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Sharpening Progressions

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Sharpening Progressions

This topic contains 14 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Lenny 01/08/2019 at 3:30 pm.

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  • #48935

    Lenny
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    • Topics: 5
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    I’m wondering what are some of your preferred sharpening progressions and for what applications you use them for.

    I’n general, I won’t omit abrasives of a certain grit if I have that abrasive in my collection and I started with an abrasive of the same class. That is, I won’t omit the 600 grit diamond stones and jump to the 800 ones if I started with something at least as coarse as the 400 grit diamond stones. However, I will omit classes of abrasives in a given progression.

    If sharpening a nice pocket knife I’ll pick the finest diamond stone I feel can use to set the bevel with a reasonable amount of work, work up to the 1500 grit stone, and then finish with the 6, 3, and 1 micron films. I’ve been experimenting with stropping with the 14/10 balsa strops after the 1500 but I’m not sure if I feel it makes much of a difference.

    However, for a beater kitchen knife I would probably stop at 1000, do a few passes with the super fine ceramics, and finish with 14/10 micron balsa. I even feel a little iffy about the relative value of time spent with the ceramics in this progression.

    #48939

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
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    I sharpen my cheap kitchen knives with 100 , 200, 400, 600, and 800 diamonds and then strop with 4 / 2 micron progression on leather. The edge is a bit toothy. My EDC knives usually get a very similar treatment.

    For my better knifes I have been giving them a full progression of diamond stones up to 1500, 1.4, 0.6 micron ceramics and 14, 10, 4, 2, 1, 0.5 micron progression on leather strops. This leaves a very refined edge especially good for push cutting applications. I’ll sometimes skip the ceramics and go from the 1500 grit diamond to a progression of lapping films (6, 3, 1.5 micron) before the strops. The end result is similar, but the polish is probably better.

    I’ve never tried the large grit jumps that many sharpeners use. For example, I often see people do something like 500 grit, 2000 grit, 6000 grit with water stones for their kitchen knives.

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    #48941

    Lenny
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    How long have you been using your micro fine ceramics?

     

    Yes, I’ve noticed that too. I think a lot of water stones use a coarser grit rating for a given numeric value, for example, the 1000 grit WE stone sits between the 5000 and 8000 grit Shapton according to the grit comparison table.

    #48942

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 57
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    I believe some people want to try use every grit and every medium they own trying to figure out how to put them in an order of logical decreasing coarseness based on a grit table.  Different mediums have different characteristics and they all don’t work well together.  (Sometimes you have to choose one or the other.  This is where experience comes in.)  I do use a sequence of decreasing coarseness or increasing grit number, and generally I don’t skip a grit in the same medium sequence, as Lenny said

    Based on my experiences:

    Diamond stones > Strops

    Diamonds > Ceramics > Strops

    Diamonds > Lapping Films > Strops

    Whetstones > Strops

    I have found, for me, ceramics and lapping films don’t work well together in any sequence…one or the other; ceramics or lapping films.

    Diamond lapping films are IMO nothing more then very fine grit diamond stones. They can improve and refine sharpness and also improve polish by nature of their fine grit.

    Ceramics can improve and refine sharpness and can also improve polish.  It depends on how you look at it and see the results.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #48951

    Organic
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    I’ve had the micro-fine ceramics for about 9 months or so. I really like them as a long wearing alternative to the more rapidly consumable diamond lapping films. The films produce a shiny mirrored finish (with defined scratches visible in some lighting) with minimal effort because the diamonds cut very efficiently. The ceramics don’t work as quickly and impart hazy looking reflective bevels, but the edge is crisp and aggressive feeling nonetheless.

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    #48956

    Lenny
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    Have you noticed any break in with them like in the super fine ceramics (if you have used those stones)?

    #48957

    Lenny
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 22

    I believe some people want to try use every grit and every medium they own trying to figure out how to put them in an order of logical decreasing coarseness based on a grit table. Different mediums have different characteristics and they all don’t work well together. (Sometimes you have to choose one or the other. This is where experience comes in.) I do use a sequence of decreasing coarseness or increasing grit number, and generally I don’t skip a grit in the same medium sequence, as Lenny said Based on my experiences: Diamond stones > Strops Diamonds > Ceramics > Strops Diamonds > Lapping Films > Strops Whetstones > Strops I have found, for me, ceramics and lapping films don’t work well together in any sequence…one or the other; ceramics or lapping films. Diamond lapping films are IMO nothing more then very fine grit diamond stones. They can improve and refine sharpness and also improve polish by nature of their fine grit. Ceramics can improve and refine sharpness and can also improve polish. It depends on how you look at it and see the results.

