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I've learned to move slowly and not just "Wing it" in situations like this one.

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies I've learned to move slowly and not just "Wing it" in situations like this one.

This topic contains 22 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Jack Wyatt 06/11/2018 at 8:07 am.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • #44716

    Gazillion
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    Good afternoon Everyone,

    After ruining about $1,000.00 worth of knives (they’re being repaired) I’ve learned to stop in situations like this one, swallow my pride, and appeal to the foremost experts. Oddly enough I’m stopping and appealing to you about a $20 knife, not the $200 knives I previously rendered unserviceable.

    Wicked Edge and knife information:

    • Wicked Edge Generation 3 Pro
      • Using the guide rods that came with the WE (8″?)
      • 800 / 1000 stones using the 1000 side
      • Knife in jaws using the lower holes
      • Centered knife in the jaws at 4″, this is the ‘D’ on the alignment guide that came with the WE
    • Chicago Cutlery 8″ chef’s knife
      • carbon stainless steel blade
      • The Chicago Cutlery website suggests sharpening the knife at 15°

    Here is what I did:

    • I set the WE to 17° (now that I’m writing this I’m not sure why I did this)
      • I used the micro adjustment to bring the angle to 15.25° according the the angle gauge on the right side
      • I made the same adjustment on the left side with the same result
    • Then I made 1 stroke to the right side of the blade using the 1000 grit stone
      • The Sharpie was narrowly removed from the right side shoulder
        • This means the angle of 15.25° is too narrow
    • I then made 1 stroke to the left side of the blade using the 1000 grit stone
      • Moving from the scale to the tip of the blade no Sharpie was removed for the first inch
      • From 1″ to 5.25″ the Sharpie was narrowly removed from the left shoulder much like the entire right side result
      • Then at 5.25″ to 5.50″ (1/4″) of the blade there are scratches on the blade from the WE stone just below the shoulder. These scratches can only been seen with my 60X jewelers loupe (I’ve ordered a USB microscope)
    • At this point I wondered if I should stop and switch to the longer guide rods? I have the longer guide rods at my office
    • Not wanting to quit sharpening this knife I moved the WE to 18°
      • Now the angle according to the angle gauge is 16.25°
    • I completed 1 right side stroke with the 1000 grit stone
      • This stroke yielded the same results
      • There was no change in the result so I decided to stop sharpening and seek counsel

    Here are my questions:

    • I’ve attached a picture of the knife in the jaws. Is the knife placed in the jaws properly or should I make an adjustment?
    • Which guide rods should I be using to sharpen this knife?
    • Should I be using the 1000 grit stone to test the angle or should I use another grit?
    • Should I be using the low angle adapter?
    • Is 15° the correct angle for a knife that will be used for cutting tomatoes, onions, vegetables in general and maybe a general type kitchen knife?
    •  When I made the initial strokes the Sharpie mark told me my angle was too low. Could I use a 400 grit or 600 grit stone to achieve the 15° suggested angle? Is this advisable or is it risky for a novice?
    • Any idea where the scratches on the left side of the blade came from that are present from 5.25″ to 5.5″ as you move from the scale to the tip of the knife? Could these scratches have been present prior to my sharpening the knife?
    • What other observations or advice do you have?
    • Do you require additional pictures? Please let me know if I need to upload more pictures.

    Any help and advice you’re willing to give me will be greatly appreciated.

     

    Attachments:
    #44719

    Pinkfloyd
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 170

    Gazillion,

    I have Gen 3 Pro also, Chicago Cutlery Chefs knife. Attached are my settings. IMO this knife will not support an angle that acute. I once tried at 18 deg, blade chipped very easily i now sharpen at 22 deg.

    Attachments:
    6 users thanked author for this post.
    #44721

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 52
    • Replies: 1334

    Derek,  I’ll try to answer some questions.

    guide rod length – With a stone on the rod if you can slide the stone up the rod with the stone against the bevel, (as if your sharpening a knife) and when the bottom/lower edge of the stone is just about ready to go up and off above/past the bevel, and there is guide rod, at that point, still protruding above the upper end of the stone then the rods are long enough.  If the rod is buried within the stone and no part of the top end of the guide rod is visible, when the bottom or lower part of the stone just reaches the clamped knife bevel, then the rod is too short.

    If you’ve already decided and are determined to profile the knife at a particular angle, (e.g., 15º), then it is not even necessary to use the sharpie to measure and determine the current bevel angle.  The sharpie, in this situation, is being used to determine if the knife is clamped in a position that lets you reach the bevel with the stones across the full length of the bevel.  That is called finding the “Sweet spot” clamp position.  In that situation you’ll want to set the rod angle pretty wide so the stone just rests on the top of the bevel. Then with a very fine grit stone, (1000 grit or finer), run the stone across the bevel and look at how it removes the sharpie.  Some places it will remove it right on the bevel.  Some places a little higher up on the sharpie and other places down lower on the sharpie you applied.  Reapply the sharpie, then move the knife a little tiny bit at a time, for and aft, or tilt it, or angle the knife, and try removing the sharpie mark again.  As you change the knife’s position correlate how the marker is removed with the position.  Let this steer you to move the knife to the best position.  Continue to do this as you gingerly adjust the knifes position till the sharpie you applied to the bevel is being removed as evenly across the bevel up and down the full length of the knife as is possible.

