-thin-edge
                      The bottom line, it was a good learning experience and the knife is thinner and performs better, with less effort.  It ain’t no beauty but it is a beast!  It works great on BBQ spare ribs.
                      I still consider getting a belt sander so I can attempt to do the job correctly, as Tom does.

                       

                       

                       

                      Marc

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                      #41469

                      Organic
                      Participant

                        I intend to purchase one of those AMK75 belt grinder setups for knife thinning and to experiment with free hand work. It’s on a (long) list of things I hope to purchase some day.

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                        #41472

                        MarcH
                        Moderator

                          Looks like a nice system.  What in particular interests me is the design of the self centering knife holder clamp.  It would be nice if Clay could apply that clamp design to the WEPS LAA.  It probably would need some thinning out but I like that it’s self-centering.

                          Marc

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                          #41496

                          MarcH
                          Moderator

                            Could somebody please explain to me the difference between a bevel and an edge? (Some time ago already, I was corrected by someone who said I was mixing up a bevel and an edge. In these cases, Google is often your best friend, but in this case it only confuses me more when I encounter discussions on bevelled edges or discussions throwing in the concept of a chamfer (versus a bevel, not versus an edge) only to confuse more.)

                            Mark76, I finally realized where my terminology or at least my use of terminology was confusing to you.  I took your que and “Googled” knife edge and it became clear.  For you, I believe, “knife edge” is the portion of the knife that does the cutting…that whole portion of the knife.  You are correct.  I am probably using the terms too literally or too specifically, (and probably wrongfully), and not generally how the terminology should be used.  Yes, the edge is the entire portion of the knife that does the cutting, the sharp part.  The edge in turn is made up of the specific portions including the bevels, (single bevel in the case of a chisel point) and the cutting tip, (i.e., the cutting edge) or the apex of the knife.  The bevels are the portion of the tip that we work so diligently with our Wicked Edge Systems, to grind flat and smoothly polished at precise angles in relationship to knife and each other.  The point where the flat planes of the bevels, (when dealing with a double beveled knife) extends off the knife, into space and intersect, (i.e., physically intersect), is the apex.  I was calling this point of intersection, the very-tip-of the-tip, (i.e., the apex), “the edge”, and not including all the other parts, that make up the edge.  Now I see how my use of the terminology is confusing.  In your understanding the edge includes everything.  I apologize for causing you confusion.  I hope this clears things up for you.

                             

                             

                            Marc

                            #41497

                            Mark76
                            Keymaster

                               The point where the flat planes of the bevels, (when dealing with a double beveled knife) extends off the knife, into space and intersect, (i.e., physically intersect), is the apex.

                              LOL, yeah, Thanks! The edge is made up of one (or two?) or more bevels. I completely understand now. And you too, I think 🙂 . And if you allow me to correct you just once: if two flat planes intersect, this results in a line, not just one point. Fortunately, an apex is (or can be represented by) a line.

                               

                              Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

                              #41504

                              MarcH
                              Moderator

                                You are correct, the points where the two planes intersect make a line, the line is the apex.  Thanks for that.  Now were cooking with the same recipe.

                                Marc

                                #41505

                                RazorEdgeKnives
                                Participant

                                  Mark, there seems to be a lot of confusion w/ terms when it comes to bevels/grinds and terminology. So after being in this business for several years I have come to realize that this confusion comes in part just from a lack of knowledge and partly from different terminology used on Japanese style knives vs. Western style knives. Here are the main terms that I feel are important (there are also variations of these but these are the main ones imho). The term grind and bevel can actually be used interchangeably, because when you grind something you are putting a bevel into it.

                                  Primary Grind/Bevel
                                  Secondary Grind/Bevel
                                  Micro bevel

                                  So for example, here is the typical Japanese definition for knife geometry. If you are into Japanese knives (like you are) then these are the terms you are probably most familiar with, terms that Murray Carter uses for knives he works on:

                                   

                                  However, in this picture below this is the terminology we typically try to use (as knife makers and users) to describe knife geometry. I favor these terms personally because: 1. it makes more sense to me, as the primary grind is the main grind that makes a blade blank into an actual knife. 2. if you have a zero ground blade, using the first picture that would have to be called the ‘secondary edge/bevel’, which is can be confusing since in a zero ground blade there is only one bevel.

                                  And when you get into micro bevels, they are “micro” as in you can either barely see it or not at all. this should be done at higher/more obtuse angles than the edge had been finished at with very light passes, less than 5-10 per side. This will add strength to the edge to resist lateral deformation (rolls, denting, and even chipping) and can also make touch ups much easier at the micro bevel angle (i.e. go from won’t cut to hair popping sharp in less than 45 seconds). But keep in mind that as you sharpen a micro bevel, it can turn into an additional bevel. I know you know a lot of this but hopefully it will help clear up confusion for others that read through in the coming months. 🙂

                                  So, practically speaking. When people refer to the ‘edge’, or reprofiling/thinning the edge, they are referring to the secondary bevel – most are not referring to a full regrind of the primary bevel. The edge itself could have multiple bevels but I would still refer to this as the ‘secondary grind/bevel’. It’s not that either of these two sets of terms are better than the other, it’s mainly which preference you have and what types of knives you use – but sometimes it does need to be clarified.

                                  Hope this helps 😀

                                   

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