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Finally took the plunge…

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  • #56940
    anomad
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 10

    Hi folks, just created an account in anticipation of receiving a WE130. From reading other forum content, I am in good company. I see several others that have also recently bought the same unit. I kept some money in my pocket and only got an aluminum base and 800/1000 diamond stones to go with the base unit. From what I’ve read/viewed a 1000 grit finish is very acceptable for basic tasks in the kitchen or day to day cutting tasks.

    I’ve been keeping my cutting utensils sharp with the ubiquitous Spyderco Sharpmaker. Picked one up when they were shipping with a nice VHS video cassette with Sal himself demonstrating. I learned a lot from that video (on the ‘tube now like everything). The sharpmaker was such a significant improvement over free hand sharpening I had used since I was a little boy it really met all my needs. I’m just chasing something extra now. I was living in New Mexico right about the time Wicked Edge became a thing and have been curious about the company’s products for a long time.

    Funny story: I have two sharpmakers. When I moved from Colorado to Utah almost all my knives and sharpening equipment were buried in storage. I was living in a temporary rental and really bored. That was when “scary sharp” was floating around on the internets. (Drawing the blade spine to edge over sandpaper, basically.) I thought what the heck. Bought some almost disposable priced kitchen knives from a big box store. Went to the auto parts store and got said sandpaper and spent many evenings entertaining myself. I had fun with those disposable knives. Bought some rubbing compound and mother’s wheel polish as well. Polished them up to a mirror finish. Put whatever edge the cheap steel could hold with those methods. Which wasn’t bad, but nothing to brag about. And gave them away as gifts to delighted women in my life who appreciated a pretty and reasonably sharp kitchen knife. Of course some of them immediately cleaned the mirror polish with scotch brite pads and put them in the dishwasher! I’ll never give up the sharpmaker for touching up on family visits.

    Then I was wandering around the “bargain cave” at Cabelas and saw a sad returned sharpmaker at a price too good to pass up. It’s on my desk beside me right now. The other one lives in the kitchen. I have all the stones for it and know very well. So that is the standard I will measure this new purchase against. It’s going to be fun.

    Anyhoo, a very long Welcome Mat first post. But I feel like I know you all after all the reading I have been doing. Thank you all for posting such informative content. I hope I can bring something of value to the forum as well. Special shout out to tcmeyers? If I have that right… I have learned a lot from your videos on the ‘tube and your content led me to this forum. I seem to jive with your methodology. If I try your techniques and fail miserably who will we blame?? LOL

     

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    #56943
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 280

    Welcome to the forum and the Wicked Edge family! I also have a WE130 and I love it. I have the aluminum base also and it works great. Just take your time learning to use your WE130 and don’t forget that it will take a while to break-in the new stones, maybe 8 – 10 knives or so. It’s better to break the stones in on cheaper knives.

    For toothy edges I normally stop at 800 or 1000 grit. Did you get the Pro Pack 3? That’s what I bought. I have since bought the Scissor & Chisel Attachments. I have the sharpest scissors and chisels that I have ever had. I also love the 50/80 grit stones for reprofiling blades. They will save you a lot of time if you need to reprofile some blades. But be careful, they can hog off a lot of steel and leave some deep gouges. So I usually stop a mm or so from the blades apex when using them. Then take the edges on up with the 100/200 grit stones.

    Don’t forget the, “Knowledge Base”, in the upper right corner of the page. There’s a wealth of information there! Happy sharpening!

    #56948
    anomad
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 10

    Hey thanks.

    I have read the knowledge base thoroughly so hopefully I don’t ask too many “dumb questions”. LOL

    I did not get the pro pack. Just the extra 800/1000 grit diamond stones and the aluminum base. Anxious for its arrival. Hopefully this week. I have a bunch of rarely used knives waiting to break in the stones before I get into the stuff I care about. All have very decent sharpmaker edges on them. So I will really have to see what I can do before taking them to the new system.

