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Stropping/burr removal after every stone?

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  • #42192
    Mark76
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    • Topics: 179
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    On another forum there is currently a thread on when to strop. Quite a few people strop (or at least remove their burrs) after every stone. I’ve never stropped after every stone, although I usually do try to remove the burr after every stone.

    Are there more people here who strop after every stone? And does it have any effect on the quality of your edges?

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #42193
    Dennis Hibar
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
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    Read through that and one person there does exactly what I do.  I only strop after my sharpening progression.  However, I run a felt block across the edge after every stone / film.

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    #42194
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 2026

    I almost never strop to remove a burr, but I will use one or two very light, alternating strokes using both stones in the same grit to remove any burr for inspection by microscope.  Burrs show up as a white line along the apex and make it difficult to discriminate between a dull spot or a burr.

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    #42196
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
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    I end each grit with alternating edge leading strokes.  Like TCMeyers I inspect with the USB Microscope and can visually see the clear apex with no evident burr.  I strop only at the end.  The leather stropping is the biggest contributor to my sharp edges.  The sharp feel and cutting ability improves dramatically after stropping.

    From time to time I will use a felt block between stones if I’m having trouble viewing my bevel and apex.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #42197
    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
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    Like TCMeyers I inspect with the USB Microscope and can visually see the clear apex with no evident burr.

    MarcH and tcmeyer (or anyone else who wants to chime in), what have you found to be the lowest magnification you can use where you can still clearly see the burr but that isn’t so high that the very shallow depth of field takes much longer to scan the edge during each grit?

    Do you do this with the microscope hand-held (which would be even harder at high magnification) or is the microscope in some sort of jig to make it easier to hold stable?

    #42198
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
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    graphite, I always use the microscope hand-held.  I set the focus, (high power) to work with the microscope hand-held flat against the bevel and by ever so slightly leaning it in or out at the top, bottom or sides that changes the focal length just enough to focus clearly on most every knife I use it with.  Every so often I might need to turn the focus ring if I knock it out of range.  I have applied a piece of tape over the focus ring to keep it from easily moving.  I prefer to leave it set on high power.

    I do a fairly thorough “before sharpening” scan down the bevel length on both sides to see exactly what I’m dealing with and to find any particularly bad spots.  This is very helpful especially when sharpening a knife I don’t own or have never seen before.  I usually sharpen knives given”carte blanche”.  I decide after inspecting what I believe is the best way to attack it, apply the best working edge for that knife.  Sometimes I’ll mark a bad spot with a sharpie dot on the side of the knife to make it easier to find the area for inspecting at high power.

    Depending what I’m doing determines how much scanning and viewing I need to do with the scope.  The first grits get the most detailed scanning and viewing as this is when I’m establishing the new bevel and bevel angle.  Once I have the angle set and I determine I have an even continuous bevel on both sides, I do not scan the entire length of the bevel from then on. I only spot check at the heel, the tip and about 3 or 4 spots in between  along both sides.  I chose a different area to spot check as I continue to sharpen.

    Through time and experience I have found that works well for me.  I believe the feel, feed back, through the handles and the sound made while sliding the handles along the bevel tell me a lot about the quality of my progress.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #42199
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    It’s an interesting concept. I’ve always done stropping at the end of the progression. If I’m bored one of these days I’ll give it a try.

    #42202
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
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    Their use of the term stropping is different then our stropping.  Our’s is a finishing step to set the edge at the end of all our sharpening steps.  They do an edge trailing stroke with a smooth yet abrasive medium such as news paper to remove the burr left from the last grit stone they used.  They’re feeling is if you don’t remove it then, the burr carries on till the end when you may not be able to remove it.  They call it stropping because of the direction of the stroke, edge trailing, and the deburring medium used.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #42204
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 2026

    Like TCMeyers I inspect with the USB Microscope and can visually see the clear apex with no evident burr.

    MarcH and tcmeyer (or anyone else who wants to chime in), what have you found to be the lowest magnification you can use where you can still clearly see the burr but that isn’t so high that the very shallow depth of field takes much longer to scan the edge during each grit? Do you do this with the microscope hand-held (which would be even harder at high magnification) or is the microscope in some sort of jig to make it easier to hold stable?

    Check out my video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5zYbCpLwcQ

    It shows exactly how I use the ‘scope in the hand-held mode.  I use the lower of the two magnifications which focus on the plane of the ‘scope shroud.

    On my monitor (21″ I think) I get about 50X magnification.  It will also focus there at 157X, but it’s a PITA to find and hold a clear image.  That said, if you’re looking for really, really perfect edges, you’ll need a bit more magnification.  The solution for me is to take two to three times as many strokes at every grit stage (beginning with 400 grit if you have to go down that far) as you would to achieve a mirror edge.

    At first mounting a blade, I inspect it with the ‘scope to identify the worst point of damage.  This tells me what grit I have to start at.  This morning I clamped up a chef’s knife I use a lot and was prepared to start at 400 grit, as I could see extensive damage without a visual aide (light reflected by irregularities along the edge).  On inspection with the ‘scope I saw that it was a 20 dps microbevel that was looking ugly and it only took a couple of light strokes with my 1000-grit stones to renew the edge.

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