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Lapping films

Recent Forums Main Forum Stropping Lapping films

This topic contains 35 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Jacob 11/19/2018 at 2:32 pm.

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  • #47779

    Frustrated inc
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 16

    What is the general consensus of the group on lapping films? Are they something I should invest in or should I spend on leather, balsa and kangaroo strops? I have the balsa and leather strops both with paste but was wondering what my next “extra fine” steps should be. Thanks for your input and knowledge on the subject.

    #47780

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
    • Replies: 1449

    Welcome to the Wicked Edge Forum, Frustrated inc.  First tell us what are your sharpening goals? Are you sharpening for utility and function, a very sharp and durable cutting edge or are you looking for a mirror polished shiny reflective bevel to show your friends.  Whether your knives are for show or for practical use has a lot to do with how smooth and scratch free you want to make your steel.

    First I’ll say in my opinion the Lapping Films, I prefer the Diamond Lapping Films, (DLFs), are the same as the regular Wicked Edge Diamond Stones only a finer grit level.  The finer the grit the closer together and shallower the scratch pattern will be.  When done correctly, that is with the correct applied sharpening technique, down through the grit progression the scratches getting increasing smaller and increasingly closer till they appear as they  have disappeared, then all your left with, is scratch free appearing shine.   Along with this the knife bevel steel gets increasingly precise and the apex of the edge more pointed and thinner, that the knife edge become less practical, durable, and long lasting.

    When the very fine DLF edge is followed with a good, properly applied progression of stropping for polish, the edge will be incredibly shiny, smooth and mirror reflective.

    The trick or the art of sharpening is to decide how to get the balance between shiny and sharp and how thin an edge it requires to achieve this goal.  This determines what combination of sharpening mediums, the diamond stones, and polishing mediums, the strops, you’ll need to use.

    For me a fairly fine sharpened edge, done down to the 1500 grit diamond stone, followed with a 2 step grit of stropping done with plain cow leather, (4µ/2µ), in most cases, for most knives, gives me that balance I’m looking for for between shine and sharp.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #47781

    Frustrated inc
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 16

    I was mostly asking because I’m trying to build up my wicked edge arsenal so I can do any kind of edge I (or a friend) may want. If I want a toothy but sharp edge on a buck knife or be able to floss my teeth in a bench made, I just want to be able to choose and have the right tools for the job. At the price of stones and strops I have to be calculated with my purchases.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #47782

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 1655

    I just priced some DLF sheets from my usual supplier and the prices have doubled over what I paid about two years ago.  Even at that, it’s still cost effective, as I’m getting quite a few knives out of each change of film.

    If I were starting over from scratch, I’d go with the 100/200, 400/600, 800/1000 diamond stones and add the hybrid 1500/glass (6 micron DLF) handles.  Next, I’d add one pair of aluminum or glass handles, using 3 and 1.5 micron DLF.  1.5 film is very hard to find from outside suppliers, but WE sells it at $3.00 per strip.  I’d also add a pair of strops.  I have leather strops, but from what I’ve read here on the forum, nano-cloth strops might be the better solution.  I’m currently running 2.5 and 1.0 micron paste on my leather strops.

    This array of grits lets me choose whichever progression of grits I might wish to try.  Generally, I’ll sharpen to 3 micron film and it leaves a nearly scratch-free sets of bevels.  Not truly scratch-free, but seriously polished to all but the closest scrutiny.  Pursuing that truly scratch-free finish can be a bear and feel like searching for the holy grail.  I’ve learned to accept bevels which are less than pristine, but beautifully sharp and much easier to achieve.

    Diamond film is the equivalent of fine-grit sandpaper.  Even at the lowest particle size, it still removes metal with each stroke.  My theory is that strops, on the other hand, do not actually remove material.  They burnish (rub) the surface, smearing the high spots out, leveling them to a more or less even surface.

    6 users thanked author for this post.
    #47783

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
    • Replies: 1449

    I was mostly asking because I’m trying to build up my wicked edge arsenal so I can do any kind of edge I (or a friend) may want. If I want a toothy but sharp edge on a buck knife or be able to floss my teeth in a bench made, I just want to be able to choose and have the right tools for the job. At the price of stones and strops I have to be calculated with my purchases.

    The acquisition and collection of stones can get extensive, expensive but it’s fun.  There are many different sharpening mediums that Wicked Edge has to offer and many others that they don’t.  Each medium carries it’s own little learning curve and specific technique to use those mediums well and efficiently.  I suggest you go slow and master each technique along the way and see what it does for you and learn how to do it.  In time you’ll step out and expand your arsenal when your ready and you have learned how those other mediums can contribute to your stone collection.

    In the mean time you’ve heard suggestions from two of use experience sharpeners that strive for similar results and we do it differently.

    Stone-Collection-in-Rack-It

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #47786

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 665

    The lapping films are most similar to ultra fine diamond stones. They abrade quickly and put a nice polish on the bevels with very little work especially when compared to the time it takes to get a mirrored finish with just diamond stones and strops. They are not a replacement for strops, but do produce impressive results when used in conjunction with strops. They’re a great option to have in the tool bag when you want that ultra refined edge with a mirrored finish, but I don’t often reach for them because of their cost and semi-disposable nature (expect to get about 10 knives worth of sharpening per diamond lapping film strip). These days I generally prefer to use the 1.4 / 0.6 micron ceramic stones before moving to the strops.

    If you don’t already have the 1500 / glass then you should get it. That one is worth the price of admission even if you never use the lapping films. The 6 micron film works beautifully after the 1500.

