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Super and Micro ceramics progression

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  • #6649
    Lukas Pop
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 109

    I am waiting for micro ceramics, now I have 800/1000 diamonds and super ceramics. I think that you have some experimences with micro ceramics already, what progression do you recommend? Micro coarse > 1200 > 1600 > Micro fine, or 1200 > 1600 > Micro coarse > Micro fine? Or it doesn’t matter? I read Clay used progression 600 > Micro coarse > Micro fine, which works well, on the other hand, Scott have 800/1000 diamond, super and micro ceramics, and still think, that adding choseras between super and micro ceramis would be useful, so I am little confused 🙂

    #6666
    cbwx34
    Participant
    • Topics: 57
    • Replies: 1505

    Micro coarse > 1200 > 1600 > Micro fine

    This is what I’ve been doing. I recently lapped my “Micro coarse” stone, but haven’t tried it out enough to see if there’s a difference.

    I think the answer may be to just try them out and see what works for you. (It’s one of the fun advantages of having a variety to try.). 🙂

    #6667
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    Micro coarse > 1200 > 1600 > Micro fine

    This is what I’ve been doing. I recently lapped my “Micro coarse” stone, but haven’t tried it out enough to see if there’s a difference.

    I think the answer may be to just try them out and see what works for you. (It’s one of the fun advantages of having a variety to try.). :)[/quote]

    This is what I have been doing, too. You can see some photographs and experimental results on my blog. It is rather hard to judge the micro stones, because they are so hard and work a bit differently. (Recently Lagrangian posted some very detailed photographs of the Spyderco Sharppmaker stones, which are made by the same manufacturer, on knifeforums. Indeed it seems difficult to judge these stones by means of the size of the scratches they make; apparently they burnish too.)

    In most practical cases using them both is overkill. Throw in some 5K/10K Chosera’s and it is even more overkill. Not to say it’s not fun: I love my Chosera’s, they give a great feedback and they provide a better polish than any other stone I’ve seen. (But if it’s the polish you’re after, some leather strops with a WE paste work great, too.)

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #6676
    Phil Pasteur
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 943

    Indeed it seems difficult to judge these stones by means of the size of the scratches they make; apparently they burnish too.)

    In most practical cases using them both is overkill. Throw in some 5K/10K Chosera’s and it is even more overkill. Not to say it’s not fun: I love my Chosera’s, they give a great feedback and they provide a better polish than any other stone I’ve seen. (But if it’s the polish you’re after, some leather strops with a WE paste work great, too.)

    #6687
    Xbander
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 68

    From what you guys are saying, I would not be using them in the order your describing.
    I would be thinking in this order:
    Let’s start WEPS diamond
    800 = 12.00 Micron,
    WEPS 1000 = 7.00 microns,
    Super Fine Ceramic 1200 = 5.00 microns,
    Super Fine Ceramic 1600 = 2.80 microns,
    then Micro fine ceramic Course = 1.4 microns and last
    Micro Fine Ceramic Fine = .6 micron.
    So based on microns this would be to order I would work the stones.

    Now stropping is a different matter with 5 micron, 3.5 and 1 and .5 micron strops.
    The strop effect is to me not like the stones, it more blending or refining the edge.

    If what I am saying is way out in left field, please tell me more.

    Thanks

    #6688
    cbwx34
    Participant
    • Topics: 57
    • Replies: 1505

    You’re right if you look at the numbers, but the MicroFine Coarse seems to be a bit ‘rougher’ than the 1200/1600 ceramics. For example, take a look a Mark’s blog on this…

    http://moleculepolishing.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/more-on-the-wicked-edge-micro-fine-ceramic-stones/

    Clay did a post where he lapped his, you can read it here…

    http://wickededgeusa.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=28&id=4053&Itemid=63

    After lapping (I’ve done mine, but haven’t messed with it enough yet) the MicroFine coarse seems to fall in line with it’s numbers, so it would be used after the ceramics.

