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Another stones progression question

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  MarcH 05/07/2019 at 9:23 am.

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  • #50375

    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 66

    Hi all,

    I am very new to this and so far I am getting good, sharp edges on the 5 or 6 knives I practiced on. I have the 1500 grit/6 micron diamond film as my last step in the progression. I have also purchased a pair of cut proof gloves (found them necessary after the first knife) and several split shaft stops. I am looking at my next purchases and trying to decide on what should be next. From reading the forum posts, I understand the ceramic stones can be used instead  of diamond film keeping in mind they require more work (strokes) to achieve a finish similar to the diamond films, all that being offset by their durability and longevity. So, should I get the ceramic stones set (super fine and micro fine) or complete the progression of diamond films (3, 1.5, 1 and 0.1 microns respectively). I should add that I’m not planning on “going commercial” with this, it is just a home and friends addiction.

    The next in line will be stropping, which I have absolutely no clue about. I understand what it does but which ones should I get?

    Thank you in advance,

    Brewbear a.k.a. Ted

    • This topic was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  Brewbear.
    #50382

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 838

    Similar in finish to the diamond lapping films is a statement that I take issue with. The ceramic stones provide a sharp finish that is kind of hazy. They don’t seem to be able to produce that mirror-like glitzy looking edge that the diamond lapping films excel at. This is not to say that you can’t produce a mirrored edge using the ceramic stones as part of a progression. The edge can be easily mirrored by using strops after the ceramic stones.

    If you decide that you want the ceramic stones then I suggest that you skip the 1200 / 1600 because you already have the 1500 diamond which will take your edge to essentially the same level of refinement as the 1600 ceramic gives.

    If you don’t have any strops at this point then I suggest that you get the 2 / 4 micron set with the diamond emulsions. It is my opinion that a set of strops would do more to improve your edges than getting another set of stones. This set of strops can be used at nearly any grit as a finishing step. You’d be surprised what the strops can do for a 600 grit edge. Strops will maximize the performance of your 1500 grit edge as well. Bear in mind that stropping is a thing of its own and will require some technique development before you get the most out of it.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #50383

    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 66

    Similar in finish to the diamond lapping films

    There you go, it just shows my lack of knowledge. Thank you for ,as you say taking issue with it, it helps in demystifying or should I say clarifying the issue. I will have to wait until the micro fine ceramic stones are back in stock so I will purchase the 2/4 micron stropping set. One more question, if I may, what is the difference between the 4/2 micron strops and the 14/10 micron strops? Is it just the size of the particulate in the paste? which begs the question, is there a difference between the emulsion and paste as a stropping media?

    On a related point, are there any videos/tutorials you would recommend on proper stropping techniques?

    Thank you all for your patience.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  Brewbear.
    #50385

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1794

    Brewbear, of the two Ceramic Stone types offered by Wicked Edge I also prefer the “Micro-Fine” Style (1.4µ/0.6µ), over the Super Fine (1200/1600).  Remember the ceramics take a lot of breaking in before you’ll feel good results.  The effect from the ceramics in my experience is a sharper edge, not so much a shinier bevel.

    Yes you are correct about the particle size for grit numbering with the strops compounds.  The emulsions are a smoother feel on the leather strops.  I find the emulsion applies easy and spreads better then the pastes.  I also believe it lasts longer between re-applications.  I finish every knife I sharpen with a stropping.  I find that stropping makes every sharpened edge sharper and smoother cutting.  That is once you learn how to do it.  Stropping, like Organic stated above, is it’s own independent technique, all by itself.

    I will try to hunt up some stropping video links later this morning.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #50386

    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 164

    BrewBear, just wanted to add  (as an inexperienced user myself)  that you will most likely dull the  edge of the first few knives  you try to strop  and end up taking a chunk out of the leather within a couple of  uses,  so don’t be surprised or up set, just the way it goes.  In hind sight I would have ordered at least one set of replacement strop leather sets when I ordered my strops, as shipping is probably more than the replacement part.  Stropping is more difficult that it looks!

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #50388

    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 66

    Thank you all for the replies. Just from reading the posts I realize  that stropping is whole different animal, it requires a light touch in order to avoid rounding over the edge. Of course, the theory is fairly easy to grasp, it’s the practical application of said theory that requires patience, know-how and lots of practice. With that in mind, I ordered three extra sets of leather strips along with the two emulsion stropping sets ( 4/2 and 1/0.5 microns respectively).

    I see there are leather, kangaroo leather, and balsa wood stropping handles. To my inexperienced eye it wood seem that balsa wood handles would be an easier choice for someone new since the relatively harder backing would help in preventing rounding over. Then again, starting with leather strops will make one learn and practice good technique and bad habits are easy to learn and difficult to forget. So, then, the question would be if the kangaroo leather offers any advantages over regular ( cow?) leather. And then, there are the nano-cloth strops….this will tend to murky up the waters a bit but I think for now (at least) I’ll stick with the leather strops unless otherwise advised by the experienced folks here.