    #56955
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 175

    Welcome to the forum Anomad! Lots of knife wisdom here. Takes awhile to develop your own technique so just keep at it and try new methods.

    #56967
    anomad
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 10

    The new WE130 came in the mail today. Finally… LOL! I was waiting like a kid at Christmas. To start figuring out what the heck I was doing and rub on the stones a bit I put a 20 degree per side edge on most of a 26″ machete that I regularly abuse around the property. I figured that would cut down the “10-15 knives” I need to break in the stones. Then I switched over to some el cheapo kitchen knives I had in a drawer. One example was particularly awful and had a 20 degree edge on one side and a 24 degree on the other. I didn’t re-profile, just adjusted to what was there.

    After kind of figuring out how it all works I decided to go after a Cold Steel Safemaker 3. This awkward short little knife has a large belly and I knew it needed a new bevel cut in. The WE130 made short work of making it a perfectly even 18 degrees per side. Although I could spruce up the tip a little. I had put this knife in the drawer a long time ago. Knowing it needed a profile and dreading doing so on the sharpmaker.

    So, day one and I’m already looking at more stones to take things to what I can do with the Spyderco extra fine ceramics. Also need to start taking notes on geometry to make touch ups on the sharpmaker easy. I have decades of experience with that system and it holds it’s own against the WE130. They will be a good team. I could go on about that for pages… I’ll have to use my loupe and think about micro bevels.

    The 1000 grit diamond stones leave a satisfactory toothy edge in my estimation. Better than most factory edges you’ll get on a sub 100 dollar knife, I’d guess. The geometrical consistency is fascinating.

     

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    #56970
    anomad
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 10

    Today was an “ah-hah” moment. For obvious reasons, practice makes perfect. It was like a light bulb turned on for me today. I did 5 knives with very satisfying results.

    I had gained enough confidence over the last few days of tinkering around to do some knives I am more attached to. One is a Chinese D2 el cheapo from everyone’s favorite prime online store. It had a boring factory edge that I had touched up to “it’ll shave, except for that one” on the sharpmaker. I took it back to 15 degrees per side. It is kind of lop-sided now. But hairs jump out of the way when they see it coming.

    #56971
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 280

    That’s good to hear, anomad! Practice makes perfect.

    #56972
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 175

    Sounds like you’re getting the hang of it, congrats!

    #56993
    anomad
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 10

    Been working on some of my favorite knives now that I have a little practice. I kind of laugh at myself because some of you have years and years and thousands of sharpening sessions under your belts. Microscopes, spreadsheets full of data etc etc.  I know almost nothing in comparison. I do know I was very happy this one came out very nice. It is one of my favorite knives.

    #56994
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 280

    Been working on some of my favorite knives now that I have a little practice. I kind of laugh at myself because some of you have years and years and thousands of sharpening sessions under your belts. Microscopes, spreadsheets full of data etc etc. I know almost nothing in comparison. I do know I was very happy this one came out very nice. It is one of my favorite knives.

    Good job!

    #57063
    anomad
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 10

    Question:

    If you were new, like me, and ready to purchase something beyond the 800/1000 diamonds what would you get?

    I am guessing the 1500/lapping films or the 1500/2200 are the logical progression. But I would like to hear from other’s who have “been there done that”.

    #57065
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2469

    When I was new like you, I too tried to follow the logical grit or abrasive progressions.  I bought everything W.E. had to offer then; diamond stones, ceramics, diamond lapping films and stropping mediums.  I wanted to try everything I could’ve, then and now.  I still do this.   I have followed all the logical progressions and each experienced user’s suggested progressions.  Everyone of those.  Even those progressions that mixed and matched abrasive mediums.  Those touted to maximize edge sharpness and/or mirror polish.

    I learned these results are subjective.   Yes, sharpness seems to be obvious.  It can even be tested, quantified and qualified.  A mirror polish too, can be qualified.  Though it maybe more subjective.  Still, it’s up to the individual W.E. users to be impressed and pleased with their own results.

