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TOPIC: Stock stone/strop progression (Lots of Pics!!)

Re: Stock stone/strop progression 2 years 4 months ago #2419

  • mark76
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Great pictures, Josh! They really show the power of the use of a microscope.

What I still find difficult while making these photographs is the lighting. I used the automatic lighting from my (Veho) microscope. It has got two levels, medium and high, and depending on the external lighting conditions I pick one. But, like in your pictures, a very smooth edge sometimes shows up almost completely white and sometimes quite dark.

What is worse, depending on the lighting, I may completely miss certain types of scratches. I have made photographs in which after 100 stropping strokes the edge seemed very smooth, whereas after 250 strokes a lot of scratches in a particular direction appeared. I first thought I had contaminated the strops, but closer examination of other photographs revealed that the scratches were there already after 100 strokes, but did not show up on the pictures. (I also wondered whether this was due to the deeper scratches getting revealed as the bevel gets more polished, an effect that Tom has described, but that seemed unlikely, since it were the more shallow scratches.)

How do you deal with these lighting issues, Josh? Also interested in the way you get your pictures so consistent, Clay. I already read that you photograph the edges while the knife is lying on a piece of white paper. Do you use the lighting from the microscope, Clay, or an external source of light?
The .5m Hand American spray seems to create larger scratches than the 1m Hand american spray, and not as consistant (for some reason... I shook the bottle before I used it, its weird) - your thoughts on this please?

When I look at the edge, I see that the (supposedly) .5 micron scratches are present not in a completely regular pattern. Also, the spaces between them are relatively large. I would not be surprised if this were contamination. (Contamination really is an issue at these micron sizes. I managed to get scratches on an edge using blank leather and blank balsa strops I had just removed from their plastic packaging.) What you could do is repeat the exercise with a new set of strops loaded with the .5 micron spray. If you see the same pattern, it could be the spray. If you don't, it is likely contamination.

Clay also got some unexpected results below 1 micron. I guess the only way to find out is to do more experiments.
Last Edit: 2 years 4 months ago by mark76.
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Re: Stock stone/strop progression 2 years 4 months ago #2423

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Yes, more experiments! I'm doing some today too on the difference between lapping film, leather and balsa strops.

For lighting, I just use the lights of the scope itself and I rotate the scope until I get the lighting angle desired and then keep it there for the entire series. I do the photography with the knife blade flat on a piece of photo paper onto which I've traced the outline of the blade so I can get it back in the same way every time.
--Clay Allison
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Re: Stock stone/strop progression 2 years 4 months ago #2424

  • razoredgeknives
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mark76 wrote:
Great pictures, Josh! They really show the power of the use of a microscope.

What I still find difficult while making these photographs is the lighting. I used the automatic lighting from my (Veho) microscope. It has got two levels, medium and high, and depending on the external lighting conditions I pick one. But, like in your pictures, a very smooth edge sometimes shows up almost completely white and sometimes quite dark.

What is worse, depending on the lighting, I may completely miss certain types of scratches. I have made photographs in which after 100 stropping strokes the edge seemed very smooth, whereas after 250 strokes a lot of scratches in a particular direction appeared. I first thought I had contaminated the strops, but closer examination of other photographs revealed that the scratches were there already after 100 strokes, but did not show up on the pictures. (I also wondered whether this was due to the deeper scratches getting revealed as the bevel gets more polished, an effect that Tom has described, but that seemed unlikely, since it were the more shallow scratches.)

How do you deal with these lighting issues, Josh? Also interested in the way you get your pictures so consistent, Clay. I already read that you photograph the edges while the knife is lying on a piece of white paper. Do you use the lighting from the microscope, Clay, or an external source of light?
The .5m Hand American spray seems to create larger scratches than the 1m Hand american spray, and not as consistant (for some reason... I shook the bottle before I used it, its weird) - your thoughts on this please?

When I look at the edge, I see that the (supposedly) .5 micron scratches are present not in a completely regular pattern. Also, the spaces between them are relatively large. I would not be surprised if this were contamination. (Contamination really is an issue at these micron sizes. I managed to get scratches on an edge using blank leather and blank balsa strops I had just removed from their plastic packaging.) What you could do is repeat the exercise with a new set of strops loaded with the .5 micron spray. If you see the same pattern, it could be the spray. If you don't, it is likely contamination.

