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Working the heel and the tip?

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  • #47316
    Organic
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    • Topics: 17
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    Other people have shaved down the plastic bezels on the stone paddles to make it easier to get into the heel of knives. I think the only real concern for doing this is that you will have to be a bit more careful to keep your fingers behind the stones while sharpening.

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    #47320
    Expidia
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    Good point Organic.  I thought I had read that in one of the older posts.  I do have cutproof gloves, probably a good idea to use especially with no edges on the paddles.

    I just posted the pics in my upper post of my question if tape can stain a blade?

    I would have demanded a brand new blade from the factory but once I put the mirror on I was lucky that they would even honor a re-etching.  Its always up to the manufactuer to honor or accept warranty claims after we alter “any” blade.  This is why I usually wait a decent period in case I want to return or re-sell a particular knife.  Most online authorized re-sellers give us 60 days to return or exchange a blade.  This Ebay authorized reseller only gives 14 days.  I figured I was keeping this model for a long time, so I sharpened it after 3 weeks time.

    #47336
    Expidia
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    Put an edge on my Benchmade  today.  Took a lot less time than I expected to get the first burr with the 100 grit.  I guess the 50-60 RC steel is not as hard as their  S90V.  Came out great.  nuth’in worse than suffering along with a factory ground edge.

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    #47342
    William
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    Put an edge on my Benchmade today. Took a lot less time than I expected to get the first burr with the 100 grit. I guess the 50-60 RC steel is not as hard as their S90V. Came out great. nuth’in worse than suffering along with a factory grind.

    Very nice Expedia.  Which BM is this and what was your grit progression?  I have a 580s Barrage that has 58-61 and what looks to be the same drop point style as yours.  Doesn’t need sharpening yet, but I look forward to doing it.

    #47343
    Expidia
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    Hi William.  Some of the harder steels have given me problems before.    So far a few S90V steels have taken me awhile to raise that first burr.  Spyderco’s CPM S110V is one of those real hard steels that gave myself and an office mate with a WE system similar issues.

    This BM is the gold class Foray 50-60 RC.  I had to use the LA adapter as this is a small knife with a 3.2 inch blade.  As Marc has said the Tormec adapter imparts more variables that I don’t need.  I used a marker and angle cube and it set my re-profile to their 17 degree factory setting for BM folders.   I first Googled it as a double check.  I started with the 100 grit as I knew if I started with 200 like I ususally do, it would take a lot longer.  I also have ttohe 50/80 which is but very fast for the initial profile, but takes that much longer to get the deeper scratches it puts in (I’m more inclined to use a 50/80 on a kitchen knife).  I was surprised how fast the burr developed on the oposite side.  Maybe 10 minutes.  I also add in an up and down scrubbing motion which speeds up the burr process.  I always stay on one side until I get that solid burr across the entire length of the blade.  Once you feel it say starting in the middle it will quickly appear on the rest of the blade as you pay more attention to where its not yet developed.   When switching sides that burr flops over to the other side quite fast,  but you need to continue your strokes with a similar amount on the opposite side or you won’t be re-profiling the other side of the blade’s bevel enough and they won’t look equal in size.

    I don’t go for a burr with the next set of stones as I know that first burr has reached the apex of the edge.

    100 grit, 200, 400,600,800,1000.  Then the 1500 which is my favorite stone!  Once I get to the 1,000 grit, I love how smooth it starts sounding, but that 1500 grit is Da Bomb (my favorite stone) . . . thats when the magic appears. . . . Its like out of nowhere the mirror pops out.  Even when I check for scratches with a lighted loupe after the 1500 grit it flashes so brightly back at me I have to adjust the lights angle as its so mirrory.

    Then the 6mu DLP, 3mu DLP and the 1mu DLP . . . I’ve been finding the DLP’s can impart their own scratches after the 1500 has left a real clear finish.  I did change the 6mu for a new one, but the 3mu and 1mu also were leaving light scratches (probably need to change them too).

    I’ve not become a fan of the DLP’s as to how easily they leave scratches after my 1500 grit.  Its probably my technique I’m sure and I am tempted to get the 1200/1600 and the .6/1.4 Ceramics.  I know these would be a great replacement for the DLP’s, but they take so long to break in I’d rather improve on my DLP technique and for $210 for the above two sets of Ceramics one can buy a boat load load of DLP strips.  I originally bought the Ceramics with my system, but returned them in favor of DLP from what I’ve read.  Would have been nice though to have 30 knives done by now with Ceramics that were now well broken in.

