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First WE, Ultimate WE

Recent Forums Main Forum First WE, Ultimate WE

This topic contains 23 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  MarcH 05/07/2018 at 12:06 pm.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
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  • #45754

    Drew
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

     

    Hey y’all, Drew here.

    In the next 3 months I’ll be moving to a Pacific island, and have chosen knife sharpening as my ideal survival-money and cultural immersion career.

    I’m a nomad and carry my house on top of my 4×4, so monthly overhead is reduced to insurance, food, cellphone, and recreation. I could probably survive easily on 400 per month. (Anything over can be handled through barter. There’s always a coffee farm to labor in.)

    I’m needing a WE system that can cover the widest range of cutting implements possible. Machetes are prevalent, as are cane knives and brush axes. (Plus fixed and flippers, which goes without saying.)

    I need help choosing the specific parts, and thinking up questions that I hadn’t considered yet.

    It seems like the 130 allows for different angles to be set, which is a need. Is it possible to pair the 130 with the cam lock lever, cam tension adjuster, and split vise jaws? Does a 130 Pro III exist?

    I’ll also need the 12″ rods. Any benefit or need for 14s? If so, I could find a machine shop to fabricate. Just not sure how far one can go before the angles get wonky.

    I’d imagine the diamond stones to 1,500, then cow strops… is it 4 and 2?… should take me plenty far till I can sharpen in my sleep.

    If you would, put yourselves in my shoes and outfit yourself to allow for the best chance at survival and thriving…. Thrival?

    I appreciate you sharing what you’ve learned. You’re going to save me some mighty pretty mistakes before I even start.

    Sincerely,
    Drew

    #45755

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 30
    • Replies: 1512

    Hi Drew:  Welcome aboard the WEPS forum.  Lots of good advise here.  I’ll touch on a couple here and let those who’ve bought there rigs more recently cover the individual sharpeners and what their features are.

    If I was a user without a home base, I’d pick the 130.  Find a base you can mount it on and clamp it to some other surface, like a table.  Whatever you decide, I’d pick one with micro-adjust capability.

    If you plan to do large knives, like machetes, I’d buy the optional vice jaws, which will accommodate blade thicknesses over 1/4″.

    I you plan to do very low angles, get the Low Angle Adapter.  Another good idea is the Tormek Small Knife Adapter, available on Amazon for about $40.  It fits perfectly in the WEPS vices.

    I have 14″ rods and love them.  They don’t cause any problems other than having to reach farther to slip on a new stone.  I understand that WE will make 14″ rods as a special order.  I suppose that users who like to use alternating strokes would have to pay attention to the rod tips so they don’t crash.  You’re better off to pay attention to the knife edge.  The extra length will let you do longer blades and blades mounted very high.  By the way, very long blades do not cause a change in bevel angles on blades which are fairly straight.  The angle becomes a problem where the belly of the knife transitions to a more vertical line.  Generally, you would do those very long blades in separate sections,  When you get to the problematic tip, follow the “finding the sweet spot” guidelines.

    I’d buy a good jeweler’s loupe  ( greater than 10X) to help you inspect the blade edge for damage too small to see easily and to check your progress.

    Good luck.  Sounds like you have an adventure in your future.  A lot of guys are going to be moaning about their “road not taken.”

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    #45759

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 45
    • Replies: 1063

    Drew The Pro Pack III includes the WE130 as it’s vice in that system.  That model and the accessories included will give you almost everything you need. I would consider adding a 50 grit/80 diamond grit stone for machetes and axes.  The inclusion of at least the 12″ & 13″ rod arms is handy and probably needed.  I also have the 14″ rods and haven’t found the need to use them, yet.  Also, like TCMeyer suggested, order a set of jaws to allow for clamping a thick knife. I would also order a “Tormek Small Knife Adapter“.

    Definitely if you can swing it and it becomes available, (on back-order now) the Pro Pack III with the addition of a couple accessories I mentioned here will have you covered for just about every sharpening situation.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #45761

    Drew
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Dear tcmeyer,

    It’s an honor to be here. Been lurking for a minute, and it’s thrilling to have a back and forth discussion.

    For my list: 130, 1/4″ jaws, riser, Tormek SKA (Definitely. Good reminder.), 14″ rods, and a jeweler’s loupe.

    That rod question was bugging me, thank you for the reassurance. This system is on the threshold of sorcery to me, and my brain’s having trouble imagining how even bevels can be created on anything other than a perfectly straight piece of metal. Hat tip to Clay. This system is nuts.

    On the jeweler’s loupe, do you have any suggestions on glasses-mounted brands, or are the hand held ones more practical in your experience?

    As to the road not taken, that road is still there, waiting. 1,100 to ship a vehicle, 250 for a one way ticket. Lot of the folks here are genuinely sweet. I think the polynesian culture would adopt them just based on that. But, you add in the generosity I’ve seen here, along with the open-source mentality, humor, and attention to detail bourn out of passion… you guys’d be family stepping off the plane.

     

    Sincerely,

    Drew

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    #45762

    Drew
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Dear MarcH,

    See, the Pro Pack III didn’t list itself as a 130. I’d been eyeballing it, this pretty much cements the decision.

    On the 50/80 grit, I’m sold. Have you used those on badly chipped farm blades? Does the speed at removal outweigh the depth of scratches to work out?

