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2016 Pro Pack 1

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  • #56521
    JimR
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 12

    I recently worked on two knives with a curved edge and was most pleased with the bevel I got when I clamped the knife (as Marc suggested) “roughly centered to the curved edge fore and aft so the imagined line is horizontal roughly parallel to the vise’s flat tips”.

    One of those two knives had a factory edge bevel exactly as you described – I was removing Sharpie in the middle of the bevel and not reaching either the shoulder or the apex. Such a convex bevel was very likely done on the slack side of a belt grinder. If you pick a bevel angle that removes Sharpie in the center you’ll slightly re-profile the bevel but end up with one similar in width to the factory profile but re-profiled to match the “V” bevel of the Wicked Edge.

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    #56522
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2525

    Such a convex bevel was very likely done on the slack side of a belt grinder. If you pick a bevel angle that removes Sharpie in the center you’ll slightly re-profile the bevel but end up with one similar in width to the factory profile but re-profiled to match the “V” bevel of the Wicked Edge.

    I concur with JimR’s assessment.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #57374
    Steve
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    I am trying to play around with microbevels and the sharpness I get with different grits and angles. As I try different things, if I take the knife out of the WE and then am not thrilled with the result, I spend a fair bit of time getting it mounted again in the WE to try something else. Does anyone have a good process they would be willing to share on how they test the sharpness of the knife while it is still mounted in the WE? Not sure if a paper push test or something else might work or what a good indication of relative sharpness might be as I play around with different ways to finish the edge. Thanks for your time!

    #57375
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 2044

    I don’t “test for sharpness” per se.  I check between grits with the ‘scope that I am actually working the apex and then take the appropriate number of strokes with the next grit after a double-check with the angle-cube.  If it’s a routine sharpening, I take 10 – 20 strokes per grit (depending to some extent on blade length) and continue to a final grit I’ve already decided on.  For a working knife, it may be 800 or 1000 grit.  If it’s a knife I want to be exceptionally sharp, I’ll do 20 – 30 strokes per grit (or even more) and continue up to 3 micron dlf and finish with strops or the polishing wheel.

    Please understand that the level of “sharpness” is influenced more by the bevel angle than the number of strokes applied.  An edge sharpened to 17 dps will be substantially sharper than an edge sharpened with the same stoning protocol done at 20 dps.

    BTW, if you are using full-length strokes, the length of the blade becomes irrelevant beyond about 6 inches.

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    #57376
    Steve
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    Thank you very much. I’m struggling with trying to figure out that most effective way to finish the sharpening process. I’ve gotten to the point where I feel like I am hitting the apex, checking with a scope as you mentioned. But I still have not figured out what “done” looks like. I’m starting to think, as you mentioned, that many of the knives I am sharpening would be better served by an edge that has only been worked through 800 or 1000 grit stones rather than working it to a mirror finish with finer stones and strops. I’m not sure if more polished equates to sharper. I’ve read several threads about adding microbevels to the edge to add a bit of a tooth to the apex of the edge. I am trying to work through what works, but taking the knife out of the WE to test it on a sheet of paper or anything else is not very efficient if I want to put it back in  the WE and try something else. I’m trying to make the testing process a bit more efficient, but not sure what might work or what others do to help figure out when their edge has reached an optimal level of polishing. Thanks for the help.

    #57377
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 320

    @Steve

    You need to get an Advanced Alignment Guide. That will make it easier to put your knives back at the same position in the clamp.

    I rarely sharpen a knife more than 1000 grit anymore. And that will push-cut printer paper. I would use some paper towel or printer paper to test the sharpness of the blade while it is still in the clamp. But you have to make sure you have the burr removed first.

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    #57378
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2525

    Steve, it’s about a year since you first started this thread.  Did you ever upgrade this PP1 model you began with?  Which vise are you using now?  Knowing that will help us understand why you’re having difficulties removing knives then re-clamping them back to the same position.

    The alignment guide or the advanced Alignment Guide is useful to give you points of reference that you can record in a sharpening log to allow you to recreate that same clamping position.  Just take some reference marks for the knife tip and heel or whatever points you choose to use when reclamping.  I sometimes unpin the alignment guide and flip it around then re-pin it so I can take a position reference from the handle end of the clamped knife. With these known references you should easily be able to match that same position.

    Some users place masking tape strips on the knife blade across where it sits down in the clamp.  You can draw the outline of the vise jaws on the tape with a pen or marker.  This marked outline will also help you realign the removed knife to the same original clamping position.

    To test a knife for your sharpness progress while clamped I hold a small strip of newspaper or phone book paper between my finger tips of both hands about 1.5 to 2 inches apart. I pull the newspaper down onto the clamped knife edge.  This paper pull test gives me an idea of my sharpening progress.  By comparing the feel of how easily the paper cuts as you pull it down across the knife edge.  I do this before and after each grit I use.  Use the feel, rough and catching or grabbing at the very start compared to slips right through it when you’re finished.  Also, the sound made as the paper cuts is a good clue of your sharpness progress.  Like most things, you’ll figure out how you like to do it after doing it a few times.  The best part is it’s a quick sharpness indicator you can use on the clamped knife.  With experience you’ll easily recognize when your knife is sharp.

    I’m not a proponent of microbevels.  It makes a change to the blade profile I prefer not to have. I prefer to sharpen my knives up through 1500 grit.  I follow this with 4µ/2µ strops.  This gives me a good balance of sharpness and toothiness along with a pretty good bevel polish.

    Happy Holiday to all!

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #57379
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 320

    @MarcH

    Good catch about using painters tape to help put your blade back in the clamp at the same place, Marc. I forgot about that.

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    #57380
    Steve
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    Thank you very much for the tips. They helped a lot. My post was perhaps not worded well. I do have the advanced alignment guide, but I still find that when I have the blade taped to protect its finish, taking it out and putting it back again can take several minutes and I’m not convinced that it is always exactly where it was due to possible variance from the painters tape. I want to develop a sense of what is working and what isn’t as I experiment with different grits and final polishing, so just wanted to eliminate possible remounting variance from that equation.  My setup is still exactly the same and I have worked through many cheap test knives. I’m just now feeling comfortable enough to play around with some of my actual knives and want to improve my understanding as I do. I figure there is no better teacher than experience, but wanted to get some tips on how to proceed with this part of my journey. Thank you for all the tips. I’ll do the paper test after each step and keep working until I have a better understanding of how each grit changes the feel of the edge as well as it’s appearance under the microscope.

    #57381
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2525

    Steve, if you confirm your guide rod set angles are still correct with your angle cube after reclamping the removed knife, making any necessary micro-angle adjustments, that’s all that really matters.  Even if the knife is positioned slightly differently if the set angle is still the same you’ll be good to continue.  Of course you’ll want to try to get the knife positioned close to the original placement, but exact isn’t required.

    Just as a matter of technique, I double check my set angles with each grit change with my angle cube making any necessary fine angle adjustments.  It’s also good practice to verify your guide rod adjusters are always staying tight and secure.  Checking them at the start of each grit and again when finished with that grit gives you an indication whether they’re staying put or if you need to be more careful with your locking practice.

    Remember, you should start each sharpening session by zeroing your angle cube on the sharpener base mount.  Then use the cube like that for the entire sharpening process.  If for any reason you move or reposition your W.E. sharpener during the sharpening session you should re-zero the angle cube and recheck your set angles.  Everything is relative to the sharpener’s position.

    All this little bit of extra attention to details becomes second nature over time and a regular part of your regimen.  Consistency throughout the process, grit after grit is key to achieving good results.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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