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Wicked Edge

Posted by CliffStamp 
Wicked Edge
March 20, 2014 12:18PM
As a gesture of support more than anything else :

[www.youtube.com]

I am considering the WE Field and Sport :

-[www.wickededgeusa.com]

I may get various options as well depending on what is applicable.

I would be interested in :

-people who struggle with sharpening
-people who are decent with freehand
-people who want just an utility edge
-people who like to spend hours to perfect an edge

If there is any interest I will pick this up, have a look through the options to see if anything it interesting as well. If anyone suggests the strop kit then you get a free pass to the Bark River Grind-In with a "Hello, my name is Cliff Stamp!" name tag.

WE forum cross-post : [www.wickededgeusa.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/2014 09:14AM by CliffStamp.
Re: Wicked Edge
March 20, 2014 01:03PM
Get the strop kit.

Im up for that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2014 01:03PM by Mark a.
Re: Wicked Edge
March 20, 2014 08:50PM
Cliff... you should get the strop kit.


Chumgeyser on Youtube
"You already have a beaver" - C Amber
Re: Wicked Edge
March 21, 2014 04:02AM
Does this mean we both get to go to the grind in posing as Cliff Stamp? The universe might implode.
Re: Wicked Edge
March 21, 2014 05:13AM
I think that over all, I would class myself as decent at freehand.
Sometimes however, I struggle with sharpening, and can spend hours after the perfect edge. In these cases I sometimes just end up settling for a utility edge.

I would be interested in your thoughts and even possible improvements and alternative stones you could play with like some of the EP guys are mucking around with.
Re: Wicked Edge
March 21, 2014 01:50PM
I am Spartac... I mean, yeah, you should totally get the strop kit, since you might already be going for something you don't really have a need for, it might be fun to go to the extreme of sillyness.
cKc
Re: Wicked Edge
March 21, 2014 07:11PM
A diamond paste kangaroo leather strop kit

Or a flat plat to adhere micrmesh

----------------------------------------------------------------------
[data.gearbastion.com]
KnivesAndStuff (YoutTube)
Re: Wicked Edge
March 21, 2014 07:47PM
I apologize if the Canajun humor isn't quite translating properly. What is our problem with the strop kit for the WE again? It seems like a perfectly viable way to apply a very fine finish to a knife edge with a zero skill fixed-angle sharpening system at relatively low initial cost to me.

Perhaps you'll mock, but I actually specifically purchased the WE before I learned to freehand specifically because it had the strop option, as at the time I couldn't free-hand a knife. The irony is that the WE was backordered and took so long to be delivered I taught myself to freehand sharpen in the interim, but thats neither here nor there. My point is that, if you want a 10K grit finish on a fixed angle sharpener and are only willing to accept OOTB options, blank leather strops are 30$ while the ceramic stones are 120$ and the Naniwana stones are over 200$.

Side note, I somehow feel like prices on the WE have gone up since I last purchased anything from them. I somehow remembered the strops being 25$ each, and the ceramics being less than 100. I could simply be going crazy though.
Re: Wicked Edge
March 21, 2014 08:02PM
I have been critical of the WE and spoke at length about free hand sharpening so it is ironic to get a WE. If you combine that with what I have wrote about stropping then getting the strop kit takes it to another level.
Re: Wicked Edge
March 21, 2014 08:27PM
HS5... do you still use the WE? Can you put a "better" edge on a blade via freehand or WE?


Chumgeyser on Youtube
"You already have a beaver" - C Amber
Re: Wicked Edge
March 22, 2014 06:21PM
@Cliff
So your goal is to be ironic, but just the right amount of ironic? Take care, are your pants feeling a little snug? tongue sticking out smiley If the WE is purely for the purposes of supporting Clay, wouldn't donating him money or materials be a more direct form of support? If you wanted to provide relevant feedback on the product though, whether or not you "believe" in it, the strops are a common selling point so your feedback would likely be incomplete without them. Letting your irony gauge limit your review of a popular product would strike me as observer bias. winking smiley


Quote
Chum
HS5... do you still use the WE? Can you put a "better" edge on a blade via freehand or WE?

