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Shiny Edge

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  • #47473
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    This may sound silly, but I really like the look of knife with an edge that has a nice shine or glint to it.

    I currently own the stones that are 1500 grit and on the opposite side I have the diamond lapping film (6 micron).

    I also have the 14mu/10mu and the 3.5mu/5mu stones with the gels.

    So, once I’ve finished sharpening a knife and it’s time to put a shiny edge on it, what’s going to give me the best look?

    Faithfully yours,

    FaithfulPastor

    #47478
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2148

    I would follow: 1500 diamond, 6µ DLF, then 14µ, 10µ, 5µ, then 3.5µ strops.  If you have spent enough time, effort and attention to detail with the diamond stones through the 1500 grit, there’s no reason you shouldn’t bring up a shine with the strops.  Remember to lower the angle setting by 1.5-2.0º for the strops.

    If you left bad scratches, from each grit, as you progressed through the diamond stones, you should be able to bring up a shine with the strops, but you may still see the remnants of the scratches in the shine.  It’s like painting a car, or finishing furniture, it’s all in the preparation.  The better job you do as you go through each and every step in your sharpening progression, the better the resulting shine will be at the end.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #47479
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    Thanks Marc,

    So you’re saying it’s not this or that, you’re saying to do both.

    That’s the kind of advice I was wanting to ready…simple, straight forward and easy to follow.

    I’ll try to take a photo under a magnifying glass of my work and post it here.

    FP

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    #47480
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    Here’s the knife I sharpened today.  Hopefully the magnifying glass helped you see the edge more clearly.

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    #47482
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    Is that how the edge looked after sharpening?

    If you follow Marc’s advice and use the full progression that you have access to it should have a pretty good looking mirrored finish.

    #47483
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2148

    Michael, it’s not just one step in the whole process that gives you the shine.  It’s the whole process done well throughout.  In your case if the whole process is done well in the order I suggested, you should see a shiny looking bevel.  That is the part of the “learning curve” with new or newer Wicked Edge users to learn how to do the whole process well and to know when well has been done, “well enough”.  This takes time, practice, and experience.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #47484
    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 28

    Here are “after” photos.

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    #47487
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    Okay, that looks closer to what I would expect. Is it up to the standards of what you had in mind?

    #47500
    James
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 7

    So I have my Spyderco Dragonfly sharpened to 13.5°. I can’t lower my angle any more for stropping. I have been stripping down to .06 microns and have had great results. What is the reasoning behind changing angle for stropping. I’m new to the concept.

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    #47503
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2148

    Welcome to the Wicked Edge Forum James.  The leather stropping medium has “give” to it.  It is a softer substrate and compressible as compared to mediums like the diamond or ceramics stones that are hard and solid, ungiving, incompressible substrates.  The leather tends to compress and wrap up around the steel edge of the knife as you drag the leather strops in the ‘edge trailing’ stropping stroke, up and off the knife edge.  If has been seen in magnified pictures that this stropping action can round off the knife’s apex and sharp cutting edge.  Of course this depends on the steel’s hardness and the amount of pressure applied to the strops during the stropping process.  By lowering the stropping angle it focuses the area of the applied stropping pressure more towards the knife’s bevel shoulder and area behind the knife edge and less so on the actual edge, so the pressure has less tendency to round off the sharpened apex.  It’s accepted that 1-1/2º to 2º lower than the sharpening angle gives most users an acceptable polished bevel and refined knife edge and apex with out rounding it off.  Of course, this is individualized depending on the users technique and pressure applied, and also the steel’s hardness.  Different stropping mediums like balsa wood, kangaroo leather, and nano cloth, have different “give” and compressibility so the stropping angle needs to be adjusted relative to these mediums.  1º is considered a good back-off for the stiffer, thinner kangaroo, and 0.0º is suggested for the nanocloth.  The balsa may be one or the other or somewhere in between.  Again, these suggestions need be individualized to your pressure, technique and knife steel.

    Another factor that may also contribute to the rounding off effect seen with the stropping mediums is that the stropping abrasives are externally applied to the stropping medium and not manufactured permanently attached to the substrate or actually a part on the substrate medium itself, like with the ceramics.  The applied stropping abrasives tend to embed, then let go and move, and roll across the stropping medium during the stropping process.

    Here is a link to a YouTube video produced by Cliff Curry, a long time Wicked Edge user, where the concept of stropping is explained by analogy.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #47504
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    Stropping without changing the angle is just fine, but there are some additional considerations. If you are heavy handed with the strops and you don’t reduce the angle then you will alter the edge profile and will put a micro convex on the apex. This makes the very apex a little more obtuse than your previously applied angle and can make the knife feel like it is not as sharp as it was before stropping. Clay has commented that this convex geometry will be more durable than the V-grind you applied with the stones, so that may be desirable for your application. If you are careful to use very light pressure and you don’t change the angle then you can get good results without convexing the apex to a significant degree. What you prefer is a matter of personal taste. Reducing the angle allows you to avoid putting a convex profile on the apex even when using more pressure.

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