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Burr Removal : What Works, What Doesn't

Posted by jasonstone20 
Burr Removal : What Works, What Doesn't
December 14, 2019 01:36PM
I am wanting to start a conversation about everyone's experience with burr removal. Here is my opinion:

There is a lot of misinformation about the burr. Chris/me2 noticed something about burr removal that I had also experienced: Drawing a burr you can feel through wood doesn't remove it, ie tear it off or smash it back into the edge, and stopping, abrasive or plain, doesn't grind off a burr you can feel either. So why are these things used and why do competent sharpeners use and instruct those methods to be used? I believe what they are talking about isn't a burr that can be seen or even felt, but the finishing steps of finally removing the last part of the hard to detect micro-burr. I have found drawing through wood or stropping to be effective then. The best way I have found to reduce the burr is to micro-bevel, and to strop, both pasted and plain. Ideally, you can use burr minimization to reduce or remove the burr on the stone, then draw it through wood and go back to the last stone used, or you can strop it. I think a better solution is to use a sharpening technique that doesn't use a purposeful burr formation in the first place. The problem with that is that not that many people seem to have success with trying it by themselves. I have been able to show one person via video chat how to use the Plateau method, and I think real time instruction is necessary for most people to get the technique down. One issue that often doesn't get addressed is the aligned burr or wire edge (what I call the micro-burr), as described by the late knife maker Wayne Goddard. Wootz/KnifeGrinders has a book he published that also addressed this, and describes a removal technique that I like (strop on diamond, strop on CrOx, then strop on plain leather). I think that either most people that have issues with high sharpness edge retention not lasting is because they have a aligned burr/wire edge/micro-burr. How much burrs effect edge retention overall is something I believe needs to be investigated due to the horrible sharpening results from CATRA during their testing by Alchemy1/Clint on YouTube. There is also an increased sharpness with a wire edge, and it would also warrant investigation.

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"Gotta love living in 2019 baby, (63rc too soft on a production knife)"
--Shawn Houston

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp

"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes

"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
--Sal Glesser
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StoneSharpEdges
Re: Burr Removal : What Works, What Doesn't
December 14, 2019 07:03PM
if the burr is prepared and is ready to be removed, then just about anything will take it off, shearing with a microbevel, dragging thru soft wood, stropping on linen or leather or just palm stropping or stropping it on your jeans. but the thing is that you have to get it ready to be removed with lighter and lighter passes at the normal sharpening angle {the angle that produced the burr to begin with}. when it does come off, it will look like powdery flakes of steel in the oil, or like fine dust on a diamond stone.

the reason that I like the burr method so much is that it takes less skill from the sharpener. its a 1,2,3 step process that almost guarantees a good edge, with no guesswork and no real familiarity with the steel or stone. it also works great if you cant see, so whether your eyesight isn't that great, or if you need to sharpen your knife in a dimly lit garage or something as you can feel where you are in the sharpening process with your fingertips.

the plateau method works great also, but is more of an advanced method in my mind, and it helps to have good eyesight, have a good light source, and be familiar with your steel and stones. it also works better on softer Waterstones for me. but then again, if you are on a mountainside, and working up an elk in a foot of snow and need to sharpen your knife but cant feel your fingertips, then it works great if the sun is up.

so when folks ask me to teach them how to sharpen, I teach them the burr method first, then if they ask for more, once they have that down, then I teach them the plateau method. doesn't matter if it is a pocket knife, chopper, axe, or straight razor.

Performance above all else!!!
CaltonCutlery.com
CaltonCutlery@yahoo.com
Re: Burr Removal : What Works, What Doesn't
December 15, 2019 03:35AM
Joe,
You are definitely correct about the difference between a burr that has been prepared to be removed and one that hasn't. I didn't do a great job of explaining that. I am wondering how strong a burr is that hasn't been weakened through burr minimization.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Gotta love living in 2019 baby, (63rc too soft on a production knife)"
--Shawn Houston

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp

"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes

"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
--Sal Glesser
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
StoneSharpEdges



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2019 03:54AM by jasonstone20.
Re: Burr Removal : What Works, What Doesn't
December 15, 2019 12:54PM
oh gotcha,

ive seen some that were pretty strong, as in you couldn't bend them back over with your fingernail. ive also seen on soft stainless, where you would form a large burr, and then it would come off in one long strip. I have heard of folks using that sort of edge made up of a burr during meat cutting and skinning, but ive never played with it.
Re: Burr Removal : What Works, What Doesn't
December 15, 2019 03:01PM
Quote
Joe Calton
oh gotcha,
javascript:editor_tools_handle_u()
ive seen some that were pretty strong, as in you couldn't bend them back over with your fingernail. ive also seen on soft stainless, where you would form a large burr, and then it would come off in one long strip. I have heard of folks using that sort of edge made up of a burr during meat cutting and skinning, but ive never played with it.

This is what I was wondering about, as it was mentioned to me by Roman Landes during an email. I had never heard of purposely forming a burr and then cutting on it.

Quote
jasonstone20
So why are these things used and why do competent sharpeners use and instruct those methods to be used? I believe what they are talking about isn't a burr that can be seen or even felt, but the finishing steps of finally removing the last part of the hard to detect micro-burr. I have found drawing through wood or stropping to be effective then. The best way I have found to reduce the burr is to micro-bevel, and to strop, both pasted and plain. Ideally, you can use burr minimization to reduce or remove the burr on the stone, then draw it through wood and go back to the last stone used, or you can strop it

This is what I was talking about. I used the term micro-burr, and I didn't include a burr that had been minimized, weakened, and reduced, and I should have.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Gotta love living in 2019 baby, (63rc too soft on a production knife)"
--Shawn Houston

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp

"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes

"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
--Sal Glesser
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
StoneSharpEdges



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2019 03:04PM by jasonstone20.
Re: Burr Removal : What Works, What Doesn't
December 15, 2019 05:13PM
Another thing I forgot is reducing the burr by using a finer grit progression. If you go for 220/1k/3k/6k JIS, there really isn't much of a burr left.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Gotta love living in 2019 baby, (63rc too soft on a production knife)"
--Shawn Houston

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp

"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes

"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
--Sal Glesser
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
StoneSharpEdges
Re: Burr Removal : What Works, What Doesn't
December 15, 2019 05:26PM
Joe,
I definitely agree about teaching the burr method first and then teaching the Plateau method. Knowing both of the techniques really helps. It is like knowing how to sharpen freehand and how to use a fixed jig sharpening system, the knowledge overlaps some and compliments a lot.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Gotta love living in 2019 baby, (63rc too soft on a production knife)"
--Shawn Houston

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp

"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes

"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
--Sal Glesser
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
StoneSharpEdges
Re: Burr Removal : What Works, What Doesn't
December 15, 2019 07:52PM
by the time I get to a 6k stone with a straight, I cant feel a burr reliably, as in sometimes I think I can feel it, and other times I cant, then if I stone strop with light pressure, I cant feel it at all, even when I palm strop to remove what is left before going to a crox strop, linen and leather and then shave. by the way that is the most fool proof way I have found to hone a straight even with beginners.

I think if you were to set a knife up for cutting meat with a burr, perhaps something like 5160, kept a little on the soft side, bring up a heavy burr on a fairly fine stone, like a soft ark, then align it with a steel that has hardly any abrasive power at all. and I bet what you would end up with is a wicked burr that stays for awhile since its still heavy, yet polished and will take re-aligning a good number of times before it either wears through, or workhardens enough to break off.
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