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TOPIC: SWAT Technique

SWAT Technique 2 months 2 days ago #17518

  • BobNash
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Hey All - we just got the SWAT jigs in stock and I've been playing some today this afternoon to develop some technique around this new toy. :woohoo: I've been going from stock stones to Chosera and Shapton of varying thicknesses and from Chosera/Shapton to stock etc and checking the angles for match.

So here is what I've worked out so far. I'm working with my PPII set up for ease and will try the basic kit after a couple days of playing.

I realize some pics maybe helpful and I'll try to get some up tomorrow....I hope :P

In the mean time I'm very interested to get people's feedback and thoughts on technique with this jig so I'm gonna go ahead and get this up.

First I set my sharpening angle. Then what I've settled on so far is first ensuring that the collar is super tight so there is no rocking that can happen there. Next sliding the plate up against the stone and holding it there with my thumb on the outside stone and my four fingers spread along the inside edge of the plate. If I'm on the right side of the sharpener I use my right hand to hold the plate and stone, and on left side I use my left. This seems to work well for me to keep the stone flat on the plate. I'm also not reaching over the knife in this position which I prefer.

I notice there is a lot of play in the jig when it is loose - rocking up and down and twisting. Using this grip seems to keep everything together through this play as I tighten the set screw on the jig using the vise key with my other hand - so that when I'm done the stone is still nicely flush against the plate. I am positioning the stone against the plate so that it is about in the center of the far side - this seems to give me the most surface area in contact.

I've found that while the vise key fits the set screw, it isn't turning out to be really practical for me to use it to tighten this screw as the base gets in the way of the key rotating very far and I have to keep taking it out and putting it back in so I'm probably going to get an L-handle hex key or a long one that extends beyond the base to tighten this screw.

Now when I change hones, I am putting the new hone on the rod and first moving the collar until the stone is close to lining up (or seems to line up). Then I'm loosening the micro adjustment and making the stone flush/testing it for flush. To do this next step I rotate the sharpener so the side I am working on is facing towards me. This way I don't have to reach over the blade (potential ouch :sick: ) or under it which I found didn't work for me to hold the handle comfortably. With it facing sideways towards me I can hold the hone against the plate with thumb and one finger near the center of the handle.

What I've found so far is that if you are holding the stone this way, when you drive the pivot in or out there is a short space where there is no resistance and then as it tries to pivot the stone against the plate pulling out the bottom or pushing out the top the resistance increases. I seem to get the best match driving the pivot in until I just feel this resistance starting as the amount of resistance seems stronger pivoting out the top so this point is easier to feel.

So doing it this way here's what I've found for matching angles, if I mount a ruler in the system horizontally or a blade where the main part of the cutting edge has no curvature like a sheepsfoot blade then I can get to within about 0.15 degrees very dependably - well within the accuracy (0.2 degrees) of the Accuremote cube.

When I go to a blade that has curvature, particularly where there isn't any horizontal surface, I find that so far I'm within 0.65 degrees - but not under 0.5. I know there has been a lot of debate about how close a match is "acceptable" with the angle cube - for me I generally feel pretty good with a 0.5 degree match in these cases since I can take the same hone with the cube and put it together and lean it up against the edge, take it apart put it together measure - wash-rinse-repeat :lol: - and have a half degree of variance since it is hard to get everything lined up the same every time (not using a square or similar to align everything of course).

Once I settled in on this technique my results have improved from what I got on the first few tries using the SWAT where is was over 1 degree in variance. I imagine I'll start to get inside of 0.5 with a few more tries.

Are these the sort of results others are seeing for matched angles?

I'd love any suggestions on variations etc that are working for others to get good matched angles.

I imagine Curtis has been working with this for about as long as anyone....well as long as Clay anyway.....suggestions Curtis and Clay....anyone?
Some of the edges I've sharpened on the WE
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Last Edit: 2 months 2 days ago by BobNash.
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SWAT Technique 2 months 2 days ago #17523

  • GibCurry
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Ordered my Variable Stone Thickness Adapter last night.

Thanks for insight. Looking forward to practice...

