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Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.

Posted by jasonstone20 
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Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
June 13, 2017 04:15PM
I have been thinking about this for a while, somewhere that we could talk about specific issues we are having with sharpening without having to create a new topic and then have to search and try and find the information later for reference. So if you have any good tips, need troubleshooting, or have questions or answers, this is the place for it.

edit:
PS:
I was also thinking that the Forum could put together a treatise on sharpening. We could work on the outline first, then fill it in with submissions and the edit it to something that is a good source of information for the beginner and expert alike.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2017 04:22PM by jasonstone20.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
June 13, 2017 04:18PM
This I found on BladeForums:

Shapening Techniques and Advice:
Things that help, Keys to success:
- low angles, like under 10 degrees per side (20 degrees inclusive) or 7dps (14 degrees)
- using light force in shaping / raising a burr ( under 1lb, under 1/2 lb )
- not raising a giant burr, esp using the coarsest grits
- not raising a tiny burr, not even using the finer grit
- not raising a tiny tiny burr but only raising a barely teeny teeny tiny tiny tiny burr on the finishing
- flat stones
- clean stones , no slurry on stones when finishing ( deburr/microbevel )
- edge leading for final strokes
- short strokes for final strokes, like 1inch of travel on the stone
- cross the scratch pattern, cross hatch the grits
- using lighter than light force on finishing strokes and deburring (under ~4oz or ~100 grams , as close to 10-20 grams as possible), this is harder to do with worn abrasive (200 diamond)
- guided freehand, put a wedge/triangle on stone for angle reference/control, or put the stone at an angle (like sharpmaker)

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
June 13, 2017 04:51PM
ok, how about:
types of sharpeners: quick and dirty how-to, advantages/disadvantages,
is expensive that much better? how many times do we see a newbie ask about sharpening and most of the replies list an expensive name brand stone and leave the impression if you don't use this expensive stone(belt, grinder, oil)
oil stones: crytolon Vs aluminum oxide, what kind of oil, how much oil, when is it time to clean/flatten

water stones

diamond stones


belt sander
disc sander



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2017 05:17PM by oldsailorsknives.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
June 13, 2017 08:34PM
oldsailorknives,
Excellent suggestion, that is exactly what I had in mind also. I have often seen the same thing with expensive equipment suggested when it is not needed.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
WordPress YouTube Facebook Patreon Locals Instagram Twitter
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
June 14, 2017 05:39PM
and since Cliff and others have done many articles/posts on specific equipment or techniques, provide links rather than text.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
June 15, 2017 01:52PM
was thinking also display links rather than text
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
July 16, 2017 12:47PM
I think I made a suggetion like this before, and Cliff said great idea: we have a wiki, go for it, and then I didn't do anything, like the lazy gypsy that I am.

I don't know about anyone else, but to get a larger bit of writing done I probably need to divide the project into smaller chunks or goals.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
July 16, 2017 02:41PM
SecondCrack,
That is exactly what I was thinking, and hoping to do with this thread. We can gather all the material here, and then divide it up and repost what we have for editing and suggestions. I don't know if the wiki is still working.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
WordPress YouTube Facebook Patreon Locals Instagram Twitter
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
July 23, 2017 03:17PM
Hello. I haven't posted here, but I've lurked on these forums for a few years. I really like the idea of a troubleshooting thread. In fact, the main thing holding me back from posting was feeling like a bother when posting with new sharpener troubleshooting questions.

I also really like the idea of a place with pre-organized content where newcomers can read up on methods to test.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
July 23, 2017 03:48PM
rmjohns8,
If you need help with sharpening, feel free to ask. If you don't want to do it in a public thread, you can always send a private message. This forum, and the main contributors on it helped me with me sharpening skill a huge amount, leading me to breakthroughs that I don't think I would have had by myself.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
WordPress YouTube Facebook Patreon Locals Instagram Twitter
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
July 23, 2017 09:53PM
Quote
jasonstone20
rmjohns8,
If you need help with sharpening, feel free to ask. If you don't want to do it in a public thread, you can always send a private message. This forum, and the main contributors on it helped me with me sharpening skill a huge amount, leading me to breakthroughs that I don't think I would have had by myself.

Thanks Jason. I'd love to take you up on that. I'll send you a message later.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
July 24, 2017 01:18PM
I would love to see some sort of table or nomograph type chart for abrasive selection based on steel. Maybe even a category for technique/stone order - such as what Cliff listed here: Sharpening Martha Stewart MSE World's Worst Knife : Burrfection.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
September 30, 2017 11:26PM
Looking for advice sharpening a full height convex with sandpaper.

My issue is that it comes off my final grit and it seems highly polished but has no bite. With the naked eye, doesn't appear to have any areas of residual burr or anything. Can't slice (using tomatoes to test). Can't push cut paper, even thick computer paper either. Looking for technique/methods suggestions. Doesn't shave hair. Pretty much an ineffective edge.

My setup is a combination of clips to keep the sandpaper down on either a mousepad or 9 oz leather glued to wood. I've started on 220 grit, then 400, then 800.

