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Grit Progression with Micro Fine Ceramics

This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Pat 10/16/2019 at 6:00 pm.

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  • #50753

    rummels
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    I recently purchased the Micro Fine Ceramic stones as a way to reduce my use of the Diamond Lapping films, and thereby reduce the recurring cost of the films.  I am sharpening kitchen knives, some are Henckels and some are of lower quality steels.  My current grit progression for touch ups is – 1000 grit diamond stone (50 per side), 1500 grit diamond stone (50 per side), 1.4 Micron Micro Fine Ceramic stone (100 per side), .6 Micron Micro Fine Ceramic stone (100 per side).  This progression leaves me with knives that will easily push cut newspaper.

    My question is whether or not there is a different progression that does not require use of Diamond Lapping Films, but that will reduce the number of strokes per side when using the Micro Fine Ceramic stones?

    For example, would the new 2200/3000 diamond stones reduce the total number of strokes in my progression, or would I just be substituting strokes with the new stones for strokes with the Micro Fine Ceramics?

    Thanks

    rummels

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    #50754

    airscapes
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    This is just rhetorical; How do you know 50 or 100 strokes is the proper number of stokes to remove the scratches left by the previous grit?

    The answer is, if you do not look at the surface of the bevel  with a high powered microscope, you really have no idea for sure.   You may be doing a lot more work than you need to do or the opposite.   The investment required to SEE what you have done is  less than $40 and would eliminate the guess work, possibly cutting your time down, as that seems to be the goal.

    There are more expensive models but this one seem to work well for me and others on the forum.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XNYXQHE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Sorry I could not give you the answers you were looking for.

     

     

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    #50755

    Organic
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    • Topics: 17
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    I agree with Airscapes. 100 strokes seems rather arbitrary. I don’t count strokes but use results to guide me. A microscope is a good investment and will be the best way to decide how to proceed. 100 may be too much effort or even possibly not enough. Unfortunately, it is simply the nature of things that the ceramic stones remove steel slowly.

    I haven’t tried the new 2200/ 3000 yet so I’m not sure what those would do to your current progression.

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    #50760

    Expidia
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    • Topics: 39
    • Replies: 289

    Rummels, I had a similar question in anther thread.  I bought the 2200/3000 and the microfine ceramic set last week to try and do exactly what you are doing. I’m not a fan of the DLF’s either.  I’ve used them for a year now and just not a fan.

    What the other comments above have said is true but for me I don’t mind doing 50 strokes or more when they are new as I’m trying to break in both the new diamonds paddles and the ceramics faster.  I keep a spiral note book for the date and the angle, clamp placement info of each knife I do.  In this same book I’m making a check mark after each session with the new stones and ceramics.  So far I’ve done two.  I know its going to take 20-30 edges to break hem in.  So spending some extra strokes is only going to break them in that much sooner before I attack my more expensive folders.

    From what Organic has said and other threads that I’ve read its a trade off.  We might be eliminating in my case the 6mu, 3mu and 1mu DLF’s, but the ceramics are known to take way more strokes and Organic has said he feels ceramics don’t give you as clear a mirror as the DLF’s.

     

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    #50761

    rummels
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 14

    Thank you, I really appreciate your comments.

    I do have a microscope, but I may have to acquire better lighting and a microscope that is more convenient to use so that I can more clearly see the condition of the knife’s bevel as I progress through the stones.  But, if possible, I am trying to avoid unclamping the knife in order to use the microscope.

    My current understanding is that the scratch pattern from the stone currently in use needs to extend all the way to the very edge of the entire bevel of the knife before switching to the next stone in the progression.  But are there any other characteristics of the edge that you could share that I need to look for before starting with the next stone?

    Assuming that I am not using any stones that are coarser than those I listed, I currently remove any wire edges by stropping the finished knife on a piece of coarse cloth.  After stropping there is almost always a significant improvement in how the knife cuts both printer paper and newspaper.

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    #50763

    airscapes
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    • Topics: 11
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    Thank you, I really appreciate your comments. I do have a microscope, but I may have to acquire better lighting and a microscope that is more convenient to use so that I can more clearly see the condition of the knife’s bevel as I progress through the stones. But, if possible, I am trying to avoid unclamping the knife in order to use the microscope.

    Which  scope do you have?

