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Using 50/80 stones

This topic contains 36 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Pat 10/16/2019 at 6:29 pm.

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  • #51297

    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 22
    • Replies: 21

    I recently purchased the 50/80 grit stones.

    They seem really, really coarse and look like they can remove a lot of metal quickly, which can be both good and bad.

    Are there any tutorial videos out there that specifically address these coarse stones?

    Also, if you have any advice to pass along, I’d be glad to read it.

    Faithfully Yours,

    FP

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #51298

    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 192

    I also bought them and used them once.  There was a big hunk of diamond stuck on the 80 grit stone that scratched the knife below the bevel before I realized what was going on, lucky it was a junker kitchen knife.   The are very aggressive and would guess they need a lot of breakin time.  My knife had a couple of bad spots in the steel so the really ended up making the small chip a canyon as the metal was porous.  That was not the fault of the stone but it is very very aggressive and I was only using the 80 side.. maybe break it in on some bar stock a little..

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    #51299

    Alan
    Participant
    • Topics: 15
    • Replies: 202

    I have these stones and yes they are aggressive; that is their purpose.  I don’t use them often, but love that they are at my disposal when I need them, which is most always to reprofile a knife.

    Alan

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #51301

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1884

    Michael, the 50/80 are coarse and aggressive as intended.  I tend to use them most often with a scrubbing up-down-up-down stroke, one knife side at a time, when I know I need to remove a lot of steel.  Due to their limited use it requires a long time to break these coarse stones in well unless you do as suggested by “airscapes” and clamp a flat bar of steel stock in your W.E. vise and have-at-it awhile to knock down or off the very large coarse grit particles. If you use the steel bar to break in the 50/80’s be sure to run the stones up and off the bar while maintaining constant contact between the steel and the stone to break in the entire stone’s length right up to the very edges.  Then flip the stone end for end and repeat on the other end.

    I seldom use the 50/80 grit intentionally as my first choice.  I always try the 100 grit stone first, when I know I need to remove a lot of steel.  I only step down to the 50/80 grit when I find the 100 grit is not removing steel fast enough with little or no effort.  Like “airscapes” said, until you have broken in the 50/80 grits I suggest you exercise care on your expensive or good steel knives.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #51314

    Readheads
    Participant
    • Topics: 20
    • Replies: 237

    My feeling is that at this price point, the diamond paddles should be broken in at the factory. How hard can it be under a controlled rubbing machine. Why should we have to do it ? I am thinking of replacing my 100 grit paddles (most aggressive use) and to tell you the truth it pisses me off that I would have to “break them in”, us amateurs do NOT have time for that. Give me a broken in 100 grit plate that I can stick on and move on. I would pay the same price, it’s just a value prop. Do my diamond films need to be broken in ? I would hope not.

    Clay, what say you?

    #51324

    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 93

    My feeling is that at this price point, the diamond paddles should be broken in at the factory. How hard can it be under a controlled rubbing machine. Why should we have to do it ? I am thinking of replacing my 100 grit paddles (most aggressive use) and to tell you the truth it pisses me off that I would have to “break them in”, us amateurs do NOT have time for that. Give me a broken in 100 grit plate that I can stick on and move on. I would pay the same price, it’s just a value prop. Do my diamond films need to be broken in ? I would hope not. Clay, what say you?

    I can see your point of contention, but speaking for myself, I see breaking in new stones as a chance to practice and hopefully better my technique. I was tempted to offer you my properly broken in 100 stones for a set of new ones, but I fear that’d piss you off! Consider instead that for Clay to offer “broken in” stones, he would have to add to the processing during manufacture and that would increase the cost all around.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #51328

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1884

    I share Brewbears sentiments.  Besides breaking in your stones being a sort of forced learning period, I feel it’s a kind of right of passage all us Wicked Edge users share in common.   Like a sort of initiation that we all have experienced.

    I think that breaking in our own stones they are individualized to the sharpening styles and methods we each employ.  After breaking in my first set of stones while learning how to use the W.E. properly, each new stone I have broken in since, has been far quicker and much easier then the first set.  I believe we are more aware of what feel we expect and realize much sooner in the break in process how to work better with the young fresh stones.  For me it’s not really a problem but rather something I enjoy.

    I work with the new grit stone then switch to the old, same grit stone, to finish up the edge in the progression, before moving on.  That way I get to break in my new grit stone and still have the results I prefer.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #51332

    Michael Blakley
    Participant
    • Topics: 22
    • Replies: 21

    What started this is that I was trying to sharpen a knife that was on need of major work and a few hours of work seemed to accomplish nothing.

    So I got the 50-80 stones.  Thanks to the advice from this forum, I used only the 80 grit.  I rubbed the 80 grit sides together gently for 3 minutes washed them and repeated the process.

    I started using the 80 grit slowly. Using the sharpie ink on the bevel. Wow. It chewed the metal insanely fast.

    I went to the 100 grit once it looked like I had an even bevel on both sides. An hour later the knife was paper cutting sharp.

     

    Thanks everyone!

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    #51333

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1884

    Michael, I’m glad it worked for you.  I’m sorry your thread got taken off on a tangent.

    Just so you know rubbing diamond stones together, especially the very coarse diamond stones is strictly not recommended.  That is a way to easily damage the plating and ruin the stones.  The methods we recommended using the diamond stones on a piece of flat bar steel or simply using them on knives till they are broken in are the best and only ways to break in new diamond stones.  Particularly these very coarse 50/80 grit stones.

