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MODS!!! Lets see em!!

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  • #57916
    Chris
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 351

    It answers well a problem that annoyed me years ago when I bought ball joint arms for my first WEPS upgrade.

    I hated that they were using a metal screw (any screw was wrong) locking against a metal thread to stop it moving after setting the micro adjustment.

    Then nylon screws were seen as the solution.

    If only the exposed amount of thread was longer, then a lock nut would be the most sensible solution.

    Today we see the result of evolution and just like it was way back when, forum users are still contributing to that.

    Love the idea of the Micro Adjuster Kits, are they still available and can I ask the cost?

     

    #57917
    NotSharpEnuff
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 118

    billabong,

    The ball  joints come with no threaded rod attached.  I cut a 12″ threaded rod to size – 2″ for the WE130 or 2.5″ for the Gen 3.  Then I cement them into the ball joint with JB weld.

    I also cut ~.5″ from the ball joint which lowers the stone and allows for more stone usage on the Gen3 sharpening shorter pocket knives.  Since I sharpen EDC knives 90% of the time, I also printed a 3D riser block to raise the vice 1.25″.  I have 12″ rods and I use Airscapes stone stops to raise the stones for taller kitchen knives.  That way I can adjust the stone upward to avoid scratching the side of the blade.

    Ed K.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57918
    NotSharpEnuff
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 118

    Chris,

    PM me your email address and I will send you a brochure with my information as well as what Airscapes has available.  I’ll also send MarcH’s brochure for his stone racks if you’re interested.

    Ed K.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #57920
    billabong
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 10

    Then I cement them into the ball joint with JB weld.

    I would love to see a pic of the rod (end) separate from the ball joint, prior to install.

    Is it a tapered fit or other?

    I would love to be able to go back to these ball joints I used years ago.

    I thought I might take the black boot off my enclosed ball joint, which is factory filled with grease and post a couple more pics to show the range of motion they have, it goes back on easily enough.

    Thinking it now may be possible to cut off the thread, then drill and tap into the ball to then attach a longer threaded rod to gain the required length to put an adjusting nut on the back?

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by billabong.
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    #57924
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 65
    • Replies: 2583

    I’ve never seen that style ball ends.  I’ve been using W.E. systems since around 2016…those parts appear to predate my experiences.

    I’d like to believe that parts uupgrades by W.E. are made to improve sharpening efficiency not just profitability and that you’d be better off migrating to the newer style parts we’re using now.

    I can share I’ve had no complaints using ball joints and micro-angle adjusters produced by Ed. His adjusters have improved over the years as he has adapted his designs, with user input, to be simpler, more effective, and more efficient.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    #57925
    billabong
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 10

    I’ve been never seen that style ball ends. I’ve been using W.E. systems since around 2016…those parts appear to predate my experiences.

    I bought most of my stuff in 2012 and did a WE130UP3 in 2019.

    Not to mention the many different length rods I had made and experimental adjustments etc. (like most here)

    The covered ball joints are still a current item, just hard to find in the US. (I’m in Australia)

    I had to get the allen key holes broached in the end by a shop.

    Clay said he was going to get some and trial them, but never heard what the outcome was.

    Attachments:
    #57928
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 65
    • Replies: 2583

    Billabong there is an Australian dealer Zanvack for guided sharpening supplies.  We are making and using aftermarket products that better meet our desired sharpening accessories needs. We’ve been pushing W.E. for years to  incorporate these improvements in the standard W.E. setups.

    If you are willing to work with some of us W.E. users we may be able to provide you with the accessories you seek.  Some of us are not looking to profit by providing you these accessories you seek. I have shipped these accessories to Australia and New Zealand users simply as a favor to fellow W.E. users, to help them out.

    Let us know what you need and we’ll see what we can do for you. PM me or Ed K. and we can exchange emails and we’ll try to go from there to see if we can get you what you need.

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57929
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 65
    • Replies: 2583

    After looking at your photo of the “enclosed ball end joints” it appears to me that part would not have the right properties for the functions we are needing.  A ball joint end, or rod end joint is meant to push/pull as a solid bushinged attachment point.

