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Sigma Power Select II : 3000

Posted by CliffStamp 
Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 09, 2013 08:38PM
1000X : [www.cliffstamp.com]

The main reason I wanted to use this stone is this :



This is the edge off of Jeremy's 14C28N at 8 dps with the 700X Bester without using steps to minimize the burr and refine the edge, it is just at the shaping stage only. This edge is far too coarse and damaged and has two results :

-steel is wasted because all those jagged peaks have to be cut off and the edge is already over ground
-it forces an in between step in grits -OR- it forces the burr minimization steps I have talked about earlier

I have found that since the burr minimization steps need to be very precise that it can actually take me as long to do them as it does the shaping, or at times even more and this makes no sense at all from any perspective as I am just undoing damage done to the edge.



This stone is very fine, here it is at 5X magnification :



and here is 50X magnification :



and here is the 1K :



Note the much larger gaps and abrasive size in the 1K (not too surprising).

As a first step a trial of soaking :

-five minutes showed nothing, no bubbling and this isn't surprising because the holes are so small

As a first trial I used a Great Eastern folder which is made from 1095 and has been fully shaped, this is the critical part. It is pointless to try to use a stone as fine as this if you have to reshape the bevel significantly before you sharpen. The last time I sharpened this it took :

-< 50 pps on the 700X Bester

I ran another cardboard trial and it took :

-200 pps on the 3K SPS-II

and more importantly it produced this :



This is right after the shaping with NO attempt at burr minimization and thus those 200 pps can be done very fast, this is less than a minute and now the final bevel can be put on with < 10 pps on the MXF DMT which means sharpening time total is < 1 minute.

On the negative :

-this stone is very soft/muddy

To be clear I am speaking of it in regards to a fine stone, but I was very surprised by the amount of mud that this stone produces and I do not think the wear rate will be ideal. However this stone is made for HSS and similar and thus a ~ 60 HRC (at best) 1095 blade is expected to over mud the stone. Thus on the positive while I think the idea has merit, a 2000k Bester might be a much more sensible stone for these types of very simple steels. Lee Valley sells these and I think I might pick up one after Christmas.

I am going to continue to sharpen with this and alternate it with the 700X Bester on the knives which is required if the knives need any shaping as then you can easily put 250-500 passes with the Bester which would mean the 3K SPS-II would be 3-4 times higher (I estimate very coarsely) and this isn't practical to make 2000 pps just to sharpen a blade. The alternate sharpening is then :

-use the 700X Bester just until the light starts to be removed from the edge and there are no thick spots
-switch to the 3K SPS-II and remove all light, ideally in < 250 pps

Again the goal is for the 3K SPS-II to produce an edge so fine that no burr minimization is required and the final edge can be applied directly and thus :

-over all sharpening time is reduced
-less steel is wasted
-maximum edge retention/sharpness

Much more experimentation is required but it should be interesting.
cKc
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 09, 2013 09:10PM
Can you take a 50x image of a
mm scale on a ruler for perspective?

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KnivesAndStuff (YoutTube)
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 10, 2013 04:55AM
Jesus, that edge is so perfect looking off of the 3K. That's crazy. Would it push cut away from the point of hold?

Quote
Cliff
However this stone is made for HSS and similar and thus a ~ 60 HRC (at best) 1095 blade is expected to over mud the stone.

Is this because the steel is so soft relative to the stone, it just digs into the steel and is easily pulled out of matrix / broken off?

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
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Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
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Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 10, 2013 10:06AM
Quote
C Amber
Would it push cut away from the point of hold?

It isn't actually sharpened, just shaped, it would be expected to slice but unlikely to push cut as the apex is likely > 1 micron in thickness.

I generally would not try to sharpen until the finishing grit as all sharpening can over grind as there is no way you would know to stop right at the very apex and thus you would be forming a burr and stressing the edge at every grit. This is why multi-stone systems can be very problematic and that for most people a shaping and finishing stone should be used initially.

Quote

Is this because the steel is so soft relative to the stone, it just digs into the steel and is easily pulled out of matrix / broken off?

Yes, and also just that the stone is designed to release fresh abrasive constantly because very hard and high carbide steels wears down abrasive rapidly so if you don't have fresh abrasive then the stone quickly stops cutting.

On the Henckels waterstones I have which are very fine grit for example the 3/8 k stone barely cuts some knives and won't at all cut some on the 8k side. The stone is obviously harder than the knife but it would be like trying to sharpen a knife against a smooth plane of glass, nothing happens as there are no contact points for abrasion.

