Advanced Search

Angles – To Re-profile or not???

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #46775
    DaveG
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 6

    Brand new to the WEPS! and having a ball. My setup – ProPack III – so the WE130 clamp. My knives are a collection of folders mostly Spyderco, ZT, Kizer, etc. plus a set of Henkels Professional S kitchen knives.

    I’ve spent the past couple months breaking in the stones and learning. Mostly working on older kitchen knives that I could reprofile without concern. It’s been fun and very educational. I put a pretty nice mirror on a junk steak knife. Now I’m ready to ‘slowly’ move to some of my better knives. Almost all would be consider new. ie: factory edge and pretty sharp. So my initial purpose is not so much to sharpen them but rather experiment with improving the sharpness on some and on others giving them a mirror finish. This is primarily to continue the ‘education’, and I have a long way to go. I don’t use my knives a ton (except the kitchen ones) and this is really a fun hobby collecting cool knives and using the WEPS to further the fun of the hobby. I have also spent many hours reading posts here and it has been very helpful. Thank you! One area I haven’t been able to fully grasp is angle management…

    So to my question… I’ve learned that re-profiling is the esay way to work a knife as I create the angle I want. Once setup, the WEPS is very repeatable, especially if the bevel is created with the WEPS. As I moved to the factory knives and started checking angles with a sharpie and angle cube, I had a stark realization that had I just thought about it would have been quite obvious. Since almost all knives edges are going to be different with straight parts and varying curved parts that are created in the factory, the angles are going to be all over the place with regard to the fixed position of the clamp on a WEPS. Even if the bevels themselves were spot on at one angle, they wouldn’t match when mounted in the WEPS. (The one exception, a perfectly straight blade heel to tip. How nice would that be?!) Sorry, this is all academic to most of you that have been doing this a while.

    So I see two strategies. 1)…Keep the factory edge by moving the blade as needing as I progress and break sharpening/mirroring into sections of the knife blade that are different. It’s the first time I could see an advantage to the Edge Pro system. Those guys free hold the blade so can make quick adjustments. The down side is still a lot of potential error in angle consistency I don’t want to deal with. 2) Re-profile to a chosen angle. This is the ultimate repeatable option it seems given the design of the WEPS. Once a bevel angle is established, its extremely easy to rinse and repeat.

    So, am I missing something???? I’ve read over and over the post on finding the sweet spot for mounting, and while that’s very important, it doesn’t solve the problem of maintaining a factory bevel without alteration. There is no perfect position that accomodates one angle setting for the entirety of the blade edge.

    I believe the answer is going to be re-profile. I’m just hung up on these brand new knives with nice untouched factory bevels. LOL. I’m sure I just gotta get over it!!

    Please advise. Would love to hear what you all do. I’m sure this is WEPS 101 but I’m the newb going through this the first time. One other point I should mention, I’m talking specifically here about the folders that have those shorter blades with the crazy curves. The kitchen knives are all long and pretty straight and doing a little profiling to have a consistent bevel won’t be an issue.

    Thank YOU!!

    Dave

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #46777
    Karl
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 16

    I feel your pain, Dave.  I am a newbie and am in the same boat.  Started collecting spydercos about 3 years ago and then higher end production fixed blades for hunting and a few customs as well.  Have had great success with the WE on my cheap kitchen knives they are screaming sharp.  Got a little confidence and put a chris reeves fixed blade on the WE yesterday and did not have much success.  Chris Reeves are highly overrated btw (wasted money on two of them).  The bulk of my collection consists of BRK knives.  The come SO sharp.  My question is, the bevels on BRK’s are so small, how do you deal with it?  Just match the angle and move on down the road?  Or be bold and reprofile?  I am also struggling with my 3 – 4 inch folders.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #46778
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2124

    DaveG and Karl, kitchen knives are definitely easier to learn with.  They are for the most part less curved and more straight forward shaped for the given length.  Also I believe many consider them utilitarian and therefore they’re considered less important.  Many new WEPS users are all too willing to sacrifice the integrity of a factory profile in the process of learning how to use or WEPS.

    Anyone can easily throw any knife in the vice and clamp it tightly, then got to work on it and eventually get a sharp edge by removing enough steel to apex the two opposites sides to a sharp edge.  It is quite a bit more difficult to clamp a knife in the vice, securely, in a proper position to remove steel in just the right amounts and in just the right places to create a sharp edge without changing the shape and profile of the knife from how it was designed and originally made.

