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Why water stones?

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  • #8820
    Ken Buzbee
    Participant
    • Topics: 14
    • Replies: 393

    Anyone done this?
    Any possible harm to the ceramic?

    I haven’t but I doubt you’ll hurt anything.

    Ken

    #8822
    Phil Pasteur
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 943

    I’ve used one of the ceramic stones to flatten/level/lap my 8k super stone. I then wondered about using the ceramic with the 8K’s mud on it. I know there is some technique out there that is similar in idea.

    Anyone done this?
    Any possible harm to the ceramic?

    I haven’t, mostly because I do not have the 8K stone. What would you be hoping to get out of the combination?
    Which one of the ceramics are you talking about?

    Phil

    #8823
    Mikedoh
    Moderator
    • Topics: 38
    • Replies: 567

    I think it was the 1200 ceramic.
    Since It made some mud, I thought maybe it could be used (as opposed to washed off and wasted) and refine the edge more than the 1200 alone.

    #8828
    Phil Pasteur
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 943

    I don’t think it would hurt anything… but I also don’t think it would last long.
    Heck, give it a try and see what you think…

    Phil

    #8858
    Jende Industries
    Participant
    • Topics: 14
    • Replies: 342

    I think we need a quick clarification of the differences between mud, swarf, and slurry because they do produce different results.

    MUD: aka Paste, is the resulting breakdown of the abrasive medium, metal particles, and/or binder that produces a finer/less invasive scratch pattern then the advertised grit. It is advantageous when using finer stones, but may not be the most wanted at lower grits. Also, there is a degree of rounding of the edge usually associated with using mud/paste because the more you use it, the finer the mud gets (to a point), but the stone medium will continue to wear with more use – how much depends on the stone.

    SLURRY: is loose abrasive on the surface of a stone that is most associated with adding cutting power to a stone, but is not always the case. We mostly see diamond plates that are coarser than the stone itself to create the slurry, which is the most aggressive because it not only releases the abrasive, but also textures the surface of the stone to have more peaks that abrade more readily than an even surface. (You’ll often feel a freshly lapped stone feels really aggressive, but after a few knives, the stone feels like it has less action). Same-stone/grit slurries, are also aggressive, and you can usually play with the concentration to make it more or less aggressive. This type of slurry usually leaves a “deeper” version of the advertised grit because, as mentioned before, mud/paste can form during its use, but the loose abrasives cut deeper than those fixed in the matrix. Lastly, you can use a finer grit slurry on a coarser grit stone for polishing effects, which is often used on Japanese Naturals. Technically, it is used more as a mud, IMO.

    SWARF: is the stuff on the stone that impedes the stone from working (or loads it up) – usually the buildup of abraded metal. This is most commonly a problem with hard stones such as Shaptons or ceramics.

    These are sometimes tricky definitions, for example, the WEPS ceramics load up, which slows them down while making them finer. If you want it to load up, then it is a paste or mud, but if you don’t want it, then it is swarf!

    So if you want to use some of the mud from one stone on another, it is all good!
    🙂

    #8866
    Phil Pasteur
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 943

    Hey tom,
    Wouldn’t Mud and Slurry amount to the same thing, just at different stages of concentration of the particles involved? One just has more liquid (usually water of course) in it than the other. The common definition of a slurry is ” a thin mixture of water and an insoluable solid”. This is pretty equivocal. After all, what it ‘thin”? We can form a slurry as you mention, perhaps with diamonds or a nagura… as it and the stone dries it becomes what you define as mud. Slurry it seems, can be a broad range of particle concentrations. So, how do you define the demarcation between the two stages?

    I know this is sematics to a degree, but if we are to be able to nail down what is happeing at the edge when using either mud or slurry, isn’t it also important to know what we are actually using, according to the definitions.

    I am curious because I have seen much written on the subject, but nothing that allows me to know what I should really call what I am seeing on my stones. I can tell the difference in my results, but in the absence of defined terms, I have no accepted way of telling anyone what I was actually doing to get there..

    Phil

    #8870
    Jende Industries
    Participant
    • Topics: 14
    • Replies: 342

    Very good question, Phillip! B)

    When arguing semantics, mud can be considered a “more developed” slurry, but I think it is more a matter of how you use it rather than the proper name, as per my example about loaded up stones being finer.

    I had this same thought in the past, and in my experiments, I’ve noticed differences between pastes and slurries. I did this with a 2K Chosera – first, I started off with a freshly lapped 2K (as usual), and worked it to develop a mud, which then polishes up the bevel to a light mirror on the macro level.