    So I dropped back and did the 1500 again to remove the scratches the DLP’s left.  Then I skipped the DLP’s this 2nd time and went right to the Kangaroo strops with .50 and .25 diamond sprays (but first dropped down -1.5 degrees from where my angles were set).

    There is a good chance I’ve contaminated my 3mu and 1mu DLP’s (the 6mu is new and was not adding scratches) so I’ll change them out on my next sharpening session.  They probably have 30 blades done on them aalready and time for a change.

    Now this is just me . . . I’m still new at this and don’t have the strokes or the experienced touch of an Organic, Marc or TC and others here . . . So my ending strokes for the final 10-0r 15 of each grit I use a side to side motion (caution, this can wear areas unevenly in the stones).  For me this does a great job erasing the scratches of the previous grit before I go onto the next.  But be real careful doing this or you can easily go off the tip and your reflex automatically does a back motion. If this happens you can easily plant the tip into your thumb (ask me how I know this). Make sure your grip is always “below the blade” when moving stones back and forth.

    Keep doing searches and reading this technique forum as the experts here have answered a lot of questions from us and steered us in the correct direction which really saves time for all of us with the WE learning curve.  They are an amazing asset to the learning process and Clay is really lucky that they give so much of their time here “for free” to help all of us.

    Paul

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Expidia.
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    #47345
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
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    1) I always stay on one side until I get that solid burr across the entire length of the blade. Once you feel it say starting in the middle it will quickly appear on the rest of the blade as you pay more attention to where its not yet developed. When switching sides that burr flops over to the other side quite fast, but you need to continue your strokes with a similar amount on the opposite side or you won’t be re-profiling the other side of the blade’s bevel enough and they won’t look equal in size.

    2) I’ve been finding the DLP’s can impart their own scratches after the 1500 has left a real clear finish. I did change the 6mu for a new one, but the 3mu and 1mu also were leaving light scratches (probably need to change them too). I’ve not become a fan of the DLP’s as to how easily they leave scratches after my 1500 grit. Its probably my technique I’m sure.

    3) I am tempted to get the 1200/1600 and the .6/1.4 Ceramics. I know these would be a great replacement for the DLP’s, but they take so long to break in.

    4) Kangaroo strops with .50 and .25 diamond sprays (but first dropped down -1.5 degrees from where my angles were set).

    5) There is a good chance I’ve contaminated my 3mu and 1mu DLP’s (the 6mu is new and was not adding scratches) so I’ll change them out on my next sharpening session. They probably have 30 blades done on them already and time for a change.

    6) I’m still new at this and don’t have the strokes or the experienced touch. So my ending strokes for the final 10-0r 15 of each grit I use a side to side motion. Make sure your grip is always “below the blade” when moving stones back and forth.

    I’d like to comment on expidia’s post.  I’ve quoted several different topics from it and numbered them so I could lend my take and insight for each one separately, to try to help the new sharpeners on this Forum, and him, gain experience in WE sharpening, and to help you and him improve your techniques:

    1) I’ve found to maintain a better balance of the bevel sizes right form the onset of your sharpening/profiling job,  I work each blade side for a time then switch to the other side.  I work them back and forth, alternatingly, in order to keep the amount of effort and the amount of steel removal balanced.  (I continually visually inspect my work with a USB microscope.  A lighted loupe or even a flash light’s reflection will help you to see your progress.)   When you see and feel the burr is developing on the first side, the opposite side burr will be right behind it, if you have managed to apply a balanced effort.

    This I’ve learned is an easier way to create balanced size bevels, from the get go.  Working exclusively one side till you draw the burr then chasing the burr trying to match it is more difficult.  It requires a judgement call and can be deceiving for the new sharpeners. Even if you count your stroke numbers to keep it even that doesn’t mean the quality of your strokes are even on both sides.  The difference between my dominant right side strokes and my less efficient left side strokes takes more then just doing the same number of strokes to keep the quality of my work the same.   As Paul said, the second side’s burr develops rather quickly and easier so it takes a lot more effort and close scrutiny to determine when you’ve gone past this quick formed “false burr’ to the “true burr” you really need to have to balance your bevel appearance and the quality of your cutting edge.

