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New to WE? Suggestion to save you a bunch of headaches…

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Basic Techniques and Sharpening Strategies New to WE? Suggestion to save you a bunch of headaches…

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  • #52392
    Pat
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 114

    Learn what an apex looks like using either a jewelers’ loupe or USB microscope.  An apexed edge doesn’t reflect light when shown down right on it like a dull edge will.

    Once you can use the paddles to remove steel to the apex and then verify it with the loupe or microscope, you will no longer wonder whether you are on your way to sharpening the knife, or just wasting time.

    Additionally, use downstrokes (bottom of paddle against edge, then move down; this is called edge-leading) to finish with your stones and use a rather light touch.  This will most likely remove any burrs or wire edge.

    I will say that this WE is made for repetition from grit to grit.  Some guys prefer to check angles and whatnot from grit to grit progression and that is ok if you have that time, but I have never seen Clay do it and he demonstrates this system all the time.

    So what do I do?  I check for apexing at each grit, then move on.  I don’t raise a burr, or whatever, but I check that the apex is getting cleaner and cleaner from grit to grit.  You will be able to tell the apex and steel on each side of the apex (the bevel) is getting smoother and smoother.

    Lastly, realize that the higher the dps (20 dps is higher than 15 dps), the less sharp naturally the knife will be.  You can sharpen at 40dps perfectly with a mirrored bevel and it won’t cut like 15dps any day of the week.

    Lastly, the grit you finish with will determine how it will cut.  A 15dps bevel will absolutely cut entirely different depending on finishing with a mirror bevel to apex vs 400 grit micro bevel at +3dps from the 15dps mirror bevel, or even 400 grit bevel at 15dps to apex.

    The above basic knowledge matters so you don’t get disappointed and throw the damn unit out the window.

    Hope this helps as I was once in the shoes of a newbie and didn’t understand this, nor put in the time to get the tools to see what really matters.

    Pat

    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Pat.
    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Pat.
    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Pat.
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    #52400
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1928

    Very well put, Pat.  You’ve succinctly summarized the top bullet point of learning to get the most out of your WEPS.  I would expand on your point about checking for an apex at each grit.

    I always use alternating strokes – for any set of stones, the coarser grit is angled down and towards me, while the finer grit is angled down and away from me.  A quick check with the USB ‘scope will show me if the grit I’ve just used actually hit the apex of not.  If there are traces of scratches opposite of the current grit at the top of the bevel. I’ll immediately know that I didn’t reach the apex and that it’s fruitless to proceed to the next grit.  It only takes an error of about minus 0.015″ in stone thickness to prevent the stone from hitting the apex.

    The lessons you learn here will serve you well if the left wingers ever outlaw sharp knives and take away our WE systems.  You’ll always know what it takes to produce a sharp edge, regardless of the tools used. 😉

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    #52401
    Pat
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 114

    Much appreciated.

    Thanks for the addition insight below.  Agreed!

    I always use alternating strokes – for any set of stones, the coarser grit is angled down and towards me, while the finer grit is angled down and away from me. A quick check with the USB ‘scope will show me if the grit I’ve just used actually hit the apex of not. If there are traces of scratches opposite of the current grit at the top of the bevel. I’ll immediately know that I didn’t reach the apex and that it’s fruitless to proceed to the next grit.

    #52649
    Edward Riley
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 6

    I’m pretty new. So with the edge facing up you always move the stone downward? I’ve been alternating every stone but I do go upwards with some stones. Is this bad?  Thanks!

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    #52650
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2096

    Ed, both strokes, the down and on, “edge leading” and, the up and off, ” edge trailing” have a place in sharpening with the Wicked Edge.  You’ll need to use both of these strokes in a systematic manner.  Then decide for yourself based on your results, which stroke you prefer and how you prefer to utilize them in your sharpening technique.  That’s part of what makes each of our sharpening techniques individualized.  A lighted magnifier will help you to see the results to determine what you prefer.  I do use both these strokes when sharpening.

    I also utilize an up-down-up-down scrubbing stroke with each stone as a regular part of my sharpening technique.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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