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Last few scratches

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  • #54533
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    Looking at my sharpening results under a magnifying glass I see a few scratches that did not come out.  Is there a likely stone or strop paste that I should spend more time using or just more time on all?

    I start with 100 grit then 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000 1500 then the diamond paper, then stropping with 14, 10, 5 and last 3.5

    When looking a the edge, to the naked eye, it’s a mirror finish.  But when I look at it about 50x magnification, I see some remaining scratches.

    I don’t think I start the whole process over (unless it’s a really deep gouge in the metal), but I’m not sure where to restart.  Or is it as simple as my strops need a fresh application of compound?

    Thanks for your help!

    Michael

    #54535
    Modernflame
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 35

    I’m new here and don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve never seen a mirror finish that didn’t show scratch marks under magnification.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #54536
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2164

    Modernflame shares my experiences.  Even the best mirror edges can show scratches under magnification.  As your results improve these remnant scratches will become fewer, farther between them and finer appearing.

    Spending more time and attention to detail with each and every grit is a good place to start.  Concentrate on consistency in your technique.  Gentle wipe the knife edges clean between grits.  Inspect you bevels thoroughly before moving on.

    It may be that there is a stray offset diamond laying down a deeper odd scratch.  Generally these badly mounted diamonds or bad clusters really stand out.  These defects you’ll see each and every time you use that particular stone.  They’re really obvious.  (This is the reason I label or number all my sharpening mediums.  It helps discern the individual stones of the stone pairs).  These defects you can usually knock off running the bad stone area across or against a piece of plate glass or hard steel.

    Only good observations will allow you to see these random remaining scratches to determine where in your progressions they’re left from.  The truth be told probably only you will know it’s there.  No one will ever see it and it won’t effect your knives sharpness.  Those of us who really get into our W.E. results tend to aspire to perfection.  Keep at it Michael!

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #54605
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    Well, I gave this one more shot.  I purchased Shapton’s 8000/12000 grit stone made for my WE system.

    The 8000 grit does not move smoothly across the blade.  It feels sticky and kind of jumps across the blade.

    That makes me think I need to oil the stones or soak them in water or something like that.

    Do you have experience with that stone grit and care to share your advice?

    Thanks!

    Michael

    #54606
    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 286

    I would suggest following the suggestion given by Marc, otherwise just ignore it, not many folks have 50X vision 🙂

    #54608
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2164

    Well, I gave this one more shot. I purchased Shapton’s 8000/12000 grit stone made for my WE system. The 8000 grit does not move smoothly across the blade. It feels sticky and kind of jumps across the blade. That makes me think I need to oil the stones or soak them in water or something like that. Do you have experience with that stone grit and care to share your advice? Thanks! Michael

    Michael I own and have used Shapton’s Whetstones for years.  Shapton’s is a brand name for man made composite sharpening stones.  They have several different series.  I have used the just the”Pro Stones” and the “Glass Stones”.  You may have these Shapton’s Stones.

    My stones were both called “splash and go” stones, requiring that you spritz them with water to use them.  These stones do require maintenance in the form of lapping.  That is smoothing and flattening the stone’s surface with a steel abrasive lapping stone.  New Shapton’s stones often have a coating on them and will improve with lapping.

    The two grits you bought are very fine grit stones.  These fine grit stones, (8000 & 12000), are very smooth and hard and do feel very different from the coarser grit Shapton’s Stones in that same series.  These will also feel worlds apart from your W.E. diamond stones.  Just like any other sharpening stone progressions, the Shapton’s would probably work best following the 500,1000, 2000, 4000, and 6000 stones, before you used your stones.

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #54609
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    Marc, thank you for your detailed reply.

    Here’s my progression.

    WE, 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, diamond lapping , strop 14mu, 10 mu, 5 mu, 3.5 mu.  8000, and 12,000.  My understanding is that 3.5 micron is about 5900 grit.  Maybe 5900 to 8000 is too big of a jump?

