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help with knife edge

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  • #52697
    Howard Schwartz
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 5

     

    i set my wicked edge to 15 degrees or 30 degrees inclusive.  i draw a burr on both sides of the blade, and i then progress through the stones, etc.  diamond–>ceramic–>lapping–>strops.

    on stropping i reduce the angle 2 degrees. on finishing the process, i view the edge under magnification and it is not straight but toothy and jagged.  i  never add a micro-bevel.

    help would be appreciated.

    #52698
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1941

    Hi Howard:  welcome to the late night forum shift.

    It sounds like somewhere along the progression, one or all of the coarser grits somehow worked at a higher angle than the following grits.  This can happen if you shift your grip position at some point.  If you are holding the handle higher enough that the stone “rocks” about the edge, the angle can change enough to cause what you’re describing.  Likewise, you could shift from high position to low along the progression to cause the same thing.

    It can also happen when one of your microadjusts move in the middle of a sharpening because the lock nut wasn’t tight enough.

    So part of good technique is applying equal force in a consistent manner.  This is probably the most important part of developing your technique.

    Whenever something like this happens, it helps to identify the problem at its source by checking the bevels with a loupe or USB microscope between grits.  I always use alternating directions from grit to grit, so I can tell when I’m not removing the scratches from the prior grit.  Example:  Use strokes up and away for one grit, then down and away for the next.  Or down and towards you, then down and away (my preference).  This helps me to see if I am matching the angle of the previous grit and that I’m reaching the apex with each grit – even with the very high grits (film and strops).

    This isn’t a big deal and not something to be concerned about.  You’ll work it out and improve your skills in the process.

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    #52702
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2124

    Howard, Which model sharpener are you using?

    As tcmeyer wrote, for me too, consistency is key.

    The single most important lesson anyone can apply is to be consistent in everything you do.  Consistent in your set angle from from grit to grit, and medium  to medium.  I do this by checking and making appropriate angle adjustments with each and every grit or medium change.  I also position the magnetic cube on the W.E. paddle in the same manner and in the same position every time I check or adjust the set angles.  I position the stone relative to the knife edge the same way  each and every time I set or adjust the angles, too.

    I am consistent in my hand/finger hold position and pressure applied to the paddles with sharpening and polishing strokes.

    I am consistent in the stroke direction and varieties of strokes I employ from grit to grit during the sharpening and polishing process.

    Give time time.  It will take a while and several knives, maybe 8 or 10 knives, before your sharpening stones are just becoming broken in and start to yield the consistent scratch patterns you can expect and predict to see when sharpening.  It takes at least this long to develop some idea of a sharpening technique or protocol to follow to achieve the results you expect to see.  That was what I experienced.  It took me a good 8 or 10 knives before It really started to come together for me as I developed muscle memory for the sharpening strokes and hand/finger position and pressure and when I started to get comfortable with my efforts and the consistency.

    Keep practicing.  Keep inspecting your efforts under magnification.  For me, consistency is key.  The verification of my consistency is my “attention to detail.”  I continue to pay close attention to every aspect of my sharpening technique and sharpening process, every step along the way.  In time it’ll become almost second nature for you, too.

    A sharp and polished edge is the culmination of a series of progressively finer grits each utilized in a similar and consistent manner, one after the other, for an appropriate length of time and with an appropriate amount of effort, done with the degree of care and attention to detail till I achieve the results I expect to see.  It isn’t hard to do but it isn’t simple either.

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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