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TOPIC: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression

Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 2 months ago #1718

  • jendeindustries
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The WEPS diamond and ceramic progression took about 2 hours with "perfect" documentation. I've spent 3-4 hours documenting a progression, especially for the cleaver shave. The Shapton Progression will probably take a while simply because there are 10 stones :)

My first knife on the WEPS took about 3 hours. The learning curve, setting the angles with the cube (the most time consuming in the beginning), and just finding my groove took about 10 knives. I still go "slow", often taking about 1 hour on a knife because I like the idea of perfection when I use a guided sharpening device.

In general, the first grit takes the longest amount of time, and can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the knife. After circles, I do scrubbing on one side until a burr forms, then scrub the other side. Then I'll do quite a bit of sweeping strokes to really establish that bevel.

On the 200 grits and above, things move faster. scrubbing should only take a few minutes, depending on the knife, and I start sweeping with a little pressure, and gradually ease off - probably about 200 strokes per side.

400 the same quick scrubbing, and probably about 200 or so sweeping. 600 a quick scrub, and I do a lot more sweeping - you really can't do too much at that level. Again, I start off with some pressure, and ease off towards the end and do many very light strokes to minimize burr formation.

The catch is the faster you go, usually the heavier handed you are, so foe that extra level of perfection, you really do need to slow it down at the end.

On the Choseras and Shaptons, I take my time on the first grit after the WEPS 600 to remove those deeper scratches which are hidden. Then I follow pretty much the same method per stone of scrub/sweep, but I like to maximize the potential of each grit, so I like to do a lot of strokes. Shaptons and Choseras are different, and I usually need to do more on the Choseras than on the Shaptons due to the polish I can get from the Choseras.

As for the veho, I kept the knife in the clamp for all pictures and put the lens right against the blade. When I document razors and other knives outside of the WEPS, the scope always wobbled a great deal. This is what usually adds the hours to the project.
Tom Blodgett
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 2 months ago #1719

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Thanks Tom, this is EXTREMELY helpful! Glad Leo made this topic sticky, since I suspect many other beginning WEPS users will have similar questions and your information will drastically shorten their learning curves.
jendeindustries wrote:
As for the veho, I kept the knife in the clamp for all pictures and put the lens right against the blade.

i don't quite understand this point. Before you wrote that you were able to take better pictures by attaching the microscope much better to its base. But I interpret the words above as that you still put the lens right against the blade. But then you don't use the base anymore, do you? So what is the added value then of clamping it to the base? What am I missing?
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 2 months ago #1720

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I keep the microscope base attached to the scope at all times and I put the lens of the scope right on the edge of the knife. It doesn't effect the pictures on the WEPS, but the loose base did swing a bit, making it more cumbersome to control the scope sometimes. The tighteneing of the screw for me will help tremendously when the knife is not clamped, particularly when I do my straight razor progressions.

One drawback of putting the scope right up on the edge is that you can easily chip the edge, especially as you get higher in grits.

I'll post a picture - tonight I will try to get to more of the progression.
Tom Blodgett
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 1 month ago #1813

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Hey Tom, quick question... I can't seem to find any info to this effect... when going through the process of sharpening a straight razor I have found that the jump between the 1k stock diamond to the 14m pasted strops is too large... after 500 strokes per side w/ the 14m strop it has not removed any of the scratches. Which leads me to my question, what is the logical progression if I am sticking with all stock stones/strops (i.e. no chosera/shapton stones)? I just ordered the 1200/1600 ceramic stones as an "in-between" before I go to the 14m strops. Any suggestions or should I be good? Thanks for your help!
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 1 month ago #1821

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All this Sharpton & Chosera talk is confusing me. So far, here is what I've been doing. I've been progressing thru the 1000 diamond plates and then polishing with sandpaper, 1000/1500/2000/2500 grit strips temporarily taped to the plates. Then the 5/3/5 micron leather strops. I learned about the sandpaper polishing on YouTube with M0DiFiEDZ, who sharpened and polished a Kershaw Leek on a WEPS. But, I'd like to get away from the sandpaper polishing.

If I upgrade to the Chosera 5k/10k stones, let me see if I understand the progression? After going thru the diamond plates to 1000, I would move on to the ceramic paddles 1200/1600 and then on to the Chosera stones 5k/10k and then the 5/3.5 micron leather strops and finally the .5 micron diamond spray on a leather strop. Is that a logical progression for both sharpness and mirror polish?
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by holymolar.
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 1 month ago #1822

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JoyalTaylor wrote:
If I upgrade to the Chosera 5k/10k stones, let me see if I understand the progression? After going thru the diamond plates to 1000, I would move on to the ceramic paddles 1200/1600 and then on to the Chosera stones 5k/10k and then the 5/3.5 micron leather strops and finally the .5 micron diamond spray on a leather strop. Is that a logical progression for both sharpness and mirror polish?