.... and gotta love those even more Wicked Edges....
~~~~

For Now,

Gib

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"Things work out best for those who make the best out of the way things work out."

"My goal is to be a good, practical knife sharpener. My dream is to polish molecules."
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SWAT Technique 2 months 2 days ago #17527

  • cbwx34
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I haven't worked with them much actually... I tried out a prototype set mostly to see how well the concept worked, but never got a set of the final model with the cutout section. I don't think that really makes a difference in use though, other than not being able to hit some of the lower angles.

My only thoughts in reading your (Bob's) post is, when I tried them out, I flipped the angle bar around so that the indents were on the back side (thus "out of use"). Just set the initial angle with the angle cube, lock the SWAT jig in place (pretty much how you described), and went from there. I didn't keep notes, but in testing it out, it seemed that I was within a 1/2 deg. between stones, and most changes were pretty much spot on. How that compares to what you're doing, I don't know since I didn't try it that way, but you may want to flip the bar around (or just turn your WE around if you just want to try it), and see how it compares.

Doing it with the bar flipped around, once the SWAT jig was in place, I'd basically just put the next stone on, loosen the arm collar, grip (or pinch my be a better word) the SWAT jig and stone together, and tighten the collar. If there was any "play" in the collar/stone, I'd just push it toward the SWAT jig, so that it was consistent between changes.

To me, the goal of the jig is speed as well as accuracy,,, adding the micro adjust to the mix, kinda defeats this, IMO, which I guess is why I never tried it. Not saying it's wrong or anything... just my thoughts on it.
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SWAT Technique 1 month 1 week ago #17760

  • DanMaloon
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I just got the swat and low angle today and was playing around with both. My bar was reversed already like curtis'(s?) And found that the swat held steady. I found the angle with the diamonds, set the bar and progressed. Then moved to the ceramics which is why i bought it. After micro adjusting the 1200/1600 they hit like they should and i finally like them again(kinda haha)All in all this is a worthy accessory that has many possibilities. I am alittle worried about the low angle adapter. I also think it might have been good to raise the height of the swat to match the arms just to get more of the stone face on it if that makes since. Its a good buy either way
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SWAT Technique 1 month 1 week ago #17762

  • tcmeyer
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I got to use my SWAT's a lot this last week on a batch of 18 knives graciously lent from my sister's beau from his collection. Big variety, which is what I was looking for as I need more experience with different knife profiles, etc.

Each knife had a different situation, but I followed Bob's lead in moving the SWAT blades up against my first grit stone using the thumb/fingers method. I didn't have the same problem with the vise key, as I've long ago switched to a screwdriver version, which makes it a little more conventient although I think I'm going to tap new screw positions at the top of the blade, perpendicular to the top angle. Maybe it would be nice if the blades were wider and reached down to near the base, so you wouldn't have to hold the stone up at an angle to align with the blade.

As many of the knives I was doing had new factory edges, I was pretty fastidious with my angles, and used the SWAT with every grit change, not just stone type changes. I was surprised to find that one of my 800/1000 diamond stones was quite a bit different when you flipped the stone, requiring a significant micro-adjustment. Several other stones had enough offset or slop to require at least some micro-adjustments.

I also have five sets of home-made handles, each side equipped with 1/4" plate glass platens, each pair then fitted with a PSA abrasive film in a particular grit. I had tried to keep the dimensions dead-on, but the SWAT revealed differences and now it's SOP to check every new grit change with the SWAT. I found that it was a minor thing in terms of difficulty and time lost. Added benefit was the clear knowledge that whatever stone I was using, I knew the angle was right and I could proceed confidently.

This experience also made me realize why I may have been having problems occasionally in erasing the previous grit's scratch marks. The new stone was simply not at the same angle.

Geez, now I'm wondering if there's a difference when I flip a stone end-for-end. Huh?

I'm also wondering if some of the slop in the stone handle holes has been exacerbated by grit and metal dust over time. My glass blocks have oil-lite bronze bushings at each end and feel rock solid compared to my WE handles.
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SWAT Technique 1 month 1 week ago #17764

  • razoredgeknives
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thanks for the write up Tom.

I have checked all my diamonds and have found them to be pretty much the same... so for me, the swat is unnecessary up through my diamonds. I have found that when I am going to my choseras is where I see different thicknesses as I have had them for a while. But whenever I go to my choseras I am using a USB microscope so I just do a few passes, see where the grit is hitting, and readjust. I don't really use the SWAT because it gets in the way for me personally... maybe I should give it another try.

another issue I have ran into is that the SWAT hinders the lower spectrum of angles (if I am wanting to back-bevel a knife at 15 dps I can't do it). This is because it takes up about 3/16" of the base bar.

on a side note, are the paddles you designed a pain to deal with if one end comes off of the rod arm? I seem to recall you just put in bushings in each end and chamferred them inside. I wonder if there is a way to put a copper tube through the entire middle to prevent this?
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SWAT Technique 1 month 1 week ago #17766

  • DanMaloon
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With the stock pp2 with arms youll hit the vise before the swat gets in the way
CAM00715.jpg


With the low angle adapter its the screws . With shorter screws you could leave the arms at the 13 degree per side mark without problems from the swat. Any closer and you'ld hit the vise again

CAM00718.jpg


It is a pain trying to tighten the screws with the stock key as mentioned.
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SWAT Technique 1 month 1 week ago #17767

  • razoredgeknives
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I'm glad you posted those pics dan! Dude your vice is JACKED... it is bent at the top man, you need to contact kyle for a new one... it should not be spread like that when closed.

anyway ;) onto the SWAT. Yeah, I don't use it for normal knives because I never go over 1k with them. The only time (pretty much) that I go to my choseras is on a straight razor, which if I do that I use a custom part I had milled and hardened that basically moves my pivots in front of my base rod. In this case I have to use my old arms and the SWAT gets in the way =) sorry I should have clarified earlier. thanks for the pics! That does help clear things up though...
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SWAT Technique 1 month 1 week ago #17768

  • tcmeyer
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Josh:

To avoid slipping off the upper bushing, I had to go to longer rods, but I think you had already told me that you went to 12" length. Was it maybe someone else? In any case, no problem for me.
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SWAT Technique 1 month 1 week ago #17769

  • razoredgeknives
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tcmeyer wrote:
Josh:

To avoid slipping off the upper bushing, I had to go to longer rods, but I think you had already told me that you went to 12" length. Was it maybe someone else? In any case, no problem for me.

cool thanks Tom. I went to 10" (i.e. 2" longer than stock) and Eamon went to 12" (4" longer than stock).
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