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Guide rod lengths.

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Pat 10/21/2019 at 5:37 pm.

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  • #51936

    Tommie
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 24

    What is the preferred/recommended guide rod length? I have the 8″ that came with my Gen 3 Pro and I also purchased the 10″ and 12″ guide rods. Is there one length that seems to work in most all situations or is it a constant game of changing the rods for different knives? The 10″ seems to be a good do most anything length to me.

    #51937

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1897

    The longer rods are for taller and longer knives.  I’d rather use a rod that is slightly longer then necessary then find out during the stone progression I need to switch to a longer rod. The long rods are also a little more gangly to get use to.  I still sometimes bump the rod ends when knife sharpening with very long guide rods, when using alternating side strokes, till I get the muscle memory down.  I prefer to go a little longer so I always have room to slide a paddle up and off the knife where ever I’m working.  This is particularly handy when using strops so you don’t run off the end of the guide rods.  (I don’t use the upper stone stops with strops or lapping films.  The sudden stop in the upward movement bumping up against the upper stone stop can cause you to slice your strops.)  For strops and lapping films I follow through, on my edge trailing, up and off the edge strokes, without going off the guide rod.

    I do have occasions to need rods longer than 12″.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #51939

    Tommie
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 24

    Well I just attempted my first knife this afternoon. It was a cheap Paula Deens slicer that we bought for our fifth wheel camper. I have several more of these to practice on. Sharpened at 20 degrees trying to use all the information I’ve gathered here. Took a while to get a burr formed and then progressed all the way to 3 micron glass.

    Its sharp, but not nearly as sharp as some I’ve seen posted here and on the videos I’ve watched. Breaking in new stones and a newbie using them I’m sure has something to do with it. 😀 I’ve got a lot to learn.

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    #51946

    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 109

    Take it from me, it’s a long road LOL!

    There are certain applications for all three rods.  I generally use the 8″ when the conditions warrant them but there are certain scenarios where you might want to go longer.

    The first one is if you buy a Low Angle Adapter (LAA) which clamps into the vice and raises the knife edge up at least an inch and maybe even more.  What that does is force you to open the rod angle up more to achieve the same bevel.  So for example, without using the LAA and clamping the knife into the vice normally, you have the WE set at 24 degrees to obtain a 24 degree bevel.  With the LAA installed and knife in place, to obtain that same 24 degree bevel, you might need to open up the rod angles to 27 degrees which will work best using either the 10″ or 12″ rods

    Another scenario would be if you had an extremely long knife and had to cover a lot of real estate.

    The rods stops are also an issue.  If you want to use them to stop your upstroke and possibly prevent an injury to you or your knife edge when the stone goes past the knife edge on your upstroke, it’s hard to load up both the stops on an 8″ rod, they’re simply not long enough.

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    #51948

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 869

    Well I just attempted my first knife this afternoon. It was a cheap Paula Deens slicer that we bought for our fifth wheel camper. I have several more of these to practice on. Sharpened at 20 degrees trying to use all the information I’ve gathered here. Took a while to get a burr formed and then progressed all the way to 3 micron glass. Its sharp, but not nearly as sharp as some I’ve seen posted here and on the videos I’ve watched. Breaking in new stones and a newbie using them I’m sure has something to do with it. I’ve got a lot to learn.

    Keep at it. You’ll undoubtedly get improved results with each knife you sharpen. Like you said, those stones need to wear in and you probably need to refine your technique. Heck, I need to refine my technique and I’ve been using a WE for nearly three years now. There’s always room for improvement.

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    #51949

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1897

    Take it from me, it’s a long road LOL! There are certain applications for all three rods. I generally use the 8″ when the conditions warrant them but there are certain scenarios where you might want to go longer. The first one is if you buy a Low Angle Adapter (LAA) which clamps into the vice and raises the knife edge up at least an inch and maybe even more. What that does is force you to open the rod angle up more to achieve the same bevel. So for example, without using the LAA and clamping the knife into the vice normally, you have the WE set at 24 degrees to obtain a 24 degree bevel. With the LAA installed and knife in place, to obtain that same 24 degree bevel, you might need to open up the rod angles to 27 degrees which will work best using either the 10″ or 12″ rods Another scenario would be if you had an extremely long knife and had to cover a lot of real estate. The rods stops are also an issue. If you want to use them to stop your upstroke and possibly prevent an injury to you or your knife edge when the stone goes past the knife edge on your upstroke, it’s hard to load up both the stops on an 8″ rod, they’re simply not long enough.

    Richard, not intending to correct you but to help you and other  W.E. sharpeners to understand your experiences correctly.  You are not opening up the angle due to the knife edges increased height above the jaw line.  You are increasing the distance the rod end is positioned away from the knife’s center-line in order to achieve the same angle setting.   Everything actually sames the same, relatively, though just increased in size.

    This can be explained with basic geometry; The Pythagorean Theorem.  I’ve linked the Google search page so you can read all the varied attempts and videos to explain this.  This is probably something we were taught in High School when we weren’t paying attention.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #52009

    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 109

    Take it from me, it’s a long road LOL! There are certain applications for all three rods. I generally use the 8″ when the conditions warrant them but there are certain scenarios where you might want to go longer. The first one is if you buy a Low Angle Adapter (LAA) which clamps into the vice and raises the knife edge up at least an inch and maybe even more. What that does is force you to open the rod angle up more to achieve the same bevel. So for example, without using the LAA and clamping the knife into the vice normally, you have the WE set at 24 degrees to obtain a 24 degree bevel. With the LAA installed and knife in place, to obtain that same 24 degree bevel, you might need to open up the rod angles to 27 degrees which will work best using either the 10″ or 12″ rods Another scenario would be if you had an extremely long knife and had to cover a lot of real estate. The rods stops are also an issue. If you want to use them to stop your upstroke and possibly prevent an injury to you or your knife edge when the stone goes past the knife edge on your upstroke, it’s hard to load up both the stops on an 8″ rod, they’re simply not long enough.

    Richard, not intending to correct you but to help you and other W.E. sharpeners to understand your experiences correctly. You are not opening up the angle due to the knife edges increased height above the jaw line. You are increasing the distance the rod end is positioned away from the knife’s center-line in order to achieve the same angle setting. Everything actually sames the same, relatively, though just increased in size. This can be explained with basic geometry; The Pythagorean Theorem. I’ve linked the Google search page so you can read all the varied attempts and videos to explain this. This is probably something we were taught in High School when we weren’t paying attention.

    Well, I knew I was going to screw that explanation up somehow and glad you caught it.  I was looking for a way of explaining that the higher the blade was above the vice, the farther out the rods must be adjusted to.  Good geometry refresher though!

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    #52013

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 34
    • Replies: 1857

    I have 14″ rods and I use them exclusively.  It never occurs to me that a shorter rod would be better for any sharpening situation.

    5 users thanked author for this post.
    #52027

    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 98

    I have 12 inch rods I use exclusively and wish they were a couple of inches longer, I’m guessing @tcmeyer made his own. It’s true, I still bump the tips every once in a while, but I’m getting used to it.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #52425

    Pat
    Participant
    • Topics: 14
    • Replies: 106

    I purchased 12 inch rods.  Never looked back.

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