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TOPIC: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression

Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 6 months ago #1844

  • mark76
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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 6 months ago by mark76.
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 6 months ago #1845

  • razoredgeknives
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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 6 months ago by razoredgeknives.
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 6 months ago #1848

  • jendeindustries
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Excellent question, Mark!


You can see fromt he 1K Diamond picture that everything looks pretty good - minus my 2 little bumps in the edge of the edge. :whistle: The scratches are consistent, and the depth of each seems to reflect in a consistent manner. The hidden scratches from coarser grits are masked by the "noise" from the reflections of light from the existing bevel. This is because the refinement isn't enough to get a clear reading of the surface, and because the diamonds scratches are still pretty deep, causing the peaks and valleys to reflect light in different directions.

1K WEPS diamond:




On the 1200 Ceramic, the depth of the scratches are more shallow, and the quality of the scratches makes a more even surface that allows for the deeper scratches to be exposed - it's a lot like looking to the bottom of a pool through a disturbed surface vs. looking down through a calm surface.

1200 WEPS ceramic:




This issue of deeper scratches being exposed happens at every level simply because each grit makes finer scratches. That's one reason I like a progression that uses more stones with smaller jumps between grits - it takes less time to smooth over the surface from the previous scratches.

However, fewer stones with larger jumps between grits really just needs more time to establish the finer grit's scratches. Keep in mind that different mediums will require different amounts of time to abrade the surface sufficiently. That's why I said that the exposed scratches could be attributed to my scrubbing not being enough.

I suggested going back to the 800 or 1K paddles because if an edge has a lot of deeper scratches, it would be more advantageous to step back a grit. But if the scratches are from a closer grit, then more time on the existing grit can often remedy the problem. I chose more strokes in this case.

There will be a point of diminishing returns, though. Don't expect your 30K Shapton pro stone to remove the 400 grit scratches any time this week. :P
Tom Blodgett
Jende Industries, LLC

My Blog: jendeindustries.wordpress.com
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 5 months ago #1856

  • wickededge
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This is an issue I've struggled with a lot. Tom is correct in that the more you polish the edge, the more individual scratches really stand out, especially under high magnification. Tom is also correct that by using a crosshatch method, not only is it easier to knock the ridges between scratches down, it's easier to see if you're removing the scratches from the previous stone. When you stroke in the same direction with every grit, you're not working as efficiently as possible because many of the particles will be fitting inside the scratches from the previous stone and won't be doing any work at all. We did a fun study of different stones last year on Knife Forums: WEPS Shapton Progression Tom started the post and it evolved into a comparative study of Shaptons vs. Choseras with a lot of stropping along the way. From the photos, it's easy to see exactly what Tom is describing in the way of deep scratches hiding under the scattered light from all the myriad micro-geometry of the scratch pattern. As you peel back the metal to get closer to the scratch valleys, you're able to see them more clearly. During this study, I re-learned something I had really come to know in the knife sharpening competition: when stropping, USE VERY LIGHT PRESSURE! It was astonishing how deeply the abrasives dug in when using too much pressure with the strops.
--Clay Allison
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 5 months ago #1866

  • jendeindustries
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Josh - You've got a really tough problem :cheer: Unfortunately, I'm not sure what the root of it is without seeing the actual edge.

The good news is that from the sound of things, it looks like the sharpening aspect is working since you were able to get it sharp. B) Often times on razors you still see scratches without any magnification, but they won't necessarily hinder the overall performance.

The fact that you aren't getting rid of the scratches with 700+ strokes with the 14 micron paste leads me to believe that it is the razor and/or the steel quality. Sometimes during the factory hollow grinding, the scratches may run really deep - so deep that getting them out completely is not worth the amount of metal removal needed. Sometimes that stainless steel is pretty hard - Gold Dollar Razors are notoriously poorly made, but can be fruitless to abrade with only the lightest touch.

At this point I would try using a little more pressure on the strops.

A USB scope would definitely help in diagnosing the problem. I always recommend the Veho 400 since it is pretty inexpensive and if a bunch of guys have the same scope, we can all see what we're talking about.
Tom Blodgett
Jende Industries, LLC

My Blog: jendeindustries.wordpress.com
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Re: Diamond &Ceramic Plates - Microscope progression 2 years 5 months ago #1867

  • mark76
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Thanks Tom and Clay! I finally understand the issue :cheer: .

I have read the entire thread at Knife Forums. I had read bit and pieces of it before, but never the entire thread! It should be mandatory for every WEPS user ;) . If I had done so, I wouldn't have asked this question in the first place. And now I understand the issue, I see it appear everywhere, including on my own knives, even at much lower grit levels (my highest grit level stone is the ceramic 1600). The consequences are just not so bad at lower grit levels.

Any tips on how to conquer this other than spend enough time with higher level grit stones to remove the scratches from lower level stones and using the crosshatch method to make such scratches easier to spot?

Clay, if the stropping compound digs in too deeply, why not use a less abrasive compound of the same micron size, e.g., chromium oxide instead of diamonds? Or (but maybe this is a very stupid question) strop without any abrasive compound at all?
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