    With the knife now clamped in this “sweet spot” you can change the rod angle setting till you’re removing all the sharpie from right dead-on the bevel, using the same fine grit stones, a long the length of the knife’s bevel.  Now, read this angle with your angle cube. This is your current bevel angle. That is how you determine what angle the bevel is currently ground at.  For a used knife that has probably been sharpened it seldom matches factory recommended angles.

    If I was simple going to profile that knife, I would clamp that particular knife similarly, in the middle, length centered, fore and aft, like you did. Then I would picture an imaginary line connecting the tip to the heel at the bevel where the handle starts and tilt the handle down in the vice in an attempt to make that imaginary line parallel to the top of the jaws.  My experience with sharpening chef’s knives has taught me that’s a good position to sharpen and be able to reach heel to tip on a centered chef knife of the that geometry or style.

    I would not use a low angle adapter unless absolutely necessary.  That is, I’ve exhausted all tries at clamping the knife in every orientation I could try just using the vice, try both depth key positions and then free clamping the height of the knife above any depth key position.  That particular knife will not require the LAA.

    Also my experience with the steel in that Chicago Cutlery knife leads me to believe 15º per side is too narrow for that steel.  IMO, first I consider the steel type, quality, hardness and expected durability when deciding what angle to profile the knife if I’m not going to just match the existing angle.  The steel determines the angle.  After that consideration, within reason I can pick a more acute angle to meet my cutting needs if the steel can handle it.  I generally sharpen a knife to the most acute angle I can without sacrificing or compromising the knife’s ability to handle that steep an edge.

    I have no idea about the scratches just it easy to scratch a knife when your first getting started and trying to figure it out.  You can apply painters tape or aluminum tape to the sides of the knife to protect it till you gain more experience.

    Hope some of this helps

     

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    6 users thanked author for this post.
    #44724

    Pinkfloyd
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 170

    When i purchased my Gen 3 Pro i also got the 10″, 12″ rods. I personally think the included 8″ rods are too short and the 10″ rods should be the standard set.

    7 users thanked author for this post.
    #44726

    Gazillion
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    Good evening Gentlemen,

    I really appreciate your taking the time to reply to my questions.

    I must admit that I’ve read your reply MarcH, two times, and being a visual learner I expect to read it at least two more times tomorrow. Thank you for the information as both of you have taught me a great deal.

    I very much appreciate the amount of time I see so many memebers of this forum investing in the community and look forward to the day when I can contribute.

    If it’s okay with you (Pinkfloyd & MarcH) I’d like to come back to you with some questions soon?

    Derek

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #44728

    Joseph
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 1

    awesome info thank you

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #44735

    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 396

    I think you will find that advertised angles by manufacturers are generally speaking not very accurate. I have purchased identical knives at the same time and sharpened them, they both had completely different profiles and most “new” knife edges are all over the place and not very good until you get into the high end knives.

    5 users thanked author for this post.
    #44759

    Gazillion
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    Good evening sksharp,

    It sounds like the best idea is to reprofile new knives based on knife steel, quality, hardness, durability and intended use since there are so many variables beyond our initial control.

    Do you generally reprofile your new knives?

    Derek

     

    I think you will find that advertised angles by manufacturers are generally speaking not very accurate. I have purchased identical knives at the same time and sharpened them, they both had completely different profiles and most “new” knife edges are all over the place and not very good until you get into the high end knives.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #44761

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 52
    • Replies: 1334

    If the existing angle is appropriate for the steel then you’d want to work with it.  I wouldn’t re-profile any knife that didn’t require it.  It’s added work and time and removes metal unnecessarily.  Shortening the knifes usable lifespan.  You can’t put steel back.  Plus, every time you profile the edge the shoulder moves up the blade, shortening the knifes height, and generally to a thicker portion of the knife’s ground profile.  Widening the knife edge usually negatively effects the knife’s performance.  A thinner cutting edge out performs a thicker cutting edge.

    Just like you said you mess up some knives and had to spend $$ to send them off for repair.  Before you start reprofiling knives, gain some experience and learn which profile does what when comparing the knifes cutting performance.  So you know how, where and when to profile your knives.  Otherwise you may mess up some knives that can’t be sent out for fixing.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #44762

    Gazillion
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    Good evening MarcH,

    Thank you for this reply. Is there ever a time when you can’t determine the knife’s existing angle?