    #6693
    Scott
    Participant
    • Topics: 27
    • Replies: 121

    I suppose this post is for Clay, since he originally posted this chart. It is the Wicked Edge Grit Chart that most here have probably seen, but it is incomplete since the micro fine is not included. So I wondered if it would be possible for Clay to update it with the micro fine in it’s proper order with images.

    http://www.wickededgeusa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=74:grits-comparison-chart-for-the-wicked-edge-sharpener&catid=31:general&Itemid=46

    Thanks

    #6694
    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 123
    • Replies: 2936

    I suppose this post is for Clay, since he originally posted this chart. It is the Wicked Edge Grit Chart that most here have probably seen, but it is incomplete since the micro fine is not included. So I wondered if it would be possible for Clay to update it with the micro fine in it’s proper order with images.

    http://www.wickededgeusa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=74:grits-comparison-chart-for-the-wicked-edge-sharpener&catid=31:general&Itemid=46

    Thanks

    Will do!

    -Clay

    #6697
    Lukas Pop
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 109

    Thank you guys 🙂 Delivery to Czech Republic takes some time 🙁 I will play with different progressions, but it seems that full set of super and microceramic is really overkill, so resulting edges will be very similar and great.
    Mark, do you think that using Micro fine ceramic after 10K Choseras will improve the edge? All the people here claim that 10K Choseras make superbly sharp and polished edges.

    #6704
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    Mark, do you think that using Micro fine ceramic after 10K Choseras will improve the edge? All the people here claim that 10K Choseras make superbly sharp and polished edges.

    That’s a very difficult question to answer :-). I am quite certain the 0.6 micro fine ceramics do improve the edge after the 1600 ceramic stones or the 5K Choseras. However, as you can read on my blog I had some trouble positioning the micro fine ceramics in the entire stone spectrum. The 0.6 micro fine ceramics may improve the edge after the 10K Choseras, but I’m not sure they will. They will probably not improve the polish left by the 10K Choseras.

    That’s all I can make of it for now. I guess the definitive answer will come when Clay posts his new series of edge photographs.

    If you want to improve the edge after the 10K Choseras and be sure it works, I’d suggest stropping with a diamond spray.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #6708
    Phil Pasteur
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 943

    Thank you guys 🙂 Delivery to Czech Republic takes some time 🙁 I will play with different progressions, but it seems that full set of super and microceramic is really overkill….

    Well real dependent on how you define overkill. What is your end goal? There are lots of folks that believe that they get the best edge possible for their application using only up to the 100 Diamonds and stropping with 5/3.5 dimond paste. For them uing any of the ceramics is overkill. There are those of us who simply want to get the most refined edge possible on a given blade. We would say that the fine microfine stone is a prep stone for a bunch of stropping, perhaps down to o.025 micron spray in four or five stages. So for these people both sets of ceramics are required and stopping with all of the ceramics and finishing with the fine microfine stones is Underkill.

    So, what is your goal? If it is to get a highly refined edge with submicron scratches at the edge, as quickly as possible, the full ceramic progresstion is essential. You may get there after a very large amount of strokes with the microfine stones only. But that is very time consuming. You will never get there with just the Superfine stones.

    Mark, do you think that using Micro fine ceramic after 10K Choseras will improve the edge? All the people here claim that 10K Choseras make superbly sharp and polished edges.

    I just got the superfine and microfine stones yesterday. I have been using the diamonds then a Chosera progression. Last night I did a blade using the diamonds 100 through 1000 then the superfine and microfine stones. I had lapped the coarse microfine stone lightly on DMT plates first on the coarse plate then fine. At 100X it seemed to me that there were more scratches remaining and visibly the edge was not quite as bright as the reults that I am used to with the Choseras. Now this does not mean that the knife was not very, very sharp after the Ceramic stones, it was. The chosera stones simply seem to have more of a polishing effect. BTW, when I did this I tried to be consistent with my typical sharpening regime as to number of strokes per grit.

    This is not a rap on the ceramics. I can see using them in progressions where very sharp is quite good enough and I can control my OCD. Actually for many applications, just the Superfine stones after the 1000 Diamonds will be more than sufficient. Just check the sharpening database and see how many people feel that a 1000 grit diamond, with maybe a bit of stropping, is the perfect edge of them.

    Just as a reference, I have a set of 15K Shaptons. I seldom use them when looking for the most relfective surface because they actually seem to dull the bevel compared to the 10K Chosera stones. If I want more polish, I go to the 12K Naniwa Super Stones. These stones have less abrasive content than the Choseras, but lean towards more polish. I would classify the results using the Microfine fine stones much closer to the Shapton 15K than the any of the Naniwa stones. Tom would undoubtedly say this is a good thing !

    Now this is just one knife that happened to be S30V. I don’t think S30V polishes nor takes as fine an edge as many other steels. I intend to try this out again with some good old AUS8A or 1095 both of which seem to do better in these areas. Will let you all know what I see.

