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  • #57418
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 335

    Yep, it’s tough sometimes. I’ve tried using tape, cloth, and leather and stuff. Some knives just don’t want to be clamped. For them I try to use my Tormek small knife holder. I’m not sure how well it would work for a large knife though.

    That’s why I’m a proponent for using creative thinking, accessories and modifications to help W.E. user’s to use their sharpeners easier, more efficiently and effectively. The W.E. alone cannot clamp and sharpen every knife. There are too many varieties. Sometimes the W.E. needs help and we have to get creative and intuitive. Afterall, the W.E. is really just a well engineered bench top vise to facilitate a hands-free operation. By that I mean, the vise clamps our knives stabily, freeing our hands of the need to hold the knife, so we can use both hands to sharpen the steadied knife. Our hands are freed to use them. The Low Angle Adapter, (LAA), is a W.E. accessory, the Tormek Small Knife holder is another helpful one, RAM mount accessories and riser blocks are a couple more.

    Yep, that’s why I love this forum so I can learn from Clay, you and the other guys that have a lot of experience.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #57419
    Steve
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    I greatly appreciate all of your help. It turns out that the inexpensive Ontario knife I was using as my first try at this style of knife had extremely uneven factory bevels. One side was around 40 dps and the other closer to 10 dps. That was contributing to odd results on the Sharpie test and I landed on the “downward-facing-knife yoga” clamping position I photographed. A pic of the factory bevel is included for your amusement.

    When I moved onto my proper Ka-Bar things became much more clear and I’m passing a Sharpie test at 18 dps in a position that is similar to the photo posted by tcmeyer. I am, however, still struggling with the issue of getting the knife to clamp securely into the vise. My (very cheap) digital calipers show the spine as .16 inches wide at a clamping point just forward of the fuller when taped with painters tape. However, when clamped, the lower screw of my WE120 vise is too short to reach the other jaw, so only the top screw is providing any tension. My lower screw does not seem to remove, and my best measurement of its length is the 3/4” as described in the owner’s manual. Is there something incorrect about my clamping technique that is causing this? The knife is not secure in the vise as is and I can’t maintain a consistent mounting angle. A photo of the mounted Ka-Bar showing the gap in the lower screw is attached. As always, any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Steve.
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    #57423
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 65
    • Replies: 2591

    Steve, I’m not a defender of the W.E. System.   I’m the first to say it has it’s limitations.  It is what it is.  It doesn’t work perfectly well with every shape and style knife.  Work with it and it’ll work for you.  I did need to buy a variety of longer screws when I was mainly working with the “standard vise model” of my first set- up, the WE120, Pro Pack 2.  That may be what you’ll need to do too, to allow your vise to clamp your knives securely.  Buy some more screws.

    Like I tried to convey earlier, the W.E. system may need help from you to work for all your knives.  Don’t fault the system. Work around it at your local hardware store.  Buy a selection of 10/32 flat head screws of each length increments and you’ll be ready for any knife thickness.  That vise with the correct combination of screw lengths,  top and bottom screws, can clamp any thickness and style implement.  Knife to hatchett.  (I believe they’re 10/32 screws if I remember right).

    Like I said, it’s just a bench-top vise.  You have to work with it so it works for you.

    Less expensive knives can be less well ground.  Don’t expect perfection or you’ll be disappointed by inconsistencies in edge grinds.  Like 000Robert wrote above, many knives will require reprofiling.  With your W.E. and a little extra effort you can learn to do that well. Enjoy!

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57424
    Steve
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    Thank you again for the help. The primary reason that I chose the WE120 over the WE130 was that I have several 1/4″ blades and wanted the flexibility in size that you mentioned.  The instructions for the WE120 say that the lower screw can be removed.  However, mine moves back and forth just fine, but does not seem to want to come out of the vise, almost like it is some type of captive screw. I seem to recall that the lower screw was already installed in the vise when I got it, but cannot be sure that was the case. Can anyone confirm that a WE120 purchased in early 2021 should have a removable lower screw? I’ve worked this screw back and forth with WD-40, but it hits the same spot each time and won’t come out any further, as if it is designed not to come out. I don’t want to damage anything if the design has been changed, so figured I’d ask before putting more torque into my efforts.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Steve.
    #57425
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 335

    I greatly appreciate all of your help. It turns out that the inexpensive Ontario knife I was using as my first try at this style of knife had extremely uneven factory bevels. One side was around 40 dps and the other closer to 10 dps. That was contributing to odd results on the Sharpie test and I landed on the “downward-facing-knife yoga” clamping position I photographed. A pic of the factory bevel is included for your amusement. When I moved onto my proper Ka-Bar things became much more clear and I’m passing a Sharpie test at 18 dps in a position that is similar to the photo posted by tcmeyer. I am, however, still struggling with the issue of getting the knife to clamp securely into the vise. My (very cheap) digital calipers show the spine as .16 inches wide at a clamping point just forward of the fuller when taped with painters tape. However, when clamped, the lower screw of my WE120 vise is too short to reach the other jaw, so only the top screw is providing any tension. My lower screw does not seem to remove, and my best measurement of its length is the 3/4” as described in the owner’s manual. Is there something incorrect about my clamping technique that is causing this? The knife is not secure in the vise as is and I can’t maintain a consistent mounting angle. A photo of the mounted Ka-Bar showing the gap in the lower screw is attached. As always, any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    I would go to the hardware store and get a 1″ screw, that might work. But without that bottom screw you will have trouble getting the knife to clamp tight. I believe that you are supposed to snug up the top screw and then tighten the bottom screw.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57427
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 335