    Double vote on the Tormek adapter, longer rods, and 1/4″ vise.

    Indeed, I’m at a place where I can swing the PPIII, plus the few needed accessories. Will the included syringes of diamond abrasives be enough for me to cut my teeth on, then make enough to order more in several months?

     

    Sincerely,

    Drew

    #45764

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 45
    • Replies: 1063

    Drew I used the 50/80 whenever I find I’m working too long or too hard with the 100/200 grit to get a re-profile started. The time and effort savings does out weigh the depth of the scratches.  Remember as the 50/80’s are used they will break in too and the scratch marks won’t be soo drastic.

    You may consider purchasing polishing rouge blocks or bars in addition to the WE Stropping paste.  For your described adventure it may be more practical. Also a couple extra leather strop replacements may be prudent.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #45766

    Drew
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    P.s., on the far side of the spectrum, I have this to maintain. Let me know if it’s even possible on the WE.

    I’ve got a Himalayan Imports kukri. 13 inches of cutting edge, just over 20 inches total. It’s got a 1/2 inch spine, and weighs a handful over 3 pounds. I have to use the dowel-and-sandpaper trick, presently, but saw a brother sharpening a “Woodsman’s Pal” hook on YouTube with a paddle that accommodates a ceramic rod.

    Is this beyond the WE, weight-wise? Do ceramic rod paddles exist to buy custom from WE, or is this a home-fabrication job?

    I know I’d have to sharpen this piecemeal. I’d like to profile in wider angles on the drop for chopping, and a narrower angle towards the handle for carving.

    Jerryrigging a clamp is going to be fun. Anyone attempt something similar?

     

    Sincerely,

    Drew

    Attachments:
    #45770

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 45
    • Replies: 1063

    A Spyderco TriAngle Sharpmaker System may be worth adding to you sharpening tools. I have one and still use it from time to time.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #45773

    Drew
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Dear MarcH,

    Whoh, that’s a lot of rouge. I like your thinking. Another set of strops to take the bulkwork with rouge, then a sweet, (and financially conservative) finish with the syringe abrasive.

    I can see your point on the 50/80. It’s like trying to trench with a hand trowel. Go big and bold with a pulaski, then finishwork with smaller tools.

    Btw, I’m going to visit a friend who happens to have a Sharpmaker. I want to try it on my cheap truckknives, see if it hooks me. Good suggestion.

     

    Sincerely,

    Drew

    #45775

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 498

    That 1 inch thick spine is going to be trouble with the WE130 clamp. The WE 120 style clamp might be able to handle it, but there would be a lot of compensation you’d have to do to get the angles to match. You should be able to get it done on the WE130 style clamp with the Tormek small knife adapter because it grips the handle rather than the blade, but I don’t know if you’ll be able to reach the whole cutting edge on a blade that large with only one clamping position option. Does the spine thin out a bit towards the tip?

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    #45776

    Drew
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Dear Organic,

    It’s ~1/2″ at the widest, with it thinning to just under 1/3″, 2″  behind the point.

    I’m going to need to look at the Tormek SKA much more closely. It didn’t occur to me that it could work to secure a massive spine. Excellent.

    No problem on resecuring the knife 2-3 times. I’m wanting to put multiple angles on it anyways. In fact, I’d really like to specialize in that ability. The duku candong utilizes this, and I’m in love with the idea. I’ve got a cheap machete that is going to have wide angle chop, narrow angle carve, and a 4 inch straight draw knife above the ricasso. I definitely need the WE to finish.

    Loving the DIY tone developing on this thread.

     

    Sincerely,

    Drew

    Attachments:
    #45779

    Drew
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Forgot to ask: will the Tormek SKA handle 3 pounds offset?

    #45780

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 498

    I’m not sure if it will accommodate that much weight without rotating in the WE clamp. I don’t even own anything that large to test it for you. I’ve personally never tried to sharpen anything larger than about 12 inches of blade, but there is a video of Clay sharpening a 17 inch machete and that was with the old style 8 inch rods.

    My concern with the small knife adapter is that you’ll essentially only have one mounting position. If you look it up you will see that it grips the handle of the knife rather than the blade and then there is a metal slab attached to the adapter that you can clamp in the WE. Normally on a blade that long you might need to clamp it in two places so that you could work the section towards the tip and then again to work the section towards the heel. Unfortunately, the Tormek small knife jig isn’t designed in a way that would make that work. You can only clamp the adapter near where the knife handle is located.

    That said, you mentioned you have a fiend with access to a machine shop. You could modify the small knife jig to have a longer metal tab that might give you the flexibility you need. Alternatively, you might just be better off having some custom jaws machined that can handle the 0.5 inch spine width.

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    #45785

    Drew
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Organic,

    Agreed, it’d be nice to have something dedicated to wide and heavy work. If the Tormek Adapter does well with what it’s designed for, I’ll most likely keep it for small guys.

    #45789

    Pinkfloyd
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 165

    Have you also considered a Ken Onion Work Sharp with the Blade Grinder attachment for very quick work before finish sharpening. I am not suggesting to replace the WE, just to handle the really badly chipped, damaged knives, finish sharpening with the WE.

    The 50\80 hones do work quick, they will also wear out quicker

    Don’t know if you will have electricity available, a converter would probably work on your vehicle if you were really remote.

    How will you handle reordering of some of the consumables?

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