This sounds like a simple question, but its not. The short answer is yes, I do still use it. Whether or not I can get a "better" edge with it though really depends on how you define "better." If by better you mean sharper, then no not so much although the jig setup makes it much easier to use my lapping films without cutting them. If by better you mean very precise and consistent, then yes absolutely. Whereas freehand I'm not always perfect in regards to symmetry etc and on occasion I'll slip, with the WE it'll always come out at the precise angle you set it at and mistakes are much rarer..... granted mistakes tend to come in the form of a nasty cut rather than scratches up the side of the blade. In my case I've down this twice, both the tip of a long slightly flexible kitchen knife piercing the side of my right thumb. You could argue it was my fault, I wasn't following protocol and was scrubbing up and down on the blade near the tip and simply slid off with the stone, but if you're trying to reset a bevel angle with upward strokes only, you'd have to be an incredibly patient person. I find my 10" DMT plates, despite starting less coarse than the WE stones, to be several times faster at resetting bevels. This isn't necessarily because they innately cut faster, but simply because I have more stone contact, and can make longer passes so less is lost changing direction at the ends of each stroke. That said my DMT stones have the interrupted surface, which I find helps reduce the frequency of mid-sharpen cleaning, but I use them with water so......


IDK, was that a rambling answer that maybe sort of addressed your question?

I know Cliff is the one with the calibrated magic hands, but I'd argue the Wicked Edge, from a testing perspective, would strike me as a win because it allows extremely consistent edge applications. I know I can't sharpen as accurately freehand as I can with a WE. It also minimizes any potential for burr formation even with very frustrating steels because you're consistently holding the angle and applying minimal force and I even put mine on a flex mount to further reduce my ability to apply force to an edge. And a bit ironically, it really improves the practicality of lapping films for sharpening, so makes the extremely fine abrasives much more accessible cost-wise.
Re: Wicked Edge
March 22, 2014 06:54PM
Quote
Hunterseeker5


So your goal is to be ironic, but just the right amount of ironic?

It was a joke. The goal was to make people smile, in particular several members of the forum who would get a chuckle out of the fact I was buying a jig based system with strops, it would be similar to buying a single bevel blade from Medford with a S90V/154CM clad blade.

Quote

If the WE is purely for the purposes of supporting Clay, wouldn't donating him money or materials be a more direct form of support?

No. This presupposes that the value of my perspective in use and the passaround and the exposure it generates would be of lesser value.

In fact I would argue that it would mean more to Clay that I would just buy the machine, even if I never wrote about it at all rather than offering to send him money. That is just an inference on his character however but I would strongly bet it is true.

Quote

If you wanted to provide relevant feedback on the product though, whether or not you "believe" in it, the strops are a common selling point so your feedback would likely be incomplete without them. Letting your irony gauge limit your review of a popular product would strike me as observer bias. winking smiley

It should be obvious that the items in general that I review are items that in general I am interested in, however this isn't observer bias, if it was all scientific research would be biased (and thus the term is meaningless) because in general people study the things they are interested in.

The fact that strops are popular doesn't mean anything aside from the fact that it is popular, it can't be used as an argument they are productive or even worth investigating.

An interesting question which would be worth exploring is :

-why would you possibly use strops on a device which has one of its main attractions precise angle control when the exact main reason that strops are used is because they don't require precise angle control
Re: Wicked Edge
March 22, 2014 07:42PM
Quote
CliffStamp
An interesting question which would be worth exploring is :

-why would you possibly use strops on a device which has one of its main attractions precise angle control when the exact main reason that strops are used is because they don't require precise angle control

Did I not already cover this, by explaining they're a far lower cost of entry way to achieve very fine abrasive finishes with the WE system?


As an aside I should note that I had some difficulty with the ceramic stones that came with my WE. The problem was that they were extremely friable, and readily fractured at the edges and even in some cases took the odd gouge in the center. The result was that they were capable of producing a scratch pattern well beyond their rated grit, but somewhat randomly. I did talk with Clay about this, and he said it wasn't representative of their performance but that he was aware of it as an isolated problem. He didn't have any replacements in inventory at the time though, and said he'd send me replacements when they came back in stock. He probably spaced it out, and I never brought it up again, but if you do order one its worth noting at least I can't at the moment say anything positive about the ceramics.
Re: Wicked Edge
March 22, 2014 07:59PM
Thanks HS5. I put "better" in quotes because I wanted to hear your definition.

As far as jig systems go, the WE does look like a good one. I can see Cliff's concerns regarding the saftey issues however, and now HS5 just told us that he has cut himself using the WE.

The Tormek does look like a better system overall, but I don't see how you can create a flat grind with it. It looks like it forces a hollow grind.


