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About Ranelpia

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  • Location
    Manitoba, Canada
  • Interests
    Martial arts, crafts, IT

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    As much as I can
  1. Oil, water, or diamond stones for starting out?

    Keep in mind that the prices are in Canadian dollars; of course, Lee Valley tends to be a little on the expensive side. Here's a comparison chart I found for comparing micron size, ANSI/CAMI (sandpaper), JIS (Waterstones), and comparable stones like Arkansas. http://www.hocktools.com/temp/15hgritchart.pdf I did make a mistake, however. It would have been the 400 which would be closer to a 320 grit, not the 140. I've also found a medium and a coarse for under $100 each, but I'm not sure if they're rip-offs. The seller is named 'generic', which fills me with dread.
  2. Oil, water, or diamond stones for starting out?

    In regards to your 1200 Atoms, wouldn't 15 microns be close to 700-750 grit? What do you do for coarser grits? Lee Valley sells the 1200 and 400 for $136, and the 140 for $146. The 140 would be closer to a 320 grit, or coarse India, and I'd think better suited for roughing out an edge before going at it with the 1000 cerax.
  3. Oil, water, or diamond stones for starting out?

    Thanks for the reply, Woody. I think the 4000+ grits might be a little extreme right now, though I'm certainly willing to try for finer grits when I become more experienced. I've read that keeping the stones soaking in water is good for only some water stones - it depends on how they're bonded, and if they're the wrong kind then keeping them immersed can lead to the binding degrading over time. Stones like the Shapton Kuromaku line are only meant to be sprayed with water, for instance. I'm not sure what soaking them for long periods of time would do to them. At my local Lee Valley a 220-8000 set would run me around $330 plus tax, which is a little more than I was hoping to pay, even for a long term investment. I can get two combo stones covering the same grit range from the same store for about $175. Or, if I was adamant about stopping at 1000, $60. Not including the DMT stone, of course. I'm still weighing the merits of the cheaper water stones against the slightly more expensive ceramic water stones. The baking process or whatever it is that they do lets them wear nearly as slowly as the oil stones, apparently, and keeping flat is critical for sharpening, at least if you're doing a flat bevel. I can't get them for the same price, though. I do have a strop on a piece of maple; it seemed flat enough when I checked it, but I can't be completely sure. Can a stop be put on something that's guaranteed flat, like a polished marble/granite chunk of counter, or some such? An adhesive bond might not work as well as with wood, but it would be guaranteed flat.
  4. Oil, water, or diamond stones for starting out?

    I have heard of the scary sharp method, it's what got me interested in sharpening in the first place, watching Paul Sellers' video. The initial price point was attractive, but the more I read about the pros and cons of the method, the more I started leaning away from it. I can't see myself making a sheet last longer than a single sharpening, and while I can get a 20 pack of assorted wet dry sandpaper from Amazon (my most likely source as I can't find any in my local stores fine enough) for $12 plus shipping, only a few sheets would be usable from it, I don't need all those grits. That'll get way too expensive far too quickly. I might be better off with a proper stone to start with, it'll last much longer. I can use sandpaper to flatten the stones, but I don't think the scary method is for me.
  5. Hi, I want to get some sharpening stones for my tools, now that I'm starting to move on to actual blades rather than mainly disposable ones. I want to clarify first that I have never before sharpened a knife on a whetstone in my life, but am willing to learn from YT videos and asking questions. It was my birthday recently, so I decided to treat myself to a stone or two; the problem is, there are so many options out there, that I don't know where to begin. I asked around in the leatherworking sub on Reddit, and got a bunch of answers that still haven't let me make up my mind. I'm hoping I can get some more input from you guys. Basically, I've gotten recommendations for all three types of stones, and I think I have the gist of what each of them bring to the table. I'm Canadian, so availability and pricing might be a bit different than what's in the States. Water Stones - The first ones recommended to me, they're reasonably priced, and really popular; I like the fact that there are lots of Japanese stones in this category, as it appeals to my Japanese ancestry. I was initially advised to get the Naniwa Chosera stones as they're among the best, but since they're a touch more expensive than I'd prefer, I'd like to set them on the back burner for when I get super serious. In the meantime, my options for this category are the Shapton Kuromaku ceramic line, with the 1000 grit being $55, and the 5000 grit (if I decide to get it) at $68. I dont' know how the ceramic water stones wear in comparison to more traditional water stones. Oil Stones - Another user cautioned me against using water stones, as they wore much faster, and required constant flattening. He recommended oil stones, and referenced what he used himself - a coarse/fine Norton India combination, and a soft Arkansas stone. I can find the Arkansas stone for about $34, but I can't seem to find the Norton for under $50. I like the affordability of the Arkansas, and if I could find a Norton up here for around that amount, I'd be leaning towards this option. I also like that they wear less quickly than water stones, but really am not that excited about cleaning up oil. I feel almost that the cleanup effort might negate any benefits that the slower wearing and lower price point bring. Diamond - This is the most expensive option, and while they seem to be at the top of some peoples' lists, I don't know if I can afford something like the DMT or Atomos plates, not if I want to get a set to maintain my blades. I did find a Japanese brand called SK-11, which offers a 150/600 grit and a 400/1000 grit option. On ebay, I'd be paying about $50 for each, which isn't too bad. Now, I don't know anything about that brand, other than there are some favorable reviews for them, and some negative. Would it affect sharpening to the point where I'd really notice? I'd probably have to get the 150/600 option in any case, if I wanted a flat surface to lap any other stones. So, these are my options. I'm expecting to pay around a hundred to a hundred and fifty dollars on whetstones, although I'm hoping to keep it closer to the former. I have some stropping compound already, it's this Flexcut 'Gold' Polishing Compound, so that's already taken care of. I don't really want to buy cheap crap that I'll have to spend a fortune to replace if I actually get good at it, but neither do I want to go nuts and break my wallet getting the most expensive stuff, because I know that it mostly comes down to the skill of the user, not the stone, although they can certainly influence the result. I'm fairly confident that I've got some good choices here, that strike a good balance between value and quality. I don't know if I really need to go above 1000 right now, as long as I follow up with a strop. I'd also like to eventually move on to sharpening woodworking and kitchen tools on these stones, but that's a lower priority right now.
  6. How To Make A Strop For Knives

    I got a couple of 3-4oz sides from the Tandy Black Friday sale, are they thin enough for a strop? I was talking to another person on here, and they told me to go with a thick piece of leather. I have an 8-9oz side if that'll work.
  7. Slam - A New Hand Sewing Thread For Leather!

    I saw Nigel's video as well, as soon as the video was uploaded. Right now, I've got a bit of .9mm Maine thread that I have to go through, which is a tad thicker than I expected it to be. I expect that Slam will definitely be a viable option for me in the future, though. Being the complete novice that I am, 500m of thread seems like a HUGE amount to use. For $25 a roll, this is a great deal, but I can't help but think that for my purposes, it could get pretty damn costly if I want a bunch of different colours (at the very least the basic brown/white/black); and then I'd end up with more thread than I know what to do with. Any chance of getting smaller rolls at a reduced price?