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Is there a long knife clamp/holder?

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  • #42392
    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 101

    Is there a holder/clamp for long/flexible knives included in every kit? I could have sworn I saw that somewhere but I don’t see it in any of the photos of the kits and it’s not in the optional accessories.

    #42393
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2080

    No. ThePro Pack 2 came with a round thin steel rod slotted at one end, that fit in a hole centered in the aluminum base to support the knife and hold it in place.  I never found it very effective for my uses.  There are some users that modified their set-ups to include “Ram Mounts” to hold and support long flexible knives.  With “Mods” you’re only limited by your imagination, ingenuity and mechanical ability.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #42394
    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 101

    Thanks Marc. If you happen across any photos of which Ram Mounts (I presume you mean the camera mounts?) were used, I’d be interested to see. But don’t go to any trouble if it’s not something you have handy.

     

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    #42395
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    There used to be a forum member who made quite good mounts for long knives. Does anybody remember who it was? A photograph was shown on the forum in the past few days or weeks, If anybody can find it, please re-post it. Otherwise I’ll see if I can, if you’re interested, Graphite.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

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    #42404
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 36
    • Replies: 1925

    In a post from 07/22/2016, I listed a few RAM parts I’ve used to clamp knife handles while in a vise.  To read this, go to the bottom post on this page.   MarcH posted a photo earlier this month of the same setup here.

    I mounted my RAM base with screws to my paper-stone base.  That stuff is tuff enough to break off several screws.  Next time, I’ll use the 3M VHB double-stick tape.

    I don’t see an easy solution for adapting this to the Gen 3 Pro or the commercial rig, but necessity is the mother of invention.

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    #42417
    Bill Kirkley
    Participant
    • Topics: 18
    • Replies: 94

    I have posted two ways to work with long flexible blades.  If some of you have a second older WE vise you can mount it as a second clamp for your blade.

    Here are links to the old posts.

    Blade Buttress

    WE Mod

     

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    #42456
    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 101

    Thanks for all the replies.
    Since I’m not ordering a granite base, I’ll be making a wood base (probably a plywood prototype first so I can try a few things before locking in the final one). For long/flexible knives I think I’ll try mounting a T-track outboard of the clamp, directly underneath the line of the clamped blade spine.

    Then build some sort of “clamp sled” that can slide along the T-track depending on the length of the knife.

    The question is on the design of the clamp sled. I don’t have Bill K’s metalworking tools/skills but I can make it out of wood. Probably a dense wood, which rules out most common domestic woods.

    The challenge is to make this clamp thin enough so that the stones don’t hit this outboard clamp when sharpening farther out on a long, flexible blade, but rigid enough that it holds the blade stable, while also being able to handle knives with different spine thicknesses.

    #42458
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2080

    Graphite, before you plan out how you’ll overcome clamping issues.  Why not purchase a WEPS and use it first?  There may not be these issues you’re anticipating.  There have been lots and lots of users before you and only a very small few found it helpful or necessary to employ those modifications.  Many users are professional sharpeners for a business that have not found the need to do this.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #42459
    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 101

    Graphite, before you plan out how you’ll overcome clamping issues. Why not purchase a WEPS and use it first? There may not be these issues you’re anticipating. There have been lots and lots of users before you and only a very small few found it helpful or necessary to employ those modifications. Many users are professional sharpeners for a business that have not found the need to do this.

    Hi Marc, that’s a fair point, but I like to build stuff and I already have some spare t-track, a collection of t-track hardware and knobs, and dense wood scraps.

    I imagine on the long, thin knives, the clamping is more of an issue with coarser grits, where the overhanging part of the knife will vibrate as the coarse grits are drawn across it, but not so much with finer grits if you take your time with slow draws across the edge.

    As an example, I have what’s called a “ham slicer” which is a 10.5″ blade, fairly thin but not filet-knife-thin, and a fairly constant 3/4″ wide and constant thickness for the full length. It really does its intended job well. What approach would you recommend for clamping a knife like that without supporting the overhanging part?