    DaveG and Karl, your assessments are correct.  Every knife that is sharpened by the Wicked Edge for the very first time will undergo some amount of profiling or reshaping to the sharpening characteristics of the WEPS.  (We use the term reprofiling, here, to describe this action.)  That’s a given when sharpening a possibly, hand sharpened,  hand-made, knife with a WEPS fixed angle sharpener.  The hard part that takes the time and the effort and the learning part, is to take your time to determine the best clamping position to sharpen this knife for the first time that will remove the least amount of steel that will result in the smallest change in the shape, character, and style, (i.e., the profile) of the knife as designed and made by the knife’s maker.  It is not so easy to find this “sweet spot”, the best, most efficient clamping position to get the knife sharp without sacrificing steel and changing the knife’s shape/profile just because it’s easier to do it that way.

    Yes it might be easier to sharpen it in stages and re-clamp and re-position the knife in the vice as you move the sharpening across the knife’s edge and try to blend it together so as not to reprofile your knife.  Take your time.  Go slow.  Use your sharpie.  Work with very high fine grit stones that create small fine scratches you can see while removing the sharpie ink and very little steel.  Move the knife a lot as you learn how to position each different knife in it’s “sweet spot”.  Read on the Forum how I and others suggest to you, how we find this “sweet spot”.  Yes it is a balancing act between profiling your knife and sacrificing steel to configure your knife to the WEPS sharpening characteristics the first time sharpening that knife.

    Once you find this clamping position, record it for posterity.  Then if you’ve done this correctly you’ll never need to reprofile this knife again unless you choose to.  From then going forward you’ll just clamp it and re-touch the edge and not sacrifice steel unwantedly.

    P.S. I no longer clamp a new knife in my WEPS until it needs to be sharpened.  I sacrificed too much still new and fresh steel just because I wanted something to play with and to learn with.  Now I know, I have learned, I can’t put the steel back.  Steel is a precious commodity especially on a fine made, good steel knife.  As I procured more and better steel knives and my sharpening skills improved I find myself sharpening, my personal knives, more infrequently.  I have more knives to use and choose between, so they see very little wear. Now, when I choose to sharpen one of my knives it’s because it really needs it.  I cherish the opportunity to learn how my last sharpening job has stood the test of time and use and to see how durable some of these newer Super Stainless Steels really are.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    7 users thanked author for this post.
    #46789
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    I am of the opinion that there is no way to avoid changing the profile of a blade when sharpening. As you have correctly observed, factory edges are highly inconsistent and may even have variation in the angles on the bevels in different portions of the blade. Even if you were to sharpen these types of blades free-handed so that you could change the angle to follow the variation in the bevels, you are inevitably going to still cause some deviation from the factory grind because of the imprecise nature of free-hand sharpening.

    While you can sharpen knives using multiple clamping positions, it is going to take significantly more time because each section will be treated like a separate blade. I avoid this unless the knife would look obviously wrong with a single angle bevel. (Some hard use type knives have a thicker stock at the tip which will require using a more obtuse angle in order to keep the overall bevel width looking consistent.) The continence of having one clamping position and one angle that I can repeat time and time again for re-sharpening / stropping is too attractive to pass up.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #46793
    DaveG
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 6

    Thank you all for your comments! I am definitely willing to spend the time and to learn. It’s reassuring to know that I am at least moving in the right general direction. Marc & Organic, I can see how each individual will develop their personal ‘method’ if you will. Thats how it should be. I appreciate the suggestions as they definitely will help me as I develop my method.

    Thanks again!

    Dave

     

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #46795
    Readheads
    Participant
    • Topics: 26
    • Replies: 288

    IMO, “changing” the position of the blade during WEPS sharpening in order to tweak the bevels diminishes what the WEPS gives you (manual repeatable perfection surpassed only by CNC fixturing/machining). “Changing” dictates metallic blending which while sounds/looks good violates the elegance of continous linearity. IMO, this is what WEPS is about.

    I reprofile/document with AAG every blade as close as possible to original (read Anthony Yan’s analysis in Knowledge Base) and then move on. Until WEPS figures out how to repeatably/semi-auto adjust position in the x and y directions (z is done as the angle), and the AAG is only an approximation, you will not be able to replicate complex profiles. You also cannot do serrated without that. It would be a game changer but requires novel static mechanic innovations. Fun to think about as an Engineer. Reprofile it as close as possible and take pleasure in knowing you are pushing the steel to the limits of continuous sharpness over the full length of the blade.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #46988
    David
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 6

    My question is, the bevels on BRK’s are so small, how do you deal with it?  Just match the angle and move on down the road?  Or be bold and reprofile?