I use sharpie and apex to a burr on both sides with the 220 grit. I've tried doing this with both edge leading passes and edge trailing passes. I then proceed to do alternating passes, and then move up on grit. I've also tried this by not doing the alternating passes and then going up in grit anyway.

My angle is a pretty consistent 16 degrees per side.

Coming off of the 220 grit, it doesn't feel very sharp, especially compared to when I come off my coarsest stone when not doing the sand paper sharpening method.

I have tried several different brands of sand paper, as well as switching out the sandpapers. They do seem to load quickly.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions for improvement?

I thought sandpaper could achieve really nice edges, so I think I must be doing something wrong.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/30/2017 11:29PM by rmjohns8.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 01, 2017 12:07AM
Quote
rmjohns8

[...] Can't slice (using tomatoes to test). Can't push cut paper, even thick computer paper either.


[...]
Coming off of the 220 grit, it doesn't feel very sharp, especially compared to when I come off my coarsest stone when not doing the sand paper sharpening method.

That sounds like it isn't apexed at all from the first part, when you say it forms a burr, how do you know?
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 01, 2017 12:20AM
Quote
CliffStamp


That sounds like it isn't apexed at all from the first part, when you say it forms a burr, how do you know?

Am detecting the burr by feel running my fingers on the opposite side that I sharpened on.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 01, 2017 02:10AM
And it does that on both sides?
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 01, 2017 07:21AM
Quote
CliffStamp
And it does that on both sides?

I do it on side 1 first. Make sure burr is present through repeated passes or scrubbing. I then work on the opposite side. I try to make sure I raise this burr across the entire length of the edge.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 03, 2017 03:55PM
Are you using the sandpaper dry or wet?
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 08, 2017 04:10PM
Quote
CliffStamp
Are you using the sandpaper dry or wet?

Completely dry.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 08, 2017 05:16PM
As a first possibility, it might be that you are getting some kind of static effect which is causing the apex to have material cling to it. I assume you are doing edge trailing? This and dry sandpaper is a kind of recipe for persistent burrs which is often why many YT videos show the knife dull until they do long sessions of stropping.

Here is something to try :

-use the paper wet (light not soaked)

-after raising a burr, do a couple of passes into a hard wood (to remove the burr)

-now go back to the same paper, don't advance the grit and just give a few passes (this should reset the apex)

The knife should be sharp at the grit level.

(it is better to actually just cut the burr off with edge-into passes, but that can easily cut the sandpaper)
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 08, 2017 08:43PM
Quote
CliffStamp
As a first possibility, it might be that you are getting some kind of static effect which is causing the apex to have material cling to it. I assume you are doing edge trailing? This and dry sandpaper is a kind of recipe for persistent burrs which is often why many YT videos show the knife dull until they do long sessions of stropping.

Here is something to try :

-use the paper wet (light not soaked)

-after raising a burr, do a couple of passes into a hard wood (to remove the burr)

-now go back to the same paper, don't advance the grit and just give a few passes (this should reset the apex)

The knife should be sharp at the grit level.

(it is better to actually just cut the burr off with edge-into passes, but that can easily cut the sandpaper)

Thanks Cliff. I'll give it a shot and report back.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 08, 2017 09:04PM
Quote
rmjohns8
Quote
CliffStamp
As a first possibility, it might be that you are getting some kind of static effect which is causing the apex to have material cling to it. I assume you are doing edge trailing? This and dry sandpaper is a kind of recipe for persistent burrs which is often why many YT videos show the knife dull until they do long sessions of stropping.

Here is something to try :

-use the paper wet (light not soaked)

-after raising a burr, do a couple of passes into a hard wood (to remove the burr)

-now go back to the same paper, don't advance the grit and just give a few passes (this should reset the apex)

The knife should be sharp at the grit level.

(it is better to actually just cut the burr off with edge-into passes, but that can easily cut the sandpaper)

Thanks Cliff. I'll give it a shot and report back.

Also useful to clamp sand paper down - just the side you are starting the passes from
and keep puling the other one carefully during the whole sharpening so it cannot
raise from the base and burr/radius (more than required) your edge..