    @Steve

    I just checked the WE120 under “Specs”, and it says that, “longer screws can be used to enable clamping of even thicker blades”. So, it seems to me that the screw should come out. I wonder if there’s a thread that got buggered up that is keeping the screw from wanting to come on out? I would ask someone from WE to be sure. Anyway, the screws that I bought were #10-32 stainless steel flat socket screws.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57428
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 65
    • Replies: 2591

    Steve,

    On the standard vises, WE100, and WE120 models, both vise screws, top and bottom, are removable, (if without unexpected defects), and interchangeable with suitably sized longer screws.

    The standard vise design and setup is the same as originally conceived.   There have been no design updates over the years to these standard vise models.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57431
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 65
    • Replies: 2591

    BTW, if you can’t find flat hex socket head screws at your hardware store Phillips flat head screws can be used.  All that matters is 10/32 and the length you need.  Don’t buy screws that are too long because if the heads sticks or ends stick out too far your sharpening stones may hit the screws.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57432
    Steve
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    Armed with the knowledge that the screw should indeed come out, I worked the screw back and forth with a liberal application of WD-40 and it eventually came out, along with a long sliver of metal (photo attached). No idea what caused that, but the old screw is out, a new 1” screw is in, and the blade is locked into place as it should be. Thank you all for the help.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Steve.
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    #57435
    Steve
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    I have played around with angles from 15 to 20 on the Ka-Bar. I’m able to hit the apex with many of them, but in the process I’m also wearing on the blade coating. I assume that diamond stones would slice through painters tape without much problem. Any suggestions for how to effectively protect the blade coating while sharpening?

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57436
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 65
    • Replies: 2591

    Tape applied to the knife sides should protect the knife steel from unwanted damage from inadvertent, unintentional damage from steel dust that falls on the knife that’s shed with sharpening or that gets rubbed across the knives trapped on your fingertips as you handle the sharpening stones.  New stones will shed abrasive dust also as they are used during breaking them in.  Steel dust and diamond abrasive dust rubbed across unprotected steel can mar the surface finish.  Sorry to say by learning to work cleanly and with care is part of the learning curve.

    You do not want the stones to contact any knife steel you’re not wanting to remove. The diamond stones can cut through tape with intentional sharpening strokes.  When trying to determine the sweet spot with the sharpie applied for an unknown bevel angle begin with very wide angles using fine grit stones set at like maybe 25º.  This will keep the stone contact very wide and contact close to the edge apex. As you continuously reapply the sharpie, dial your angles in lower, incrementally 1/2º or 1º at a time as you watch where your stones are contacting the bevels.  Ideally you’ll walk the stone face down in so it’s parallel and in full flat contact with the matched bevel angles.

    I like to stop adjusting my angles down when I see I’m just slightly higher than the bevel shoulder or transition of the existing edge bevel. Once you begin sharpening with the coarser starting grit it should fall right into place and match right up. If you overshoot the angle to too low an angle you’ll see you’re beginning to lose contact at the very tip.  I’d rather be slightly wide than too low on the knife. This technique is all part of the learning curve.  You can always dial down the set angle lower, incrementally if you see you’re still working the bevel too high, but you can’t add back removed steel and steel finish coats if you overshoot the shoulder with a lower angle adjustment than you wanted.

    New users may have a tendency to drag stones too low down the guide rods while still unintentionally contacting the knife steel as they work below the shoulder, with the stone’s top edge.  This is where tape can help and using lower stone stops limits the stones downward motion to prevent that unwanted contact.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #57437
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 335

    Armed with the knowledge that the screw should indeed come out, I worked the screw back and forth with a liberal application of WD-40 and it eventually came out, along with a long sliver of metal (photo attached). No idea what caused that, but the old screw is out, a new 1” screw is in, and the blade is locked into place as it should be. Thank you all for the help.

    I’m glad that you got the screw out. I wonder where that sliver came from? If it came from the clamp threads, you can probably get a new clamp.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57438
    Steve
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    I have no idea where the sliver came from. I don’t see any similar damage on the screw threads and the internal threads on the vise still seem to work. My initial guess was that it was some remnant from the initial cutting of the threads, but I honestly have no clue.

    #57439
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 335

    I have no idea where the sliver came from. I don’t see any similar damage on the screw threads and the internal threads on the vise still seem to work. My initial guess was that it was some remnant from the initial cutting of the threads, but I honestly have no clue.

    Yeah, probably just a shaving that got caught in there. I’m glad that it didn’t hurt the vise threads.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57440
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 65
    • Replies: 2591

    If it’s from the bottom “jacking screw” it’s possibly a heli-coil insert.   A tightly torqued jacking screw exerts a lot of force on the threads.  The heli-coil is there to preventively protect the threads.  As long as the screw tightens and the vise works well I would just use it and enjoy it.  If it fails at some point in the future, W.E. Customer Service will take care of any issues.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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