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    BTW, it’s almost a parlor trick, but the knife I’m sharpening is a full size Griptillion 3.25 inch long blade.  If I fold a piece of notebook paper longways into a V and stand it on end, the blade can cut it down the middle without me holding the paper.  So the blade is sharp.  I think I’m just trying to figure out how much work does it take to get all the scratches out.  Then I’ll decide if I ever want to do that much work again. 🙂

    Michael

    #54610
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2164

    Michael,  grits are not grits.   Each medium is different.  You used three different mediums, diamond stones, then strops, followed by ceramic whetstones.

    It is a common attempt I’ve seen made by many W.E. users to try to use their different grit mediums in one long sequence of decreasing abrasive size, or increasing grit numbers.  That’s intuitive thinking.

    Consider the mediums separately by their purpose.  Are they sharpening stones to shape and profile the edge removing steel. Are they polishing stones to smooth the sharpened steel’s shape.  Or maybe a buffing and polishing medium to shine up and really smooth out the polished steel.  They generally are used in order of purpose first.  Then in order of grit within the individual mediums.

    Some mediums, like the diamond stones have a long grit progression within the medium and can almost be used alone. (50/80, 100/200, 400/600, 800/1000, 1500/2200, 3000).  The diamonds can take you through profiles and shaping to polishing all by itself.

    The Diamond Lapping Films (DLF) are a very fine diamond stone and could be used somewhere after the diamonds in a proper grit sequence.

    A whole series of the  Shapton’s can do the same, and be used by themselves. Such as: (220/320, 1000/1500, 2000/5000, 8000/12000).

    All of these mediums I would follow with a sequence of the strops.  Depending on how fine I polished with the diamonds or the whetstones, would determine how fine a grit strop I choose to start with.

    This is the part of sharpening that I call “the art of sharpening” and I believe it comes with experience and through observing the results from sharpening many, many knives.

    All that said…it doesn’t remove the stray scratches you may have, as you indicated in the first post of this thread.  That’s a separate issue and takes time effort and attention to detail throughout the entire sharpening and polishing sequence. Start to finish.  No matter how many stones or mediums you employ, it won’t remove that stray scratch left from the beginning of your sharpening proression.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #54620
    Readheads
    Participant
    • Topics: 26
    • Replies: 290

    Sounds like you have a solid approach and know what you are doing. IMO, rogue scratches are very difficult, time consuming and quite possibly impossible to avoid unless you take many hours in a super clean total environment. Our diamond stones et al. are not at the lapping and polishing quality level. I stopped driving myself nuts with “where did that come from”. It is, however, occasionally self satisfying to do a science project for a few hours on a single knife. It could also be argued that reasonable cleanliness techniques could minimize the rogue scratches. The pics below are under ~250X.

    1500-Progression-1

     

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    #54633
    Modernflame
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 35

    This thread has helped me a great deal. I realize it’s okay to do something like 3 micron, 1.5 micron and 1 micron DLF, then go to 4 and 2 micron leather strops. Then I can finish on 1 micron and 0.5 micron leather. That is, unless I’ve completely misunderstood, which is certainly possible.

    I bought the 1.6 and 0.9 ceramics because I thought they would be ideal for removing diamond scratches, but I’m not getting the mirror polish I would like. So now I’m thinking I’d like to go up to 3000 diamond, then move to the sequence of DLF and strops listed above. I might just use the ceramics in the process of finishing knives that don’t need to sparkle.

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    #54634
    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
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    How many knives have you sharpened with the current diamond stones including any new ones you bought?  How long were the knives?

    Takes anywhere between 8 and 15 kitchen knives of sharpening to effectively  break in a stone..  Some longer than others.. rouge clusters make nasty deep scratches..

    Just saying, you are spending a ton of money that may not be needed if you are still working with new stones..

     

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    #54636
    Modernflame
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 35

    Fair enough. The official number is only ten. Two of these were kitchen knives. I’ll just keep rolling with what I’ve got for a while. Adding a couple of lapping films would be about $100. Not really a big deal, but I’m married. Sometimes it’s not about what I can afford, but what I can get away with.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #54640
    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 286

    At 10 you should be getting close.. remember if you don’t use that last inch of your stone as much as the center, that last bit is not broken in.. one pass where you enter the unused part of the stone is going to leave different scratches than the part that is broken in.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
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