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Ceramics Help Needed…

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Ceramics Help Needed…

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  MarcH 12/26/2018 at 4:26 pm.

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  • #48726

    NorCalQ
    Participant
    • Topics: 26
    • Replies: 53

    Ok…so everything seems to go well from 200 up to 1k.  After 1k, the bevel is already taking on a shine of sorts and the edge feels sharp.  When I switch to 1200 ceramics, boy, do things change.  The ceramic surface feels bumpy or almost gritty.  The bevel goes from a nice even, fine scratch pattern, to randomly spaced, much deeper scratches.  No matter how much I worked it, the “scratchy” feel of the 1200 surface didn’t change, nor did the look of the bevel.  When I switched to the 1600 side, things were the same, only just a bit finer, but nothing like the 1k scratch pattern.  I also used the 1.4/0.6 micron paddles, however they felt bad as well and there wasn’t much improvement and the edge felt like it was gone.  I tried out the 9 and 3 micron films that I just got and although they shined up what was left, by that time, it seemed like a lost cause.  I ended up with a scratchy, shiny, dull blade.

    So, where did I go wrong?  I’ve used other ceramic type sharpeners, but none felt like these ceramics feel.  With other ceramics, you could feel the grit, but it was still smooth and consistent.  Is that they way the WE ceramics are supposed to feel and work?  Is there a break-in time are technique that I’m missing?  Help, please!

    #48727

    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2879

    NorCalQ – not to worry. Both sets of ceramic stones also have a break in period. The 1200/1600 stones have something called the “kiln layer”. We use a process called “shot siding” to remove most of the kiln layer, but it’s imperfect and would result in damage to the stones if it were run too long. For that reason, new 1200/1600 stones always have some of that left when they ship out to the customer. It shouldn’t take too long to have that wear off and any remaining high points knocked down. The 1.4/0.6 stones also can have high points that get knocked off with use and improve with usage. Both sets of ceramic stones can be rubbed together, like grit to like grit, to help accelerate break-in. I don’t use my ceramic stones for polishing, I use them for maintenance of a well built edge because they can both abrade and hone the blade without removing much metal. At a recent trade show, I was working on some blades and using a Bess sharpness tester to measure my results. I was nicely surprised to see the quantum leap in sharpness that my 1.4/0.6 stones created after using the diamond stones and films. If I’m going for polish, then I just use the films and maybe a little stropping.

    -Clay

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #48728

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    There seems to be a long break-in period on the W.E. ceramics.  They seem to come with some sort of a coating or residue from the manufacturing process that takes quite a while to wear this off.  Some users have suggested to rub the like grit ceramic stones together to help wear off this coating to expose the raw ceramics.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #48738

    NorCalQ
    Participant
    • Topics: 26
    • Replies: 53

    Thanks to both.  Sets my mind at ease to hear that.  I’ve also seen a vid that shows lapping the ceramics with diamond plates.  I have 300/1k and 8k plates.  Would this be ok?  I normally use a specified diamond lapping plate to lap my stones, however that is likely too coarse a grit to be used on these WE ceramics.

    #48739

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    Thanks to both. Sets my mind at ease to hear that. I’ve also seen a vid that shows lapping the ceramics with diamond plates. I have 300/1k and 8k plates. Would this be ok? I normally use a specified diamond lapping plate to lap my stones, however that is likely too coarse a grit to be used on these WE ceramics.

    There is no need to flatten either of the WE ceramic stones. They are extra hard and are formed either by sintering (Micro Fine) or vitrified bond (Super Fine) so they are not bound in a matrix that disintegrates as you use it like other types of ceramic stones.

    Lapping these ceramics scratch them to create a grit mirror of what lapping stone was used.  It does not create a clean, level uniform surface of the characteristics of the Ceramic stones grit it’s rated to.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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