    I too utilize a scrubbing stroke to draw the burr.  By working the knife sides a balanced amount, alternatingly, you will be more in control and you’ll get by with creating a smaller burr while removing less steal.  As you gain sharpening experience, with your visual aides, you’ll see the burr coming before it forms and be able to avoid wasting hardly any steel, time or effort.  Once I have the burr on both sides which is the physical indicator I have applied my scratch pattern evenly to both sides, and profiled the sides evenly, I switch form the single sided scrubbing strokes to alternating, left-right-left-right, strokes to create a precise apex and even out the scrubbing strokes across the full length of the knife edges.

    Here is tcmeyer’s take on this situation.

    2) Diamond Lapping Films, (DLF) are simply another abrasive medium, just like diamond stones, only, usually, a finer grit.  All abrasives leave scratches.  The quality and appearance of the scratches differs from abrasive medium to abrasive medium.  That’s how they work.  We are utilizing a progression of successively smaller, finer, shallower and closer together scratches to remove or obliterate the appearance of scratches left from the previous grits.  The obliteration of the appearance of the scratches is visually perceived as a smooth, polished bevel.  Newer fresher films like un-broken-in stones will impart a more evident scratch than worn DLF’s.  The films can be cleaned with a wipe down with rubbing alcohol to help maintain the quality of their results and help them to last longer.  I can’t give a number count of knives the DLF’s will last.  That’s subject to the pressure the user applies, the hardness of the steel they’re used on and how well they’re cleaned and maintained.

    3) The Ceramic Stones are again, simply another abrasive medium.  We learn first from suggestions of others, or through trial and error, and eventually with experience how we prefer to string together the use of these different abrasive mediums, (e.g., Diamond Stones, DLF’s, Ceramics, Whetstones, Oil Stones, and Strops), to achieve the sharpening and visual results we prefer to see in our sharpened knives.  I don’t know if I could say a specific order of these mediums is always, or the only way to go.  I utilize a different progression and succession of these with different knives and different steels.  This is again a learned skill or through experience and trial and error.  I call this the “Art of Sharpening”.  It is a personal thing.  I would not say one medium is better than another.  I can suggest what I have used and I think will be a good route to employ for someone looking to gain results and experience until they know what they prefer.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to have both the 1200/1600 “Superfine” Ceramic and the 1.4µ/ 0.6µ “Microfine” Ceramic set.  I believe sharpeners can get by with only one set.  My personal preference is the “Microfine” 1.4µ/0.6µ Ceramic Stones.  I prefer the results I get from this pair.  In my experience all the ceramics stones have a long break-in period to see their best results.  At that point they are used, like any other abrasive medium, in the desired place in your stone progression to achieve the results you prefer to have.

    4) Different stropping mediums have different characteristics.  The “leather strops” (i.e., cow leather) seem to have the most give and compressiblity.  The “Kangaroo” leather strops are thinner and stiffer and therefore have less give. I have yet to use a “Nano Cloth” strop so I can only reiterate what other experienced users have shared.  The give or compressibility of the strop effects how it exerts it action on the knife edge.

    It’s generally recommended to lower your guide rod angle setting by 1.5-2º when using the compressible leather strop, only 1º lower angle is recommended for the stiffer Kangaroo and the nano cloth is used by a professional WE Sharpener at the same angle setting as he sharpens the edge.  Again these are suggestions by those before us based on their experienced outcomes.  I have adopted these suggestions and have similar success.  Your individual outcomes may differ and you should try to make incremental angle adjustments till you see the results that mesh best with your technique. Your looking for a polished appearance from the bevel shoulder, (i.e., where the bevel begins on the side of the knife blade), on up just till the knife edge.  Too much polish, too close, or up past the knife edge or apex can round off the apex and diminish the edge’s sharpness.

    Strops like the other abrasive mediums follow a grit progression from coarse to fine.  To maximize your results, based on my experience, I believe you should start with a strop compound grit close in particle size or just larger than the last grit medium you left off with, in your sharpening progression.  Starting too fine is analogous with starting a blade reprofile with too fine a grit diamond stone.  It’ll take too long and too much effort to achieve the desired results and appearance.  I usually utilize a 4µ/2µ leather strop pair for my starting point.  This matches well with my sharpening progressions.