Clay also got some unexpected results below 1 micron. I guess the only way to find out is to do more experiments.

Well, to answer your question, I have found that there are two main light views (as seen in my pictures) and I utilize both to my advantage (as one will show things the other will not). For me, it is just a matter of how I hold the microscope. I also have found that I don't like to put it right on the edge due to it damaging the very edge (when I'm down to about 11-12*/side it will do this against hard plastic).

That is a good observation on the contamination... I may try that. I really need to order more strop paste soon as well, lol.... I'm getting low. I will probably reface all my strops with top grain cow hide leather and start fresh.
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Re: Stock stone/strop progression 2 years 4 months ago #2425

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wickededge wrote:
Yes, more experiments! I'm doing some today too on the difference between lapping film, leather and balsa strops.

For lighting, I just use the lights of the scope itself and I rotate the scope until I get the lighting angle desired and then keep it there for the entire series. I do the photography with the knife blade flat on a piece of photo paper onto which I've traced the outline of the blade so I can get it back in the same way every time.

I do the same as far as the scope, Clay. When I was doing the razor, I actually found that, to alternate sweeping directions, I would actually rotate the entire WE system around so that the "point" of the razor was pointing at me... that way I could be sweeping away the entire time. It sped things up considerably. I would then rotate the base back around to take photos so that way you can see the alternating direction easier (otherwise it would get quite confusing).

Clay, what I would REALLY like to see is some experiments on the lapping film and also the nanocloth or the kangaroo leather that Ken had mentioned. I know you have the settup and the materials, so if you get time, I'm sure we would all love that! (but I also know your busy too... just whenever you get time, I'm putting in a request now lol).
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Re: Stock stone/strop progression 2 years 4 months ago #2426

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razoredgeknives wrote:
wickededge wrote:
Yes, more experiments! I'm doing some today too on the difference between lapping film, leather and balsa strops.

For lighting, I just use the lights of the scope itself and I rotate the scope until I get the lighting angle desired and then keep it there for the entire series. I do the photography with the knife blade flat on a piece of photo paper onto which I've traced the outline of the blade so I can get it back in the same way every time.

I do the same as far as the scope, Clay. When I was doing the razor, I actually found that, to alternate sweeping directions, I would actually rotate the entire WE system around so that the "point" of the razor was pointing at me... that way I could be sweeping away the entire time. It sped things up considerably. I would then rotate the base back around to take photos so that way you can see the alternating direction easier (otherwise it would get quite confusing).

Clay, what I would REALLY like to see is some experiments on the lapping film and also the nanocloth or the kangaroo leather that Ken had mentioned. I know you have the settup and the materials, so if you get time, I'm sure we would all love that! (but I also know your busy too... just whenever you get time, I'm putting in a request now lol).

I'm building up to this though am waiting for the crew to get a break to mount them. In the meantime, doing more comparative studies with the things I already have made up.
--Clay Allison
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Re: Stock stone/strop progression 2 years 4 months ago #2427

  • BassLakeDan
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razoredgeknives wrote:
wickededge wrote:
Yes, more experiments! .. lapping film,...leather ...balsa strops.

For lighting, I just use the lights of the scope itself and I rotate the scope until I get the lighting angle desired and then keep it there for the entire series. I do the photography with the knife blade flat on a piece of photo paper onto which I've traced the outline of the blade so I can get it back in the same way every time.

... experiments on the lapping film ..e nanocloth.. kangaroo leather that Ken had mentioned. I know you have the settup and the materials, so if you get time, I'm sure we would all love that! (but I also know your busy too... just whenever you get time, I'm putting in a request now lol).

I just want to chime in here and vote YES on experiments with substrate materials as it relates to "stropping" .. I suspect, that if we gather enough information about all this, that leather is going to drop way down on the list of a materials of choice. But we shall see. As I mentioned elsewhere in other posts and other topic threads I have been experimenting for years with various types of woods. I have found some that give excellent results, and really do not use leather strops at all any more.

Also, I want to say to you guys just excellent photographs.. keep them coming !
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