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Further on Convex Edges

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Further on Convex Edges

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 35 total)
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  • #1191
    Leo James Mitchell
    Participant
    • Topics: 64
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    In an earlier post I stated that most of my knives had a 22.5(+/-) degree per side bevel with a convex shoulder because I found that edge geometry to be very sturdy yet capable of excellent sharpness.
    Not being one to stay with the status quo, I decided to try a more acute angle with the convex shoulder to see if that gave a reliable edge with the kind of keenness we all strive for. I chose an angle of 18 degrees as opposed to 22.5 as my target angle.
    I chose three of my knives to experiment with: the Bark River Bravo 1(A2 tool steel) and STS-5 (154 CPM SS blade) both of which have convex blade grinds with extremely delicate, acute edges

    and my excellent Helle Temagami with a triple laminate carbon steel blade which has a Scandi grind with a bevelled edge of 17 degrees from the factory.

    I used settings of 18-20-22 degrees…the 18 degree angle being the primary edge while the other two were melded together with the first to create the convex shoulder. (See instructions for developing a convex edge on the Wicked Edge web site). Please do not confuse a convex edge with a convex blade grind.
    The upshot of this experiment was three knives with final edges of 18 degrees verified with my angle cube (as were all settings throughout) with wonderfully formed convex shoulders. To say that these knives were simply sharp is to make a gross understatement…they were preternaturally sharp. As an old Knife Forum mate used to say, “…so sharp they cut your eyes just looking at them!” Certainly the two Bark River knives that had had the extremely acute convex edges were just as sharp if not sharper, but I believe also stronger so there will be no rolling of the edges as I experienced while making fuzz sticks for a fire with my grandson Owen. Knives like that should never have rolled edges with such a simple task. Similarly the Temagami knife by Helle was super sharp. Time and usage will say whether this experiment produced a useful and sturdier edge or not, but to be sure the experiment was fun. It is my belief that education/learning/experimentation should never stop until you die…it is one of the things that makes living worth while.

    Cheers
    Leo

    #1194
    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 122
    • Replies: 2934

    It is my belief that education/learning/experimentation should never stop until you die…it is one of the things that makes living worth while.

    Cheers
    Leo

    +1 to that Leo.

    -Clay

    #1195
    Glen
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 12

    Good report Leo, nice to catch up with you my friend! Hope you are doing well.
    I haven’t tried convexing yet but so far my Gyutos, (chefs) knives hold up very well with an 11.5 to 12 deg. angle.
    Of course my knives don’t get the rigors of outdoor use like yours! And I probably get some micro convexing from finishing with the polishing tape mounted to the leather strops.
    But I will try it on my Spyderco ZDP189 Delica, which is my EDC, the next time it needs sharpening.

    Glen

    #1196
    Leo James Mitchell
    Participant
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 687

    Glen my friend! It is good to hear from you and find you over here in Clay’s forum. It is not as busy as the Knife Forum, but it is a friendly place.
    I agree totally that someone who butchers as a business as you do, certainly can make good use of the extremely acute edges you refer to…my point deals simply with knives used for things like bush-craft, hunting and survival situations.
    Let us know how you make out putting a convex edge on your Spydie Delica
    Please come back often mate…we are after-all both Leo’s astrologically. Keep in touch Glen!

    Warm regards
    Leo

    #1214
    Leo James Mitchell
    Participant
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 687

    Just by the by, my STS-5 from the above post, now sports a handle of Cocobolo wood instead of the original G10 slabs seen in the other shot from an earlier time. IMO there is something so appropriate about Cocobolo wood for things meant for combat use and this knife by Mike Stewart over at Bark River Knife and Tool is definitely a combat or fighting knife.

    Leo

    #1215
    Scott Babineaux
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 80

    Very nice Leo; I’m looking at picking up a Bravo I myself. Cocobolo just seems to grow on you doesn’t it.

    #1216
    Leo James Mitchell
    Participant
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 687

    The razor looks really good with Cocobolo too Scott, I love it! You will be very happy with the Bravo 1…you can now get it in SS steel as well as A2 tool steel and either with a ramp or rampless. Many people don’t like the notched ramp, so if you get a chance to hold one before you buy, that would be a good thing.

    Cheers
    Leo

    #1297
    Ziggy
    Participant
    • Topics: 11
    • Replies: 177

    Leo and Company,
    A question on Convex.
    My Convex edges have had great results, sharpening them in the style of Clay’s video, starting at 17 all the way to ceramic, then jump to 20 just till bur w/ ceramics.
    Now the guessing part … stepping down to 19 with ceramics with about 10 light strokes per side of ceramics, not pushing a bur, and checking with glass to see an angle has been made.
    Repeat at 18.
    Then strop from 14 paste at 17 degrees to .5 micron paste.

    All seems well … but get the feeling that the 19 and 18 degree angles are in a limbo as its a guesstimate of sorts as they never go to bur.
    Am having a problem with a VG-10 Endura, as the edge gets paper slicing sharp but never really folded mag paper sharp if you know what I mean. A bit toothy. It causes me to reset to the 20 and strop that for a bit trying to get it to that scary sharp point, just a polish at the final edge, but still a bit toothy.

    Am wondering if anyone does convex in steps from lowest to highest?
    Say start at 17 to bur and highest stone, say ceramic.
    Then ceramic at 18 to a light bur, then 19, then 20.
    I’m trying to imagine if that would define the in between angles more accurately than a guess, and maybe having the final pass be at 20 instead of the second pass, maybe have the 20 degree final be more defined.
    Then drop back and strop from 17.

    Any thoughts?

    #1426
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    Good question, I wondered exactly the same (if I understand you correctly).

