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Need Help with Basics of Using Lapping Film

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  • #40934
    Anarchy84
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 61

    nope…Mark76, only what you bought… What are you guys looking to achieve using the DLFs? Besides doing these tests looking for problems, why are you using films? Unblemished mirror shine? or super thin sharp edge? I don’t think you can beat strops for smoothest, cleanest, shine. IMO

    I’m not too concerned with perfect mirror edges, personally. I want my knives to be as sharp as possible while also being sharpened to a degree / grit applicable for my intended use.

    I have a fixed blade that I use for yard work that I sharpened to 200 grit and then stropped. The edge isn’t pretty, but damn does it cut.

    On my higher end folders I am perfectly happy with the shine that comes straight off the diamond films. It’s not a perfect mirror, but it’s screaming sharp and reflects light well enough. Still, I will lower the angle by 0.5 – 1.0 degree and do a few strokes on the strop. I feel it helps cutting performance on EDC folders.

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    #40938
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    I could be wrong on Jende selling 0.1 micron films, Marc.

    And I agree with you. As soon as I go below 1 degree I use strops only. Still interested in the 0.5 micron films, though.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

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    #40943
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 2030

    And I am inclined to agree with Mark76.  I very seldom have used film down below 3 micron and recall that I was frustrated with the lower grits when I did.  I recently tried stropping with hard platens (maple and brass) and was pleased with the results, although I never pursued the brass beyond a single application.  I was thinking that the hard strop media might come closer to what I expected the diamond film to do – produce a flat, polished bevel.

    I just thought of a possible cause for my contamination case;  I’m using home-made blocks made of ABS with brass platens and bronze bushings on my 2017 Gen 3 Pro.  This means that I have to use my AngleCube with every change.  The AngleCube may be the culprit in contaminating the film, but it didn’t actually touch the 1.0 and 0.5 films, as they were on different blocks.  Even so, it carries a lot of steel filings and grit with its magnets and was pressed against the reverse side of the block for each of the film strips tested.  I should have scrubbed everything down before starting the test.

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    #40944
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2474

    Let’s get philosophical….Aren’t all these issues a non-issue and strictly cosmetic?  Do these very fine and random scratches in the ranges of 0.5µ and 0.1µ in size affect the knife’s sharpness?  Aren’t they simply interfering with our quest for the perfect mirror bevel?  For what they’re designed, it’s a great media and does exactly what it’s supposed to.  Somewhere along the line we decided, unpromised, undocumented and unproven, they were supposed to give us that perfect Holy Grail of bevels.  Now were trying to figure out why it’s not working.  Ironically, I follow them up with a strop progression, anyway.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #40953
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 2030

    This has little to do with what your preferred polishing method is.  It’s simply a matter of determining what causes a problem and how to correct it.  If you are a beneficiary of the knowledge shared on this forum and have a means of providing help to solve a particular problem, I would hope that you’d step up to the plate.

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    #40954
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    I am definitely interested in the knowledge shared on this forum. And sometimes (for example with my laguiole knives, which we use for dinner when we have guests) in the aesthetics of my edges. Also, if you want a hair-splitting edge (admittedly only useful for straight razors and to impress people, although it’s also great to cut tomatoes with), you can do little else than get a very refined edge.

    Konosuke vs. tomato from Mark76 on Vimeo.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #40957
    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 397

    I recently purchased the complete set of DLF’s from WE and glass platens. I’ve been using the 6 micron film for some time that came with the PP3 with good results. My work schedule through the summer doesn’t allow a lot of time for much else but with all the problems with the .5 film I wanted to give one more example and to see first hand. I have not heard from anyone that they were getting the results that they expected with the .5 film from WE in particular.