    Gaak no! Please don’t put a secondary bevel on your Barkies, it will completely change the edge geometry Mike’s team designed the blade to have.

    You should be able to keep the convex edge sharp with regular stropping, or for more substantial work using sandpaper on top of leather or thin rubber. Gently!

    Perhaps there’ll be a WEPKS solution for convex edges in the future, but for now my Bark River knives are staying out of the clamp.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #46990
    Karl
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 16

    Oh great, the majority of my fixed blade collection is Bark River.

    #46991
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1941

    I never feel a need to match a factory bevel angle.  Maybe because so many of them are obviously different from side to side.  Which angle do you select as “correct?”  I pick an angle that makes sense in the context of the owner’s intended use and how well I expect him/her to treat their blades between now and the next sharpening.

    In 2016 I sharpened a bunch of knives for a friend and his son, including 4 or 5 Martinii fileting knives.  Not knowing what would be a suitable working angle, I settled on a polished 17 dps, with a 1000-grit 20 dps micro-bevel.  Feedback from the owners was that it was the best filet knives they’d ever used.  Then this year, I watched a video of an interview of the owner of Martinii and he emphatically explained how they always sharpen to 22 dps.  Go figure.  Maybe the polished bevels was the difference-maker.

    I do wonder what the maker’s motives are when they recommend very low angles.  Low angles perform better than more obtuse ones, so there will be a perception that the maker’s knives are exceptionally sharp.  But is he even considering what such acute angles will do to the knife’s life expectancy, both from sharpening to sharpening and long term?  Low angles result in deeper edge damage, which in turn requires that more steel be removed to clear that damage, which in turn, results in a shorter life span.

    My cynicism is based on the discrepancy between what they say and what we find during the first sharpening.  It’s hard to swallow a maker’s recommendation of 18 dps, when I find with the Sharpie that one side is 17 dps and the other is 24 dps.  “Whatever is appropriate” isn’t something you’re likely to hear from the maker, when he’s clearly expected to provide a specific value.

    Yes, there is common sense in preserving as much steel as possible, so that should be at least considered when deciding on what sort of edge you’re going to strive for.

    As for me, I will freely sharpen to very low angles on my personal kitchen knives, as they are only 50 feet away from my WEPS.  No so for working knives that I may not see again for a year or two.  Bottom line is, use your best judgement.

    8 users thanked author for this post.
    #46993
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    Oh great, the majority of my fixed blade collection is Bark River.

    <!–more–>Keep in mind that convex bevels can be applied using the Wicked Edge and you can also maintain them by stropping on the WE. You don’t have to convert your Bark River knives to a V-grind just to sharpen them on the WE.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #46995
    David
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 6

    Keep in mind that convex bevels can be applied using the Wicked Edge

    I’d love to hear more about this. The idea of repeatedly moving the angle adjustment to make facets and then attempting to strop to blend the multiple hard angles seems like a kludge at odds with the design goals of the WE (repeatability, convenience, etc).

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #46997
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    Keep in mind that convex bevels can be applied using the Wicked Edge

    I’d love to hear more about this. The idea of repeatedly moving the angle adjustment to make facets and then attempting to strop to blend the multiple hard angles seems like a kludge at odds with the design goals of the WE (repeatability, convenience, etc).

    As far as I am aware, that is the recommended way to apply a convex bevel using the WE. The details are described on the WE knowledge base. Once the convex edge is applied you can maintain it by stropping at the most acute angle.

    An alternative would be to attach a soft substrate to your WE handles and then apply sand paper to the surface. I have seen people use an old mouse pad as the base material for convex sharpening. I have not personally done this.

    Clay commented a few weeks ago stating that the WE team is also working on another solution for applying convex edges that is currently in the prototype stages. He didn’t really offer any other details, but it usually takes a long time for these types of ideas to make it to a marketable product (years), so I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #46998
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2124

    Karl, I believe I have only heard of one other method to create the convex edge, this doesn’t utilize the Wicked Edge, is to sharpen it with a “slack belt” on a belt grinder.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #47063
    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 122
    • Replies: 2933

    We have something special in the works for convex edges that is really exciting but still a little ways off. In the meantime, the making and blending of facets works really well and is faster than most people think. Another option for those Bark River knives is to get a set of blank handles from us and glue some mouse pad in and then use the diamond lapping films.

    -Clay

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #47064
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    Clay, do you have an idea of when we might expect the new convexing setup to be available for purchase? Will this be an accessory that works with the current WE models, or is it a new tool?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.