Chumgeyser on Youtube
"You already have a beaver" - C Amber
Re: Wicked Edge
March 22, 2014 09:19PM
The Tormek looks to me like its basically a power strop on one side, and a single stone on the other which is 220 but you can "dress" to produce 1K grit. Although they do have other wheels, they're not included, and while I'd slight them for being expensive (the wheels that is) when sitting next to the Numbatana accessory stones for the WE they almost start looking cheap. eye rolling smiley


That said water wheel grinders are far from unique to Tormek, I actually own one although on mine the stones are very large flat donuts (if you imagine an iced donut with sprinkles, you're using the part with the sprinkles and icing on top rather than the un-iced edge on the Tormek) and water is continuously dripped onto the surface rather than running in a puddle of it. I personally find such machines rather aggravating because, while its efficient for sharpening planer knives for example, it converts regular sharpening into a real ordeal. Instead of a quick spash and dash with a bench stone, or clamp and go with a WE, now you have to get this machine out, get it set up, get it wet, run it in an area where you can make a mess, then empty it out, take it apart, dry it off, leave it somewhere to dry out, reassemble it, and put it away. You also have the job of flattening it, which isn't the end of the world per se as some bench stones require it, but as compared to a WE or a DMT bench stone it is just another annoyance that must be dealt with.

I'm not trying to hock the WE, but I really quite frankly don't see the Tormek as a real competitor because they're not really the same class of tool. I'd liken it to comparing a bicycle to a moped. Yes you can get ones which are comparably priced, yes they both provide the same ultimate service (transportation), yes they both require some maintenance, but at the end of the day would you say that the local moped dealer is competing with the local bicycle dealer? Perhaps its my own oddity that sees it but.....
Re: Wicked Edge
March 23, 2014 07:41AM
Quote
Hunterseeker5

I'm not trying to hock the WE, but I really quite frankly don't see the Tormek as a real competitor ....

The reasons that people prefer bicycles to powered versions of the same is some combination of :

-they are easier to use
-they don't require a license
-they cost much less
-they are smaller/easier to store
-maintenance is less
-people want exercise
-environment concerns (no gas/oil)
-they are more capable/versatile

The issue with a full WE system which makes it comparable to the Tormek and makes it an option is :

-cost
-size
-complexity of use

are all in the same class AND here is the kicker the Tormek is going to be faster and the stone lifetime is not even comparable. Yes the WE comes with a larger variety of grits BUT that is only necessary because of the slow rate of material removal anyway.

However you could not say for example the Tormek is comparable with a $500 waterstone system simply because of the cost because of the differences in size, complexity of use, etc. .

There are issues with the Tormek which are power related.

If for example you have a very small apartment with no real way to make a station of some sort, if there are strict noise concerns, etc. . These are the arguments that are used to promote a Worksharp vs a regular belt sander (which costs less to buy and maintain and is more flexible - but requires more operating space, makes more noise, etc.).

Quote
Hunterseeker5
Did I not already cover this, by explaining they're a far lower cost of entry way to achieve very fine abrasive finishes with the WE system?

This is an argument as to why you would buy strops for the WE instead of the ceramics. It isn't an argue as to why you would buy strops for the WE at all (vs a regular strop which has optimal function at a piece of newsprint, anything else is just window dressing).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2014 07:43AM by CliffStamp.
Re: Wicked Edge
April 04, 2014 11:24AM
Upgrade :

Wicked Edge Field and Sport Pro

and by popular request :

1/0.5 Micron Diamond and Leather Strops Pack
Re: Wicked Edge
April 17, 2014 05:58PM
Quote
CliffStamp
-why would you possibly use strops on a device which has one of its main attractions precise angle control when the exact main reason that strops are used is because they don't require precise angle control

well I think that something kind of new (and you have a much longer track record/memory than me here) that Clay has theorized about is that lowering the stropping angle by precisely 2 dps actually makes the edge sharper instead of rounding it over and thereby not protecting the apex as much as you could. So this would be something to test out... what are the effects of increasing the strop angle or lowering it in real world use? What does the microscope reveal about scratch pattern?

so i would say that i use strops on the WEPS because it: allows me to acheive a mirror finish for very specific customers and because it allows me to get to face shaving levels for straight razors that I sharpen. Could this be done all by hand on waterstones with a final stropping? Yeah... but I started off on a guided sharpening system and stuck with it because it comes in very handy at precise angles.

The nice thing about the WE strops in my opinion is that it would seem to be faster with more control (although I haven't used hanging strops much at all). But you can set your angle and "go to town" on your edge and just flip them and keep going with each subsequent grit. Anyway, this is why i use them =D

keep us posted!
Re: Wicked Edge
April 18, 2014 11:49AM
I used it to regrind Kyle's knife to 13 DPS, a few observations :

-the 100 grit diamond is very aggressive, the full weight of the stone isn't even needed
-WD-40 seems to be working decently as a lubricant (needs more work/experimentation)
-the grinding ability was decent (250 pps, very light, to regrind it from about 15 dps)

The time was long (I was doing about one pass per second, I normally run a 5+) but I was trying to evaluate the system at the same time, looking at the mechanism, watching for any movement of the knife etc. .

