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Newb DLF question

This topic contains 24 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Organic 11/24/2018 at 3:22 pm.

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  • #47826

    Aaron
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    So I’m a newb, I’ve had my WE130 for about 2 weeks now with diamond stones 100-1000. I’ve finally got my technique down and am getting some decent results but want to take it another step. So I am looking at the 1500 diamonds and either 3 or 6 micron DLF. My question is which should I go with, the 3 or the 6 micron? From reading here the 6 seems most often recommended after the 1500s but it seems counterintuitive to me. It seems to me that diamond stones and DLF are both hard diamond substrates so it’s pretty apples to apples, not like going from diamonds to strops so stepping back doesn’t make sense. If the 1000 diamonds are 7 micron as WE says, I would expect the 1500s to be in the 3-5 micron range so the next logical progression would be 3 micron DLF. So why does everyone go to 6 micron after the 1500s? Am I missing something ? Thanks!

    #47827

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
    • Replies: 1449

    Hello Aaron, welcome to the Wicked Edge Forum and community.  What you say is correct.  It is counterintuitive.  Yes, it’s common practice to step back a grit or so when switching abrasive mediums in your sharpening progression.  Each medium substrate is different with different scratch pattern characteristics.  So your understanding is correct, that both the diamond stones, 1500 grit, and the 6µ DLF are hard diamond abrasive particles of a similar particle size, but being that they are different mediums these similar size particles are mounted or imbedded into the base substrates differently.  Their spacing and their density differ leading to different scratch pattern characteristics, (i.e., scratch width and depth).

    To gain the best attributes of both mediums is to make use of the grit overlap.  Truly though, the only way you’ll know for sure is to use both grits and visually observe the results.  Of course, this will require a lighted magnified aid like a USB microscope.   You may be satisfied with your results going from 1500 grit diamond stones to 3µ DLF.  With a little more time, effort and more stroke counts, it will probably yield similar results.  Although, going right to the 3µ, instead of 6µ, may put more wear on the 3µ DLF wearing it out sooner then if you used the 6µ first.  Try it, it won’t hurt anything.

    The bottom line is we’re striving for the best results and visual progress the easiest and fastest way about it, with the least amount of effort.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #47828

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 665

    Hi Aaron, welcome to the Wicked Edge Forum!

    If you want, you can use the 3 micron film after the 1500 grit stone, but it will take more strokes to erase the 1500 grit scratches than the 6 micron will take. Clay posted some very informative microscope images in this thread that show how various diamond lapping films do after the 1500.

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    #47829

    Aaron
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    Thanks guys, I guess I never considered the pattern density of the media on the substrate because in my mind that wouldn’t really have an impact on the scratch pattern assuming equal size/hardness of the media, but more the time/effort required to erode the previous scratch pattern. Looking at the thread Organic posted shows that clearly I am wrong in that thought process as the 6 micron obviously is more refined from the 1500 Grit. That thread brings about a new question of whether the 1500 is necessary or whether I would be better served going with the Glass Platens with 6 micron and 3 microns after the 1000 grit. Ultimately I would like to do crazy sharp beautiful mirror bevels. However, as of right now I’m less concerned about appearance and after strictly a keen edge. I am upgrading from a sharpmaker and would like to find a progression that will emulate Spyderco white fine rods for edc, the 1000 stones aren’t quite there.

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    #47830

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
    • Replies: 1449

    Aaron you will be able to attain your objectives.  First you need to gain the experience, technique and consistency to do it.  It’s more about what you do then how you do it.  At this early stage in your sharpening experience,  technique is number one.  With out proper consistent technique it doesn’t matter what mediums you use or the order.  Keep doing as your doing.  Time and practice and continued use of your stones will produce improved results beyond what you’re producing now, as your abrasives continue to break-in and improve.  Then, as you add more and different grit mediums to your progression you’ll reach and achieve better and finer results.  Give time, time, and it’ll come together.  I’m at it for about 6 years now and I think my results still continue to improve.  Each time I sharpen I apply the experiences I learned from previous attempts.  It becomes more clear and second nature.   It’s not something you just decide to do and you can make it happen.  It takes time and experience before it comes together.  Patience.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #47831

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 665

    The micro fine 1.4 / 0.6 micron ceramics are the exact formulation as the standard stones that come with a sharp maker. Clay sources these from the same manufacturer as Spyderco uses.

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    #47832

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
    • Replies: 1449

    The Micro Fine 1.4 / 0.6 micron Ceramic Set are the exact same formulation as the standard stones that come with a “Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker”.  Clay, the owner of Wicked Edge, sources these from the same manufacturer that Spyderco uses.

    Just to save you any disappointment these Wicked Edge Micro Fine Ceramic Stones will require a longer break-in period then the Wicked Edge Diamond Stone paddles.  The Ceramics are a good choice, and another alternative, to use following the 1500 grit diamond stones to enhance your edge sharpness and polish.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #47833

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 1655

    Both Organic and Marc are correct in the statements that jumping from 1,500 to 3 micron would require much more work with the 3 micron film to erase the scratches made by the 1500 grit stone.  Since the usable life of the film is limited to some number of sharpenings (perhaps 30?) you’d probably only get a very few out of the 3 micron DLF before needing to replace it.  Too expensive and too time consuming.

    Trying to compare particle size with grit assignments is always confusing, as there are several different equivalent charts out there.  I use one from AdvancedAbrasives.com, where they show 6 micron as the equivalent of 3,000 grit.  They have 3 micron at 8,000 grit.  These numbers jive very well with what I’m seeing in the scratch patterns.