Most people argue (from threads/feedback) that this stone could be improved with some binder to keep it together and this is one of the most delicate balances in making stones. If you put too much binder the stone simply wears smooth and stops cutting until you lap it to expose fresh abrasive.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2013 10:21AM by CliffStamp.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 10, 2013 11:11AM
Thank you for the explanations.

I like the idea of more binder...although I don't have a lot to base that on, but in theory I like being able to control the release of fresh abrasive and not have to worry about dishing as much as opposed to easily getting fresh abrasive and having to be very concerned about dishing.

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
Gavko Grinding Gators
Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
McCullen Marauders
Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
cKc
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 10, 2013 01:18PM
I have to say I still like the uniformity of sandpaper. 1500 grit paper makes a nice finish.

Will buy some and do some microscoping

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KnivesAndStuff (YoutTube)
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 10, 2013 01:30PM
Quote
cKc
I have to say I still like the uniformity of sandpaper. 1500 grit paper makes a nice finish.

Will buy some and do some microscoping

I agree. Some times I even go to 2500 if im feeling sassy.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 10, 2013 05:31PM
You could always cook it for a couple hours at 4000°F. That might help out the break down rate some. It might also round out the abrasive aswell. Maybe 3500° instead.

On a serious note, how does the grit break down post freedom? Or does the mud form so quickly that it's a moot point?
As pure abrasive and muddy as it is, I wonder if it would be beneficial to prime other stones with it?
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 10, 2013 07:36PM
Quote
C Amber

I like the idea of more binder.

Note they are exceptionally clear these stones are designed specifically to cut HSS. I am just using it across a wide variety of steels to see where it becomes useful, similar with knives.

Kyley, it is true 50X liner magnification, it has a 5 cm scope and 1 mm fills it completely :



Here is the edge on a PXL (Kyley's) zero ground and after being used for a cardboard run :



It is a very nice steel, this is a very low angle and it just wears down, nice balance of hardness/carbide, it only takes a small amount more damage than decently HT AEB-L/14C28N on this cutting as opposed to S30V/S35VN which has more visible damage.

Quote
fervens

On a serious note, how does the grit break down post freedom? Or does the mud form so quickly that it's a moot point?

The PXL has an edge of SGPS at 62 HRC and this is what it does after 100 passes :



This is a lot of mud for a 3k stone, and once it starts it gets faster :



That is just 50 passes after the knife was cleaned. Now this is a clad steel, and again this stone isn't supposed to be used to sharpen these steels. I will get to some actual HSS, I am just working up to it.

However the cutting speed is nice, it only took :

-250 pps

to shape the edge and I am working the *entire* bevel, if it was secondary beveled it would be likely instantly. Again the edge formed very clean, no real need to be concerned about burr removal/minimization and it can be immediately sharpened without concern.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2013 07:47PM by CliffStamp.
cKc
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 10, 2013 07:59PM
Quote
CliffStamp


Kyley, it is true 50X liner magnification, it has a 5 cm scope and 1 mm fills it completely :



Here is the edge on a PXL (Kyley's) zero ground and after being used for a cardboard run :



Aha.. this is why a reference marker such as a ruler is important as the magnification can mean different things.

your 50x, is very similar to my scopes 400x in that 1mm takes up the full size roughly at magnification



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KnivesAndStuff (YoutTube)
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 11, 2013 03:22AM
I was just speaking in general with regards to the binder. It's like a nice handicap for someone who's not as proficient with angles, but can understand loading of the stone, etc.

Does the stone have a visible hollow yet?

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
Gavko Grinding Gators
Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
McCullen Marauders
Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 11, 2013 07:01AM
Also, two other questions occurred to me on the way to work:

How well would the 3K work on something like a stock Busse, where the edge is noticeably thicker, for this kind of shaping?

Along those same lines, how about a scandi type bevel like found on a Mora or CS machete? I'm wondering how the increased surface area would affect the pps.

Thank you

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
Gavko Grinding Gators
Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
McCullen Marauders
Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 11, 2013 01:01PM
Quote
cKc

your 50x, is very similar to my scopes 400x in that 1mm takes up the full size roughly at magnification

A scope will quote optical power which is different from magnification though they are often interchanged. Optical power is the ratio of the subtended angles with the reference angle being at 25 cm. Linear magnification is just that, the size of the image on the screen vs the size in reality.