     

    If the existing angle is appropriate for the steel then you’d want to work with it. I wouldn’t re-profile any knife that didn’t require it. It’s added work and time and removes metal unnecessarily. Shortening the knifes usable lifespan. You can’t put steel back. Plus, every time you profile the edge the shoulder moves up the blade, shortening the knifes height, and generally to a thicker portion of the knife’s ground profile. Widening the knife edge usually negatively effects the knife’s performance. A thinner cutting edge out performs a thicker cutting edge. Just like you said you mess up some knives and had to spend $$ to send them off for repair. Before you start reprofiling knives, gain some experience and learn which profile does what when comparing the knifes cutting performance. So you know how, where and when to profile your knives. Otherwise you may mess up some knives that can’t be sent out for fixing.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #44764

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 31
    • Replies: 1621

    I think you can always determine an existing bevel angle.  In an average-quality knife like this, the question is, why should you?  Using the Sharpie method isn’t to measure the angle, it’s to match the existing angle, thereby reducing the effort needed to sharpen it and to reduce the amount of steel removed.

    Without reading Marc’s post several more times, I’m pretty sure he’s correct on all points.  As for me, I would mount the knife as shown in the top photo and then sharpen it to 20 dps, for the same reason Marc states; that the steel won’t stand much use or abuse at 15 dps.

    If 400 grit doesn’t produce a burr (or an apex, as seen with a loupe or ‘scope) in a reasonable number of strokes (say, 50, maybe?), I drop to 200 grit and go from there.

    You can use any of the mid-to-higher grits for the Sharpie test.  We usually go to 1000 or 1500 so as not to produce unnecessary scratches.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #44765

    Alan
    Participant
    • Topics: 14
    • Replies: 194

    If the existing angle is appropriate for the steel then you’d want to work with it. I wouldn’t re-profile any knife that didn’t require it. It’s added work and time and removes metal unnecessarily. Shortening the knifes usable lifespan. You can’t put steel back. Plus, every time you profile the edge the shoulder moves up the blade, shortening the knifes height, and generally to a thicker portion of the knife’s ground profile. Widening the knife edge usually negatively effects the knife’s performance. A thinner cutting edge out performs a thicker cutting edge.

    Words of knowledge and experience.

    Alan

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #44768

    Gazillion
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    Good morning tcmeyer,

    Thank you for your advice / instruction. I am going to follow your instructions (with a new knife) and I’ll report back here.  Thank you for your time.

    Derek

     

    I think you can always determine an existing bevel angle. In an average-quality knife like this, the question is, why should you? Using the Sharpie method isn’t to measure the angle, it’s to match the existing angle, thereby reducing the effort needed to sharpen it and to reduce the amount of steel removed. Without reading Marc’s post several more times, I’m pretty sure he’s correct on all points. As for me, I would mount the knife as shown in the top photo and then sharpen it to 20 dps, for the same reason Marc states; that the steel won’t stand much use or abuse at 15 dps. If 400 grit doesn’t produce a burr (or an apex, as seen with a loupe or ‘scope) in a reasonable number of strokes (say, 50, maybe?), I drop to 200 grit and go from there. You can use any of the mid-to-higher grits for the Sharpie test. We usually go to 1000 or 1500 so as not to produce unnecessary scratches.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #44788

    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 396

    Hello Gazillion,

    I have to profile pretty much every knife I do for the first time. The sharpening angles when done by hand on a belt grinder or however most of the bigger manufacturers do it leave quite a bit to be desired. Unless a knife has seen the WE before, I have to profile the blade even if I’m matching existing bevel most of the time. This is not the same as re-profiling as most people think of it but in my mind until the angle is consistent the length of the blade it’s not profiled yet.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #44792

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 52
    • Replies: 1334

    Derek for you and our other new WEPS users, I’d like to elaborate and clarify what My friend SKSharp wrote.

    All knives, even expensive knives and very well cared for, well treated and well sharpened knives, lack the even precise angled bevels that our fixed angle WEPS sharpeners apply to a knife.  Even one of these knives that was treated with the up most care, when clamped in our WE and sharpened to it’s exact same previously sharpened bevel angle or even exact same factory ground angle, will get a straighter, more even, more precise bevel angle sharpened  with the WE, then it ever had.  This difference is because the WEPS is a fixed angle sharpening device.  This corrective change made to the knife’s edge, done this first time it’s sharpened with the WE is what SKSHarp is referring to as “profiling the knife”.  The first time any knife is sharpened with the WE even at it’s exact same angle as it was previously sharpened it will be “profiled” by the  WE, because it’s precision is so exacting.

    After the first time that knife is done on with a WE, each subsequent sharpenings are in reality a touch up because the knife is sharpened at the exact same profile that was initially set the first time it was sharpened on the WE.  So it’s generally, relatively quick and easy to sharpen.

    In using SKSharp’s terminology, “Reprofiling” is the term he’s used when the bevel angle and the shape of the knife’s cutting edge is changed from what it started with to something completely different.  This requires more time, effort and more steel removal. This reprofiling is a conscious planned effort to change the shape, profile and/or the bevel angle from  the existing shape, the existing profile,  and/or existing bevel angle.

    Profiling is an alignment of the existing edge to Wicked Edge’s accuracy and precision.  Reprofiling is a change to the existing profile.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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