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Are expensive whet stones worth it?

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The sharper the better

 I use automotive sandpaper up to 2000 and then strop.

I just lay the sandpaper on my granite top and pull away from the edge.

If I am just maintaining an edge I start at 800 and work my way up. When I get something new and dull I usually start at 220. Unless I'm reprofiling.

One thing that bothers me about this is I never develop that wire edge that has to be stropped off?

Edited by bikermutt07

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Stones are good, but imho, the stones will get a dead spot in the middle or wherever you are doing the sharpening. You can get a special stone to flatten them back out, or on a buget you can do the sandpaper 180g or so on a piece of good flat stone or glass and flatten your sharpening stone back out.  If you do it more often it takes less to get back going again.  With just a few strokes across the paper you can see the black spots go away on the ends. 

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In the interest of not hijacking this thread, I have apologetically moved my questions to a new topic:

YinTx

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13 hours ago, bikermutt07 said:

One thing that bothers me about this is I never develop that wire edge that has to be stropped off?

Not saying that you are wrong, but you most probably are getting a wire edge and knocking it off before you realize it.

With practice you can feel the wire edge - use you fingernail and feel the edge of the blade.   Be sure to try both sides of the blade, remember that edge moves from one side of the blade to the other side.  It will be opposite to the side of the blade that is in contact with the stone.

A good way to tell if there is a wire edge is to try to shave slivers from a sheet of paper.  When you have removed the wire edge you will be able to shave tiny slivers from the paper with ease, the blade on a sharp well polished blade will easily cut through a sheet of paper without any kind of a sawing motion,.  If a wire edge still exists on the blade then the slivers will be ragged and it will seem like the blade is wandering as you try to shave the sliver from the paper.  If you have the edge removed you can push the blade through the paper without using a sawing motion.  If the edge hasnt been removed you probably will have to resort to a sawing motion to cut a sliver off of the paper.

Of course this is based on my experience and your may differ.  Hope this helps a little.

rick

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16 minutes ago, rickdroid said:

Not saying that you are wrong, but you most probably are getting a wire edge and knocking it off before you realize it.

With practice you can feel the wire edge - use you fingernail and feel the edge of the blade.   Be sure to try both sides of the blade, remember that edge moves from one side of the blade to the other side.  It will be opposite to the side of the blade that is in contact with the stone.

A good way to tell if there is a wire edge is to try to shave slivers from a sheet of paper.  When you have removed the wire edge you will be able to shave tiny slivers from the paper with ease, the blade on a sharp well polished blade will easily cut through a sheet of paper without any kind of a sawing motion,.  If a wire edge still exists on the blade then the slivers will be ragged and it will seem like the blade is wandering as you try to shave the sliver from the paper.  If you have the edge removed you can push the blade through the paper without using a sawing motion.  If the edge hasnt been removed you probably will have to resort to a sawing motion to cut a sliver off of the paper.

Of course this is based on my experience and your may differ.  Hope this helps a little.

rick

I don't think I'm getting a wire at all. I do look at the blade through a loop from time to time as I sharpen. As I'm using the sandpaper tiny hairs develop almost like shavings on a magnet. I think these "shavings" are taking the place of the wire due to my technique. But they aren't stuck. I usually wipe it off on my jeans and carry on. At least this is my theory.

I do notice a bit of difference in cutting between the 2000 grit and the strop. Cause, you know, I like to abuse paper.

Edited by bikermutt07

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I am very fond of my toys.

I have several knife sharpening systems.

I also bought the lansky hard ans soft 6 inch bench stones. Together with a green and white soap on a strop, I can sharpen any tool to shaving sharp.

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A few years ago I ran into some images taken with an electron microscope showing what’s going on when we sharpen a knife blade and it really changed my perspective.  This is just an example of some of those - the factory new Victorinox edges are pretty sharp in use, but the edge sharpened by a professional knife sharpener on stones is even better.  The scalpel blades are interesting

https://scienceofsharp.wordpress.com/tag/knives/page/3/

check out how the removal rate of different stones and how coarse stones need additional pressure or they don’t take off more metal than finer ones!  

https://scienceofsharp.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/abrasion-rate-vs-grit/

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I have a box of whet stones and they sit there.  Sand paper is far easier, less expensive and I get pretty amazing results by starting at 400 and going up to 2000 grit before a final polish.  Looks like a mirror and skives with ease.  I lay the paper right on my stamping stone and go to work :)

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5 hours ago, immiketoo said:

I have a box of whet stones and they sit there.  Sand paper is far easier, less expensive and I get pretty amazing results by starting at 400 and going up to 2000 grit before a final polish.  Looks like a mirror and skives with ease.  I lay the paper right on my stamping stone and go to work :)

Oh wowsers! I do it just like the experts. Sweeeet!!!