    What we are using is a Heim joint or rod end bearing. We are using it for the fixed position rotation motion, linear and axially, provided with the affixed centered screws in the circular, holed, rotating bearings.

    The heim joint can be used in a ball end application. (Although it may lack the strength of the ball end).  The ball end cannot be used as a heim joint because it is not a rotating bearing end.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57930
    NotSharpEnuff
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 118

    Billabong,

    Here is a pic of the ball joint parts from start to finish. Also, the Stainless knob process from cutting the barrel of and polishing it.

    It takes a lot of time and effort to make the SS knobs, that’s why I offer plastic knobs which work as well for a lower price.

    Ed K.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by NotSharpEnuff. Reason: Pic was too large to be added
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    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57934
    billabong
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 10

    After looking at your photo of the “enclosed ball end joints” it appears to me that part would not have the right properties for the functions we are needing.

    I agree, it doesn’t lend itself to the modification we are talking about here, no ability to replace the threaded shaft like Ed has achieved, great if a longer threaded rod could be attached perhaps?

    Although I can assure it is a very smooth and precise ball motion perfect for this application, although with limitations.

    I have attached a pic of an exploded view.

     

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    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57936
    billabong
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 10

    Billabong, Here is a pic of the ball joint parts from start to finish. Also, the Stainless knob process from cutting the barrel of and polishing it. It takes a lot of time and effort to make the SS knobs, that’s why I offer plastic knobs which work as well for a lower price. Ed K.

    Thanks Ed, great pics, although I think you have posted the same pic twice?

    I totally understand what is involved now and appreciate the time and effort involved.

    Very impressive, quality looks great also, sent a PM for a brochure, thanks.

    I would also like to thank you both (Marc,Ed & Tom) for the awsome amount of information you have added to this forum, I have spent the last few days catching up on everything I have missed since my time away.

    Lot’s of valuable information and pics, great stuff from many members.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by billabong. Reason: Additional Comments!
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by billabong.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by billabong.
    #57947
    billabong
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 10

    I guess I still have a couple of questions, initially one being in pic 01 below, this is a WE image of the latest Gen 3 Pro, is the threaded shaft all one piece?

    If so, it may solve my problem of finding a longer threaded shaft for my WE130 mini L brackets, which appears to be much shorter.

    Is the large adjuster on the end, threaded on or just a hex tool to adjust?

    Obviously pic 02 is the supplied setup for the mini L brackets and available as a spare in pic 03 as WE-UP4.

    Why not offer the ball joints from the Gen 3 Pro as an upgrade for the mini L’s if it is as it appears, longer.

    Or am I seeing it all wrong?

    edit – Of course I can go the path that Ed offers and may well yet.

    Attachments:
    #57951
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 65
    • Replies: 2583

    The Gen 3 model’s adjuster in your picture 01 is a two piece screw setup. The ball end has the attached knurled thumb wheel which is used to turn the ball end in and out to make the fine angle adjustments. The outer thumb screw (with the hex tool inset) locks the ball end screws with opposing screw positions by jamming the two, screw end to screw end, together.  The locking design, in my experience, is not very effective.

    The Gen 3 model threaded ball end screw is not very long so it doesn’t work as an adjuster screw on the mini “L” brackets.  I have tried your idea. There’s not enough screw length to allow for any real adjustability.

    The adjuster design offered for the newest version WE130 mini “L” brackets does work pretty well. The down side to that design is the adjuster screw is fairly short.  So your coarse angle position must be fairly close before you lock the brackets position with the hex tool inset thumb screw. Then the fine angle adjustments are made by turning the adjuster screw in or out with a hex tool inserted in the screw end. Then the knurled thumb wheel locks the adjusted position by turning/jamming it up against mini “L” bracket.  I find this locking motion requires two hands. One to hold the hex tool while it positions the adjuster screw and your other hand to turn and lock the thumb wheel. Additionally a small open end wrench can be used to lock the knurled wheel securely. It’s a cumbersome operation that might need to be done repeatedly to make precise micro-angle adjustments working with an angle cube.