    So the question here is, what do you mean by “improve the edge“?? Both progressions yeild a very sharp knife. What other criteria do you have for edge improvement? If it is the ultimate in edge refinement with no scratches visible at 800X, I would think that you have to go beyond either of these progressions to some submicron stropping materials.

    Phil

    #6709
    Lukas Pop
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 109

    Thanks for elaborate answer.

    So the question here is, what do you mean by “improve the edge”??

    “Improve” means two things for me:
    1. “Sharpness” – how well the edge can do some push – cutting tests (push cutting paper, shave hair, whittle hair)
    2.”Polish” – how clear is mirror reflection from the edge.
    Now I use progression 100-1000 diamonds < 1200 and 1600 super ceramics < 5 and 3.5 um leather strops. And I think that each step improves both sharpness and polish.

    If it is the ultimate in edge refinement with no scratches visible at 800X, I would think that you have to go beyond either of these progressions to some submicron stropping materials.

    Yes, I think that stropping is irreplaceable, and it produces polish unattainable with stones. The sharpness after 3.5 leather strops seems to be also better than after 1600 super ceramics. But strops are soft, and therefore not so "precise" as stones, so stropping can lead to rounding the edge, which reduces sharpness. So I recommend to progress to the finest stone available, and then you will need less strokes with strops.

    We would say that the fine microfine stone is a prep stone for a bunch of stropping, perhaps down to o.025 micron spray in four or five stages.

    If I look at pictures at Grits Comparison Chart http://www.wickededgeusa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=74:grits-comparison-chart-for-the-wicked-edge-sharpener&catid=31:general&Itemid=46 , I can't say that the edge after 0.25 um diamond spray looks better than after 5 um diamond paste. So It doesn't seem to me that stropping with many different sizes of diamonds pastes and sprays has any visible effect.

    So, what is your goal? If it is to get a highly refined edge with submicron scratches at the edge, as quickly as possible, the full ceramic progresstion is essential. You may get there after a very large amount of strokes with the microfine stones only. But that is very time consuming.

    It seems that grit sizes of 1200 super, 1600 super and coarse micro are very similar, so I think that using only coarse micro can't take distinctly more time than all of them.

    Then I think there are three "similar fine" stones: fine micro ceramics, 10K Choseras and 15K Shaptons. I haven't experience with either, but according other people on this forum it seems to me that:
    1. Waterstones have better "feedback" during sharpening
    2. Choseras are the most messy, micro the least
    3. Choseras produce the best polish, polish of Shaptons and micro ceramics is similar
    4. All three stones produce similar sharpness
    5. Micro ceramics are the least expensive, then Choseras, then Shaptons (I take 5K + 15 K Shaptons + blank paddles, this combination should be similar to micro ceramics set)
    So micro ceramics look quite fine for me, but it depends what your preferences are.

    This is how I understand different abrasives now 🙂

    #6711
    Scott
    Participant
    • Topics: 27
    • Replies: 121

    Not to complicate an already somewhat complicated topic, there is at least one other set of dynamics you can add which may not be easily quantifiable. That is the amount of pressure and stroke dynamics such as direction you drag the stone over the metal and of course how many strokes per stone.

    I guess that is why knife sharpening is frequently referred to as an art.

    #6714
    Lukas Pop
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 109

    Not to complicate an already somewhat complicated topic, there is at least one other set of dynamics you can add which may not be easily quantifiable. That is the amount of pressure and stroke dynamics such as direction you drag the stone over the metal and of course how many strokes per stone.

    I guess that is why knife sharpening is frequently referred to as an art.

    Stroke direction is a good point. And you can use different directions with different stones :). There exists general agreement and I can confirm that best results are with very light pressure. Number of strokes should be sufficient to remove scratches from previous stone, more strokes shouldn’t significantly affect the results. But number of strokes may be important in case of stropping or creating toothy microbevel.

    #6715
    Geocyclist
    Participant
    • Topics: 25
    • Replies: 524

    Luka,
    Thanks for the summary. This is a good list of pros/cons of the stones.

    Scott,

    Excellent point about pressure. I think it is possible (not always the case) that too much pressure can make the edge worse. Using light pressure can be good, but it you don’t do enough strokes you may not get the desired result (and incorrectly think as a result the stones don’t work as well as they really can).

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