On 2/21/2017 at 10:50 PM, bikermutt07 said:

The sharper the better

 I use automotive sandpaper up to 2000 and then strop.

I just lay the sandpaper on my granite top and pull away from the edge.

If I am just maintaining an edge I start at 800 and work my way up. When I get something new and dull I usually start at 220. Unless I'm reprofiling.

One thing that bothers me about this is I never develop that wire edge that has to be stropped off?

 

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On 12/20/2016 at 9:12 PM, Chrism said:

So on a budget which stones are the best to come by?

In my limited experience, cheap stones are just fine if they're (a) flat, (b) the correct grit, and (c) used properly.

One cheap Japanese combination water stone with one side at 600 to 1000 grit and the other other 4000 to 8000 grit and one courser combination oil or water stone will serve you well for a long time. I've been using the same King KW-65 and Norton course/fine bench stone for years.

Just be aware that the water stones will wear much more quickly than the oil stones, though they're also much easier to bring back to usable condition. Just stick a sheet of 150 grit paper to a piece of glass or acrylic and dress the surface until the old tool marks are removed uniformly.

Depending on the oil stone, you can dress them with progressively finer files - obviously only do this with a dull file you no longer intend to use on metal. Sometimes the surfaces of courser stones are difficult to use because they're so crudded up with oil/metal, so you can sometimes bring them back by soaking them in degreaser and pressure washing them. Don't pressure wash Japanese style water stones - the manmade ones are basically just fancy clay.

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5 minutes ago, bikermutt07 said:

Oh wowsers! I do it just like the experts. Sweeeet!!!

 

I am no expert, but I am a sharp enthusiast.  I learned form Terry Knipshield, and he is the king of sharp.  Once you see how sharp something can be, you can't go back.

4 minutes ago, Nuttish said:

In my limited experience, cheap stones are just fine if they're (a) flat, (b) the correct grit, and (c) used properly.

One cheap Japanese combination water stone with one side at 600 to 1000 grit and the other other 4000 to 8000 grit and one courser combination oil or water stone will serve you well for a long time. I've been using the same King KW-65 and Norton course/fine bench stone for years.

Just be aware that the water stones will wear much more quickly than the oil stones, though they're also much easier to bring back to usable condition. Just stick a sheet of 150 grit paper to a piece of glass or acrylic and dress the surface until the old tool marks are removed uniformly.

Depending on the oil stone, you can dress them with progressively finer files - obviously only do this with a dull file you no longer intend to use on metal. Sometimes the surfaces of courser stones are difficult to use because they're so crudded up with oil/metal, so you can sometimes bring them back by soaking them in degreaser and pressure washing them. Don't pressure wash Japanese style water stones - the manmade ones are basically just fancy clay.

Agreed.  I have one expensive Japanese stone that cost a small fortune, and I only use it for finishing on mirror polish, but Ive found that for most things, you can get just as good results from 8k grit honing tapes for a fraction of the cost.  

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Here’s a knife I sharpened for a local sandal maker.  He sharpened it with a square rasp and the sidewalk.  I had a lot of work to do, but it was all done with a coarse oil stone, the sand paper in 500, 1000, and 2000 grit variants.

 

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Not sure how I double posted?

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6 minutes ago, bikermutt07 said:

Oh wowsers! I do it just like the experts. Sweeeet!!!

 

Lol...fine!  I just deleted it for you.  I thought you were just very excited :P

 

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Im new to leather work,  but have been a handtool only woodworker for a few years now.  I have a full compliment of hand planes, several sets of chisels, marking knives,  ect. Creating and maintaining a very sharp edge is always on my mind.  I have found the most efficient way,  FOR ME, is diamond stones and a strop. I use a two sided stone (400/1000) to set my bevels and start to hone the edge. I then move to the strop untill the edge is fully pollished. After that, I only go back to the stones if I get a knick/chip in the edge, or to change a bevel angle. Other than those circumstances,  I maintain the edge with just the strop. This has worked wonders for me by saving time and materials!

As far as the burr created when sharpening, if your technique is good and the angle is consistent across the length, and no burr is being created, its probably due to the metal of the blade. Soft steel will burr up fast, but come off easily, sometimes with a fingernail when checking for the burr. Hard steel takes a while to burr and is harder to remove. Hope this helps someone.

Edited by Willb2862
Typo

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I  should note that I go to the strop more frequently than I would if I use the stones every time, but it's a few seconds and back to work with a super sharp blade.

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