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TOPIC: Strokes to progress to next grit database?

Strokes to progress to next grit database? 4 months 3 weeks ago #16806

  • drichardjackson
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I know it would have variations from user to user. But I thought it may be neat for people to post what they typically do in their progression from one stone to the next. I would propose starting the next stone AFTER burr on each side is achieved is set.

So hypothetically say:

"Knife type and steel"
100 - burr
200 - alternating medium strokes @ 50/s
300 - alternating medium trokes @ 60/s
...
1000 - alternating light strokes @ 60/s
...
3.5mu - alternating very light strokes minus 2 degrees @ 100/s
...etc

End result -
Hair whittling

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Strokes to progress to next grit database? 4 months 3 weeks ago #16808

  • mark76
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Hey drichardjackson,

It really depends. On the steel, on the pressure, on many things. Listen to the steel and you will know. That is what all experienced sharpeners will tell you and they are right.

But two years ago I was in the same situation as you. I couldn't listen to the steel, because I didn't know what it should sound like. I hardly knew what a burr felt like.

So here is a very indicative answer. 50 strokes per side.

It is no definitive answer. Just start there. If it works, fine. Maybe you could try less strokes. If it doesn't work, go up to a 100 and then go down.

And in two years you won't worry about the number of strokes anymore :cheer: .
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Strokes to progress to next grit database? 4 months 3 weeks ago #16810

  • leomitch
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I agree with Mark! Listening to your strokes is a very important skill to develop. You will get to know when everything is just right as time goes on. The same holds true for stropping I have found...when the angle is right there is a soft sound that is impossible to describe because individuals each will hear it differently...but you will know it when you hear it. Experience is the best teacher.
It is very Zen! What is the sound of one diamond paddle stroking Grasshopper? :silly: :lol: RIP David Carradine!

Leo
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Gibbs rule number 9

Leo James Mitchell
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Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 4 months 3 weeks ago #16811

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For us not so in tune yet. Do you typically notice you are using the same number of strokes as you progress up the grit/strop range or do you even count them at all? I completely understand getting to where you know what to feel and hear. But I think it would help if we greenhorns knew and idea of when to start looking for those changes in sound and feel. It's like wine or beer tasting, sommeliers will teach their students to taste and smell different flavor profiles by sometimes first giving the students a wine and saying that this wine has hints of vanilla, citrus, dark cherry and chocolate etc. Then the students can start picking up what the teacher is saying. So the teacher is not only telling then what to taste for but also giving a hands on example of what that taste tastes like in a wine.


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Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 4 months 3 weeks ago #16812

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Sorry for the lovely typos... IPhone typing is no fun sometimes.


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Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 4 months 3 weeks ago #16814

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Mark has already given a suggested number of strokes in the second post above. It is as good as any as a starting point. There are many factors governing the number of stokes as he has explained, so try beginning with Mark's tip. Everybody learns differently.
There was no forum when I started nearly 4 years ago, just the booklet that came with the WEPS. With Clay's suggestions from time to time and my own failures and successes, I came up with my own way. Everyone will take a different path but all leading to the same place...some will get there faster than others.

Cheers
Leo
Never go anywhere without your knife!
Gibbs rule number 9

Leo James Mitchell
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Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 4 months 3 weeks ago #16815

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From my brief experience, I think the number of strokes with each step up in grit is determined by three things, A; The type and hardness of the steel, B; The length of the blade, and C; How important it is for you to completely eliminate scratches from earlier grits. I'm assuming here that your hand pressure is reasonably constant, at least until the highest grits. If not, then pressure becomes a fourth variable.

A. Steel:
Obviously, harder and/or tougher steels will require more strokes than softer, less tough steels.

B. Length:
Each (typical) stroke moves the stone vertically and horizontally relative to the blade. The longer the blade, the less abrasive area contacting any one point along the blade. It's simple geometry and stands to reason that a longer blade will require more strokes to achieve the same amount of abrasion as a shorter blade.
I have a batch of seven small Seki-made pocket knives, which I think are made of ATS-6. The blades are only about 1.5" long and I typical sharpen them all in a single batch. I learned early on that they only required 6 strokes per side with each grit to erase all apparent evidence of the previous grit. I don't sharpen these blades beyond the 1000 grit diamond stones, so can't testify whether the rule applies to higher grits. I also do not normally use the 100/200 stones except to major re-profiling.

C. Polish:
If you are fanatical about removing any and all scratches, you'll probably find that the number of strokes required may increase by a factor of 10 or more over the number required for a simple sharpening. You'll also need to get fanatical about eliminating cross-contamination. If you have the eye-hand coordination, try changing the direction which each step up in grit and check your work with a loupe or microscope. It's the best way to confirm that prior scratches are gone.

Bottom line? Same answer as everybody else... It depends.
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Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 4 months 3 weeks ago #16816

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Richard, that's why I said 50. And I think Leo and others have given enough disclaimers. It's a starting point and from there on you will learn the finer things.

When stropping I do less strokes. At least, usually. When you read my blog, you can see that to determine the effect of some stropping compounds, I once did 500 strokes per side :woohoo: . But in practice it's much less than 50. And I don't do sweeping strokes with my strops anymore, only up-down strokes. I've nicked too many strops :angry: .

You may also want to watch some videos on the WEPS on Youtube. There are many of them and if you're bored, you can even count the strokes ;) .

Knife sharpening really is a craft. Part art, part science, part plain labour. And part Zen, as Leo emphasizes. That's why I love it. It takes some effort to learn it, but the WEPS minimizes this effort.
Last Edit: 4 months 3 weeks ago by mark76.
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Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 4 months 3 weeks ago #16818

  • drichardjackson
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Awesome thanks Leo, tcmeyer, and Mark! I have watched a ton of YouTube videos and I have sharpened a good few knives of many types and steels etc for a newbie. I think it is just the engineer in me that wants to have some concept of number of strokes, haha. I am not having trouble getting sharp edges at all. I haven't hit hair whittling yet though. I would also like to minimize work spent and metal removed if at all possible. But I completely understand that I really need to start some studies and really try to feel/hear what the stones are telling me. Thanks again for your help!
My typical as of now usually goes:
-D2 and SG2: 60-70 strokes stones, 100+ strops
-S30V: 50 strokes stones, 70 strops
-AUS-8 and eq: 40 strokes stones, 60 strops
-AUS-6 and below: 30 strokes stones, 40 strops



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Re:Strokes to progress to next grit database? 4 months 3 weeks ago #16819

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This forum is so awesome because people really want to see others succeed and grow more proficient with the WEPS! Awesome stuff!!


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