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Stone/compound and grind question…

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  • #45681
    P2Labs
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    All,

    I haven’t seen a succinct answer so I’m hoping someone can help me with two quick questions…

    Question #1 – Progression:

    I’m wondering in exactly what order the stones are used.  I understand the grit progression from coarse to fine (and also the progression of diamond emulsion/paste micron ratings). However, I’m confused as to whether diamond emulsion is better than paste for strops and where the “coarser” emulsions fit in with relation to the Micro fine ceramic stones. Can anyone advise the complete range of stones/emulsions/paste to use (in correct order)?

    Question #2 FFG:

    Is there a reliable way of clamping full flat ground blades? I know people have suggested tape but that doesn’t sound too repeatable to me (or am I assuming the worst)?

    • This topic was modified 2 years ago by P2Labs.
    #45683
    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2908

    Welcome to the Wicked Edge. Here is an article from our knowledge base that addresses you question in some detail: https://howto.wickededgeusa.com/knowledge-base/sharpening-grit-progression-for-all-wicked-edge-abrasives/. It might be overly comprehensive but should help to provide some background understanding of the grits available. Hopefully people will jump in with the actual progressions they like to use as well.

    -Clay

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    #45684
    P2Labs
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    Clay,

    That’s perfect. I have a ton of reading to do (so many options).

    Any tips/pointers on the FFG question?

    #45685
    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 397

    Hello and welcome, I don’t know what stones and mediums you posses but I like emulsions over the pastes or the sprays. The pastes work well but the emulsions perform better and last longer for me. I like kangaroo leather strops but leather works very well.

    Your progression, or order, is up to you and what you find acceptable. The term acceptable will change very quickly with time and a little effort.

    Your starting place is to follow your grit progressions by grit and see what your results are. This is one good reason to start with inexpensive and replaceable knives.

    IE  Ceramic stones are an exception and don’t follow a standard grit progression.

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    #45686
    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2908

    Any tips/pointers on the FFG question?

    You should be fine clamping your FFG knives in the Gen 3 Pro jaws without much tinkering since they’re designed to adjust to the grind. If you do find it difficult to clamp a particular blade, try cutting a small square of chamois and wrapping the spine of the blade with it.

    -Clay

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    #45687
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2041

    I’ll be the first to take a crack at it.  I ‘m going to lay it out in theory and not give you a black and white answer.

    The grits are all different depending on the medium, (e.g., diamond stone, ceramics stones, whetstones, diamond lapping films, and stropping compounds).  Yes they follow an order of abrasive particle size, large to small, from coarse to fine grit within the same medium, when following a stone progression, low number to higher number.  Within the same medium the scratch patterns are the most similar and generally decrease in size of the visible scratches, depth of the visible scratches and distance or spacing between the visible scratches as you decrease in grit.  Different mediums can have stones of the same described grit size, (e.g. 1000 grit diamond stone and 1000 grit whetstone), but the same called grit size will vary  greatly in appearance and resulting scratch pattern, depending on the medium. That is the size, depth and spacing of the scratch pattern will be very different.

    The resulting scratch size, depth and pattern is what I use to determine my order of stone use.  This I learned from following the suggestions of others before me, on this forum.  As I gained experience and utilized visual aids like a USB microscope I was able to see for myself the resulting scratch patterns and I used this experience to decide how best to utilize the different grits of different mediums, in my resulting progression.

    The order of the mediums used is determined by what you’re trying to achieve.  A good sharp working edge will deserve one order of abrasive mediums whereas a highly polished blade more for show will get another set of abrasives.

    When you progress from one medium to another it is often helpful to backtrack some in the particle or grit size.  For example if I’m going through 1000 grit diamonds and I’m switching to whetstones I would probably start with a 500 grit whetstone and not a 1000 grit whetstone.

    Some abrasives are not described as grits, (100, 200, 400…1500) but are described my particle size in microns (µ), (15, 6, 3, 1.5).  The particles sizes and grits sizes are consolidated and referenced on the grit comparison table.  Again, like I described above, the scratch pattern of same size particles will vary greatly, visually, from medium to another medium.  It is the blend of the different mediums that give you your desired results and that is “the art” part of knife sharpening.

    In my opinion, you will never do detriment to your sharpening job from stepping back down, too far, in grits when going from one medium to the next.  It may not be helpful and you may waste time but it wont cause you a problem.  Also if you see scratches that you can’t seem to remove usually the best way to clean them up is to go back up a grit step or two and spend more time on the sharpening job.

    The last thing I’ll add is strops are, in every situation I’ve experienced, the final medium step, in the progression of all other mediums.

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #45688
    P2Labs
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    @sksharp – thanks for the info. I received my Gen 3 Pro with 100 through to 1000 diamond, 1200/1600 ceramic and the 4/2 micron diamond emulsion leather strops with the microfine ceramic stones purchased but haven’t arrived yet. I’ve spent hours studying various videos and bolstered with (in)competence have sharpened my first knife – a Benchmade Fact. I realize the low angle adapter will do a better job so have ordered that now too. Edge is fine and sharp but not mirror polished and will have a play on some other knives with more of a flat blade to gain purchase on the knife first. Well, when the bleeding stops on my thumb which had a slight ‘accident’ (carelessness on my part).

    #45689
    P2Labs
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    @MarcH Good to know – I was getting slightly confused with the thought of having to go back to a lower coarseness when the medium changed but it all makes sense now.

