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TOPIC: Always need a burr?

Always need a burr? 1 year 9 months ago #5701

  • RICKLINDSEY
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Do you need to raise a burr(never heard of getting one before until I got on here)every time? And do you always need to use all the stones 100-1000 each time you re-sharpen or just touch up a edge?
Forgive my ignorance. New to WE and trying to avoid any\all mistakes I can.
Much thanks in advance again.
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Re: Always need a burr? 1 year 9 months ago #5702

  • ApexGS
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The burr is very important when you're first getting the edge profiled, whether you're matching the factory grind or putting a new angle on. That's what tells you that you're all the way to the edge and it's time to start stepping up the grits.

You definitely don't need to start at 100 for every single job; what you're sharpening will dictate where you start and how far you go. If you need to change the angle a lot you'll want to start with the 100/200 set to save a lot of time and elbow grease, but for a quick touchup you might only need to get rid of a rolled edge on the 600, or true up the edge with the 1000 grit stone. The nice thing is if you try using a grit that's too fine and it's going slowly, you can just kick it down a notch and work back up pretty quickly.

Hope that helps :)
Your friendly neighborhood gunsmith!
- Tom
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Re: Always need a burr? 1 year 9 months ago #5703

  • StevenPinson
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This is where magnification is your true friend. It is up to the person driving the stones to know when to burr or not to burr. I personally always adhere to the "Save the metal club rules" just to be safe.
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Re: Always need a burr? 1 year 9 months ago #5706

  • cbwx34
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Good question. Tom pretty much answered it, I'll just emphasize part of what he said, when touching up an edge you can, to an extent "work backwards" in grits. If, for example you want to bring back an edge that has dulled slightly, just use the finest stone or strop you finished the edge with in the previous sharpening. If the edge is a little worse off, or, as he stated, the touch up isn't working, step down a notch or two. You should be able to maintain a blade in this way for quite a while. Only if there's major damage (chips/nicks etc.) or the blade needs reprofiling, start over with the coarse stones.

A burr tells you that you've reached the edge, it's the most common method of telling. Except in rare cases, or if you go to great (and usually unnecessary lengths) to avoid creating one, it will be there. The trick is to learn to detect it. You don't have to purposely create one, if you know that you're already at the edge. For example, if you're putting an edge on a knife at an angle greater than what's already on the knife, you don't need to "scrub one side and feel for a burr", you already know you're at the edge. You also wouldn't need to start with a coarse stone, since so little work needs to be done. In most cases though, especially when sharpening a knife on the WE for the first time, a burr is used to tell you've reached the edge and properly profiled the blade... especially in key areas like the tip, belly and heel.

You won't find burrs talked about with pull thru sharpeners, since both sides are being ground at the same time, it's nearly impossible to tell. (It's still there though, and needs to be addressed). Thought I'd mention this as a reason why you haven't heard of it before.
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Re: Always need a burr? 1 year 9 months ago #5707

  • WayneNicklin
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Great blog, the other thing I would add is to keep a record of the settings that were used to originally sharpen the knife on the WEPS. To originally create the same edge would be to use the same angle and what was the setting on the holder I.e. front t back ratio.
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