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Are my expectations too high?

Recent Forums Main Forum Are my expectations too high?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Organic 12/02/2018 at 5:52 pm.

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    I thought I would start a new thread since my struggles don’t really fit with the original DLF question I asked. So long story short, I have had a wicked edge 130 for about 3 months now and practice several hours a day, almost every day. I have never had anything frustrate me like this thing I feel like an idiot. With some guidance from members here I am getting some better results using edge leading strokes but am still not quite to what I consider sharp. The question is, going to the 1000 grit stones should I be able to push cut magazine print or are my expectations too high and I should try stropping? I have the 1500s and 6 micron DLF but my angle seems to change drastically when I switch to them so I avoid using them.


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    Aaron, I’m sorry to hear your frustration.   Finishing the edge, after the 1000 grit, with the leather strops will enhance the paper cutting ability by smoothing the sharpened edge removing some of the toothiness.

    With enough effort and attention to detail throughout your sharpening progression up to and including the 1000 grit stone you should be able to easily slice paper with that edge.    By this I mean, holding a piece of newsprint/phone book or computer printer paper, in your fingers with one hand, then slicing down the top of the paper with the knife in your other hand.  You should be able to easily cut the paper to ribbons.

    Push cut can be an ambiguous term.  I hold a small square, (3″ x 3″), of newsprint/phone book paper by the corners between both hands, and pull this down onto the edge of my knife while it’s still clamped in the W.E.  I call this push cutting and I can cut this paper with a 1000 grit edge.  In fact I check my edge this way, each and every grit in my sharpening progression to gauge my edge improvement with each finer grit.

    To hold the same newsprint/phone book paper hanging down from one hand, above the clamped knife edge and simply lower it down onto the blade edge,  I’m not so sure the paper will cut when contacting the knife edge.  Stiff paper, like glossy magazine pages, held in one hand and pushed down onto the 1000 grit edge may get cut.  But just lowered down against the blade, I doubt it.

    If your unable to slice paper to ribbons with your 1000 grit edge I suggest you go back to basics…make sure your angles are set using a zeroed digital angle cube and the guide rods locked securely in place to maintain the set angles with the locking knurled knob tight as the very last step in the adjustment process.  If you double check the angle with your cube and find you need even a slight adjustment, you must lock the guide rod ends again, after making every adjustment.

    Check your angles with each and every grit change and make micro-fine adjustments as needed.  Always locking the rod ends, last.

    Spend as much time as is needed to bring your bevels together at the apex of the knife edge every grit in the progression.  You never can do too many sharpening strokes.  More is always better than less.   The removal of a sharpie marker applied to the bevel is a good guideline to your sharpening progress and efficiency.  Hold your stones in a manner that produces the best complete removal of the sharpie using light pressure.  Your finger pressure is to hold the stone in flat contact against the entire bevel’s height, (shoulder to knife edge), while guiding it’s motion up and down the guide rods.  The speed of your motion is not important.  The total flat consistent contact against the bevel is!

    Your angle should not change when progressing from one grit to the next if you double check it with your cube, make any micro-fine adjustments and lock it tight the last thing.  1500 grit will be the same angle as 1000 grit if you practice this method.

    I hope this will be helpful.  Let us know.




    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    Without strops I tend to find that a 1000 grit edge will push cut paper, but you will need to start the cut with a slicing motion at first. Also, there may be some catching throughout the cut and it won’t feel totally smooth.

    Stropping is an essential part of my sharpening routine. It takes the edge from sharp to SHARP! I highly recommend investing in at least one set of strops and taking the time to figure out how to use them to their fullest effect. If you skip the strops then you are missing out.

    An alternative would be to deburr the edge by running your freshly sharpened knife through a felt or wooden block. This will remove any remaining micro burr, but stropping is superior.

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