Maybe I should wait for Tom to answer your question, but I asked the question about stone progression in another thread and, without all the confusing stuff (thus simplifying), the answer was "yes". I own the full range of WE stones (diamond 100-1000 and the ceramic stones) and recently ordered the Chosera 5K/10K stones.

As to which stropping compounds to use afterwards, I am not sure. The grit comparison chart tells us that 10K Chosera is about equivalent to 1 micron. I you strop with leather, you might want to go back to 3.5 micron diamond stuff. However, personally I do 5/3.5 micron stropping after the ceramic stones (which are the highest grit stones I now own). So maybe you can also continue with 1 micron spray on balsa. At least I am fairly certain the jump from 3.5 micron stuff to 0.5 micron stuff, both on leather, is too big.

But since the previous post also had a question about which stropping compound to use after a particular stone, perhaps Tom can enlighten us a bit on this ;). In the meantime you can find some sample progressions at Tom's blog. Look for the post on shaving with the Maestro Wu cleaver.
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by mark76.
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 1 month ago #1823

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Thanks Mark76. I just realized that I replied to the wrong post. I should have posted in the Sharpton & Chosera The Great Debate. Oh well, I can't move my reply over to the other post so I'll just wait for Tom to reply to one or the other.
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 1 month ago #1832

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razoredgeknives wrote:
Hey Tom, quick question... I can't seem to find any info to this effect... when going through the process of sharpening a straight razor I have found that the jump between the 1k stock diamond to the 14m pasted strops is too large... after 500 strokes per side w/ the 14m strop it has not removed any of the scratches. Which leads me to my question, what is the logical progression if I am sticking with all stock stones/strops (i.e. no chosera/shapton stones)? I just ordered the 1200/1600 ceramic stones as an "in-between" before I go to the 14m strops. Any suggestions or should I be good? Thanks for your help!

Straight razor and knife sharpening are completely different mentalities, although the same principles apply.

The default answer to any straight razor related issues is "you're using too much pressure" :) Pressure is a key component - you really need to go very lightly to keep the depth of the scratches shallow and consistent -especially at the higher grits. With pressure, you can also actually flex the edge of the edge very easily, and miss abrading it altogether.

However, I see 2 more possible reasons popping out at me before the pressure issue. The first is that the 14 micron paste is actually a little coarser than the the 1K diamond WEPS, so you are probably seeing the effects of the almost same size scratches. Secondly, the paste abrades differently than the plates - the plates are way more aggressive. But after 500+ strokes, you shouldn't have that issue with the paste.

The 1200/1600 WEPS ceramics will serve as a good in-between, but you might not need to go all the way back to 14 micron afterward (1K Japanese standard is 14~16 microns). I would suggest starting at the 5 micron or even 3.5 after the 1600 WEPS Ceramic. As you can see from the microscope pictures, the ceramics leave a very good, clean edge to work from.

One thing you may want to try on the WEPS 1K Diamond is to sweep in the opposite direction that you use the diamond paste strops on. This will give you a very clear indication of what's happening with your scratches when you switch to the leather paddles. The 1200 WEPS sweeping picture in this thread's OP shows a good example of contrasting scratches, which exposed underlying deeper scratches: here's a shameless link to the blog post. :lol:


The general rule of thumb on straights is that 8K, or 2 microns is the minimum level of refinement for a decent shave. However, I personally feel that you should at least get to the 1 micron or 15K level for a more comfortable and smoother shave.
Tom Blodgett
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 1 month ago #1844

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jendeindustries wrote:
The 1200 WEPS sweeping picture in this thread's OP shows a good example of contrasting scratches, which exposed underlying deeper scratches: here's a shameless link to the blog post. :lol:

Hi Tom,

Thanks again for the very useful information!

I don't know if this is the best place to ask you a question about your blogs posts. If there is a better place (Knifeforums?), please let me know.

There is something I don't quite understand: how are higher grit stones able to expose underlying deeper scratches? I think you also wrote about this in a post on the Shapton 15K stones.

I see your point. Literally: I see it in the photographs :) . And I think it is an important point. A point that many of us have encountered or will encounter :(.

But I don't understand quite understand the explanation. How can higher level stones expose deeper scratches? After all, the only thing these stones do is remove material. So if a deeper scratch appears on the photograph, it must have been there before.