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    #47787

    Frustrated inc
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 16

    MarcH, that picture is exactly where I want to be in a year or so. I’m truly envious of your collection. I actually Ordered business cards and made a Facebook page today for Knife Sharpening services by me. Just for locals and friends for now. I will be strictly using the wicked edge so I don’t want too much business due to the length of time it takes per knife. I recently broke my back so it’s literally a pain to sit and sharpen for long. I think it will offer a unique take on sharpening for my area, most just put their knives on a belt sander and call it good, not me. I may have to charge more than $2 per Knife unlike the bulk belt sander guys , but quality and hard work will be in the final product . I got my wicked edge a few months ago bit can now whittle a hair so I’m happy. I just need more strops for mirror finishes In case a customer wants it for a show knife or something. Im enjoying the forum, the advice here is coming from true wicked edge vets and y’all are nice to nubies like me.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #47788

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
    • Replies: 1449

    Frustrate Inc, a big stone collection does not make for sharp knives.  Time, effort, attention to detail, good technique and precision do.  I don’t see how you could leave out any one of these and yield an edge to be proud of; especially time.  It’ll take me as long as it takes to develop the edge that I want to give back.  I often don’t know how long it’ll take till I get started.  I have learned on an inexpensive knife made of soft steel it sharpens much faster than an expensive knife made of special hard steel.  Most people have inexpensive knives of soft steel.  That’s a big help.

    For me it’s been a conundrum pricing and sharpening knives with a Wicked Edge.  How can you apply the edge you’re proud of and not go broke by spending too much time.  True most people are very pleased with an average sharp Wicked Edge.

    Here’s a recent take on this subject by a Forum member:

    https://knife.wickededgeusa.com/forums/topic/handmade-damascus-skinning-knife/#post-47721

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #47789

    NotSharpEnuff
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 22

    Frustrated Inc,

    I ended up buying a chess timer to quantify how long I was spending on the WE for different knives and edges.

    Most nights I end up stopping during a sharpening session to eat or take out the garbage.  With the timer, I hit the pause button while I’m not sharpening.  For the average 4″ EDC pocket knife, I spend 30-40 minutes stopping at 800-1000 grit diamond.  If I use the 800-1000 grit Chosera water stone paddle it takes 60-90 minutes.  If I choose to go for a mirror polish with the lapping films, it ends up being around 2 hours or more.  Emphasis on more:)

    https://www.amazon.com/LingYe-Professional-Digital-Chess-Storage/dp/B075VP7MWY/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1538317781&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=LingYe+Professional+Digital+Chess+Clock&psc=1

    Ed K.

     

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    #47790

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 665

    Sharpening on the WE for money is a tough one. If your goal is actually to earn a fair wage for your time then you have to charge a lot more than most people are willing to pay. If your goal is only to make some extra cash then it can be good, but using a belt sander is really the way to go if you want to strike that balance of money earned v. time invested.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #47791

    Frustrated inc
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 16

    I’m definitely not looking to get rich, I know most won’t want to pay the price for a wicked edge sharpening. As I said in my previous post ,I recently broke my back so I don’t get out much anymore , so I’m basically looking to pass the time doing what I enjoy. If I can make a few bucks and hone my skills on the wicked edge at the same time, why not. Plus I have sharpened every knife I own so I need more knives to sharpen.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #47792

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
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    I hope your injury is one that will heal with full recovery and not the life changing kind.

    In most cases a full Diamond Stone progression through 1000, or 1500 grit (if you have one), when done properly with good technique, followed by a simple 2 step strop progression will yield a shinier sharper edge for most knife owners/users then they’ve ever experienced.

    I’d start with that and build a following.  With the knife aficionados you may come across, you might then offer the deluxe services at a premium price.  They are the users that appreciate the extra care and recognize it takes more time effort and expertise.  They’re willing to pay for that special service so they can show off their knives.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #47793

    Frustrated inc
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
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    Thanks for the well wishes but unfortunately it was the life changing kind. Anyway I’m trying to make the best of not being able to work anymore ,and even as a kid I always enjoyed sharpening knives ,so I figured I may as well try to get better at it. When I saw the wicked edge I fell in love and knew I had to have it. I have diamond stones through 1000 grit and 1200 and 1600 ceramic stones plus balsa and leather strops. I could offer regular sharpening through the 1000 or even the ceramics and offer a deluxe package with the strops I guess.

    #47794

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
    • Replies: 1449

    I’m sorry for your situation. It sounds and seems like your accepting where you are and making the best of it.  It keeps me appreciative.  Sharpening does keep you busy and attentive.  I find myself totally submerged in it hours on end.

    When sharpening for others, I will word it this way, I wouldn’t do any more then is necessary to apply an edge you can be proud of.  (I wouldn’t word it, do the least amount of work thats needed.)  It won’t be necessary, recognized or appreciated, by the majority of the knife users.  I seldom get any feedback from those I sharpen for.  Only once in a great while do I get a call or text, “wow, that knife is really sharp now.  I can’t believe how well it slices tomatoes.”

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #47795

    Frustrated inc
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 16

    I agree. It’s sad but most people would not know the difference between a blade taken all the way down to felt pads or a 1000 grit finish. I believe most of my clients will be law enforcement and firefighters since I was in law enforcement when I got injured. Maybe a few of them will be able to discern the difference in quality and stone progression but most won’t. If I can make enough money to buy some extra stones and the large carrying case I will be happy.

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