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TOPIC: Edge retention

Re:Edge retention 6 months 3 weeks ago #15277

  • razoredgeknives
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Craig Somers wrote:
I have a jewellers loupe for examining the edge and it is certainly eye opening!! I also tend to start my stokes using an up and down motion along the blade then start using a heel to tip stroke, could this make a difference?

Craig, when talking about your stroke direction you need to specify if its edge leading or edge trailing... otherwise your "heel to tip" statement is confusing =)

There were 2 important points made above... 1. it could be due to too low of an angle or 2. it could be due to you not completely removing the burr. The second point is why I usually use edge leading passes to finish off my edges as that seems to prevent a burr more easily (although I don't have any scientific or photographic data to back this up yet).

What you should do is do some side by side cardboard comparison tests on the same knife... if you have one that is still factory sharpened this would be ideal. But you probably have sharpened everything on the WEPS by now huh? :lol:

I've recently gotten to where I finish my edges on the 600 grit stone and do 10-20 passes per side (pps) w/ 3.5um pasted strops very lightly to finish it. This seems to leave a refined yet very toothy edge that will still pop hairs off of your arm.
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Re:Edge retention 6 months 3 weeks ago #15283

  • tcmeyer
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It's good to hear I'm not the only one who recognizes the occasional application which requires a toothy edge. I learned that a year or so ago, when my super-sharp Buck 110 wouldn't cut a piece of rope worth diddly, while an El-Cheapo I got as a gift from an outdoor magazine subscription sliced thru it like butter.

This "too sharp to cut" condition shows itself when the glossy faces of the final bevel tend to slide right over tough fibers without pulling them up where they can be sliced apart. They further serve to distribute downforce that would otherwise be applied to the apex of the edge.

I'm trying an experiment in which I'm putting an 11 deg back-bevel on an old Chicago Cutlery 10" chef's knife. I want to see if a very narrow primary bevel will improve cutting ease. I've noticed the rest of my wife's cutlery have very narrow primary bevels.

BTW, I started out with a cheap 10X jewelers loupe from Grizzly. So cheap I bought 4 of 'em. I don't see them listed on their website - will have to find them in the new catalog. What's really nice about it, is that they focus on the plane of the bottom face. So if you simply rest the plastic rim on the knife edge or side of one bevel, you can immediately see what you're trying find.

I recently bought a new Celestron USB 5Mpixel microscope, ($107??) which doesn't have a variable power, instead they do it in software (which is light years ahead of the Chinese version). I have it hooked up to an old laptop with a somewhat larger screen. Adjusting the roller on the 'scope body, doesn't change the power, it moves the actual sensor lens closer or farther and is intended for fine focus. I finally duplicated the loupe principle by adjusting the 'scope to focus on the plane of the clear polystyrene lens protector. This means I can slide the camera all along the edge, watching for oopses on the screen as I go. The Celestron luckily has a dial in its cable that allows you to infinitely adjust the LED lighting as you work and it has a button you can use to capture images.

I'll try o get some images of the WorkSharp edges along with images of the same knife with a WE edge.

All of the microscopes in my price range have got very limited depth of field. Looking down on an edge makes it very difficult to focus. The depth of field is shallow enough that if you zero in on the edge, very little of the bevel is visible. The edge as it gets finer than 400g becomes a point that doesn't seem to exist and therefor can't be seen. I know that seems silly, but finding exact focus when the edge tends to produce aberrations is a real chore.
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