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Ceramic Stones/Updated Grit Chart

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Rich 04/19/2017 at 4:01 pm.

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  • #38476

    Rich
    Participant
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    I just received my Pro Pack 2.  I have been able to do a few knives so far.

    My progression is 100/200/400/600/800/1000/1200/1600/1.4/0.6 (still waiting on strop, back ordered)

    My question is this, when I finished with the 1600 ceramic, the feel of the stone on steel was smooth as butter.  All scratches were gone from previous stones and uniform in direction (under magnification).  The edge was mirror “like”.  When I went to the 1.4 micron ceramic, the sound and feel changed,  much rougher start to finish, and the edge appearance became dull.  Should this happen?  I would assume that with the finer grit the edge feel becomes smoother and the mirror appearance becomes more refined.

    I have the 1500 diamond on order to see how it performs.  I also assume  that the 1500 diamond would take care of the 1000 diamond scratches quicker/better than the 1200 ceramic (it took a very long time to take care of the 1000 diamond scratch pattern with the 1200 ceramic).  Would this assumption be correct?  Would I then go to the ceramic stones from there?

    Also, the grit chart is a bit outdated given all of the stone/strop/lapping film options out there.  Is there a plan to provide a more up to date grit chart?  If so, when might this be available?

    Thank you for your input!

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    #38477

    Mark76
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 179
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    Welcome to the forum Rich!

    There have been multiple discussions on this forum on the “grit rating” or coarseness of the ceramic stones. I also wrote a couple of blogs on it. Here you can read the latest one, with references to earlier my blogs on this subject (which also summarize the discussion on this forum): https://moleculepolishing.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/ceramic-stones-for-the-weps-compared-again/ .

    Please note that the coarseness of all ceramic stones (including those of, for example, Spyderco) is, unlike that of the diamond stones or whetstones, is not based on the size of abrasive particles in a matrix. It is the “pattern” on the ceramic stones that determines their coarseness. So, for example, if you lap some ceramic stones with 100 grit diamond stones, these ceramic stones become quite coarse. Some people here have carried out a similar experiment. Similarly, ceramic stones can be made quite fine in an analog way.

    To give you some practical advice: use the stones a couple of times (give them time to “break in”) and see whether then you obtain the same results. I have read reports that the “new” (between quotes, since they have been on the market for quite a long time already; but I’ve still got the old ones) 1200/1600 stones initially loose some dust and maybe some ceramic material, which may change their coarseness.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

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    #38478

    Rich
    Participant
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    Thank you for the info.  I am still puzzled by the fact that the 1.4 micron ceramic took the polish away from the 1600 ceramic.  If the scratches are in fact smaller, shouldn’t they be more difficult to see? (making metal more polished)

    I was given advice that it has been observed that the ceramic stones at times have a “kiln film” to them which needs to be worked off. This film has been associated with the observations I experienced. The advise was to lap the ceramics with 1000 or 1500 grit diamond to remove this film.

    Agree/Disagree??

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    #38480

    tcmeyer
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    The advise was to lap the ceramics with 1000 or 1500 grit diamond to remove this film. Agree/Disagree??

    I would caution you very strongly against that.  My experience is that you’ll end up with a ceramic stone that produce 1000 or 1500 git scratches.  I tried lapping my 1.4/0.6 stones on a 1200-grit EZ-Lap plate and that’s what happened to me.  I did try to then lap the ceramic on a 1.5 micron diamond film sheet enough to convince me that the surface could, in fact, be restored with some effort.   By then, I’d gone all in with diamond film, so I abandoned the restoration for another day.

    I’d follow Mark’s advise and work the ceramics for what would be a reasonable break-in period to see what happens before making any drastic moves.

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    #38483

    sksharp
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    I also have the ceramic 1200/1600 and the 1.4/.6 and I can confirm there is a break in period for these stones. I’ve had them from the start so I’ve broke them in with my diamond stones. Was not impressed when I first used them so I called WE and was told about the film and that they need to be broke in.

    I’ve probably used them on 30 or so knives now and they get better with age just like your diamond stones. I now use them to achieve a mirror finish, stropping with the diamond emulsions on kangaroo leather after the ceramics but the finish is so good with the ceramics that I don’t strop them very often.

    Don’t give up on them prematurely. The 1200/1600 will chip(on the edges) and look ragged the more you use them but mine work very well for me. The micro-ceramics look just like the day I received them and get better every time I use them. Often I’ll go from 1500 diamond stone to the micro-ceramic and love that edge for several of my kitchen knives.

    Welcome!

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    #38484

    sksharp
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    Do Not Lap Your Ceramic Stones Rich. Let them break in and you will be very happy with them. Try going from your 1000 diamonds to the micro-ceramics for knives that don’t need mirrored for a while and they will break in pretty quickly.

    Very good advice Mark and TC!

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    #38490

    Rich
    Participant
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    I hear the consistent advice, do not lap the ceramic stones.  Could I jump from a more coarse grit, say 600, to the micro to expedite the break in or is being patient the key?

    #38491

    cbwx34
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 57
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    Try lapping or rubbing the 1.4m stones together… to help break them in and remove the “film”.  (This will avoid changing the surface texture).

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    #38492

    Rich
    Participant
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    That was a thought I had.  I will do a bit of both, use and rubbing together.  Can you do this same thing with diamond stones to help accelerate the break in or just on ceramics?

    #38495

    cbwx34
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 57
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    That was a thought I had. I will do a bit of both, use and rubbing together. Can you do this same thing with diamond stones to help accelerate the break in or just on ceramics?

    Just ceramics…. don’t rub diamond stones together.

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    #38511

    Rich
    Participant
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    Got it. Thank you to all for your help!

    Anything on an updated grit chart?  It would be nice to have a reference covering all products provided by WE.

    #38512

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
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    Got it. Thank you to all for your help! Anything on an updated grit chart? It would be nice to have a reference covering all products provided by WE.

    This is from a soon to be updated WE website:

    Grit Chart

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    #38513

    Rich
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
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    That is great and thank you for sharing.  Are you going to incorporate the 1500 diamond, 1.4/0.6 ceramics?  Lapping Films?

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    #38522

    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
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    I don’t know if going from 600 to the micro ceramics would break them in any quicker or not. If you do try that then make certain that you wipe that blade down thoroughly so you don’t get a stray diamond or metal shavings in the ceramic. I know the diamond stones throw a lot of diamonds until they are thoroughly broke in. The metal shavings from the 600 would be my primary concern so make sure you wipe your blade thoroughly.

    I have the 1500 stones and they are approx. 3 micron diamonds and I love them. They leave a little tooth in the blade but greatly reduced compared to the 1000 stones. I also have just the 6 micron lapping film currently and do plan on using more of the lapping films in the future.

    #38525

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
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    That is great and thank you for sharing. Are you going to incorporate the 1500 diamond, 1.4/0.6 ceramics? Lapping Films?

    <!–more–>That is from the up and coming new version of the WE website that Clay has been working on ( not my work). I would assume that Clay will eventually fill in the chart with the rest of their abrasives, but I don’t claim to have any inside knowledge.

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