Quote
C Amber
Does the stone have a visible hollow yet?

It only has a few hundred passes, it is likely to take a long time because I don't plan to use this for significant shaping and thus it is likely to take at least 10-20 knives before it has to be lapped and even then it will be because of small hollows adding angle slop as noted in a recent video.

Quote
C Amber

How well would the 3K work on something like a stock Busse, where the edge is noticeably thicker, for this kind of shaping?

Much faster as you are working on an edge bevel, much smaller area, higher pressure less material to be removed and very simple steel.

Quote

Along those same lines, how about a scandi type bevel like found on a Mora or CS machete? I'm wondering how the increased surface area would affect the pps.

The above two knives are ground single bevel from spine to edge, if they were edge bevel only they would be near instant, < 25 pps I would estimate. I can trial that just to see.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 11, 2013 01:17PM
Thank you Cliff. I forgot that those were full height grind. I should have been more on top of that, so in hindsight the questions seem relatively silly.

Still, thank you for answering them.

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
Gavko Grinding Gators
Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
McCullen Marauders
Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 11, 2013 05:12PM
No worries, there are no silly questions, only operators who chose not to ask but to just make up answers.


I used a ZDP-189 Delica to do another cardboard run, and then shaped it only on the 3K SPS-II :

-2 cuts into the stone to flatten the edge, remove damage and produce a clean and consistent line of reflected light
-250 pps to apex the edge




This shaves and push cuts newsprint close to the point of hold and again has NO effort at all to sharpen it, it is just that way after shaping and 250 pps in shaping is very fast as I do multiple pps per second.

This steel often gives people problems due to the high hardness and carbide volume which tends to make people press hard and chip the edge, it also doesn't respond well to very coarse stones as the edge can tend to fracture.

This stone cuts it very well with no real effort and doesn't build up that thick mud as will tend the softer and easier to grind steels. This is clearly what it was made to do - and surprisingly that is exactly what they say you should buy it for.

Shocking, a product that actually does exactly what it was described to do.

On the ZDP-189 it has a very smooth and consistent grinding feel, it isn't slippery as it can be on other stones. I have a 3K henckels that I would not want to try to do the same with as it cuts very slow on this steel and in fact it can't cut some HSS at all.

Again to clarify, this Delica is zero ground, I am not sharpening a secondary bevel, the entire bevel height is getting worked, there is a slight curvature to the bevel next to the edge of course.

In short :

-for easy to grind steels this stone is clearly over kill, it will appear to be too soft, get too muddy and it wasteful and inefficient

I say inefficient to clarify because of the rate of wear on the stone. I would guess that a 2K bester would have been a much more sensible choice for the first two knives I used, definitely the first one.

-on hard and high carbide steels the stone cuts smoothly at low force, generates little mud but needs no break in time either

Much more extensive trials are needed of course, but I just took this up out of the water and starting grinding with no secondary stone to work up a swarf or "break in the stone".

It looks like this would be a very nice stone to sharpen hard/high-carbide steels which are not damaged and just need to be sharpened even when extensively blunted (i.e. make 1000 cuts through cardboard).

It is easy to see due to the difference between the knives that some people would love and others hate this stone.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 11, 2013 05:24PM
I just meant silly because I often mistakenly associate your very thin edges with very small secondaries, and so I asked thinking that was what you were sharpening. I forget they are so thin often because you zero ground them.

Quote
Cliff
This is clearly what it was made to do - and surprisingly that is exactly what they say you should buy it for.

Shocking, a product that actually does exactly what it was described to do.

I buy about one of those a year, lol. It certainly is not a common thing, especially in the world of knives.

Quote
Cliff
It is easy to see due to the difference between the knives that some people would love and others hate this stone.

It seems to be like most things with knives...conclusions are made without context. It's funny, since becoming very active here, most every review or comment about performance in other places makes me just want to ask, and why are you saying that? What makes it shitty/great/mediocre/the coolest lobotomizer ever as opposed to something else?

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
Gavko Grinding Gators
Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
McCullen Marauders
Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 11, 2013 05:40PM
That's an interesting thought on the Zdp189 I have always started on the extra coarse dmt, maybe I should try it just off the extra fine.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 11, 2013 07:57PM
Wow, x-coarse DMT is a pretty severe stone, I don't think I have used that to sharpen anything in a very long time.