    Then, I started a new knife with a freshly lapped stone (the same as usual) and used a 2K Chosera nagura to make a slurry of 2K. The feel of the stone changes – it’s more aggressive for sure, and the paste does develop. On the bevel, there is a mirror, but not as clear as without the slurry. also, under the scope, the scratches are not as matte as without a slurry.

    On harder abrasives like Aluminum Oxide, being loose from the matrix doesn’t mean they readily break down – even though there may be polishing effects from the loosened matrix itself. In the case of more friable abrasives, you can probably eventually work the slurry enough to break down to more of paste (but this will take time and conflicts with my personal sharpening philosophy).

    So again, I think it is more important to understand how one intends to use these different terms when they apply them to their sharpening. For example, if someone wants faster action, don’t use mud, use slurry; and if one wants cleaner and “truer grit” edges, remove the swarf from the stone. However, if more refinement is wanted without changing stones, then using the paste or allowing the swarf to load the stone will work.

    #8894
    Geocyclist
    Participant
    • Topics: 25
    • Replies: 524

    Hey Tom,

    Thanks for your detailed write ups. How do you clean swarf off stones (ceramic and water stones)?

    #8896
    Jende Industries
    Participant
    • Topics: 14
    • Replies: 342

    I clean swarf off my Choseras and Shaptons with a spray bottle of water. Lapping after or before a session also helps get rid of any embedded swarf.

    On the dry ceramics, some warm soapy water may help remove some of the deeper residue rather than just water alone.

    #8898
    Phil Pasteur
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 943

    Hey Tom,

    Thanks for your detailed write ups. How do you clean swarf off stones (ceramic and water stones)?

    I know that I am not Tom, but I will tell you what I do. I typically do not lap the stones before or after each use. I guess I am not that OCD about this aspect. I always rub the two stones of the same grit together under running water both right before and right after shapening with them. With the waterstones I find that this rubbing and maybe some rubbing with my fingers gets the stones clean enough for me. I then shake all of the water that I can off of thepaddles and stand them on end on a paper towel to dry. Typically I let them dry for a couple of hours before putting thenm back into their individual plasic bags for storage.

    I have been using some kind of kitchen cleanser (whatever I have around) on ceramics used for sharpening or ceramic hones for years. That combined with a short bristle stiff brush of the kind that is typically used for cleaning finger nails, removes the bulk of the “swarf” and embedded metal dust. More recently I tried some Barkeepers Friend liquid per one of our members recomendation. I think it does do a slightly better job, in that it seems faster, than the typical “Comet” or generic cleansers. I have also read that Bon Ami cleanser is the choice of some folks. There is not a huge difference in effectiveness among the ones that I have tried.
    Applying the cleanser with enough liquid to make a thick slurry, or maybe a mud, and then letting it sit for a minute or two, scrubbing with the brush briskly, then rinsing with lots of running water, seems to do the trick. Just make sure you get rid of all of the grit from the cleanser when rinsing, but you should easily be able to feel when this is done.

    I have never gotten the ceramic stones looking brand new, but if there is a performance degradation form the remaining embedded gray stains, it does not seem to be significant. So far, I have not had any of the WEPS cermic stones fall off the handles using this method… but I have only done this a couple of times over the two months or so that I have had them.

    Phil

    #8908
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    I agree with Philip on the cleaning of the stones. I have also never been able to get the ceramics completely clean again, but well enough for them to work well.

    There was another long thread on it, but I cannot find it back quickly.

    It appeared that Barkeepers Friend works so well on the ceramics, because it contains oxalic acid. This stuff is also recommended agains rust stains.

    In the same thread someone told that he used a much stronger acid (I forgot which one) and he was able to get the ceramic stones completely white again. I intended to try this myself, but never got to it. Strong acids are rather hard to get where I live.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #8928
    Phil Pasteur
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 943

    This is an excerpt from the Spyderco description of their Sharpmaker, which uses ceramic abrasives:

    To clean: scrub stones with a plastic scouring pad and powdered abrasive cleaner, let air-dry.

    Sounds familiar.. maybe we are on the right track..

    :cheer:

    #8940
    Geocyclist
    Participant
    • Topics: 25
    • Replies: 524

    Thanks to all on answering the cleaning question. Didn’t mean to only put it to Tom, just replying to his post. Next time I will make sure to open it up to all. 🙂

    #8941
    Jende Industries
    Participant
    • Topics: 14
    • Replies: 342

    I don’t know Phil… It seems to me that you are just as OCD about cleaning your ceramics as a I am about lapping my Choseras! 😛

    #8943
    Phil Pasteur
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 943

    welllll..
    OK
    🙂

    But, I have used them a couple of dozen times and done the cleaning twice… so almost as OCD..

    Phil

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