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Getting my system squared away

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  • #42046
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
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    Here are the Wicked Edge sharpening stones I have.

    100 – 200

    400 – 600

    800 – 1000

    Fine – 1500

    5 mu -3.5 mu

    10 mu – 14 mu

    Diamond Lapping

    Question:  which is finer?3.5 or 5mu?  I’m guessing they are from most coarse to most fine are 3.5 then 5 then 10 then 14, but I may have it backwards.

    To what holder do I attach the Diamond Lapping sheets?

    Last, at what angle do you normally sharpen pocket knives?

    Thanks!

    Michael

    #42047
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    Welcome to the forum Michael!

    The correct order to use the strops would be 14 micron, 10 micron, 5 micron, 3.5 micron. Unlike the grit rating (where higher number corresponds to a finer abrasive) the stropping compounds are rated on the particle size of the diamonds themselves, so smaller particles correspond to a finer finish. You might find the Grit Comparison Table useful.

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    #42048
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2473

    Welcome Michael!  We’re here to help.

    When the size of the grit is described in Micron units or microns (µ) then smaller numbers are smaller size, finer, grit particles:

    (small to larger) 3.5, 5, 10, then 14. these can be very small too: such as 0.1, 0.05, 0.01, etc

    When the size of the grit is described in grit units then the smaller number is coarser, the opposite of µ’s: (large to small) 50, 80, 100, 200,….1000, then 1500.  Grits can come finer 2000, 4000>>8000, >>> and down to 30,000 possibly finer.

    Diamond lapping films with the pressure sensitive adhesive backing stick very well to glass blank platens and also stick almost as well on aluminum blank platens,  In my experience the glass is a firmer attachment.

    20º to 25º per side is a average, fairly durable and sharp working edge for an everyday carry pocket knife.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #42049
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    I just realized that I only answered part of your questions. The lapping films are meant to be attached to the glass or aluminum platens. Either are fine. Glass is flatter than the aluminum, but it can break and some people have reported that the sharp edges of the glass plates can scratch the finish of their knives.

    The diamond lapping films are again rated in terms of the particle size, so you’ll want to use them in decreasing order of particle size. For example, I usually go from the 1500 grit diamond to the 6 micron lapping film, then the 3 micron, 1.5 micron, and then I do some stropping with the 4 micron and 2 micron strops.

    The strops work differently than the stones and films do, so it often makes sense to use a more coarse stropping compound than your final stone or film. One of the moderators here Mark76 has a really good blog and he has written several articles on the WE strops. You can check it out here.

    What angle do I typically use on pocket knives? I usually go for somewhere between 15 and 20 degrees per side for my pocket knives. This is a matter of personal preference and performance compromises. A more obtuse angle will yield an edge that is more durable, but it won’t cut as well as the narrower angle edges will. If you go with a really narrow bevel, the knife will be great at cutting but the edge might be too fragile to be of any use in a real world scenario. Another thing to consider is that a very narrow sharpening angle will make the bevels on the knife much wider than a more obtuse angle especially on knives with a thick blade stock. This can affect the visual aesthetics of the knife if that matters to you.Another option is to sharpen a knife at a really narrow angle and then add a more obtuse micro-bevel. This often yields excellent performing edges that are more durable than the non-micro beveled counterpart.

    If you don’t know where to start, I would suggest matching the factory sharpening angles using the sharpie method. Once you get the knife sharp you can always go back and re-sharpen it at a narrower or more obtuse angle when you want to experiment.

     

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    #42050
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2473

    Michael, if you could tell us which Wicked Edge Sharpener you will be using we’ll be able to better answer questions directed with your particular System in mind.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #42051
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    You can laugh at any time.  I have used two of the lapping strips, but I can’t tell which stone I attached them to.

    I’m guessing it’s the opposite side of the 1500?  Is that reasonable?  Is the opposite side of the 1500 glass?

    Thanks!

    Michael

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    #42052
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    Marc asked which system I have.

    I bought a Basic Kit (that’s the terminology by the UPC code).

    I have mounted it to a granite stone I purchased from Wicked Edge.

    Mine looks like the system below except my granite is gray, not black.  But the knife holder is the one shown here.

    Michael

    Attachments:
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    #42054
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2473

    No one laughs, we love to help…The opposite side of the 1500 is the glass platen blank to be used with lapping film…you did perfect!

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #42061
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    I bought a Basic Kit (that’s the terminology by the UPC code).

    I have mounted it to a granite stone I purchased from Wicked Edge.

    Mine looks like the system below except my granite is gray, not black.  But the knife holder is the one shown here.

    Attachments:
    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #42065
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2473

    Michael, I see you posted your device for us.  I thought I’d reassure you the answers to your questions are the same with your device, as any other model.  So the answers you got above apply to your model.  Also the sharpening angles recommended for pocket knives or every day carry folding knives, (EDC) are correct any where from 15º to 25º per side with 20º a good average for sharpness and durability.

    Just to remove your doubts, your device has all the same features as all the other model WE Sharpeners but it lacks the adjustability to allow precise setting to the exact angle you desire to sharpen your knives.  Your WEPS Model will allow you to securely clamp your knife, repeatedly, and sharpen both sides simultaneously at roughly 1 degree increments, to a very flat and smooth bevel that when done properly, with proper technique, will result in as sharp an edge as any of the more expensive models.

    I do think you may find with time and sharpening experience you’ll want to do what many, (dare I say most), of us Wicked Edge users have done and upgrade your model to allow for easier, faster clamping and repeatability and the fine precision this System can allow by removing it’s limitations.

     

     

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #47490
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    Stropping Compounds………..

    I have 4 strops: 5 mu -3.5 mu and the 10 mu – 14 mu.

    Does each stop need it’s own stropping compound?

    If so, what is the right compound for each of them and how are you supposed to apply it and how often do you apply it?

    Michael

    #47491
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2473

    Michael,   When you purchases the two labeled strop sets: set 1) 5µ/3.5µ and set 2) 14µ/10µ.  They should have come with two tubes of diamond strop pastes of the same grits 5µ and 3.5µ and two tubes of diamond strop pastes of the same grits 10µ and 14µ for the other set of strops.  This is what you apply to the leather.  Like grit applied to like labeled leather strop.

    I apply four or five small spots or dollups of the pastes to the labeled strop of the same labeled grit paste.   (i.e., 10µ paste 10µ strop, and 14µ paste to 14µ strop, etc, etc).  Then I rub the same grit labeled strop pair sides together to spread the paste as evenly and completely across the entire strip of leather as I can.  You may find it may helpful to moisten the strop leather strips with a spritz of rubbing alcohol applied with a sprayer bottle. (You can buy a small inexpensive sprayer bottle from the travel section at your local Walmart or similar type of store).  I like to let the strop paste dry on the strops over night before I use them. (read this Forum topic)  and see this linked Forum post for pictures of applied stropping paste.

    The compound lasts for quite a few knives. Be sure before you strop a knife that the entire knife blades is well cleaned, while still clamped in the vice, (I use a towel with rubbing alcohol), to remove any dirt, metal particles and sharpening debris that will dirty and contaminate your leather strops.  Also clean the knife again between each strop grit step to prevent cross contaminating the strops with any strop compound that is left on the knife blade from the previous strop.

    It is suggested that you lower the angle setting from 1.5º to 2º less than your sharpening angle setting for the stropping stage to prevent rounding off the sharpened knife edge.

    Michael I invite you to read through the forum to gain some insight in basic sharpening sharpening technique and stropping technique.  Also there are many valuable You Tube videos on these subjects.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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