This seems pretty obvious to use. I had a friend stop over and asked him to try it and a person who never sharpened a knife before easily was able to use it and I used a small flash light and he could tell when the edge stopped reflecting light. At that point to finish all that would need to be done would be to increase the setting to 17 dps, switch to the finest stone and use 5-10 passes and the knife would be sharper than any knife he had ever seen. He asked me - "Is sharpening really that simple?" . Pretty much, there are refinements to this however :

-set the angle at a low base angle to provide relief, cutting ability and ease of sharpening
-in most cases the default lowest setting is the one that should be used

-cut the edge off
-grind with the lowest grit stone using light force until you can't see the edge reflect light
-increase the setting to 17 dps
-jump to the finest stone
-5-10 pps alternating sides, very light

Again, there are ways to refine this and produce higher sharpness, but I watched someone with NO experience do this on a decent knife steel (k390) and they thought it was ridiculously simple to make a knife shave easily and slice newsprint like it wasn't there.

--

A few details :



That is the 100 grit stone, here is the 200 :



Here is the edge of Kyle's CPM 154 CM PM knife at 13 dps :



Note the pieces knocked out of the edge. One of the immediate refinements to the above method is to not apex at the first grit but stop when the edge starts to show a reduction in light reflecting and then work up in grits. How many grits you want to use before apexing is just dependent on how much steel you want to conserve.

--

A few negatives :

-the hasps/latches on the case are plastic, I have concerns about how long they will last with repeated opening/closing
-the tape used on the bags over the hones is clear and not easy to see and remove

Ok this looks like a very petty complaint, however if an opaque tape was used which was folded on the ends then it would be much easier to remove without damaging the bags which are very nice to keep the stones in and keep the diamond stones from rubbing together.

A question / possibility :

I played around with using lower settings and it looked to me like the obvious reason why you can't go very low as that you will grind into the actual clamp. However if the clamp could open wider and you could clamp on the handle it looks like that problem would be gone and you could use this to grind to very low angles. I just need to pick up a longer screw to see if that is possible.
Re: Wicked Edge
April 18, 2014 11:58AM
This will be a really interesting pass around. I wonder how many converts it will make.
Re: Wicked Edge
April 18, 2014 01:22PM
In a number of respects, this makes a good idiot check to see if a problem is the knife or your sharpening.


I do wish clay offered longer rods though, and longer screws, because some of our choppers are more than this machine can handle.
Re: Wicked Edge
April 19, 2014 03:17AM
Quote
Hunterseeker5
In a number of respects, this makes a good idiot check to see if a problem is the knife or your sharpening.


I do wish clay offered longer rods though, and longer screws, because some of our choppers are more than this machine can handle.

thanks for the update cliff! were you using scrubbing or sweeping motions?

yeah, IMO it definitely needs longer arms, both with the old and new upgraded ball joints... I had Bob Nash send me some 10" arms, whereas the stock ones are 8" i believe. It makes a huge difference and I can't imagine doing it with shorter arms now... especially if you are doing a cleaver or something really wide.
Re: Wicked Edge
April 28, 2014 03:17PM
Quote
razoredgeknives

thanks for the update cliff! were you using scrubbing or sweeping motions?

Straight up and down, very light force, just enough to get solid contact.

--

Here is an edge (Kyle's knife) in CTS-XHP / 63 HRC. This is Carpenters steel which is designed to offer the hardness/wear of D2 blended with the corrosion resistance of 440C ( [cartech.ides.com] ) these are loose promotional descriptions, not strict materials properties. In any case this is thus currently a middle of the road steel in regards to grindability considering the modern use of extreme alloys.



This it the as-boxed edge, multi-faceted with a decent polish.

The edge is < 15 dps on one side, < 20 dps on the other side, so will take a bit of work to clean up regardless of how it is to be sharpened. I used the 100 grit stones and set the bevel to 13 dps. In order to avoid grinding into the base that means for the first part of the edge you have to short stroke on the bottom of the hones.




This is after 1000 passes per side on the 100 grit stones. I am using light force, I will measure it the next time, but based on what I have seen in videos I am using less force than most. You can grind with heavier force, however it does rapidly wear abrasives and in general I would always advise using a more coarse grit and less force.

At this point the remaining bevel is less than a mm wide and very difficult to even tell there is any of the original bevel left without magnification. At this point for practical purposes it is time to switch the abrasives and slightly increase the angle, there is no benefit to apexing on the shaping grit for reasons that will be apparent later. But for the sake of experiment, lets continue.



