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Progress so far…

Recent Forums Main Forum Getting Started Progress so far…

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  AlieN 12/11/2017 at 5:38 am.

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  • #42569

    AlieN
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    I’ve had my Wicked Edge system for a few weeks now and the weather has turned pretty cold here in the UK (by our standards at least). Since my setup is in an unheated and drafty garage, I thought I would write about my experiences as a new user rather than get cold. Not that I couldn’t use the practice. So here are some of my thoughts on the system. I hope they might be useful for other new users and people thinking about taking the plunge.

    The first thing I would say is to think carefully about the route you take into this system. I initially purchased one of the cheapest systems (WE100) along with one extra set of stones (800 / 1000) and some strops. Like everybody, I was wary about an excessive initial outlay. That said, since then I have also purchased an angle cube, a cheap optical microscope and I have also just received the low angle adapter, 1500 / glass platterns and 6 micron films. Overall, I have spent well in excess of double my initial outlay. I’m not complaining at all, I’m lucky enough to be able to afford it and to have a lovely, indulgent wife, but had I realised up front what the costs would have been, I may have chosen a different entry point. I can certainly see further upgrades in the future though I am very happy with what I have now.

    I chose to sort out my own mounting board rather than go for one of the Wicked Edge offerings. Wicked Edge provide a drilling template so this is pretty straightforward to do. I popped off to my local Ikea and purchased a chopping board for very little and proceeded to mount the Wicked Edge to this. In reality, the Ikea chopping board isn’t really heavy enough. I now appreciate that there is a reason that Wicked Edge mounting options come in aluminium and granite. With a mount that isn’t heavy enough, there is a tendency for the whole system to move a little during sharpening. This is certainly annoying if not potentially slightly dangerous…. New (heavier) mounting option to be installed in short order.

    As has been said on many, many occasions, the diamond stones take some time to break-in. Again, here, I feel that my route hasn’t been perfect. Initially I purchased stones upto 1000 grit, but the 800 / 1000 stones were not available straight away and took a couple of extra weeks to arrive. So, I worked on some knives with the stones I had for a couple of weeks. Just as I started to feel that the stones were breaking in, my 800 / 1000 stones arrived. Of course, I was keen to try the 800 / 1000 stones, but it was frustrating to feel that these then also needed to be broken in, just as the existing set were starting to feel better. And just as just as the 800 / 1000 start to feel more comfortable, I ordered and receive the 1500 / glass platens. I’m starting to feel like my break-in period is endless… 🙂

    I knew beore ordering this system that there would be a learning curve involved. One of the reasons for choosing Wicked Edge was my dissatisfaction with my ability to free-hand sharpen in the past. The Wicked Edge system has certainly allowed me to get a much better and longer lasting edge on my kitchen knives than I had been able to achieve free-hand. I am optimistic that there is better to come as I get more aquainted with the diamond film and with the strops. Reading endlessly on the forums I have developed a technique of leading edge strokes (moving stones down against the edge), alternating towards and away with each grit change. This easily allows me to see that each stone removes the scratches from the previous grit. This is a useful moment to mention that this microscope has been invaluable and is really astounding value for money:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00JEKXBQ2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    This technique has allowed me to get some impressively sharp edges. But, as I have inspected the knives after the sharpening I’ve started to notice that the bevel on the left (as clamped) tends to be slightly shallower than the bevel on the right. This is either because I am using an inconsistent angle, or because I am strongly right-handed and tend (sub-consciously) to favour that side. I strongly suspect the latter! I also find that when inspected, the part of the edge closest to the handle tends to be less worked than the belly and tip of the blade. Again, sub-consciously I think I am tending to concentrate on the easier section of the blade. Now that I am aware of these biases, I will try and address the edge more evenly and we’ll see how things progress.

    Anyway, that’s been my journey so far. Some things I would probably do slightly differently with hind-sight – isn’t that always the way? But I’m getting better and more consistent results already that I ever have before, and I’m confident that there is better ahead. And I’m enjoying the process – I can’t ask more than that.

    AlieN

    6 users thanked author for this post.
    #42570

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1855

    But, as I have inspected the knives after the sharpening I’ve started to notice that the bevel on the left (as clamped) tends to be slightly shallower than the bevel on the right. This is either because I am using an inconsistent angle, or because I am strongly right-handed and tend (sub-consciously) to favour that side. I strongly suspect the latter! I also find that when inspected, the part of the edge closest to the handle tends to be less worked than the belly and tip of the blade. Again, sub-consciously I think I am tending to concentrate on the easier section of the blade. Now that I am aware of these biases, I will try and address the edge more evenly and we’ll see how things progress. Anyway, that’s been my journey so far. Some things I would probably do slightly differently with hind-sight – isn’t that always the way? But I’m getting better and more consistent results already that I ever have before, and I’m confident that there is better ahead. And I’m enjoying the process – I can’t ask more than that.

    AlieN you are right on track with where a new user is at this time along your adventure.  The higher grit stones break-in faster then the lower grits so they’ll all be working together at their best very soon.

    The difference in the bevel from left to right can be exactly what you say and probably is a little of each.  Your technique is certainly not even from side to side at this early stage in your experience.  Now that you have noticed it you’ll concentrate on better developing your technique and it’ll help even it out.

    The second issue I believe you’re running up against is the uneven clamping associated with the WE100 Screw type clamp which cause the knife to lean to the left, because the left side of the clamp is fixed and stationary while the right side of the clamp moves as you tighten the screws.  This introduces a clamping lean or “cant” that affects the bevel angles and bevel heights from side to side.

    This clamping lean or “cant” to the left can be measured with the angle cube used to adjust for the lean.  This clamping lean was the biggest reason to start with the WE130 and the self centering floating jaw vice.  The error is measured then divided in half and added to one side and subtracted from the other, (can’t remember the specifics off hand at this moment but someone will help me out with the specifics , I hope).

    Here’s an article from a website that should help you with this issue.  Also, here is forum member TCMeyer’s method to correct for the “cant’ or blade lean.

    There are all sorts of posts on this form, you can search and read through and YouTube videos for you to view that will help you adjust for the clamping lean associated with your WE100 Screw Type Vice.  Both getting your stone pressure and technique even from side to side and correcting for the clamping lean is necessary to eventually get you bevels equal height.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #42575

    AlieN
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Thanks for the reply Marc. I’ll investigate the cant and see what difference that makes to the evenness of my bevels.

     

    AlieN

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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