     

    Yes, that has been my experience as well with the ceramics and films and not just on the WE. I find that the lapping films are the most consistent medium. I also feel they give the closest thing to a true V Bevel as we can get since they are glass backed.

    #48958

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 57
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     I find that the lapping films are the most consistent medium. I also feel they give the closest thing to a true V Bevel as we can get since they are glass backed.

    I believe the “true V Bevel” you like and see is the results of your entire efforts of good technique, time and attention to details, not any one step in general.  It’s not until you reach the culmination, while using the lapping films, do you see the true fruits of your labor.  Enjoy the reward.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #48959

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
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    Have you noticed any break in with them like in the super fine ceramics (if you have used those stones)?

    I do not have the super fine ceramics, only the micro fine ceramics.

    #48960

    Lenny
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 22

    I find that the lapping films are the most consistent medium. I also feel they give the closest thing to a true V Bevel as we can get since they are glass backed.

    I believe the “true V Bevel” you like and see is the results of your entire efforts of good technique, time and attention to details, not any one step in general. It’s not until you reach the culmination, while using the lapping films, do you see the true fruits of your labor. Enjoy the reward.

    I think that having good technique and attention to detail is needed but while looking at many of my diamond stones they are clearly not flat. Not hugely concave or convex, but noticeably not flat. I don’t see this issue with my lapping film blanks.

    #48961

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 57
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    I think that having good technique and attention to detail is needed but while looking at many of my diamond stones they are clearly not flat. Not hugely concave or convex, but noticeably not flat. I don’t see this issue with my lapping film blanks.

    Knife sharpeners have been finely sharpening knives with all kinds of mediums, by free hand, for ever.  Back to a rock.  After using the Wicked Edge with it’s fixed angle precision, I think we over emphasize the need for perfectly smooth and flat sharpening mediums and sometimes blame these imperfections for our results.  We are not using damaged, broken and distinctly misshaped stones.  When we identify these bad surfaces we avoid them and replace them.  Every medium is off somewhere and somewhat, and every one is off a little differently from the next one.  These little differences form stone to stone, and grit to grit, balance out.  Our sharpening efforts are a process.  The results are the sum of good methods and technique and proper attention to detail.  If the noticeably not flat stones, these beginning coarser grits, didn’t work well the diamond lapping films wouldn’t be able to bring out these “V” shaped flat shiny bevels you want.   The end starts at the beginning!

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #48962

    Lenny
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    • Topics: 5
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    I don’t disagree with that at all and this is not my first sharpening method. This is why I say that the glass backed lapping films produce what is closest to a true V bevel.

    #48963

    Organic
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    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 820

    Diamond lapping films on glass are the closest thing to a perfectly flat sharpening medium that I’m aware of. That is not to say that the WE diamond plates don’t work well and aren’t close to flat as well. People generally use very fine grit films that don’t remove a lot of material, so you won’t get nicely V-ground bevels with the films unless the bevels are already close to perfectly V-ground before you switch to the films.

    I suppose you could use coarse films as well and do the entire sharpening with film on glass, but that would get expensive (Jende Industries sells films as coarse as 80 grit).

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    #48965

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 57
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    If you want a closeup view at the bevels that the different stones mediums produce, check out this old thread. It was a good one and has some very cool microscope images from Clay.

    This linked thread in Organics quote is a very long thread, (10 pages in all), and thorough discussion including high powered microscopic examinations and photographs, done by Clay, of different mediums and grits and their resulting scratch patterns.  This should help enlighten you so you can hopefully find it easier to make your own informed decisions which medium and which order to use them in, to achieve your ideal sharpening/polishing progression.

    I am posting this here from another current thread because it is just as pertinent to this topic as the other.  It is well worth saving as a “favorite” to revisit it and reread it at your leisure.  It was a tremendous, time consuming, effort and contribution made by Clay, the owner and creator of Wicked Edge.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #48966

    Lenny
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
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    Yeah, I think that the plates are pretty flat and produce something close enough to a v bevel to let the films take care of the rest. Of course, a bevel doesnt have to be V cut in the first place to be sharp.

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