Similar to the ZDP-189, this is the 710-M4 from Benchmade after :

-175 pps



I intentionally did this fairly rough/sloppy :

-sharpened past the point the apex was formed
-more force than necessary to cut
-too much on one side before alternating

even then the roughness formed was minimal and again this is just shaping, no effort to minimize/reduce the burr.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 12, 2013 07:51PM
A Mora #1260, very similar grinding time :



As a side experiment, the Great Eastern (1095/cold treated) was used/resharpened but this time on a 3K Henckels :



This is after 250 pps. The stone does not really get muddy or form a particulate slurry, it gets dark immediately but that isn't a good thing as the stone loads up. Here is the stone after it was rinsed off :



The very light grey on the end is the actual color of the stone, in the middle is just the loading of the stone. Here is the edge :



Initially I had thought that this stone would be a better choice than the SPS-II 3K on very simple knives because it would not release abrasive so fast as to wear prematurely. However, as I normally don't use this to do any shaping, just the final sharpening this conclusion in general is likely mistaken.

The problem is that this stone now has to be lapped to restore the abrasive to the surface because as it is now it is going to just start abrading by adhesion, it is also fairly sticky.

So, even though the SPS-II 3K stone does release much faster and loses abrasive, if I have to lapp the Henckels 3K after every knife sharpening then its rate of wear could in fact be faster than the SPS-II 3K. It seems obvious that a middle ground between them would be of benefit.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 12, 2013 08:13PM
Man, that Henckels stone sucks, lol. I mean, I'm sure it's got something going for it. I've just never heard you say anything positive about it.

Will be excited to see your experiences with the Bester 2000 for the easy to grind steels when you get it next year.

Also, thanks for trying the Mora. Another question: would this type of stone be overkill for say Super Blue? I know it's hard. But is it high carbide enough to warrant it?

Thank you

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
Gavko Grinding Gators
Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
McCullen Marauders
Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 13, 2013 05:23PM
Ha, it is a basic sort of waterstone that favors people who like stones which require a lot of prep, in particular slurry stones. I would just prefer to use a stone which has the required breakdown period/rate.

I don't think the Spyderco SB is hard enough/% martensite. I don't think it is the 62-63 HRC I have listed which is often claimed, I will be more certain after some use.

I used a basic 1095 knife from Condor, the BushBuddy under a similar process and on the SPS-II 3K:

-400 pps to apex

This time I really reduced the force to see if I kept the load low enough could I stop the slurry/mud from getting too excessive. This is true in part, there was far less waste from the stone, but this method makes little practical sense because it is now honing slower than the 3K Henckels when it is used with more force and it still wears more than the Henckels even under those conditions.

Now if I only had one stone or set, no contest, SPS, as I would rather waste more stone than ideal on the easy to sharpen steels than spend more time than necessary on the hard to grind/sharpen ones. But of course if you are not limited to more than one set of stones, these are over kill and a waste of money on easy to grind steels.

Just for kicks I am going to use it on some very easy to grind steels next, the 3Cr13 class steels.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/2013 05:25PM by CliffStamp.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 13, 2013 06:21PM
Cool. Looking forward to the results. Really enjoying these stone series.

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
Gavko Grinding Gators
Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
McCullen Marauders
Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 13, 2013 07:20PM
Quote
CliffStamp



Both of those edges look exceptional... and how did I miss you getting a Great Eastern knife?


"Boots go on your feet." - Cliff Stamp
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 13, 2013 08:13PM
Possibly as I have not thrown it yet.



These are some of the knives used in the kitchen, from top to bottom :

-Wellington Chef, 250 pps
-Martha Stewart, 200 pps
-Japanese Bread knife, 200 pps
-Wellington Bread, 150 pps

These are all grinding on a small edge bevel about 1/16-1/8" wide which is why they are the same pps even when the edge is much more damaged than just the cardboard cutting in the above.

The grindability of the steel isn't so much an issue on this stone because of the ease at which it cuts most steels. Again I went very light, but doing that many pps you lose focus, or I do as I don't really pay attention to this stage of sharpening, especially when I have a lot of knives to do.

The last two had heavy damage, there were actually pieces missing from the edge so the edge was reset with a 200 SPS-II first (more on that stone later). The edge was then cleaned up (heavy burr) with the SPS-II 3K

-Solingen, 50 pps
-Levco, 50 pps



Only 50 pps and the edge forms clean, all burr/damage is gone and the very coarse scratches are removed.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 14, 2013 05:23AM
How does this grit finish compare to the spyderco stones?