This is probably the same reason I don't understand the combination of the following two quotes from your blog on how to prevent the micro-chipping:
On the 1200 scrubbing picture, the scratches going against the majority could be written off as me just not doing enough scrubbing to remove the previous scratches. But ...
and
The solution is rather simple, either go back to the 800/1K WEPS, or do more on the 1200 until those scratches “bottom out”.
If we can solve the problem by going back to the 800/1K WEPS stones or do more on the 1200, why isn't the reason that we did not do enough scrubbing?

It'd be great if you could enlighten me! I'd really like to understand this problem that has baffled so many people.
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by mark76.
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 1 month ago #1845

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jendeindustries wrote:
razoredgeknives wrote:
Hey Tom, quick question... I can't seem to find any info to this effect... when going through the process of sharpening a straight razor I have found that the jump between the 1k stock diamond to the 14m pasted strops is too large... after 500 strokes per side w/ the 14m strop it has not removed any of the scratches. Which leads me to my question, what is the logical progression if I am sticking with all stock stones/strops (i.e. no chosera/shapton stones)? I just ordered the 1200/1600 ceramic stones as an "in-between" before I go to the 14m strops. Any suggestions or should I be good? Thanks for your help!

Straight razor and knife sharpening are completely different mentalities, although the same principles apply.

The default answer to any straight razor related issues is "you're using too much pressure" :) Pressure is a key component - you really need to go very lightly to keep the depth of the scratches shallow and consistent -especially at the higher grits. With pressure, you can also actually flex the edge of the edge very easily, and miss abrading it altogether.

However, I see 2 more possible reasons popping out at me before the pressure issue. The first is that the 14 micron paste is actually a little coarser than the the 1K diamond WEPS, so you are probably seeing the effects of the almost same size scratches. Secondly, the paste abrades differently than the plates - the plates are way more aggressive. But after 500+ strokes, you shouldn't have that issue with the paste.

The 1200/1600 WEPS ceramics will serve as a good in-between, but you might not need to go all the way back to 14 micron afterward (1K Japanese standard is 14~16 microns). I would suggest starting at the 5 micron or even 3.5 after the 1600 WEPS Ceramic. As you can see from the microscope pictures, the ceramics leave a very good, clean edge to work from.

One thing you may want to try on the WEPS 1K Diamond is to sweep in the opposite direction that you use the diamond paste strops on. This will give you a very clear indication of what's happening with your scratches when you switch to the leather paddles. The 1200 WEPS sweeping picture in this thread's OP shows a good example of contrasting scratches, which exposed underlying deeper scratches: here's a shameless link to the blog post. :lol:


The general rule of thumb on straights is that 8K, or 2 microns is the minimum level of refinement for a decent shave. However, I personally feel that you should at least get to the 1 micron or 15K level for a more comfortable and smoother shave.

Tom,

Thank-you so much for taking the time to reply to my questions! :)

I was definitely doing what you said, sweeping in opposite directions w/ ea. different micron strop so that way I could be sure before moving up to the next strop. That is how I could tell my previous scratches were not erased. I did this with each stone, going in the opposite direction, making sure the deeper scratches were gone. So I know that the 1600 scratches truly belonged to my 1600 ceramic stone and weren't a result of earlier deeper scratches.

I agree w/ you about the pressure, but there are a few issues here.

1. The straight razor I was sharpening was a $10 straight razor... it was the wrong profile - much too thick near the edge for a normal straight... more like a knife. It therefore did not flex the edge like it could on a normal straight. This is what allowed me to see my scratch pattern with the naked eye whereas you couldn't normally see the edge on a straight w/ the naked eye. Now, because it was so cheap, yeah, it's not gonna hold its edge for very long... but that is not my issue. My issue is the progression of my stones/strops.

2. I could definitely tell that I was hitting all the way to the very edge... and regardless of that, it was not taking ANY of the scratches out from the 1600 ceramic.... and this is after 700 strokes/side w/ the 14m strop. I really don't understand what is going on.

I know I need to get one of those USB microscopes you have... I'm gonna have to do that soon.

It just doesn't make sense to me why a 14m strop (regardless of how the particles actually abrade something) does not erase the scratches left from a 2-3 micron stone. You should definitely see improvement and an "erasing" of the scratch pattern after 5-700 strokes.

Oh, and it wasn't just my 14m strop I tried.... after the 700 strokes i also tried a couple hundred on each strop below that to see if it was just pasted wrong, or the wrong particle size or anything. No go...

On a positive note I got them sufficient enough to shave with... they would sever free hanging hairs. But I'm still not satisfied overall.... Am I going to have to get some shaptons or choseras to make this work?

Do you think you could document (like you did in the beginning of this post) pictures of the progression on an edge using all stock items? (i.e. diamond stones, ceramic stones, to strops w/ stock diamond paste/spray)? I would really like to see this. Thanks for all your help bro... keep up the good work! ;)

- Josh
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by razoredgeknives.
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