    Many thanks,

    Ted

    #50389

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1794

    Please read this post I contributed to another recent thread on this same issue.  That entire thread is probably worthwhile reading.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #50392

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1794

    Ted I’ll follow Organic’s cue and take issue with this single statement:

    Thank you all for the replies. Just from reading the posts I realize that stropping is whole different animal, it requires a light touch in order to avoid rounding over the edge. Ted

    Actually stropping requires seemingly strong pressure and probably more strokes then you would have imagined.  With leather strops the general consensus is reduce your sharpening bevel angle by 1.5º to 2º less for the stropping phase, for the newbie.  That means  if you sharpened your bevels at 17º per side then strop at 15 º to 15.5º.  This directs your applied pressure more to the edge’s shoulder, (behind the edge), and helps prevent the edge from rounding over.  As you gain experience in your stropping technique you may be able to lessen the angle back off some.  Recently I found good results with a 1.25º back-off.  Understand I’ve been using my stropping technique for years now.

    Also, Ted you were right on with the Balsa medium strops.  It is very stiff and compresses  only slightly if at all, so the angle reduction is minimal for the balsa wood.  Cow leather, the regular “leather” strops sold by W.E. is the most compressible so 1.5º to 2º angle back-off is the normal recommendation.  Kangaroo leather is thinner and therefore stiffer then the cow leather so a 1º angle back-off is generally recommended.  Nano cloth strops are very thin with almost no compression and stiff due to the mounted backer so they are used with no angle back off.

    Here’s a good video on stropping theories:

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #50393

    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 66

    Marc, thank you for the link, I leaned something new already, I will need to use a more acute angle while stropping than the sharpening (stones) angle. I’ve also put in my cart a two sets of stones covers, just to be safe. I’m planning to label each cover and uncover only the side in use while stropping since particulates from hands/gloves could get on the uncovered strops (the side not in use) while working with them.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #50394

    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 66

    Recently I found good results with a 1.25º back-off.  Understand I’ve been using my stropping technique for years now.

    From the wealth of information in your posts I gathered you’ve been at this for a number of years. I’m guessing you use regular leather strops, an assumption based on your statement that you decreased the back-off angle to 1.25 degrees. Is this a case of using the tools you learned and feel comfortable with, or is it because, in your experience, they are the better performer.

    #50396

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1794

    Ted after several years using my Wicked Edge and helping with this Forum I have picked up some new information on old questions, asked again, by newer Forum participants.  Some of these same old conversations introduce something I’ve never heard, put into maybe a different context, or that I’d just forgotten and now a light has gone off when thinking about it to answer a Forum posted question.

    I’ve found a renewed desire to take a closer look at my same old technique that’s been working well for me for years now.  With the improvement in the precision with the newest model Wicked Edge set-ups, with better micro-angle adjusters, with tighter tolerance guide rods and paddles and tools like dual axis digital protractors, and USB microscopes.  It was easy to go fast and knock out the edge touch-ups.  I had sharpened these knives before and it was a quick effort to bring back the edges.

    Over time, I had accumulated some new knives in my kitchen arsenal I’ve been using over a year or so, now and have never sharpened.  (I use to buy new knives just to sharpen and use them).  Now I use a new knife until it actually needs to be sharpened.  This gives me a real understanding of the knife maker’s edge and a true basis for comparison when I finally sharpen it.  As I’ve picked these well used but, new knives to sharpen, I have factory edges to apply my learned sharpening technique to.  It’s allowed me to step back and more critically examine my sharpening technique and the different steps, from finding the “sweet spot” and determining the factory applied edge bevel angles, to profiling edges for better durability.

    Now with well broken in stones I’m taking the time to dissect my sharpening technique and look at all the aspects that I’ve been sharing about on this Forum for a while now, to make sure it indeed works, how I think and expect it does.  I’m better able now to understand what I see under the microscope and know what it’s the result of.  Cause and effect is clearer now.

    I’ve added some finer grits in my sharpening progressions to decide if they did indeed enhance the sharpness, by going the extra measure and were worth the extra effort or if I was just as well to leave them off.   I also took a look at my stropping technique, the angle back-off and the pressure, to work it towards the edge more and up away from the shoulder.  To see if I could improve upon it without the dreaded tip roll-over.

    All these things have resulted in some scary sharp edges like I used to remember seeing and had come to take for granted.  I’m gaining a better understanding of my sharpening technique and what I like and dislike and what works well for me.  While finding a renewed sense of enjoyment sharpening, that had become mundane.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #50404

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1794

    Ted, here’s a good YouTube video on Wicked Edge stropping worth viewing:

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #50408

    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 66

    Thank you for posting the link Marc, it is really helpful not only in giving me an idea about stropping but also in deciding on what to buy next.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #50420

    Expidia
    Participant
    • Topics: 39
    • Replies: 276

    A lot of great info in this thread on stropping, especially the vid on “hair popping stropping” as to the finer points of stropping . . .this thread should be a stropping sticky at the top!

    #50422

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1794

    That video and many many others, just as informative, are easily and readily accessible with a simple search on YouTube.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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