    I’m sure this is clear to you.  Just because you bought the mediums and used them in the logical and/or suggested orders, it doesn’t mean you’ll achieve the same results as others.  First you’ll need to master the user skills associated with each and every grits or mediums.  That’s after you’ve mastered the basics of using your W.E. setup.  Even then, your knives and your steels may be different, leading to similar or very different results from others.

    My point is knife sharpening is a very individual thing.  Results, preferences and evaluations are our own.  Part is objective, and practical another part is subjective and simply, what you like.

    Even if we say buy 1, 2, 3, and A, B, C, most of us will wonder, but, what about those other ones; 4, 5 and E, F.  It’s our nature to want the best.  That’s what drew us to W.E.P.S.s in the first place.

    For me, after I tinkled all the keys, so-to-speak, and got a feel for what all the abrasives and mediums were about, I was still left with deciding what did I like, what did I need and what did I want.  This takes time to figure this out.  This, for me is “the art of knife sharpening”.  Are you wanting sharpness or are you wanting polish.  Or a blend of them, maybe.  This may differ and often does from knife-to-knife. It’s like being a good chef with that little extra something they have.

    That’s why I started by buying everything I could.  That way, when I wanted to follow a whim, any suggested progression, it was there at my reach.  I bought what I wanted. Not necessarily what I needed.

    Trying to be practical, and prudent, I suggest you first buy what you might need.  The 1500 grit diamond stone is a good start.  See what it adds to your knife edge.  Don’t judge too quick.  Remember it needs to be broken in to yield the best results.  This 1500 grit, IMO, gives a good balance between fine edge sharpness, and edge polish, (with still a bit of toothiness).

    Considering the lapping films, the diamond films seems to work best.  They are essentially an extra fine, flatter, though consumable diamond sharpening stone.  They are a good finishing or polishing medium.  The films can get you to the scalpel-like sharpness level.  A good shiny paper slicing knife.  The lapping films require that you master a strop-like stroke.  They are used exclusively edge trailing.  That is up and off of, or up and away from, the knife edge.  Until maybe, you master this medium. Some users suggest a horizontal scrubbing stroke can be utilized to produce an enhanced polish.

    Buy what you want so you can try everything when the desire hits you, or go the practical route after you try to figure out your needs.  These are the decisions we all face after we bought our W.E.P.S. just to learn we have this level of control over knife sharpening we never expected to get.  This is “the rabbit hole” we all run into.  We can or we may not, go down it.  C’est la vie…

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #57067
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 280

    I would recommend the 50/80 stones for reprofiling blades and chisels, but you have to be careful with them. I would also recommend the 1500/2200 and the 3000/glass platen stones and some lapping films. I also recommend some leather stropping handles with diamond sprays. But as Marc said, it really depends on your needs and wants.

    I also recommend the Chisel and Scissors attachments if you plan to reprofile/sharpen chisels and scissors. My chisels and scissors are sharper than most peoples knives. lol

    here’s a photo of me reprofiling/sharpening one of my dads big old cold chisels:

    Cold-Chisel-1a

     

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    #57070
    anomad
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 10

    I’m delighted with the results, so far, even with the humble 1000 grit diamond stones. One thing I wanted to do was set a few kitchen knives properly so I could touch up the apex easily with the sharpmaker. Check, it works very well. I sharpened a 12″ machete… Going over the top is fun.

    You’re right, I am trying to stay in a safe orbit around the opening of the rabbit hole and not get sucked in!

    I even got out an old book to entertain me while I attempt to stay in orbit…

    #57071
    anomad
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 10

    The scissors attachment is a great idea 000Robert. I used to go around the office and adopt all the neglected scissors, bring them home and put them through my rehabilitation program. Kept me in good graces with the ladies of the office! I might be able to take my performance up a notch with this machine.

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