    The only W.E. stones that rubbing together the stones is ever employed with, is for the ceramic stones to remove the residue left on the ceramics surface the from firing them in the kiln when manufactured.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #51352

    Readheads
    Participant
    • Topics: 20
    • Replies: 237

    Rubbish – LOL

    So, how are we supposed to know when they are broken in fully tip to toe. Also, how are we supposed to know when we should replace them.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #51376

    Expidia
    Participant
    • Topics: 39
    • Replies: 282

    The 50/80’s are great stones.  They make fast work of raising a burr especially using them on premium (hard) steels.  90% of the time I only use the 8o’s.  Trying to raise a burr on premium steels with the 100’s can take me 45 min to an hour sometimes on that first side.  Premium steels also microchip easily so I tend not to use the 50’s for that reason.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #51377

    Dwight Glass
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 46

    From redheads: So, how are we supposed to know when they are broken in fully tip to toe. Also, how are we supposed to know when we should replace them.

     

    If I can get the edge of a knife to catch on the body of a “Sharpie”, after it has been sharpened with only the 50 or 80 grit, that stone is “broke in”.

    I replace my diamond stones when the diamonds are gone, worn off.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #51380

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 1852

    I’m sure that diamond stones (actually plates) are shipped “as plated” because any “breaking-in process” would leave the plates looking used.  Virtually all customers expect to see pristine plates when they receive them.  Breaking-in a set of stones can be a relatively quick process if you know what you’re doing.

    First, please understand that the plating process anchors a matrix of abrasive particles to the steel substrate.  To make sure the entire surface is laden with abrasive, there is an abundance of particles applied, probably several particle thicknesses deep.  The intent is that during the “break-in” process, you are knocking off all of the excess particles, until you have a substrate which is uniformly covered with a layer of diamond particles, each solidly anchored to the steel plate by the nickel plating.  Those particles which were distributed above the base layer are much less solidly anchored and therefor are more easily knocked off.

    By my experience, the lower the grit rating, the more difficult it may be to dislodge those excess particles.  In some cases, clusters of particles may be arranged in such a way as to be difficult to knock off, especially if the cluster is arranged lengthwise.   I can detect these clusters by feel and by ear.  The stones make a very pronounced “click” as the cluster hits the edge being sharpened.  Frequently, a new stone may show several of these “clicks” per stroke.  You can feel it and you can hear it – it’s not difficult.  When you have finally dislodged all of theses clusters, you are about 90% thru the break-in process.

    For the last four or five sets of new stones that I purchased, I tried an accelerated break-in protocol (fancy name for “Ooh! Let’s try this!”).  I clamped a section of 1/4″ glass plate in the vise and slowly worked the stones over the edge.  I  instantly could identify clusters which needed to be knocked off, so I focused on those sections and repeatedly scrubbed the stone over the glass until the “click” disappeared.  I used no more than normal force, unless a cluster was really stubborn.  I doubt that it took more than twenty or thirty strokes on any one stone to clear it of “clicks.”

    This wasn’t a sudden idea I had pounced on.  I have done this in a number of cases over the last six or seven years, but not on new stones.  My first case was a set of 800/1000’s which was giving me trouble.  One of the 800’s was chipping the edge of my ZDP189 Delica. Badly.

    delica chip 2 cropped

    I would have expected these stones to have been broken-in by now, but on inspection, I found a couple of clusters which were oriented lengthwise.  This orientation made them more resistant to attempts to knock them off.  Here’s one.

    14112414013531

    These clusters were really stubborn, so I tried the plate glass trick, and it worked.  My new set of 2200/3000 grits stones were fixed from the outset and I was getting very good, if not excellent results by the second knife.

    I would like to see WE supplying some version of my “break-in accelerator kit” and some good instructions on how to use it.  It shouldn’t be a source of frustration to new users.  For sure, there ought to be a video on the break-in process.

    Oh, lest I forget, since the question was asked, a well broken-in stone will produce a smooth, uniform scratch pattern and there should be no tactile or audible feedback indicating that the abrasion is rough, bumpy or scratchy.  You shouldn’t feel bumps or ticks that you can sense are produced at discrete points along the stone’s path.  If you can tell that a click always happens at a certain point, mark the stone and check it with your ‘scope or loupe.  If you don’t have glass, work that particular section over the edge of a junk knife until it disappears.  The click, not the knife.

    If you read all the way to the end of this tome, thanks for taking the time, but you really oughta go have an ice cream cone or somethin’.

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    #51403

    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 108

    I used mine twice today on blades that had hunks missing from the edge.  Using my 50-grit first, I scrubbed both sides twice, wiped the blade and looked closely at it which I determined it needed more.  Did that routine again totaling six passes and I was ready to move to the 80-grit.  So yeah, it doesn’t take much to remove a lot of material.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #51426

    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 93

    @tcmeyer, does it count if I had an ice cream while reading your post? I was actually having a vape (kicking off a 4 PaD habit), eating a Klondike bar and reading the post! In spite of how you feel about your posts, I can honestly tell you they are very welcome, full of useful information (sometimes above my level of understanding in spots) and always a treat to read. Thank you for taking the time.

    I don’t have the 50/80 set (yet) but after reading this thread and especially after my encounter with a badly mistreated kukri, I can definitely see the need for this set of stones.

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