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New 130 user with questions

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  • #55030
    Jon
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
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    Hi Everyone!  I recently purchased a WE130 and am about 5 knives into it and having a couple of issues.

    1. When I use my angle cube to get the same angle on both sides, the left side rod winds up in a significantly different place then the right side rod (when referencing the gross angle markings, not the fine adjustment knob) and I am scratching my head as to how that could be?
    2. The last 2 knives I have re-profiled to 15dps.  I use my 100 grit stones until I get a burr and then switch over to the other side and scrub on the other side for the same amount of time (which usually means continuing to scrub after I get the burr to flip back over to the other side) but I keep getting a wider bevel on one side (the first side) of the knife.  What is this about?  Could it be related to the first issue I am having?
    3. Alot of my knives are small, so I recently purchased the low angle adapter and longer 12inch rods.  I was frustrated last night while trying to re-profile my Boker Urban Trapper to 15dps, that I was actually making contact with the top of the low angle adapter and scraping it with my stone- how could this happen?  Is the knife so small that even with the adapter I can’t do 15dps on this system?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Besides these above issues I have really been enjoying the 130 and look forward to mastering it. I spent a long time researching WE before purchasing as this was a large purchase for me as I am sure it was for all of you. Please see the attached photos that help illustrate the issues I am having above. Thanks in advance for any suggestions or help you can provide and happy to be here! – Jon

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    #55035
    Jon
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 3

    Here are the photos noting the angle cube is reading the same angle but the gross adjustment markings are 2 degrees off from each other.

    Attachments:
    #55040
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2164

    Welcome to the Wicked Edge Forum, Jon.  I’ll try to help you with addressing each issue.

    The indexing on the square bar are intended only to be an indicator of your gross angle settings.  Theses indicators were originally calibrated, I believe using a knife with it’s edge horizontally clamped 5/8″ above the vise’s jaws line.  Any difference in how a knife is mounted will effect the angle cube readings vs the indexes.  The beauty and the precision of the W.E. sharpeners are they allow a large variety of knives of various sizes, shapes and designs to be clamped in a variety of positions that best suit the individual knives as we set the relative bevel angles allowing us to profile and sharpen the knives repeatedly at that same desired relative angle setting.  A properly zeroed digital angle device is the truest measure of your relative angles.  I use the term “relative angle” because the angle reading is realtive to the W.E. sharpener and the surface it’s resting on.  Zeroing the angle cube on the stationary resting W.E. sharpener allows us to set the sharpening angles relative to the sharpener as it sits.

    The W.E. sharpeners can sharpen a very wide range of knives at a range of sharpening angles.  The narrowest limits of these bevel angles are determined by the height of the knife edge above the jawline.  With a narrow knife at low angles the sharpening stones may contact the vise or jaws inhibiting the ability to sharpen the knife.  This is the situation you found requiring you to use the low angle adapter, (LAA).  Even using the LAA the knife may still be too narrow and too low to sharpen without stone< >vise conflict.  You may try to adjust the clamped knife so it is held higher in the LAA, held just by the tips of it’s adapter clamp.   Even still this may not work.

    The next recommended option is to try a “Tormek Small knife Holder“.  This adapter holds the knife by the handle out in front of the W.E. vise.  Between the LAA and the Tormek, I’ve been able to sharpen most knives.  The LAA and Tormek do make it difficult to record your sharpening clamping settings for repeating when doing touch-ups .  (Another issue to learn how to deal with).

    Be aware, the LAA does offset the clamped knife to one side by the nature of the adapter’s design.   The LAA’s stationary side is clamped in the W.E. jaws so the knife is held off to one side above the outside of the vise jaws.  Because of the LAA’s design and clamping position the gross angle indexing on square bar will then be very different from side to side.  I believe this is where you saw that big variance.  By comparing the knife’s angle clamped in just the W.E. vise jaws, first, and comparing these angle readings to the angles measured after reclamping that same knife in the LAA it may provide you with a basis for comparison to use to adjust your relative angle settings to compensate for the shift in the clamping position while using the LAA.

    Last thing, when profiling your knife to your relative angle while drawing a burr, as you learned, after spending some time and effort to draw the burr to the first knife side, that it only takes a little more effort to the other knife side to then flip that burr back over.  Then the first bevel is much taller then the second side’s bevel.  You can continue to work to remove more steel from the second side bevel to even out the heights, from side to side.

