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Sharpener and Accessory Maintenance

TOPIC: Maintaining Waterstones for use on the Wicked Edge

Re: Maintaining Waterstones for use on the Wicked Edge 2 years 4 months ago #2895

  • mark76
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That is interesting, Tom! After three months of use I am not able to observe any wear on my WEPS ceramic stones. So the Shaptons will show even less wear? (Though I am not quite sure what you mean by "you want the ceramic to be able to come loose on the WEPS ceramics". The abrasive ceramic stays right where it is on my WEPS ceramic stones.)

And have you got any clue why the recommendation for the Shaptons is to use a some water and for the WEPS ceramics is to use them dry? Is that something about the way the stones are constructed or is it more like the "cleaning philosophy" behind the stones? (The WEPS stones can be used dry, but they do collect steel dust and require frequent cleaning.)
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Re: Maintaining Waterstones for use on the Wicked Edge 2 years 4 months ago #2989

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I did an interesting discovery during the last few days. When you add a little bit of water to the WEPS ceramic stones, the edge seems to come out much clearer than when you use no water! :cheer: You don't need to soak the stones: just a few drops of water to keep the stones wet are enough.

The edge even approaches the mirror you normally only get after the 5K/10K Choseras or after stropping with the WEPS stropping pastes.

I was wondering whether anyone has any ideas on why the is the case.

It might seem an obvious case of "facts fit theory". The theory here is that by keeping the stones wet, you prevent clogging the stones with metal filings. This prevents the filings to scratch the edge and makes the stones more effective.

However, I doubt whether this theory holds. The reason is that the stones get just as black when you use them with water as when you use them without water. So apparently steel filings are still accumulating in/on the stone. Or am I misinterpreting this?

Is there anyone who can shed more light on this?
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Re: Maintaining Waterstones for use on the Wicked Edge 2 years 4 months ago #3001

  • wickededge
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I can't speak yet to why it works so well to use water with the ceramics, but I can attest to Mark's results; I get tremendous results by keeping the ceramic stones wet. I use a spray bottle with water and a few drops of dish soap and get great results - essentially a mirror polish. After the ceramics, a few strokes with the strops and the edges gleam beautifully. Here are the Kershaw blades I just completed with that exact method:


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mark76 wrote:
I did an interesting discovery during the last few days. When you add a little bit of water to the WEPS ceramic stones, the edge seems to come out much clearer than when you use no water! :cheer: You don't need to soak the stones: just a few drops of water to keep the stones wet are enough.

The edge even approaches the mirror you normally only get after the 5K/10K Choseras or after stropping with the WEPS stropping pastes.

I was wondering whether anyone has any ideas on why the is the case.

It might seem an obvious case of "facts fit theory". The theory here is that by keeping the stones wet, you prevent clogging the stones with metal filings. This prevents the filings to scratch the edge and makes the stones more effective.

However, I doubt whether this theory holds. The reason is that the stones get just as black when you use them with water as when you use them without water. So apparently steel filings are still accumulating in/on the stone. Or am I misinterpreting this?

Is there anyone who can shed more light on this?
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Re: Maintaining Waterstones for use on the Wicked Edge 2 years 4 months ago #3043

  • jendeindustries
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Ytreich from the Knife Forums hits the nail on the head, IMO:
The metal that adheres to the surface of a ceramic piece galls your blade badly. I've seen it under a high powered microscope, and it's not pretty.

I've also witnessed this in person. Basically, the ceramic loads up with metal flakes, and those flakes stick out like cactus needles, adding stray divots to the surface of the edge. This is somewhat similar to metal burnishing, but its overall coarseness makes it less desirable at the WEPS 1200/1600 level of refinement. We've seen that than on higher grits, metal burnishing can be more beneficial.

Don't forget the flip side - if you let the ceramics load up, they do leave a more refined edge, even if it is less perfect.
Tom Blodgett
Jende Industries, LLC

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Re: Maintaining Waterstones for use on the Wicked Edge 2 years 4 months ago #3045

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jendeindustries wrote:
Ytreich from the Knife Forums hits the nail on the head, IMO:
The metal that adheres to the surface of a ceramic piece galls your blade badly. I've seen it under a high powered microscope, and it's not pretty.

I've also witnessed this in person. Basically, the ceramic loads up with metal flakes, and those flakes stick out like cactus needles, adding stray divots to the surface of the edge.

How do you recognize that the ceramic loads up with the metal?

The point is, when I use the WEPS ceramics with water, the stones do not come out cleaner than when I use them without water. In both cases, there is a little bit of black stuff (metal, I assume) that remains on the stones.
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Re: Maintaining Waterstones for use on the Wicked Edge 2 years 4 months ago #3047

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There will always be some residual "black" metal swarf on the ceramic stones/steel That's part of abrading. I think the water helps keep it from accumulating to the point where it begins to burnish the metal instead of abrading into it.
Tom Blodgett
Jende Industries, LLC

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