    Strops like all the stone mediums impart a scratch pattern of their own characteristics.  The very small, very fine, very shallow, and very close together scratches along with the give of the stropping medium and the way it’s believed the strop abrasives float or roll across the strop mediums lends this to the polishing and burnishing effects we use the strops to achieve

    5) I mentioned in 2) the DLF’s can be cleaned with a rubbing alcohol wipe to help prevent or eliminate contamination and preserve their longevity.

    6) I think each new WE sharpener needs to develop their own technique and utilize what they find through gained experience and desired appearing outcomes a method they can exercise to attain consistent results.  Finger placement can be a personal preference.  No matter where you find you like to hold your sharpening stones, “safety is first”.  I choose to use a plastic safety shield on my stones as a physical barrier between my finger tips and my sharp knife edges.  I generally I keep my fingers centered in the stone’s length.  I will move my finger placement from time to time during the process of sharpening to steer or direct the focus of my efforts.  The safety shields give me the protection and peace of mind to focus my attention on the results of my efforts and not on my finger tips and finger placement.  If you prefer to use gloves, that’s good too, as long as you put your safety first.

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by MarcH.
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    #47347
    Expidia
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    • Topics: 46
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    Marc’s post should be a sticky at the start of the techniques forum!

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    #47348
    William
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    • Topics: 9
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    Marc’s post should be a sticky at the start of the techniques forum!

    Agreed!   Thank you for sharing the details of sharpening your BM.   Interestingly, I too like that 1500D.   It does run buttery smooth with the littlest pressure applied.  Whether I was using a 100 or 200, I was working my burr the same way.   I will be incorporating a more even approach to form that initial burr from now on.  After I found my burr on both sides, I would do alternating forward, leading strokes until I had an even scratch pattern from heel to tip   I proceeded to my next grit, 400.  I scrubbed both sides evenly until the previous grit was completely gone.   I then used alternating forward strokes for an even pattern.   I would repeat as I progressed.   I now always check between grits the angle using the cube.   I was amazed at how many micro adjustments you could make.   I would also run a Sharpie now and then to ensure I was on track with my angle between the grits.

    However, even more interesting , like you, when I move to the 6u DLF is when things get, how can I say it….less tidy.  I can’t seem to shake off all the 1500 D scratches.  My progression at the moment is 6u>3u>1.5u DLF followed by strops 4u to .5u (cow leather).  As a side note, I’m thinking of going one set further, .25 and .125.  Just don’t know if I will stay with cow or move to kangaroo for the finisher.   I don’t think I will go any further with the DLFs.

    Anyway, those 1500 scratches seem to follow me to the end.  The bevel is still shiny and sharp.   It has to be my technique as there appears to be much success moving from 1500 to 6u from the research  and reading I have done.

    Dammit!   I may be using my BM even more just so I can get it on the clamp quicker 🙂

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    #47349
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
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    Paul, none of what I wrote was an epiphany.  I simply share and reiterate, with my personal experiential spin, what I have learned from other Wicked Edge Sharpeners and Forum members who proceeded me.  The models and versions of the Wicked Edge Sharpeners have changed but the techniques are pretty much the same.  There have been some newer products to come into regular use, (e.g., DLF’s , Diamond Stropping Emulsions and Nano Cloth Technology) but sharpening technology and the techniques have stayed the same.

    I just volunteered to step up next in-line to keep the knowledge ongoing.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #47365
    Expidia
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    • Topics: 46
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    Marc, thanks for that tip on cleaning the DLP’s with alcohol.  I couldn’t believe how much black came off of them.

    TC thanks for that tip of using a counterclockwise small circle near the heel with the circumference of my motion going down over the heel area.  That worked great tonight as it saved me time from going back at the heel area for the vertical scratches I had always seemed to be left with.

    Tonight I had 5 knives to do from my Daughter’s kitchen knives.  The first was a 6.5 inch Wusthof which I knew from doing my own set had a factory 14 degree angle.  So I re-profiled it starting with the 200’s.  About 10 minutes to the first burr.  It was nice to get back to a kitchen knife as it was relaxing stoning the entire length again as compared to short folding knives I’ve been working over the last week.  It came out great. Went through my normal grit progression including the strops.  I know for kitchen use I could have stopped at the 1000 grit but I figure I can always use the practice.  And her Chef Choice sharpener can’t do the mirror I can.

