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Best combi for a super refined mirror polish

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  • #56917
    Simon H
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 0

    Title says it all…. Diamonds, ceramics, lapping, strops, diamond emulsions….

    What produces the best for you.

    #56920
    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 323

    Ever time I wasted the time to polish the knife to a  shinny finish, my wife would say.. “I thought you sharpened this, it won’t cut the tomato skin”…I now stop at 1000, strop the lower should over and she is happy.

     

    #56921
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2469

    Welcome to the W.E. forum Simon H.

    A super mirror polish can be achieved with different combinations of abrasives.  It’s not just something you decide you’re going to do by using a specific medium.  It is the culmination of a long repetitive, organized process.

    First, like with any kind of highly refined finishes, for example with wood working or auto body finishes, it’s all in the preparation.   Only after you first break-in your sharpening stones as you learn to use them and the W.E. well, along with becoming proficient with the various sharpening strokes, with time, effort, good proper repetitive technique, and attention to details, you will achieve well sharpened knife edges.  You’ll observe as this begins to come together for you that the bevels on your newly sharpened knives will appear shiny and mirror reflective.

    At this point through continued practice, improved repetitive technique, along with some trial and error you’ll determine which of the ultra fine grit abrasive mediums used in which orders or combinations give you the improvements you’re looking for.  Generally finishing with diamond lapping films followed up with very fine grit strops, at the end of your sharpening progressions, is a good place to start.

    Ultra fine polishing abrasives will not make up for poor quality preparation with the beginning coarser grits or poor techniques and/or inconsistencies throughout the entire process.  You have to work towards your mirror polished goal right from the get-go.   A deep residual scratch left from your early profiling grits may come back to haunt you when your about done, if ignored or overlooked earlier.

    It’s the entire process start to finish, that gives you the mirror polish you want.  As you work with the finer and finer grit abrasive mediums, extra care and attention to detail is even more important.  It doesn’t take much.  Just a dirty finger touch, or a contaminated medium may lay down a stray odd scratch when working with these ultra fine,  submicron abrasive mediums.

    Time, effort, attention to details and patience!

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #56925
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 280

    Ever time I wasted the time to polish the knife to a shinny finish, my wife would say.. “I thought you sharpened this, it won’t cut the tomato skin”…I now stop at 1000, strop the lower should over and she is happy.

    After polishing the blade good, put a 1000 grit microbevel on it. I would try that and see how it works.

    #56926
    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 323

    I guess the point I was tryin go make (should not post when in a grumpy mood 🙂  is spending hours to polished  a bevel so it  looks cool, is not necessarily going to make it cut better than if you stopped when it was sharp.   The shine looks cool in slasher movies on on TV, but not really the goal of sharpening a knife so it cuts what it was designed to cut.  The idea that if it is soo shiny you can read backwards and look around corners like a mirror when you are fighting the bad guys, equates to sharp seems silly but I guess it is a draw because  it looks cool?   I guess I am just too practical or don’t have enough time to spend doing something that does not improve what I an actually trying to do.. cut stuff!  Probably should not be posting now either .. “disclaimer ” running on 2 hour sleep and trying to stay awake 🙂

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    #56927
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 280

    I guess the point I was tryin go make (should not post when in a grumpy mood 🙂 is spending hours to polished a bevel so it looks cool, is not necessarily going to make it cut better than if you stopped when it was sharp. The shine looks cool in slasher movies on on TV, but not really the goal of sharpening a knife so it cuts what it was designed to cut. The idea that if it is soo shiny you can read backwards and look around corners like a mirror when you are fighting the bad guys, equates to sharp seems silly but I guess it is a draw because it looks cool? I guess I am just too practical or don’t have enough time to spend doing something that does not improve what I an actually trying to do.. cut stuff! Probably should not be posting now either .. “disclaimer ” running on 2 hour sleep and trying to stay awake 🙂

    LOL! I have a bad habit of sometimes posting when I am sleepy and need to get some sleep! They say that sleep deprivation is akin to being slightly intoxicated.

    But I believe that the microbevel is the best of both worlds. Many people more experienced than me say that a nice polished edge is great for push cutting, but if you want to cut a tomato or something similar, a lower grit toothy edge is better. My experience has taught me the same thing. I haven’t did much testing with microbevels yet, but I will in a few days.
    I prefer a toothy edge myself so I rarely sharpen a knife higher than 1000 grit, like you do. I normally only polish the edges on a knife that I intend to collect. I think it looks nicer when you show the knife off to someone if it has gorgeously polished edges. But a knife I collect that I think will be much more valuable later on, like my Carothers UF, I don’t touch it except for just taking care of the steel so that I have no rust issues down the road.

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    #56936
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 2026

    A highly polished edge will make slicing easier – with one caveat.  A knife edge cuts at the apex, but the bevels must push the two sides of the material being cut apart so that the apex can advance and a high polish reduces the friction.  This can be very significant with materials that are firm and especially so where the blade is thick.  This is the main reason why very thin blades seem to cut so easily.

    Unfortunately, and as airscapes and 000Robert suggest, a high polish can actually be a detriment with certain materials – like tomatoes and nylon or hemp ropes.  The smooth surface of the bevels wants to slide over the material before the apex can bite into the skin or fibers.  The simple answer is to add a micro bevel, which converts the apex into a micro-serrated edge without erasing the high polish of the bevels.  When appropriate, I use two or three very light strokes with 800 or 1000 grit stones at a 2 degree-higher angle.  The micro-bevels are almost invisible to the naked eye.

    All that having been said, I think highly polished bevels are always an advantage, so I always polish to about 3-micron DLF, but I do not obsess over previous-grit scratches.  I’ll decide on about how many strokes to use and not bother to erase every last scratch.  I’ll use a micro-bevel for thicker blades and for filet knives.

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    #56937
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 280

    Unfortunately, and as airscapes and 000Robert suggest, a high polish can actually be a detriment with certain materials – like tomatoes and nylon or hemp ropes.

    I didn’t say that. I said a toothy edge is better for tomatoes and stuff, and a polished edge is better for push cutting.

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