    Having sharpened a couple of knives I feel ready now to do a convex edge. My Fallkniven A1 has to be in for it. (Though I am not sure it is the best candidate for that: the entire blade has a convex form, rather than just the edge.)

    What I understand is that you propose to sharpen the knife to a burr at 17*, then sharpen it to a light burr again at 18*, to a light burr again at 19* and then to a light burr again at 20*. You only use the ceramic stones for a light burr. Finally you do a strop at 17*.

    I think that in theory this should work fine. I just haven’t tried it yet.

    If anyone has, or has a different view on the theory, I’d be interested to know.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #1427
    Ziggy
    Participant
    • Topics: 11
    • Replies: 177

    Thanks for the reply Mark!

    I usually do all my convex from narrow angle first, then to wide, then down and strop.

    I have a gut that the in between angles are more or less guesses, know what I mean, as you can’t take them to bur.

    I’m imagining that by burring very lightly each step say from 17 through 20, the biggest factor would be the height of the edge .. I’m guessing it would be lower, but by how big of a factor?

    And, would it make for a stronger rounder shouldered blade, but duller.

    Perhaps Leo or Clay or anyone has tried this and has thoughts.

    #1428
    Leo James Mitchell
    Participant
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 687

    The neat thing about convexing an edge is that there is no need to be really precise. For example, let’s say I start at 16 degrees…I fully develop that edge, after I get my requisite burrs on both sides, using the full complements of paddles. Then I widen the degree settings to 18 degrees and using the 400 grit paddles do several swipes and the 600 to 1000 grits several swipes each…my goal is simply to build a shoulder and then another shoulder at 20 degrees so in effect it looks like an inverted 3 step pyramid with the fully sharpened apex at the bottom. Then I use the full complement of strops to smooth off the shoulders which results in the smooth bullet shape of the classic convex edge.
    Hmmm! Clear as mud boys? I can see it in my head but I don’t know if you can from my description. But one thing is clear I think, there is no need for anymore burrs than the initial burr.
    The convex edge is ancient because when people first started sharpening things they couldn’t be really precise…the men just sat there sharpening their knives or spear heads by friction against a rock, while the women did all the real work, and so by this method the classic convex edge was the natural result. The WEPS way is the fast modern way of achieving the same thing. BTW, the women still are doing most of the work around the house eh! LOL! Whatever works guys! If you are happy with the end result and it cuts your eyes just looking at it, it’s all good. Depends on whether you are a molecule polisher like some sharpeners or a pragmatist like me. :silly:

    Leo

    #1429
    Ziggy
    Participant
    • Topics: 11
    • Replies: 177

    Understand I think Leo.

    But the way I’m seeing it is you developing your edge at 16 first, but that primary at 20 then never gets a bur, know what I mean?

    Ex: In Clay’s vid, he burs to 17 and goes through the stones.
    Then he jumps to the 20 to bur, with only I think the 1000s or ceramics. That gives the edge it new cutting edge at 20. I picture just a double bevel, one at 17 then the cutter at 20. That 20 I play with lightly to 1600, and even give it a few strops to define the edge.
    Then I step down like Clay about 10 light strokes, depending on the metal, at 19 and 18, with neither going to bur.
    I feel and mico-view to be sure.

    Now I got a semi bullet.

    Then I go 17 and round it out with strops and polish.
    Occasionally I may go back to the 20 for a bit more polish hoping to keep the 20 edge scary sharp.

    I feel this way the original height of the 17 is not changed much, see what I’m saying? Its more like a rifle bullet.

    What I’m wondering is if I go from 17 bur, 18 light bur, 19 light bur, 20 light bur refined … then back to 17 stropped to roll the edges together, I’m guessing I’m gonna get a shorter height, stronger shoulders, a more accurate roll to 20, but maybe not as sharp, or maybe even sharper if I stay on the 20 lightly with say a 1600 ceramic (Highest I have right now until I can get the Shaptons)

    Am I making sense?

    #1430
    Leo James Mitchell
    Participant
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 687

    What is the old saying, ‘there is more than one way to skin a cat!’. but since I love cats I will loosely (very loosely!) quote my Buddha who says, ‘there are many paths to enlightenment, so choose your own path and tread it boldly!’

    What you are saying is also correct! Sometimes words get in the way of results. As I said, I am a pragmatist and when I first wrote a review of the WEPS in a forum populated by sharpening mavens, my pragmatism got me into conflicts with them…the suggestion was, what do I mean entering this hallowed ground. In the end it was OK and we became friends but they never did understand that it is enough for me that my knife cuts the things I want it to cut and that is all good. A mirror edge is nice but is not the absolute for me. A convex edge no matter how you get it is good and cuts things like lightning, doesn’t matter to me how I got it beyond the simple steps I use. I probably don’t have to go back to the 400 grit for each of the secondary steps but I just do and it seems to work alright. I know I am not much of a perfectionist but that’s me now…when I was thirty, watch out! I was a bear for perfection! I don’t get all exercised about it now! Old farts eh! ROTFLMAO!!!

    Leo 😆

    #1431
    Glen
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 12

    Since the more obtuse angle is the final cutting edge, why not start with that angle and convex from that point?
    Example; 20 deg cutting edge taken to burr, then just a few strokes each of say 18,16,14 being careful NOT to take them to burr.
    Less metal removed, and much faster.
    Why remove the edge you just put on?
    The only trade off I see would be maybe slightly less precise. (appearance, not performance)
    If you start with the lower angle 14 to burr then progress to burr up to 20 you are removing more of the metal and work you just performed.

    Correct me if I’m missing something or read it wrong.

    Glen

    #1432
    Leo James Mitchell
    Participant
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 687

    Another path that makes even more sense Glen. Good process my friend!

    Cheers
    Leo

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