    Then I had 4 small identical paring knives that I had previously sharpened and re-profiled to 17 degrees.  Nice timesaver to have already profiled these knives.  But previously I put on a micro bevel figuring she could not only slice, but the bevel can cut too.  But these cheaper steels didn’t hold the edge very long.  So I used the LAA for these smaller knives and started with the 400 grit to draw another burr and went through the progression from there.  Cheaper softer steels draw a burr for me in like 3 min. with the 400 grit stones.

    The 4 came out extremely sharp.  I used Organics tip on checking for sharpness with a piece of newspaper between grits.  We will see how long the edge holds up.  Its probably a bigger timesaver for me to just buy her 4 better quality knives as I would have to freshen her edges less often with knives of better steel.

    I think that micro bevel I put on seemed to dull her knives faster.  Now with no micro bevel this time around I have something to compare too.  I didn’t like the slicing action of micro bevels which is a combo edge to give it cutting/slicing abillity.  I put on my own Wusthof set a few months ago, but it was some of the first kitchen knives I did.  I freshened a few of my edges already and they seem to hold a sharp edge longer without the MB.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Expidia.
    #47369
    tcmeyer
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    Marc, thanks for that tip on cleaning the DLP’s with alcohol. I couldn’t believe how much black came off of them. TC thanks for that tip of using a counterclockwise small circle near the heel with the circumference of my motion going down over the heel area. That worked great tonight as it saved me time from going back at the heel area for the vertical scratches I had always seemed to be left with.

    I forgot to mention that I will apply more pressure with my thumbs at the heel if I see that the bevel is narrower at the ricasso.   Of course, this tends to make up for the fact that there is less steel being removed at that point.  As soon as I leave the heel, I return to an equal pressure on the face of the stones.

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    #47381
    Expidia
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    • Topics: 46
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    I just ordered a set of Nano skin paddles from WE.  I like ending off with the .50 and .25 Diamond sprays but my Kangaroo strops have become annoying to use.  I know a few silts don’t hurt the stropping effectiveness but when I use them I feel like I’m driving down a rocky road in an old truck.

    Watched Clay’s vid on his newer honeycomb Nano strops and I figure it will be smoother than I have now.

    Can I just replace the Roo part of the paddles?  Who might carry them? I looked around, but don’t see replacements for the Roo the same size with a sticky backside to mount them to the paddles.

    #47382
    William
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
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    I just ordered a set of Nano skin paddles from WE. I like ending off with the .50 and .25 Diamond sprays but my Kangaroo strops have become annoying to use. I know a few silts don’t hurt the stropping effectiveness but when I use them I feel like I’m driving down a rocky road in an old truck. Watched Clay’s vid on his newer honeycomb Nano strops and I figure it will be smoother than I have now. Can I just replace the Roo part of the paddles? Who might carry them? I looked around, but don’t see replacements for the Roo the same size with a sticky backside to mount them to the paddles.

    Hey Paul, have you checked in with Jende Industries?  They might be able to offer replacements.

    I look forward to hearing your experience with the Nano strops!

    William

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    #47400
    Expidia
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    • Topics: 46
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    I noticed since this blade came from the factory with a slight recurve in front of the heel.  It was hard for me to hit that area directly even though I was able to mirror the length of the blade.  I’m guessing because the blade is only 3.2 inches and due to the width of the stones it seems not to hit that area enough or I don’t know how to alter my technique to hit it in the dipped area.  Any tips?

    I didn’t want to work the recurve too much as I feared making the recurve even deeper. Which I did on another Benchmade because the thumbstud was in the way and I didn’t know at the time BM thumbstuds are hex screws and are easily removed prior to sharpening.  I had to have BM replace that blade for me.

     

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    #47419
    Expidia
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    I saw Jende makes Roo stock, but I didn’t see any cut to the WE paddle size already with adhesive on the back.  I figured by the time I bought a piece and cut it to size, cleaned off the old ones and glued new ones on timewise it was not that big a stretch to just order the Nano’s.

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