www.instagram.com/jscuttingtools
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 09, 2017 06:32PM
I seem to be having an issue that is intermittent. The knife is a Benchmade 940 in S30V. I can get a hair whittling/freehanging hair/HHT 3/4/5 edge on it consistently using a clamp system with diamond and ceramic hones (Gatco Edgemate clamp, DMT Diafold C, F, EF, and EEF hones, and the Magna-Clamp adatpter, Gatco Ultra-Fine White Ceramic Finishing Hone), Lansky Diamond 4-rod Croc Stick (#325 C diamond, white ceramic), or with my knock-off of the Edge Pro Apex using the Apogee stones it came with. I don't have to strop using these systems, (but I can with the Edge Pro Apex copy, for cosmetic reasons)to get a HHT 3/4/5 edge. The problem comes when freehand sharpening. Sometimes the apex forms cleanly where I can pass a HHT 3/4/5, sometimes needing stropping, but often I struggle to get the blade to pass a HHT 3/4/5. I have tried different methods, including using a King 220, King 1k, Suehiro 6k, then apexing on the Lansky Croc Stick with the white ceramic rods or using a Spyderco Sharpmaker UF rod, or using a XC 220 Eze-lap diamond hone, EF 1200 Eze-lap diamond hone, Spyderco Medium rod, then finishing on a Spyderco UF rod, or using the DMT Diafolds C, F, EF, EEF and finishing on a Spyderco UF rod. Most of the time I have to strop on newsprint with a wood backing or a hanging linen/canvas strop and plain leather strop to get it to pass a HHT 3/4/5. Sometimes the edge is where I want it following the DMT EEF, but when I use the Spyderco UF rod, it won't pass a HHT 3/4/5. I also can't get it to pass a HHT 3/4/5 using Arkansas stones, but I can get it to shave and push cut phonebook paper. I have another S30V 940 and I haven't had any of these issues, plus I could get it to pass a HHT 3/4/5 on Arkansas stones using a plain strop, and it would pass a HHT 3/4/5 without stropping right off the Spyderco UF rod hone. I have been keeping the Spyderco UF rod conditioned.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
WordPress YouTube Facebook Patreon Locals Instagram Twitter
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 10, 2017 03:24AM
What happens when you use the same stones on the systems freehand?
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 10, 2017 03:47AM
Cliff,
Yes, and I got the results I was trying for using the same stones as the sharpening systems, but not that frequently straight off the stone. If I use a strop without an abrasive, I can get it to cut it a free hanging hair more often, but not every time.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
WordPress YouTube Facebook Patreon Locals Instagram Twitter
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 10, 2017 04:49AM
Cliff,
I think I figured it out. I was using too much pressure. I have a nerve problem that makes its difficult to feel with my hands sometimes and when trying to maintain the correct angle I was also pressing down a little. I paid attention to lightneing the pressure and taking my time and the problem went away. Thanks for your help.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
WordPress YouTube Facebook Patreon Locals Instagram Twitter
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 14, 2017 10:37AM
I've been reading, lurking and absorbing around here for a long time now, but I have an unanswered question sorta tied in to jasonstone20's last post.

When you guys get new stones, how do you determine proper pressure, what clues or indicators do you watch for?

What triggered the question for me was I've used primarily the same 2 DMT stones for years. I worked as a carpenter for many years and they were a unbreakable option to haul around with me. Recently I finally realized how worn out they were getting and I no longer work as a carpenter.

I bought a Norton Crystalon combo. and India combo, a Arkansa soft white/hard black combo, and a King 1000 to mess around with. I have not used the king yet. But I've noticed while using the Nortons that my years on the DMT have given me a habit of very light pressure. Now I'm unsure of how much pressure I really should be using.
I will hopefully spend some time this weekend with some simple steel knives getting to know these new stones, but any pointers are welcome.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 14, 2017 09:46PM
This is both a trivial, but deep question.

On the surface, you use enough force to cause enough pressure to actually fracture the abrasive, assuming the abrasive can release. If you don't then the abrasive will just wear down and get smooth. However on some knives, in some grits, this might be too much pressure and it could damage the edge or just cause too deep a scratch pattern. Therefore you often have to balance what is happening on the stone with what is happening to the steel on the knife.

If you just start thinking about those two effects I think you will come up with a decent balance readily.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 15, 2017 12:08AM
Thanks for the reply Cliff.

I agree.
Since my first post I had some time to work with a stone.
I used a cheap beater knife that I use in the shop, I was cutting foam insulation and some other dirty materials.
I only sharpened it on the course side of the crystolon stone.
That way I could focus on a single stone for now.
What I realized is I have more to learn than just the pressure.
The cutting speed is new to me also, I was expecting it to cut faster than it did.
But surprisingly my biggest hang up has been the oil. I can't see what's happening as readily, and the oil on my fingers makes it more difficult to check if I've actually apexed or if I've gone to far and created a burr.
I don't dislike the stone at all, it's just been surprising to me how much different it is compared to what I was accustomed to using. But it's been interesting, and I don't think it will take me long to get a feel for it.
I'm less focused on the pressure issue already now after spending a little more time on it.
I'm still not sure why I bought the Arkansas stone though. I had one as a kid. So I guess a bit of nostalgia mixed with curiosity.
I think that King stone will be a whole new animal. My only experience with water stones is Sharptons, nothing natural or muddy.
I'm having fun, it's been very interesting already and I haven't even begun to compare the differences and nuances between the Crystolon and the India yet, if there really is any.
Re: Sharpening Tips, Troubleshooting and Q & A.
October 15, 2017 03:13AM
In general most people use far too much oil on the stone. It is supposed to be a lubricant, you don't need very much oil for that at all. I generally just keep a light rag (which I also use for cleaning rusty tools, the grit helps), and then just wipe the blade when I want to check the edge. I rarely get oil significantly on my hands, a decent applicator is very useful as well.