    I started a knife a few weeks ago( Rapid River Original Yooper Pocket Clip with 154cm steel) and it’s still in the clamp because I’ve been playing with the DLF’s. The first time I went thru 1500 diamond stones and the edge looked great(14x loop). Started the films with the 9 mic. and all the way thru them to the 1 mic. The edge looked really good and I checked with the loop during and after each progression from multiple angles and lighting. My intention was to strop from there but with the problems reported with the .5 film I talked myself into using them . New film straight from the package, cleaned with alcohol, blade and film, and did 10 passes. The random scratches I witnessed were deep, they stood out and were very unsightly. I did 10 more after wiping the knife and the film again and the scratching just got worse. I went backward thru the films to see how far I had to go the get the scratches out left by the .5 film. Had to go all the way back to the 1500 stone to get those scratches out and went all the way through them again and the very same thing happened. I don’t think contamination could be the culprit in this case. I have not had any problems with any other medium like what I saw with the .5 film. The second time I tried I did 20 passes with them and went to the .1 film and it wouldn’t even touch the deep scratches left by the .5 film. So back to the 1500 stone one more time and have went thru them again stopping at 1 mic. and I’m stropping from there. I don’t want to take any more metal off that particular knife. I used it because I’m confident that the steel would not be an issue and it’s at a 20 deg. angle so no issue with the angle being to acute. The random scratches left by the .5 film were quite deep and wide and my suspicion is that for what ever reason the diamonds in that film are not staying in place and are clumping to leave that kind of scratching that quickly but that is a guess on my part. I don’t try to “mirror” a knife usually, but for this one I wanted to give it a go. My conclusion is the .5 film has a problem other than contamination but I think it’s going to take a trial and study to eliminate all other possibilities and get to the root of the problem. I saw a nice even scratch pattern with the 1 mic. film and the .1 film doesn’t scratch like that either, just the .5 film so something is going on with that particular film. I’m wondering if the .5 films that we have been using from WE are all from the same lot and there was some thing in the manufacturing because the others seem to do a good job.

    These are my observations and opinions and are in no way intended to be a conclusive or comprehensive scientific study as to the problems that have been plaguing so many as it pertains to the .5 lapping film from WE. My hope is that what ever is going on with them that it can be fixed but if not discarded. It very well may be determined that films below 1 micron might not be a reasonable medium at this time……time will tell I guess. Some folks have reported that some other .5 films do perform better but at this point I’m not willing to invest the money or the time into researching this further. Maybe down the road when more time is available.

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    #40958
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    That confirms other people’s experiences, skshaps.

    I cannot sharpen myself now, so I’m interested to see someone go from the 1 micron to the 0.1 micron tapes directly to see what kind of sratches the 9.1 micron tapes leave.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

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    #40959
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 2030

    I went backward thru the films to see how far I had to go the get the scratches out left by the .5 film. Had to go all the way back to the 1500 stone to get those scratches out and went all the way through them again and the very same thing happened.

    Interesting.  I only had to go back to the 1.0 micron film to remove the 0.5 scratches, but I generally used 40 – 50 strokes to do so.  The scratches really look bad, but those I observed were not as deep as what sksharp has observed.

    Please don’t infer that I’m taking the position that the 0.5 micron film is perfect and that we’re doing something wrong.  Quite the contrary.  I think that there’s something about the film that makes it susceptible to contamination, whether that happens as we use it or perhaps even at the factory or for that matter, in the plastic bag they come in.  My tests imply that it’s not just the WE film and not common to every piece cut from the sheets of three suppliers.  I’m not going to try to duplicate the results, so the one conclusion I could draw is that not all strips are inherently contaminated as they are cut from the sheet.

    Here’s another interesting question:  With all the back-and-forth switching I did between 1.0 and 0.5 films, why didn’t the 1.0 film get contaminated?  This would seem to support the argument that the scratches are not simple contamination, but rather some other flaw in the film.  Maybe a 0.5 micron version of the cluster problem?

    Bottom line is that the 0.5 film, regardless of the supplier, has a serious flaw that makes it unusable for our purposes.  And it seems quite clear that stropping is a better alternative.

    If the 0.5 film has an inherent flaw, wouldn’t it also be a problem for the much larger DLF market?  I think it’s more commonly used to polish fiber-optic connections.  I would think scratches would drive them nuts.

     

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    #40960
    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 397

    Mark I did use the .1 film the second time thru after the .5 and I didn’t notice any random scratching with those but as to what kind of finish they produce behind the 1 micron I can’t make an informed comment on that. I will be doing just that but down the road with a different knife that I don’t mind experimenting on.

    Tom, my trial with the film, and it did try my patience, was not because I inferred anything into your experience with them as I was in the middle of my own trial run. I found your trial with them to be similar to what I experienced and I agree with your conclusions. It’s my belief that whatever is going on, I am leaning in the direction of clustering diamonds at this point, is with the manufacturer and not with the user. The scratches that I had moved in relation to the paddle randomly. Whatever was going on seemed to be in a different spot almost every pass on the film as far as I could tell which is why I thought wiping them every 10 passes or so might help the problem but it didn’t seem to have any productive effect.

    All though disappointed with the result, I found that I enjoyed this process. So now I know there is no hope for me and I’m totally invested in the quest for the best edge I can attain. Save “yourself” if you can……LOL!

     

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