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Vice Jaw and Cam Lobe Wear

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  • #53743
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    I have a WE130 that I bought about a year and a half ago.  I sharpen 15 – 20 knives a month.

    When I took the sharpener apart for cleaning a couple of days ago (I keep the mechanism really clean), I noticed identical lines of wear on the top of the cam lobe and on the bottom of one of the vice jaws (see the attached photo of the cam lobe).

    Has anyone else seen this kind of wear?  The folks at Wicked Edge told me that this is not uncommon, and that I should let them know if the wear starts causing problems with the way the sharpener functions.

    If Someone has seen this kind of wear, does applying a dry lube help slow the wear?

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by rummels.
    Dwight Glass
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    I don’t know if dry lube will help but I can not see how it could hurt.

    when I cleaned up my vice I used a worn out piece of “Diamond Film” that I had thrown away to smooth out those Contact points because The metal Was getting rough.


    • Topics: 36
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    Technically, that’s not the cam lobe, which is part of the shaft that rotates with the crank arm.  I’m not sure what WE calls it, but mechanically, it would be a “wedge.”  It pushes up on the lower end of the jaw extensions, pushing them apart and forcing the jaw faces together.

    I think the wear you are seeing on the wedge is pretty much to be expected, anytime two parts of similar hardness are forced together and especially so where there is relative movement between those parts, as there is here.  The fact that most of the anodizing is still intact after a year and a half of use is an indicator that the design is appropriate.  Anodizing is a coating process which only penetrates a few thousandths of an inch.  The small spot where the anodizing has actually been penetrated suggests that there was a bit of abrasive contaminant that fell into the space below the jaw.  Is the wear on the other side pretty much identical?

    Adding a lubricant is a questionable move insofar as deciding whether to go dry or wet.  Wet lubes like grease tend to hold bits of “dirt.” but I think they meant for dirt to not get in here.  I would use a resizing lube, as is used for swedging rifle cartridges for reloading.  It’s designed to stay in place, even under extreme pressures.  I think dry lubes, like graphite tend to be pushed out of positon.  I believe my vise had a small piece of foam between the jaws to seal the opening going down into the wedge cavity.  Of course, I lost it the first time I disassembled the vise, so I guess I should expect the same results.

    Correction:  the term “swedging” as used above is spelled incorrectly.  It should be “swaging.”  I had the pronunciation right, but couldn’t recall the correct spelling until some hours later.  At 75, your vocabulary is still there, but it’s not always on duty.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by tcmeyer.
    4 users thanked author for this post.
    • Topics: 5
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    Thanks for the input.

    Ironically, my sharpener has never gotten noticeably dirty.  It has always been kept really clean.  My thinking is that this is just the result of two aluminum parts being forced to press against each other while moving.  The wear on both components is identical.

    I still have the small cylinder of foam in place that tcmeyer references.   The resizing lube is a good idea, and I will definitely give it a try.  I already have some from reloading .223 ammo.  If that doesn’t work I may try the dry lube that is used on bicycle chains.

    Any additional ideas are definitely welcome.

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    I did use bicycle dry lube on the “cam”. Doesn’t seem to make any great difference. In lieu on the small piece of foam, I use a piece of the blue tape, folded back on itself and trimmed to fit between the jaws. Works great! Better than the foam.


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    I find the chamois patch I use between the vise jaws and knives serves multiple functions.  It works similarly to the blue tape to limit steel debris from falling down the slot into the vise internal workings, while also improving the grip and hold of the vise jaws on the clamped knives. Thirdly, it also provides physical protection between the clamped knive’s steel and the aluminum jaws.

    When the chamois becomes impregnated with the steel debris from sharpening, every few knives, it’s discarded and replaced.  It doesn’t require a very large piece of chamois for this purpose.  I’m still using the very first real leather chamois rag I purchased almost five years ago.

    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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