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USB Microscopes question.

Recent Forums Main Forum USB Microscopes question.

This topic contains 21 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  airscapes 09/08/2019 at 11:10 am.

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  • #51818

    Tommie
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 18

    Well…my Gen 3 Pro should be showing up any day now. I’m looking into all the accessories that I might enjoy using and right now I’m researching USB microscopes. What brand and model is the most highly recommended? I’ve looked at the Din-O-Lite, Celestron and Carson scopes so far. I want to purchase something that will get the job done and not wish I had bought something different down the road. What is the groups most recommended brand and model? By the way…….I’ll be using it on a Mac computer.

    #51819

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1855

    The necessity for Mac compatibility may both limit and help determine your selections.  I’d shop Amazon.  I’m still using the very first and least expensive USB scope I ever purchased.                A Plugable model.  I’ve tried 5 or 6 others and keep going back to this one.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #51822

    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 101

    I use mine with my MacBook and it works fantastic and cheap, a must have

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XNYXQHE/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    #51823

    Tommie
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 18

    Thanks Richard. I’ve been doing a lot of research on these scopes, and this one seems to always be in the top tier in ratings.

    #51824

    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 183

    For the price you can’t go wrong!  Even if you didn’t use for sharpening (which you will) it is worth having as you will fine other uses. On the low power setting it works great for removing splinters!!!

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #51825

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1855

    Tommie, just to be clear, which ever model scope you settle on….they all take time and practice to learn to use them so it’s easy for you and you can understand what you’re looking at.  All the scopes have a focusing ring that is pretty much right where you’ll want to hold the scope.  Learning to hold and use the scope while holding it around the focus ring so not to disrupt the fine focus is a challenge.  Those of us using the many different models have adapted our methods we find we like the best.

    For instance, I prefer to use my scope usually on the high power and view the bevel and apex from the sides.  I’m looking at the scratch pattern and how it interfaces the apex, that is the knife edge.  I believe Tom “tcmeyer” and Ed K. “notsharpenuff” prefer to view the apex from the top looking down onto the bevels.  They’re inspecting for reflected defects.

    Just like our sharpening techniques we all develop our own techniques for using our USB scope as an inspection tool.  Figuring out your preference is all part of fun and another aspect of the “learning curve”.  I hope that soon using the scope will be second nature for you.  Enjoy it.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #51826

    Tommie
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 18

    Thanks Marc. I’ve been sharpening knives for a long time. I just turned 64 years old and am retired. I’ll have plenty of time to practice using both the WE and the scope. Of course I have never had a system like the WE, so it will definitely be a learning process.

    We have a lot of kitchen knives that need a lot of work. I was looking at some of them today, and some seem to not even have an edge one one side of the blade. Looks like a lot of rep-profiling in my future. The scope will get plenty of use.

    #51828

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1855

    Tommie we’re here to try to help you.

    I have profiled knives that were made at the factory with only one beveled side.  Those were old inexpensive knives.  I also own knives that are also beveled on one side.  Those are high end, quality chef’s knives, made for a specific duty like boning.

    If you’re in question about what your working with, post a photo.  There’s usually someone here who can help.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #51829

    Tommie
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 18

    Marc, the knives I’m talking about are Wuesthof knives. We have had this set for many years and they have mostly been sharpened on the hand held ceramic sharpener that Wuesthof sells. I’ll try to get some pics and post them. I ended up going with a Dino-Lite USB Microscope. I hope it does the job.  🙂

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  Tommie.
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    #51835

    NotSharpEnuff
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 71

    Tommie,

    I’ve added some pictures to show what I look for in the reflected light when shooting straight down onto the edge.  I used my pluggable scope at the highest magnification.

    The first set is my Spyderco PM2 I sharpened two weeks ago.  I drew a red line where I tested the edge and then shot three pictures of the bevel – Right, straight down, left.

    The next set of pictures is our kitchen work horse.  I sharpened it last weekend and the BESS score was around 150.  Tonight it tested at 316 but it gets used every day for almost every meal.  I took the same pictures – right, straight down, left.

    I did the same thing, drew a line at the test point and shot the microscope pictures there.

    Not sure these pictures do justice to the visible difference between the edges I see on the computer screen.  Just realize that the ultimate goal is to not have any light reflected from the edge when looking straight down with the scope.

    Ed K.

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    #51841

    NotSharpEnuff
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 71

    These are the pictures of the kitchen work horse.

    Ed K.

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    #51851

    Tommie
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 18

    Thanks for the pictures Ed. I never realized how rough knife edges looked until I started looking at all the microscope pics on here. What is a good bevel degree for most kitchen knives?  As you can see in my pics above, my kitchen knives appear to have very little bevel.

    Tommie

    #51854

    NotSharpEnuff
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 71

    Tommie,

    There are many variables in setting a bevel angle. Your question goes to the science of sharpening.  Steel quality, blade geometry, and knife usage all need to be considered.  Because the kitchen knife in the picture above sees lots of usage and is used for slicing bread as well as chopping raw carrots, I have settled on 17DPS.  I’ve added the last picture I took after sharpening.  You’ll notice, I don’t spend a lot of time going for super polish.

    In the pic from January, I only went to 600 grit and the BESS numbers are under 200.  This last weekend, I only used my new 2200 stones to break them in. I spent about 20 minutes at 17DPS before I got to the apex and quit.

    I hope some other forum members who do a lot of kitchen knives will weigh in with how they choose a bevel  angle.

    Ed K.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  NotSharpEnuff. Reason: Added one comment
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    #51858

    NotSharpEnuff
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 71

    While I have time, I want to post some pictures of my pluggable scope.  Since I hold the scope tight to the edge and rotate looking at the sides as well as straight down, I’ve worn a groove in the clear plastic shield.  Base on a post from tcmeyer, I now wrap the shield with UHMW TAPE 19-20A-.5-18 Tape.

    Once the new layer of UMHW tape is in place, I wrap it tight with blue painters tape.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5G0Z8Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    For those just starting with the scope, you might want to take preemptive measures.

    Ed K.

     

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    #51863

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1855

    Tommie, 20 degrees per side, (dps), is a good average bevel angle to start with.  I believe this is tcmeyer’s mainstay.   After beginning with this bevel angle you can monitor the edge durability, longevity and knife performance to guide you to tune the bevel angle more to your liking and expectations.

    New knife science applied studies suggest that a knife may be able to do just as well with a narrower bevel then we once thought.  This is part of the reason that Ed K utilizes 17 dps as his mainstay angle.  I follow this new theory direction, too.

    Some users follow the path using a marker to determine the existing knife’s sharpened bevel and match this angle as their starting place.  That way you’ll simply be sharing the edge that’s there as opposed to removing more steel as you low-profile the bevel.

    You can do web searches and sometimes find the factory recommended angles.  There is a user submitted chart in the W.E. Knowledge Base with suggested sharpening knife settings that W.E. sharpener users have utilized and shared.

    Basically, thinner knives with harder steels can support more acute bevel angles.  There’s a balance to be attempted.  The wider the bevel the more applied edge pressure is necessary to push the knife edge through what it’s cutting.  This extra applied force needed in turn wears the knife edge down easier.  Thinner more acute knife bevels can penetrate and pass through what they’re cutting with less applied force.  The balance that must be struck is, is the steel hard and tough enough to support the thinner narrower more acute bevel with out folding or rolling over under knife edge use.  Harder steels are more brittle and this steel usually breaks or chips off as the knife edge wears as opposed to rolling or folding.

    What ever angle you choose to apply, be sure to record the clamping and sharpening settings to more easily facilitate touch ups and bevel angle profile adjustments you may decide to try.

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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