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
Gavko Grinding Gators
Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
McCullen Marauders
Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 14, 2013 05:39PM
The Spyderco stones are very different as they are solid sintered ceramic and do not release abrasive this means they load almost immediately :



This is after 350 pps which was used to reapex the Mora #1260 in the above after one light pass into the stone to grind off the edge :



It produces a highly reflective bevel, the SPS-II 3K will produce a much more hazy finish. However you can let the SPS stone dry out and then it will start to load and act like the Spyderco ceramic. There are people who do exactly that because they want to try to get a higher finish and what you are getting then is a mix of worn abrasive and steel making a mix of abrasive and adhesive wear. The problem is that while it produces a high polish :



It is very easy to fatigue the edge and produce a burr which will just flop from side to side which causes people to often resort to stropping to get rid of it, often compounding the problem.

Keep in mind the Spyderco stones will not wear and are likely much flatter than your waterstones and thus you have to account for the fact they will not confirm to the bevel at all and in general you will need to increase your sharpening angle to use them.

I like to use them to set the final micro-bevel but you have to have the edge in decent shape before them, go very light, use water and the usually burr minimization techniques. To get rid of the loading is also more complicated/involved than just flattening a waterstone.

In short, you can make the SPS-II 3K act like the Spyderco medium ceramic, but you can't do the opposite.

However there are some people who find flattening a waterstone and dealing with the issues of wear and the hollows to be very frustrating, for them the Spyderco stones are an excellent addition to the DMT plates for shaping and since they are both close to true-flat you can move from one to the other very easily.

The fine and u-fine Spydercos are much finer than the medium, they are the same stone just with a different surface finish which means you can make a fine stone u-fine by just polishing the top surface of the stone. Now you can do this with any stone, however waterstones and other stones which wear and release abrasive will resurface naturally.

The guys on the Wicked Edge forum have been experimenting with using diamond abrasives to resurface the Spyderco ceramics and using them and seeing what kind of edges they can produce.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 14, 2013 05:55PM
I have two of the lee valley ceramic stones a 600 and an 8000 I think. They load so fast they are almost useless. Cleaning them is also a pain. I have cleaned them both and flettened the 600 grit it had a hollow in the centre on my xc DMT bench stone. I think that would wear out the DMT too fast and I won't do that again.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 14, 2013 07:57PM
Thanks Cliff. I appreciate you taking the time to take the photos and explain it.

How does the sharpness from an edge made on the 3K SS differ from the sharpness off a Spyderco? Is there a difference either after shaping and compared to the M or after sharpening compared to the F or UF?

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
Gavko Grinding Gators
Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
McCullen Marauders
Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 16, 2013 05:48PM
The SPS-II has the ability to match the sharpness of all of the Spyderco stones by altering the force, the amount of water and manipulating the mud and the loading of the stone. However as Chris has talked about at length recently in his thread on waterstones / sharpmaker - the ceramic stones are trivial in comparison in terms of effort.

I used the SPS-II to sharpen the SM-100, worked the bevel full, a little on the primary and then the steeper curvature next to the edge which is about 7-8 dps. It only took 50 pps in total and it had a perfectly formed apex, ready for the final sharpening. This is one of the areas where I would not want to use the ceramic plates at all because titanium loads horribly and is difficult to clean off.

Because this grinds very easy :

-use little water, let the stone dry a little if you permasoak it (I do)
-use very little force, just enough to make it cut (less than a pound)
Re: Sigma Power Select II : 3000
December 16, 2013 06:21PM
I've been following that thread of Chris's with interest as well. Lots of good info there.

I appreciate you summarizing a lot of it for me here though.

With respect to the use recommendations because it grinds easy, is that more for the benefit of the steel or so as not to waste the stone?

Also since you're not one to rely just on magnified views I assume you are seeing the same edge durability from shaping with this stone as you were seeing with the bur minimization techniques? Any benefit to doing the burr minimization techniques even with this stone, no matter how minimal the benefit may be? I'm not sure if any improvement would really be measurable considering the random nature of cutting, but I'm curious.

Also, C Amber on Youtube...

Member of:
Gavko Grinding Gators
Kyley's Kiwi Cutters
McCullen Marauders
Follower of Cliff $tamp's Seacret Sasquatch Scienz...making little baby Jesus happy since 2012.
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