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Next set of stones or strops

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  MarcH 07/16/2018 at 2:15 pm.

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  • #46906

    MStarmer
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 11

    Ok I got my 130 and a set of 800-1000 grit stones.  I’ve done about 6 knives so far and each is getting better, there’s clearly a learning curve and stone break in.  While the edges are great (and sharp) I already find myself wanting more.  I’m not keen on investing a ton more but I think I’ve decided on 1500gr diamond stones and 6 micron diamond lapping films.  I’m not interested in super polish but I do want sharp.  Or would I better off with one of the leather strop packs instead of the lapping films?

    I know there’s a lot of info in the forum here but I’m having somewhat of a difficult time navigating it.  Here’s a Benchmade 440c that was in pretty rough shape and it cleaned up pretty good at 1000 grit.

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    #46908

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1917

    I use strops on every knife I sharpen as the final stage in the sharpening progression.  The strops when used properly really bring out the best of a sharpened edge.

    I do use the 1500 diamond stone as the final sharpening grit when I’m using a diamond stone sharpening progression.  I only continue with lapping films to get a highly polished appearing bevel.

    Looking at the appearance of your sharpened edge in the posted photo, I believe you will continue to see improved results with those same stones after they’re more broken in and if you were to put more time and effort into each grit in the sharpening progression as your technique improves, also.

    That’s just my method. Other experienced WE sharpeners may have a different way to obtain an equally sharp edge,  Knife sharpening is very individual and personal.  The one thing, I believe we all share in common is the understanding that good technique and effort is essential to obtain those sharp results.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #46909

    MStarmer
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 11

    I appreciate the reply.  Yeah sharpness is more my goal.  Which strop would you suggest in lieu of the film?

    #46911

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 882

    In my experience there is no question that a 1000 grit edge that has been properly stropped with the 4 / 2 micron strops (my recommendation) will feel sharper than an edge sharpened up through the 6 micron lapping film and no strops. The one done with the lapping film will have a more pronounced polished look, but won’t cut quite as well as the stropped edge.

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    #46912

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1917

    I always use at least a 4 micron/2 micron progression, at the minimum.  Following with 1 micron/ 0.5 micron will give an even smoother more polished edge.  Remember stropping is a different medium then diamond stones with a technique all to it’s own.  The strokes are only edge trailing.  That is up and off or away from the knife edge.  I strop the edge in sections then blend it together at the end because it’s easier for me to avoid cutting or gouging the leather when stropping, as I follow the curve of the knife tip.

    There’s many threads on the forum you can read about stropping.  It’s sometimes easier to do a Google search for the Wicked Edge subject matter and let Google steer you to the Forum link then it is to use the Forums own sesrch feature to find the subject matter of your interest.

    You’ll need to reduce your sharpening bevel angles settings by 1.5 to 2 degrees less to optimize the stropping process and avoid rolling over the apex of the knife edge.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #46916

    MStarmer
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 11

    Thanks guys, sounds like the 1500gr diamond stones and the 4/2 strop will get me where I want to go.  Along with a lot more practice and some more break in on my stones.

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    #46918

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 34
    • Replies: 1864

    Good choices.

    On the subject of stropping, I think that every knife I’ve sharpened could have benefited from a stropping.

    A few years ago, I watched a couple of videos on Rockstead’s web site.  They recommended that you staple a section of denim to a board and load it with a polishing compound.  This past week, I made one and loaded it with green chrome polish.  First results have been impressive, even after sharpening to 3 micron film and I am clearly stropping more obtuse than the angle I sharpened to.

    I’m not convinced that the stropping actually improves the degree of sharpness right at the apex, but it sure seems to improve the cutting efficiency.  Perhaps the strop removes any fragile bits (read unintended toothyness) along the apex and slicks up the bevel faces, helping them to easily slide thru whatever you happened to be cutting.

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    #46919

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 882

    Good choices. On the subject of stropping, I think that every knife I’ve sharpened could have benefited from a stropping. A few years ago, I watched a couple of videos on Rockstead’s web site. They recommended that you staple a section of denim to a board and load it with a polishing compound. This past week, I made one and loaded it with green chrome polish. First results have been impressive, even after sharpening to 3 micron film and I am clearly stropping more obtuse than the angle I sharpened to. I’m not convinced that the stropping actually improves the degree of sharpness right at the apex, but it sure seems to improve the cutting efficiency. Perhaps the strop removes any fragile bits (read unintended toothyness) along the apex and slicks up the bevel faces, helping them to easily slide thru whatever you happened to be cutting.

    Did you listen to that interview with Clay that Marc posted a few days ago? He specifically talked about how he took a straight razor that would not pass the hanging hair test and was able to get it to consistently pass the hanging hair test just by stropping the blade. Doesn’t this seem to indicate that the actual sharpness at the apex is affected directly by stropping? I’m not sure how only cleaning up the debris on the bevels would affect the ability to cut hair.

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    #46920

    MStarmer
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 11

    Well I have the stuff ordered, in the mean time I took one of my worse kitchen knives a 20+yr old Henckel and put a 15deg edge on it.  Tried to take my time, and break in the stone and eliminate most of the chipping of the blade.  The before shot is absolutely horrendous, the after marginally better.  I took each stone and ran about half my strokes and then flipped them over trying to break them in.  Went to 1000gr and figure it’s about as good as it’s going to get.  Each day reading thru these posts and watching the videos makes a huge difference with each knife.  I’m not ready to do my ZT’s quite yet but I’m getting a bit more confident.

    Thanks guys!

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    #46926

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1917

    MStarmer.  you did a good job!  From the closeness and uniformity of the scratch patterns it appears your technique is much improved compared to first photo you posted.  The before VS the after picture suggests to me the knife was initially sharpened at a broader, more obtuse angle then the 15º angle you chose to profile the knife to.  The beginning bevel is much shorter.  Whereas the new bevel is much taller.  Taller bevels are associated with narrow bevel angles.  Depending on the steel’s hardness this new bevel setting may me too acute.  Only time and knife use will show you how the steel wears and just how durable it is.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #46945

    MStarmer
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 11

    Thanks, yeah I just picked 15 and went with it.  I figure it can’t be any worse than it is now and if it doesn’t last I can tone it down a bit.  I honestly have no idea what they were when new.  I tried to keep them somewhat usable with my Spyderco Tri-Sharp but it never really profiled the edge like the WE did.  Looking at my knives now I see the Spyderco is just kind of making a tiny micro-bevel.

    #46947

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1917

    Not to criticize your sharpening decision but to explain the resulting alternatives.

    If I’m unsure which way I want to go with the bevel angle, narrow angle or wider angle, I’ve learned to start with the wider bevel angle first.  That creates a shorter bevel and requires less steel removal.  When you profile a narrower bevel, this bevel as you see is taller and removed more steel to create it.

    To convert the taller narrower existing bevel to a wider angle shorter bevel you can do it two ways.  One way is to apply the wider angle bevel as a microbevel on top of the existing narrow bevel.  The other way is to do a complete reprofile.  That requires more steel removal and results in the shorter bevel higher up the knife to where the knife’s steel widens.  This depending on the knifes shape can waste steel and end up with a very thick beveled knife.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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