    The one I had linked to does not need to have the knife removed to use.    The scope has LED lights in it that are adjustable, you place the nose of the scope against the edge of the blade and move it up or down until the bevel is in view.  Then slide it along the length to inspect the entire blade.  Photos can be snapped along the way by touching the top of the microscope.

    See attached for examples of the $34 scope images

    Attachments:
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    #50767

    NotSharpEnuff
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 81

    Expedia,

    Not sure how much you use your scope, but I wore a large notch in the plastic that contacts the blade.  I center the scope on the blade edge to get a straight down look and then roll to the left and right for a bevel picture.  Over time, this cut a pretty deep gash in the plastic.  Tom Meyer posted a link to some UHMW tape that I now use.  I was able to save the scope and just replace the tape as needed.  For my use, after getting the tape below on the scope I also wrap blue painters tape around it.  The tape below is so stiff it doesn’t like sticking to the tight radius of the end.

    Ed K.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5G0Z8Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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    #50776

    Expidia
    Participant
    • Topics: 39
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    Expedia, Not sure how much you use your scope, but I wore a large notch in the plastic that contacts the blade. I center the scope on the blade edge to get a straight down look and then roll to the left and right for a bevel picture. Over time, this cut a pretty deep gash in the plastic. Tom Meyer posted a link to some UHMW tape that I now use. I was able to save the scope and just replace the tape as needed. For my use, after getting the tape below on the scope I also wrap blue painters tape around it. The tape below is so stiff it doesn’t like sticking to the tight radius of the end. Ed K. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5G0Z8Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Good tips. Thanks!

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    #51093

    Rick M.
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    • Topics: 0
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    I haven’t seen anyone suggest the 1200/1600 grit ceramic stones that will fit in nicely in-between the 1000 and 1.4 Micron grit levels. It’s what the attached link suggest when using ceramic stones instead of lapping films. Takes longer than using lapping stones but the ceramic stones last much longer obviously. Good luck:)

    https://support.wickededgeusa.com/portal/kb/articles/how-to-achieve-a

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    #51111

    BTS1
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    I haven’t seen anyone suggest the 1200/1600 grit ceramic stones that will fit in nicely in-between the 1000 and 1.4 Micron grit levels. It’s what the attached link suggest when using ceramic stones instead of lapping films. Takes longer than using lapping stones but the ceramic stones last much longer obviously. Good luck:) https://support.wickededgeusa.com/portal/kb/articles/how-to-achieve-a

    I was using the 1200/1600 ceramic stone and then progressing to the micro-fine ceramics before finishing with DLF. I found it impossible to get even close to a mirror polish. Also I didn’t like the feel of the 1200/1600 stones. They felt really gritty and seemed to bite unevenly into the blade  through the stroke.

    I recently purchased the 1500, 2200 and 3000 grit diamond stones and the quality of the edge I’ve been getting is hugely improved with fewer strokes. After the diamond stones I go to the micro fine ceramics and finish off with 3 and 1 micron DLF. There are still some scratches but I have to use a 30X Jewellers loop to see them.

    BTW. I always change direction of stroke between stones to cross hatch the grind pattern. I think it’s the easiest way to see if I’ve ground off the cuts of the previous stone

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    #51118

    Expidia
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    • Topics: 39
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    You might even be able to skip the DLF’s after the 3000>microfine ceramics and then go right to stropping. This is my plan.  I can’t personally verify this “yet” as I’ve only done a few touch up edges with my 2200/3000 and microfine ceramics.  But below is a post from Clay on where the prgession on these new 2200/3000 can fit in.  Of course all these steps depend on what type of of final edge you are looking for and at what speed.  II think I read here from some that the ceramics can impart a cloudier edge and take a lot more strokes than the DLP’s do.  But I found the DLP’s contaminate easier and start putting in their own scratches “after” I had already deveoped a pretty clear mirrored bevel coming off the 1500 grit.  DLP’s wear out faster and are expensive IMO so I’m trying the 2200/3000>microfine combination.