    AdvancedAbrasives.com lists 1000 fgrit as being made up of about 18 micron particles.  They list 1500 grit as being made up of about 13 micron particles.

    Diamond abrasives as produced are not perfectly of a given grit, but rather a range of particle sizes which are taken as an average.  AdvancedAbrasives.com list 6 micron as comprised of particle sizes from 4 to 8 micron.  3 micron abrasives would range from 2 to 4 micron particles.  Within a given batch, there may be more particles weighted toward the larger or smaller limits of that range, so this also accounts for some variability.

    If you extrapolate grit size by calculating the theoretical number of particles per inch, the 6 micron abrasive could fall within the range from 3175 to 6350 grit.  The 3 micron could fall into the range from 6350 to 12700 grit.  The equivalents that AdvancedAbrasives.com calls out fall within those ranges.

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    #48051

    Aaron
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    Thanks for the info guys, honestly I’m about to give up and throw this thing in the trash, I am incredibly frustrated . I can’t even get close to what I would consider an acceptable edge on any grit. I get beautiful looking bevels but the apex is just not keen. The frustrating part is I don’t even know what I’m doing wrong to fix it. I always raise a burr, I’ve even verified I’m hitting the apex with a sharpie. I’ve tried every different pressure my body is capable of, including less than the weight of the stones themselves. I’ve read every applicable article/forum post and watched every video I can find on YouTube to no avail. I just don’t know where to go from here. I’m not a complete sharpening moron I can get an atom splitting edge off a sharpmaker but bought this for more versatility and faster reprofiling.

    #48052

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
    • Replies: 1449

    Aaron, I’m sorry to hear your frustration.  Let’s step back and start at the beginning.  Maybe we can help you to use a technique that’ll give you better outcomes.  I say “a technique” because how I sharpen and how “Organic” or “tcmeyers” uses their WEPS may differ from how I use mine and all three of us achieve very sharp knife edges.  We are all looking for the same sharp edge, how we get there may be different.

    The single most important aspect is that your scratch patterns applied to each side bevels are continuous across the bevel and up off the knife edge.  Where the two side bevels, ( i.e., the left and right side bevels), meet is the apex or the very edge of the knife edge.  If this line of steel from the heel to the tip of the knife edge is not precise where they converge, the knife will not be sharp.

    It can feel like you are forming a burr, the supposed, indication that you have apexed the edge, but if you don’t remove this rolled or folded over pile of steel your edge it won’t be sharp.  I suggest you add two more steps to your sharpening technique.  When you feel the burr on the first side, switch your sharpening attention to the opposite side till you now feel the burr has flopped to that side.   Then use only “edge leading” direction stone strokes, (i.e., down and onto the knife edge), alternatingly.  Left side – right side – left side – right side moving your diamond sharpening stones down and onto the knife edge.  This will knock down and off the steel forming the burr to expose the sharp knife edge.  I do this alternating “edge leading” stroke for each and every stone I use in my sharpening progression once I have drawn a burr at the end of my sharpening step before I move on to the next grit in my sharpening progression.

    I’ll add, I think it helps and is import to check to verify your bevel angle settings are staying the same and consistent as you move from one grit to the next.  If there is any difference, as little as it may appear, I adjust or fine tune the guide rod angle setting to the precise angle setting I’ve chosen to sharpen this knife to.

    I have found that it may appear while using the sharpie that the edge is appexed but still a tiny sliver of steel is left piled up on the apex preventing it from cutting as well as it should.  I use a USB microscope to visually inspect that my scratch pattern is apexing the edge.  Then the last thing I do before changing to the next grit or moving on to my next step, whatever it is, is to do the alternating edge leading strokes.  You should easily be able to feel the difference in the edge sharpness before then after this finishing step.

    Important: Exercise extreme care with edge leading strokes because your fingers are easily exposed to t he knife edge!

    PS: the stroke employed with your Sharpmaker is an “edge leading” stroke.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  MarcH.
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    #48054

    Aaron
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    Marc thanks for the suggestion, the funny thing is I considered trying edge leading strokes to remove the burr today but was so frustrated I just put it away. After doing the edge leading strokes do you go back to edge trailing before moving to the next grit or is that the last step you use on that grit? I’m gonna give this a go and report back, hopefully with positive results!

    #48055

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
    • Replies: 1449

    Alternating, edge leading stroke are always my last or finishing strokes with each and every “sharpening” stone.  If I then progress to lapping films or strops these require the edge trailing, ” up and off” direction strokes to prevent cutting or gouging the medium.

    The very last thing I do is use strops in an edge trailing, up and off stroke, for every knife I sharpen.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  MarcH.
    #48057

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 665

    Aaron,

    I’m confident we can get you some sharp edges. If you don’t get a sharp edge after following Marc’s directions then I would suggest that you write out a detailed description of your sharpening process and post it so we can get a sense of where it might be going wrong.

    Here’s a good video about creating a burr and getting the edge apexed on the first grit. The video features the GO model, but the ideas transfer to any wicked edge model.

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    #48058

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 53
    • Replies: 1449

    Aaron this video , also produced by Clay, fits right in after the previous one to show you how and where the “edge leading” stroke fits in.

    Between the two videos you should be in business.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #48061

    Aaron
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    Ok now we are getting somewhere! It’s not quite there but very close, MUCH better than before. The edge leading  suggestion was key, and that last video. Originally I was doing edge leading from tip to heel, not sure why but doing them heel to tip like the video gives me much better results. I do need more practice, the heel to tip edge leading strokes is kind of awkward for me, and I’m struggling a bit to control the slop in the stones with that stroke, leading to some compound bevels towards the tip. But at least I finally feel like I’m on the right track!

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