    I prefer to scrub only a small amount on the first side then alternate to the second side. Then scrub on the second side, then swap again.  Alternating back and forth, side to side, I develop both bevels at the same time while attempting to keep the bevels equal height from the start.  This method allows me to limit steel waste because I can stop as soon as the burrs are formed on both sides.  It allows me to avoid chasing the burr as it flips back and forth from side to side or messing with the bevel heights from side to side to get them evened out.

    Realize all these tips are easier said then done.  From your questions it sounds as though you are right where you should be after only 5 knives.  It takes time.  The best tip I can share is go slow and compare knife side to side looking at the results of your actions and what your sharpening strokes do.  When you can correlate your actions and results you’ll know what you’re doing and how to get it done.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #55041
    Jon
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 3

    Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and helpful reply! Your information re: the LAA explains what I was seeing perfectly and I am going to try your alternating side technique which sounds like it will get me the even bevels I am after.

    One other thing I am curious about is grit progression in order to get a polished edge.  I can’t say I care too much about a mirror edge, but I did attempt one last night for fun and didn’t get too close. Last night I tried this: 100/200 > 400/600 > 800/1000 > 1500 > 2000/3000 > 3 micron lapping film > 1 micron lapping film.  Is a mirror edge possible with this progression and does it just take more time, or am I missing a step?

    Thanks again for your help Marc!  BTW- although the bevels on my Boker Urban Trapper are not even, I was able to get a great edge on the knife!IMG_3041

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    #55044
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2164

    Jon, my guess is you still need to wear in your stones some more before they yield truer results.  It takes at least 10 knives worth of use before they first break in.  Then they’ll continue to improve with use.  Realize you don’t always need to start with your coarsest grit, the 100 grit diamond stone.  Try to use the finest grit stone that gets the job done.  Find the balance between ease of steel removal, efficiency, time and effort to profile the first bevel at your desired profile angle.  If a 400 or 600 can get the job done without too much effort and time spent then use one of those.  If you start with the 100 grit you’ll impart a deeper and wider scratch pattern while removing more steel then may be necessary.  The more scratches you lay down the more scratches you have to overlay with the subsequent finer grits in the progression, to work them back out.  So if you can get it done finer, work with finer grits.  Start finer, if it’s not getting it done as easily as expected step down one coarser grit.   If that’s still not right, step down again.  With practice you get the feel for reading what it’ll take.

    For touch-ups or re-sharpen jobs, at the same angle as previously profiled, you  may be able to start at 600 or 800 grit.

    The full progression you suggested above will get you to a mirror polish when done well, correctly and with enough effort and attention to detail.  Knowing when you are finished with a grit and you’re ready to move on takes time and experience.   If you’re unsure if you’re ready to go up to the next grit in your progression, keep working with that same grit.  If you see improvements in the results then obviously you were not ready yet.  If you see no change, no improvement, as you keep at it, then it’s time.

    Using a magnified visual aid like a lighted jeweler’s loupe or a USB microscope makes progress inspection easier. Also working with a sharpie marker, painting  over the bevels to see where and how well your stone work is removing the marker ink helps you to see your progress, the quality of your efforts and exactly where your stones are contacting and removing steel from the knife edge.

    Most of us using Wicked Edged Precision  Sharpeners, (WEPS), it seems, are perfectionists.  It’s hard to produce that perfect edge.  One that is even sized bevel height, side to side, heel to tip, along the entire knife.  Let alone to get it sharpened well and polished like a mirror.  Start with getting your knives sharp, first.  Then work on the aesthetics, the appearance.  It may take a long time, and a lot of practice.  Enjoy the journey.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #55045
    Jon
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 3

    Thanks again for your reply Marc.  I have been starting with the 100/ 200 because I have been re-profiling to a new (lower) dps but I think you are right about a) the stones not being broken in and b) leaving myself with deep scratches because of too much time on the 100/200 grit stone.

    I just got done turning my Benchmade Bailout from a Tanto (not a fan of Tanto’s) to a drop point using my Worksharp with blade grinding attachment and I am very happy with how it turned out.  I could not believe how long it took to draw a burr on the section I modified though- M4 steel is tough!  After I got rid of the Tanto I went to work re-profiling to 15dps.  Now I am going to set it up in the WE 130 and see how far we can go.  Your tips will no doubt save me alot of time.  Thanks again! -Jon

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