This is after another 1000 passes, at this point the bevel is so small (the original edge) that if you use a marker it looks like it is all removed in a pass. There is still some of the original bevel left under magnification but it can't be seen by the naked eye. There is really no productive point to keeping going with the shaping grit at this stage - but lets continue anyway.



This is after another 2000 passes, so 4000 total. The edge has now been formed with the shaping bevel. However if you look closely you can see there is going to be a problem when you go to refine the polish. The edge looks straight but there are divots knocked out of it periodically. To make this really clear here is the edge after just 10 passes per side with the 1000 grit stone at a slightly elevated angle :



Note that almost immediately with just a small increase in angle (13 dps to 17 dps) the 1000 grit stone starts to eliminate the very harsh 100 grit scratch pattern but when it does it reveals what happens to the edge in those parts that the 100 grit stone has took those pieces out. In order to make the edge perfectly uniform that edge has to be ground back the depth of that divot.

In short :

-the 1000 grit stone can very quickly remove the 100 grit scratches by using an elevated bevel

-if you apex on the 100 grit stone it is going to be wasteful

-the 40 grit stones are likely of strong benefit if you reset angles on low grindability steels

-on modern hard to grind steels, even when you can't see marker being removed, you can still have a lot of grinding to do

However while this seems like a lot of work, this was :

-A D2 class steel at 63 HRC
-the bevel was taken down from 15-20 dps to an even 13 dps (4" blade)
-using very low force

I would in general advocate something more practical such as :

-use the 40 grit at the shaping stage
-stop when you can not see the original bevel any more
-slightly elevate and increase the grits

Repeat the last step until sharpened. With some thought to angles/finishes you can work out a way to grind efficiently in both time and steel consumed.

Of course if you don't care at all about the steel used then no big deal but given the prices of some modern knives, it might be of consideration/value.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/28/2014 03:18PM by CliffStamp.
Re: Wicked Edge
May 27, 2014 02:36AM
Can you sharpen long blades (10" plus) with this system?


Chumgeyser on Youtube
"You already have a beaver" - C Amber
Re: Wicked Edge
May 27, 2014 11:31AM
Yes, if you look at smokeeaters channel on YT he sharpens one of Mike's big blades on it. There are even extension arms for working on very long blades.

However to be frank, this is really pushing the bubble as to what is practical. Long blades are generally used for very rough work and if you are actually really using them they are going to hit dirt unless you wash all the wood before you cut it. In that case, spending a lot of time to sharpen makes no sense at all. If you use a machete with even a decent filed edge you are going to be hard pressed to tell the difference, though of course on woods it makes sense to polish it.

The part which sort of amuses me is that actual wood work is far more difficult than sharpening. If you can do any kind of brush work in a sensible manner, let alone the campcraft things many people do which are pretty intricate (like a figure 4 trap). Then you absolutely have to be able to sharpen a long blade to cut even grasses well, it just isn't that hard and pales in comparison to starting/maintaining a fire in high wind or rain for example.
Re: Wicked Edge
May 27, 2014 11:40AM
Cliff, have you found that you are able to get a more consistent edge with this? Assuming you weren't robo sharpener already. Is it a practical advantage for those of us that struggle? And by "those of us" I mean chum.
Re: Wicked Edge
May 27, 2014 11:48AM
Quote
Mark a
Cliff, have you found that you are able to get a more consistent edge with this?

Consistent in what way?

Sharpness, no.

Angle yes. The tolerances are very tight and if you record where you clamp a blade I don't see any issue in being able to sharpen to half a degree easily. This also reduces the pass count as there is no faceting.

The setup time is also very low with the portable one and you can mount it to anything you can clamp. I have even stuck it on a tree branch when someone commented you would need some kind of surface so it wasn't really portable.
Re: Wicked Edge
May 27, 2014 12:08PM
Regularly getting a sharp edge is what I meant. But this leads me to; Have you seen any increase in edge retention ? Since it should be easier to apex and not stress the edge.
Re: Wicked Edge
May 27, 2014 02:39PM
The angle consistency doesn't influence me at all because I set the apex with micro-bevels.

In general I would recommend, even if using a WE to do burr removal. One of the nice things about the WE is that it is very easy to micro-bevel as the angle adjustments are fairly simple/fast.
Re: Wicked Edge
June 04, 2014 08:14PM
Reference work : [www.wickededgeusa.com]

Note this is more so comparing a coarse edge to a polished one than belt vs WE.
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