    I also have a filet knife which is quite flexible (.8mm thick if I recall) and 7″ long. That one would seem to be a flexing challenge no matter where I clamp it. What would be your advice on that one?

     

    #42460
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2080

    Graphite, I have this slicing knife in both a 12″ model and the 9.75″ model.  The almost flat parallel shape makes it easy to sharpen it in stages.  I clamp it first towards the rear, close enough to the handle so it doesn’t flex while sharpening.  Then I clamp towards the tip far enough forward to support the tip so it also doesn’t flex.  The flat knife edge is at the same height above the jaws in both clamping positions.  I sharpen it as far forward or backward I can reach with out flexing the knife too much from side to side.  I take my time to blend where the overlap falls between the two sharpening positions.  It is a specialized knife that I seldom use so it doesn’t require sharpening often.  The knife is used with a long drawing stroke through the boneless meat I’m slicing so it doesn’t get much abuse and the edge lasts a long time.

    Depending on the thickness of the filet knife and it’s flexibility I may sharpen it using the LAA (Low Angle Adapter) or in two steps like I explained with the slicer.  Some knives I’m able to clamp high up in the jaws so just the very tip of the jaws is holding the knife securely.  I do some of these “TCMeyer Style” and hold the knife steady from flexing under the pressure of the stone with the opposite free hand pressing against the knife to hold it against the stones pressure. Then reverse the grip for the other side.  It’s a slow steady process but it’ll get it done.

    I can tell by your posts, you’re a thinker and a problem solver.  I just suggest maybe, you wait to see a problem before you find the solution.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #42466
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 36
    • Replies: 1925

    Graphite, before you plan out how you’ll overcome clamping issues. Why not purchase a WEPS and use it first? There may not be these issues you’re anticipating. There have been lots and lots of users before you and only a very small few found it helpful or necessary to employ those modifications. Many users are professional sharpeners for a business that have not found the need to do this.

    Hi Marc, that’s a fair point, but I like to build stuff and I already have some spare t-track, a collection of t-track hardware and knobs, and dense wood scraps. I imagine on the long, thin knives, the clamping is more of an issue with coarser grits, where the overhanging part of the knife will vibrate as the coarse grits are drawn across it, but not so much with finer grits if you take your time with slow draws across the edge. As an example, I have what’s called a “ham slicer” which is a 10.5″ blade, fairly thin but not filet-knife-thin, and a fairly constant 3/4″ wide and constant thickness for the full length. 

    I have a Hi-Mountain jerky knife which is about 12″ long and probably about 3/4″ wide.  I’ve sharpened it several times without aid of any supplemental clamping devices.  I simply held the index finger of my opposite hand against the tip of the blade to resist any bending forces.  Yes, the blade seems to move a bit, but there was no problem in getting it sharp.  Same thing with filet knives.  I mount them with the tip as close as I can get it to the vise while still exposing enough edge to avoid stoning the vise.  Working one side of the blade at a time seems to slow me down a bit, but it helps to simplify issues like flexible blades and adds to the safety factor.

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    #42471
    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 101

    Thanks for the additional info tcmeyer. I suppose I’m jumping the gun a bit, in that it seems the consensus advice when first getting the WE is to spend a fair bit of time on “junk” knives, both to break in the diamond stones, and to get acquainted with the technique.

    Fortunately, I have a whole set of junk knives that I never use (I won them in a raffle). I have no idea what steel they are made with, but it’s probably safe to say it’s fairly soft. I’ll take some photos of them and post in a new thread, to get advice from you guys on how to proceed with the break-in and learning process.

    I’m also contemplating whether to get a USB microscope and stand. Or really, which model to get, since I’m pretty sure I’ll get one. I’d use it for other things besides knives, but it’s probably educational if I were to get one before I start using the stones so I can get some baseline magnified photos of the surface of the new stones, and monitor how they wear, by grit.

