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TOPIC: Touch Ups on the WE

Touch Ups on the WE 1 year 1 month ago #13097

  • Geocyclist
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I did my first touch up on the WE and had to start a thread on it. I haven't seen any discussion at all on this. There is a lot of talk about first time sharpening, setting the vice, getting the bevels correct, etc, etc.... I was actually quite nervous about doing my fist touch up (putting a knife back in the vice for a 2nd time). Why? I spend so much time on the first setup that I doubted if I could put it back exactly the same way without having to re-grind. Mods - maybe you can find the right location for this.

Let's end the suspense - I am beyond impressed with my results! :woohoo:

Background - The knife was a brand new Benchmade LE Mini Griptilian with CPM M4 Steel. I had just sharpened it weeks ago to 17.5 per side to 5k Choseras. Very nice results, super edge. This knife is a EDC but not a beater. I was opening an envelope and the knife slipped and the tip hit the granite countertop. It caused a slight roll on the edge just near the tip. First I tried hand stropping, no luck. Next I tried hand sharpening on a fine ceramic stone, just trying to straighten the rolled section out. I got the roll to move back and forth, but couldn't get it out. Finally I loaded it up in the WE. I timed myself and it only took 10 minutes to get setup. This includes getting the setting the vice, setting the angle, taping the blade and other setup. (I actually spent more time taping up than setting the vice and angles). I started with 1k Choseras. 2 passes and the roll was gone. Spent about 30 minutes going through stones from 1k to 5k. Then some time with 5u and 3.5u strops. I was surprised that the 1k Chosera did not scratch up my mirror finish. My re-setting of the knife was perfect. I should have used a marker to verify, but I didn't. I just made 2 passes and the feel of the stone was spot on. I did check with a loupe and everything was going well. In the end it was huge relief to restore the edge with minimal work and not having to start from the beginning with 100# diamonds.

What advice can I give - what did I learn?
  • You MUST use the WE knife database! This is the most important key. Putting knife back in the vice is easier than I thought if you know the original settings - but you MUST know those original settings. I also keep my own spread with these settings.
  • The flat part of the edge was set parallel to the vice (as opposed to at an angle), so this was easy to clamp in the same way.
  • That's about all I have, hopefully others can add their tips. I would say just trust the WE. It is easier than I thought to put a knife back in just the same way as the first time.

I must also say I have never had such an easy touch up. Before I got m WEPS I tried to "maintain" sharp edges by hand stropping. Otherwise when a knife went dull it was pretty much a "full" re-sharpening required. I haven't really gotten my knives dull yet (except for a kitchen knife) because the initial edge I get from the WE is just so much better than anything I had before. So go for it and don't be afraid about ruining that perfect edge you got the first time. The 2nd time is even easier. :woohoo:
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by Geocyclist.
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Touch Ups on the WE 1 year 1 month ago #13100

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Thank for the tip. It looks like a good testimonial of the capabilities and the qualities of the WEPS !
Offical French distributor of Wicked Edge best sharpening system!
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Touch Ups on the WE 1 year 1 month ago #13101

  • LukasPop
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Thank you for sharing Geo. Do you have unsatisfactory results with hand stropping? I use steeling for Victorinox chefs knife (56 HRC stainless) and it works quite well. I need do this often, but i takes only part of the minute, much less than setting the WEPS. WEPS I use only once a time for bigger touch ups. I start with 1k diamonds usually. For harder steels I haven't final process yet, still experimenting. Writing down your setting are crucial for touch ups with weps. For vertical alligment of the knife, I use the Angle Cube - it is simple when the knife has straight spine.

hc30145c.jpg
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by LukasPop.
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Touch Ups on the WE 1 year 1 month ago #13107

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Great post Geo... thanks.

If you read Clay's "About Us" page, it was one of the key concepts for creating the WE...
The third and most aggravating problem with the sharpener was that I often found myself needing to recreate the edge from scratch (which required a considerable amount of time) when only a touch up was needed.

... and you should watch him do it... he'll whip a knife in and out several times, especially when taking 'scope pics, and he's so consistent he'll hit the same spot every time. The more consistent in how you set up a knife, the easier to repeat. But you and Lukas are right, when sharpening and using a knife for a while, recording the setup is key.

Thanks!
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Touch Ups on the WE 1 year 1 month ago #13129

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Lukas, Great idea to use the angle gage to measure knife angle. You may want to start a tread on something like "knife angle placement". There has been discussion about before about what angle to use, straight or offset. This method would be really key. I will start using it as I have to work real hard just to "eye-ball" it to get it parallel.