    Ed’s adjusters allow the adjustments to be made easily and precisely with one hand.  With the same hand I can make the micro-fine angle adjustments then turn the locking knurled thumb wheels.  Ed’s setups use large diameter knobs and thumb wheels allowing for more torque and secure one hand locking. In addition, Ed also offers the “quick set” lock handles for locking the “L” brackets coarse positions.  This is also a one-hand, tools free operation.

    Ed’s adjusters and quick lock arms work just the same with both the new style mini “L” brackets and the older style larger more square shaped brackets. I have used both bracket styles with Ed’s adjusters.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57952
    billabong
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 10

     

    Firstly I would like to thank you Marc for your detailed and informative posts and make it clear I’m no so much resisting simply buying Ed’s setup, just trying to feed my OCD at this stage!

    The Gen 3 model’s adjuster in your picture 01 is a two piece screw setup.

    Ahh, that explains everything, so I guess Clay can’t find a way to extend the thread length by using a longer tapered “pressed-in” stud type ball joint either, simply not made?

    I can’t even find out in the wild the ball joint Clay is using to see if I can press out the stud and press in a replacement re-manufactured longer one, of course there would then be no need to broach the ends as I would be using a fixed large knurled knob instead like you.

    This is an issue that has haunted me since the original ball joint arms were released in 2012.
    As my OCD also hated that the locking mechanism involved a threaded bolt screwed into the side of another thread.
    Like a lot of people here, I have poured money into following the upgrades path as things were added, altered or adjusted.
    I also hated how fidly the old clamps were to get a knife perfectly vertical and the level of grip strength obtained.
    I was delighted to upgrade to the self centering clamp of today, great engineering!

    Ed’s alternate solution being to J-B weld (something I have no previous experience with) a threaded rod into a smooth heim joint just seems a bit agricultural to an OCD like me, absolutely no offense intended, as it is working so well for everyone that has bought it and I will most likely end up adopting this solution also.
    Of course I see the advantages of large knobs and locking nuts too.
    I would be going with stainless knobs, no lock arm’s and put a dome nut (looks better) on the outside instead to lock the adjuster.

    Being in Australia it’s a small market, the exchange rate and freight (scary) adds a lot more to the cost of any WE item purchased. There are only a handful of people (compared to the USA) that have a personal knife collection of substantial size to justify buying this level of sharpener as many “sweet” knives are simply forbidden to own. (IMHO)
    My sharpener only has thirty odd (mainly kitchen) knives to look after now, so no Gen 3 Pro in my near future.
    Although it’s very tempting.

    Is it possible to buy the mini L brackets alone, thinking I would fit them with my longer rods/arms and simply swap out the whole assembly when changing lengths?

    Ed, can you please link where you source the S/S 1″ Knurled Thumb Wheel Knobs?

    Now to ponder with my thoughts a bit longer.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57953
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 2070

    Rod-end couplings are available at my local farmer’s outlet for about $8US.  I buy 12-inch lengths of 1/4″-28 threaded rod (sometimes called “all-thread”) and cut it into 3-inch segments.  Grind the ends flat and set them upright in the bore of a rod-end coupling with a dab of epoxy.  Perfect alignment is not necessary because alignment  latitude is what the coupling ifs for.  If it’s anywhere near vertical, it’s OK.

    If you’re wondering why the 3-inch length, the extra length in the threaded section provides a much greater range of adjustment in the set angle.  On my Gen 3 Pro, I can get as much as a 5-degree difference between the left and right sides if desired.  In typical applications, I can make major changes in angle without moving my detented adjuster.  For instance, if I am set up for 19 degrees with my diamond stones, and one particular grit is with a different manufacturer’s stone with a different thickness, I can accommodate that thickness change without throwing my diamond stones out of range.  If I keep track of the adjustment made, (e.g.: 2.5 turns) I can go back without using my angle cube.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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