    I get that the steel matters too, but the advice about break-in period on diamond stones is all over the map (for example, I’ve seen recommendations ranging from 3-5 knives to break-in, all the way up to about 50). Quite honestly that was a factor in my hesitation for getting a WE. I mean, who wants to sharpen perhaps as many as 50 junk knives (or has that many, for that matter) before you can start sharpening the good knives that are the reason you bought the WE.

    So if I’m able to show a photographic timeline of break-in of different diamond grits, and it turns out it’s really closer to 5 knives than it is to 50, I think that might help others with the same concerns I have about some lengthy diamond break-in process, and the inconclusive advice.

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    #42473
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    Graphite,

    That would be really cool if you were able to document the break in progress of the stones. In my experience it was significantly fewer than 50 knives worth of sharpening to achieve results that were dramatically improved. I think it is possible that the stones continue to break in and even out well beyond the initial jump in refinement that I have observed, but I can’t say that I’ve seen anyone say that it takes 50 knives to break in the stones. Even the first knife you sharpen will likely be very sharp depending on what you’re used to. It’s not so much that the first few knives don’t get sharp when the stones aren’t broken in, its that they get amazingly sharp once the stones have been evened out a bit.

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    #42474
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2080

    Even the first knife you sharpen will likely be very sharp depending on what you’re used to. It’s not so much that the first few knives don’t get sharp when the stones aren’t broken in, its that they get amazingly sharp once the stones have been evened out a bit.

    David is correct in his observation, by my experience, too.  The coarse unbroken-in diamond stones do work and do sharpen knives.  The grooves they cut or grind, if you will, into the knife’s steel are deeper and rougher, and less consistent, then the grind they’ll impart once the diamond stones are broken in.  I could see an improvement in the stone’s results with each and every knife I sharpen with the new stones.  In my experience by 6 or 8 knives the stones began to behave more consistently and predictably.   At that point in their break-in I started see a better, more polished, shine to the bevel from the higher grits.

    Also as much as the stones not being broken in, the WEPS users with these new stones are often new inexperienced WEPS users.  They are just learning how to use the system and learning and developing a technique that works for them.  The two things go hand-in-hand.  By the time the stones are broken in the users has learned and developed a feel for what he/she is doing and the results are shown in the quality of the sharpened edge.  There is a learning curve with using a WEPS.  For some it’s quick and short, for others it takes a while to get the hang of it.  For me as I have gained experience over time and by sharpening many knives of different size, shape and styles, my level of understanding just what’s happening while sharpening knives and my power of observation are more in-tune with what I’m doing.  I’m learning more and understanding better what’s really going.

    Case in point, I recently purchased a new full compliment of diamond stones.  Even with years of experience and a technique I have developed that gives me results to be proud of, I still am experiencing the diamond stone break-in period.  Now, with my experience, I am really able to see and compare it with a broken in stone.  I’m still in the “break-in” period with these new stones.  I look forward to the point when these new stones come around.  It should be noted, in my experience, the finer stones, (e.g., 800/1000 grit) do break-in quicker than the coarser grits.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #42573
    Justin Fournier
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 54

    Case in point, I recently purchased a new full compliment of diamond stones. Even with years of experience and a technique I have developed that gives me results to be proud of, I still am experiencing the diamond stone break-in period. Now, with my experience, I am really able to see and compare it with a broken in stone. I’m still in the “break-in” period with these new stones. I look forward to the point when these new stones come around. It should be noted, in my experience, the finer stones, (e.g., 800/1000 grit) do break-in quicker than the coarser grits.

    Marc,

    How many knives have you done so far? I’m contemplating how to handle my new stones. I do not have a microscope yet. I also do not have any cheap knives to break them in on. I can’t actually sharpen any knives at the moment as my system isn’t fully complete, my upgrade went astray. Thinking about just shelving the whole deal till I can figure out the best plan of approach. New thread may be ideal lol!

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