Stropping works well for me for general dulling from normal use. This case here I had fairly serious damage, not so bad to trash the blade or need a full re-grind, but way past what stropping would fix.

I also steel my kitchen knives. It works, it is fast. But I can also tell they still get duller and have to be sharpened eventually.
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Touch Ups on the WE 1 year 1 month ago #13137

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Yeah, Geo, using angle gauge improved my touch ups siginificantly. But in case of small pocket knives, it is difficult to attach angle gauge consistently. I remember discussion you mentioned. If you decide to use offset, using angle gauge is even more helpful to reproduce knife position quickly. For control I like to use small handy microscope over marker. I don't only see if I am working on entire bevels, but also see possible minor damages requiring more strokes before proceeding to finer grids/stropping.

It seems that we have similar experiences with steeling. Can you tell your experiences with steeling vs hand stropping? In which cases do you prefere one over another?
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by LukasPop.
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Touch Ups on the WE 1 year 1 month ago #13138

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What sort of steels do you use and are you using them to realign the edge?

There are polished stainless steel rods that are not too destructive and then there are various levels of grooved steels that can be harsh on the blade.
Then there are diamond steels that can take quite a lot steel away and then there are ceramic steels that are often between 1200-1600 grit.
If you have softer Western steel knives with fairly steep bevels and are used to chop a lot and generally see a lot of abuse then a steel is probable worthwhile.
If you are using Japanese knives then possible a couple of gentle run overs with a ceramic hone will realign the blade although hopefully they would not be misused only slice cutting so the blade should not roll so I would just hone it on some newspaper or a leather strop before it is put away since steel is precious.
I have noticed that Japanese chefs seem to use a chopping board more as a table but things like fruit and some vegetables are cut in the hand so the knives do not touch the cutting boards as much as we use them so once again the knives are not pounded into cutting boards nearly as much.
In general I do not like steels especially when perhaps you have put a bevel accurate to 0.1Ëš a steel is probable one of the most difficult things to maintain the bevel achieved on the WE especially since they are quite narrow in section.(not so bad on a steep angle but very destructive on a shallow angle).
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Touch Ups on the WE 1 year 1 month ago #13139

  • LukasPop
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Hi Leo, I agree that coarse grooved steel is harsh on the blade. I use polished or smoothly grooved steel. No experience with diamond/ceramic steels, i don't like that they take the metal off.
But polished/smoothly grooved stainless steels works fine for me in case of softer Western kitchen knives. You dont need to put a bevel accurate to 0.1°. I don't want to remove any metal, just straighten the edge which is bend from usage. Using light pressure is important.
For hard Japanese knives steeling don't seem such effective. Their edges probably bend less or different. Stropping with WE seems better for me. But it takes some time to set up WE.
I like steeling for my Western kitchen knives for its speed. I have steel in my kitchen at hand, so I can steel my knife in seconds before/during cooking.
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Touch Ups on the WE 1 year 1 month ago #13140

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It sounds like you know how to steel so many don't and end up with a hollow near the heel of the blade
, the ceramic hone steels are actually very good since they are smooth although for Western knives steel is probable best funnily enough rod rigging from yachts is perfect if you know any riggers who have replaced some rod rigging since it is smooth which is perfect to realign the blade without removing steel I havn't seen many smooth steels otherwise.
Here is a poor photo done quickly on the phone with the rod rigging & a 1200 grit ceramic steel.
h31380a7.jpeg
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Touch Ups on the WE 1 year 1 month ago #13144

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I only steel my kitchen knives, which are all Western. My steel has slight groove, but not severe. I have a ceramic rod, shorter and thinner than the one in your photo. I use it occasionally to sharpen kitchen knifes. I can then them a little sharper, but it is far from ideal. I have "crock sticks" but don't use them any more. (Crock sticks are what I call ceramic rods that come with wood base and pre-set angles). I rounded a few tips off knifes on ceramic rods before I realized what I was doing.

Leo, what do you mean by "hollow' at the heel of the blade?

Now that I have experienced how quick and easy touch ups on the WEPS are I will start touching up my kitchen knives more often. I still steel every use or so. I now just have 4 kitchen I use on a regular basis so that is not so many to sharpen - a chef's knife, a santuko, and 2 pairing knives.
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