    In case you did not see Clay’s earlier informative post since the 2200/3000 were only introduced a short time ago at his last show:

    These new stones do introduce some complexity in figuring out a good grit progression and it’s impossible to create a one-size-fits-all answer because of the variety of different abrasives people already have in their collections. Another issue in recommending progressions is that the answer depends on your goals:

    • Maximum polish
    • Maximum sharpness
    • Fastest/most efficient route in time and money with focus on sharpness
    • Fastest/most efficient route in time and money with focus on polish

    I’ve been enjoying the following progression for maximum sharpness:

    1000#> 1500#> 2200#> 3000#> 0.6 Micro-Fine> 1.0 diamond emulsion on leather strop

    For my EDC, I’ve been doing the following:

    1000#> 1500#> 2200#> 3000#. I like this progression because the 3000# finish is plenty aggressive but still refined and seems to hold up well. I recently applied this finish to my EDC with the new DRO handles for convex edges that we introduced at Blade Show and I really liked the way that edge performed, all the way up until I used the knife the stab into and slash 6 bags of concrete. The aggregate in the bags really trashed my edge 🙂 Another reason I like the 3000# for my EDC is that it’s easy to touch it back up with just a few strokes on those stones.

    I’ve been enjoying the following progression for maximum polish (to the naked eye):

    1000#> 1500#> 2200#> 3000#> 3.0 micron diamond lapping film> 2.0 micron emulsion on leather strop

    If you already have the Superfine 1200/1600 ceramics, you can fit those in between your 1000# diamond stones and the 2200# diamond stones.

    At tcmeyer pointed out, you can definitely skip some steps because there is so much overlap. For example, going from the 1500# to the 3000# will work fine, as will going from the 1000# to the 2200#. You’ll spend more time with the higher grit to remove the scratches from the previous stones, but it doesn’t require an unreasonable effort.

    -Clay

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    #52387

    Pat
    Participant
    • Topics: 15
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    This post from Clay below is super helpful given I just purchased both the 2200/3000 diamond and micro fine ceramics.

     

    You might even be able to skip the DLF’s after the 3000>microfine ceramics and then go right to stropping. This is my plan. I can’t personally verify this “yet” as I’ve only done a few touch up edges with my 2200/3000 and microfine ceramics. But below is a post from Clay on where the prgession on these new 2200/3000 can fit in. Of course all these steps depend on what type of of final edge you are looking for and at what speed. II think I read here from some that the ceramics can impart a cloudier edge and take a lot more strokes than the DLP’s do. But I found the DLP’s contaminate easier and start putting in their own scratches “after” I had already deveoped a pretty clear mirrored bevel coming off the 1500 grit. DLP’s wear out faster and are expensive IMO so I’m trying the 2200/3000>microfine combination. In case you did not see Clay’s earlier informative post since the 2200/3000 were only introduced a short time ago at his last show:

    These new stones do introduce some complexity in figuring out a good grit progression and it’s impossible to create a one-size-fits-all answer because of the variety of different abrasives people already have in their collections. Another issue in recommending progressions is that the answer depends on your goals:

    • Maximum polish
    • Maximum sharpness
    • Fastest/most efficient route in time and money with focus on sharpness
    • Fastest/most efficient route in time and money with focus on polish

    I’ve been enjoying the following progression for maximum sharpness: 1000#> 1500#> 2200#> 3000#> 0.6 Micro-Fine> 1.0 diamond emulsion on leather strop For my EDC, I’ve been doing the following: 1000#> 1500#> 2200#> 3000#. I like this progression because the 3000# finish is plenty aggressive but still refined and seems to hold up well. I recently applied this finish to my EDC with the new DRO handles for convex edges that we introduced at Blade Show and I really liked the way that edge performed, all the way up until I used the knife the stab into and slash 6 bags of concrete. The aggregate in the bags really trashed my edge 🙂 Another reason I like the 3000# for my EDC is that it’s easy to touch it back up with just a few strokes on those stones. I’ve been enjoying the following progression for maximum polish (to the naked eye): 1000#> 1500#> 2200#> 3000#> 3.0 micron diamond lapping film> 2.0 micron emulsion on leather strop If you already have the Superfine 1200/1600 ceramics, you can fit those in between your 1000# diamond stones and the 2200# diamond stones. At tcmeyer pointed out, you can definitely skip some steps because there is so much overlap. For example, going from the 1500# to the 3000# will work fine, as will going from the 1000# to the 2200#. You’ll spend more time with the higher grit to remove the scratches from the previous stones, but it doesn’t require an unreasonable effort.

    -Clay
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