    #45692
    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
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    I had at least 2 bandaids on my fingers for the first month I owned my WE!  You won’t get a real nice polish on the first few knives. Your ceramic stones should finish nicely after the 1000 diamond stone then strop. The ceramic stones take quite a little while to break in and you need to take more strokes with the ceramics. I rubbed mine together against each other, like grit against like grit for 10 or 15 min. to speed up the break in but I think mine are still improving so who knows for sure.

    I use the LAA quite a bit. Makes it much easier on some knives.

    Sounds to me like you are well on your way.

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    #45694
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
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    The ceramic stones take quite a little while to break in and you need to take more strokes with the ceramics. I rubbed mine together against each other, like grit against like grit for 10 or 15 min. to speed up the break in but I think mine are still improving so who knows for sure.

    I just want to add this comment to sksharp’s post:   The ceramics stones are the only stones I would say are safe to use this method, (i.e., rubbing the like grit stones sides together).  That method of break-in can be quite damaging to almost all other stone types!

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #45702
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
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    I’ll add my $0.02 to the discussion. The coarse grits on strops don’t really behave like coarse grit on a solid substrate (ceramic, lapping film on glass, diamonds on steel). I use the 14 / 10 set of strops after the 1.4 / 0.6 micron ceramic stones and the result is an increase in observed polish.

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    #45999
    NickedEdge
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
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    You should be fine clamping your FFG knives in the Gen 3 Pro jaws without much tinkering since they’re designed to adjust to the grind. If you do find it difficult to clamp a particular blade, try cutting a small square of chamois and wrapping the spine of the blade with it.

     

    @wickededge,

    Clay is there any reason to think that the chamois could throw the “Center” off in the jaws?

    #46010
    Expidia
    Participant
    • Topics: 46
    • Replies: 334

    I have the latest Gen 3 jaws and use a small strip of blue painters tape on each side of the blade that the jaws touch just so I can rule out anything thicker canting the blade to one side or the other (which is less likely with a gen 3 jaw anyway).  I also use the same blue tape wrapped a few times around on where the blade is attached to the handle to prevent the stones from scratching the handle area when doing any blade especially on folders to also prevent any metal or diamond dust from getting into the piviot area.

    As Organic had suggested to me when my tips and back of the blade needed more work in those areas.  I didnt know if it was from the clamping position of the knife or my inexperienced technique . He said working the stones on the tip and the back end sometimes requires more stone work there.

    If you are going for a mirror finish, it helps greatly to use a lighted $8 10x jeweler’s loupe from Amazon as you progress through the grits and you will catch early the areas that need more work before you go up into finer grits, because I found its harder to get the deeper scratches out once you move up.  If you see an area that has deeper scratches (like the back) you dont have to work the the whole blade. . .   Just lightly rub back and forth on the area and recheck with the loupe before moving on (and don’t use the same area of the stone or you can wear the stone unevenly).  I found my newbie mistake was not staying long enough removing the light scratches from the current grit, before I progressed onto the next finer one.

    The lower the loupe power the wider the field of view is, hence the easier it is to view the edge as you move it along the blade.  And  watch out for your fingers trailing near the super sharp wicked edge.  The loupe is not a paddle, which protects all your fingers if gripped correctly.  A loupe is “small” so several fingers can trail in the air as you move along the blade (ask me how I know this “now” haha) since you are more concerned and focused on looking for scratches while using a loupe.  My 30x loupe is a lot harder to use (field of view wise)  than the 10x.  Just for scratches a 10x or 20x (they sell combos too) is all I’ve found I need.

    I’m just tossing out some early on newbie tips I’ve made even though the experienced members were helping me all along the way.  I’m probably around 20 knives in so far with a system purchase date of 2/22/18 almost 2 months now.  And as your stones wear in more, your surfaces get a lot clearer since they start leaving less scratches with each grit.  Surfaces will look a lot better after 15-20 knives under your belt. The whole grit progression speeds up the more as the stones wear in.   When they are newer they just tend to put in deeper scratches which take longer to remove with the next finer grit.

    Mirror edges start to shape up real nice after using the 1500 grit with a strip of the 6 micron diamond lapping film (my favorite combo).  Moving on through the finer films, diamond pastes or emulsions, diamond sprays on the strops etc. removes the super fine scratches that are hard to see with just your naked eye.

    One other tip: don’t be shy about picking up a pair of the less bulky, thinner style cut resistant gloves like I did .  Especially helpful when you are new and still developing your technique.  Even after you gain experience its easy to cut yourself because you get complacent with what you are doing as your strokes become more automatic and the edge gets sharper and sharper with each grit.

     

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    #46014
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
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    Clay is there any reason to think that the chamois could throw the “Center” off in the jaws?

    Using just a single layer wrapped up around the spine I’ve never seen any indication that the center was being affected by the chamois, and I use chamois with every knife I clamp.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by MarcH.
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    #46016
    NickedEdge
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
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    I’m just tossing out some early on newbie tips I’ve made even though the experienced members were helping me all along the way. ….One other tip: don’t be shy about picking up a pair of the less bulky, thinner style cut resistant gloves like I did . Especially helpful when you are new and still developing your technique. Even after you gain experience its easy to cut yourself because you get complacent with what you are doing as your strokes become more automatic and the edge gets sharper and sharper with each grit.

     

    Expi,

    Grateful for the tips, really. Particularly the one about gloves, I’m a klutz as it is!😜

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