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Old 05-25-2019, 10:15 AM   #1
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Stones

Since so many of us are venturing into the search for the ultimate edge, Which stones do you use and why?
I'm talk about hard, soft, diamond, Japanese water stones, or Ken's recommendations.
I've got 2 sets one is what I would call hard and the other is definitely softer and more porous. Both set are cheap chinese stones, as I learn what I'm doing I will upgrade.
I'm still experimenting as to which stone ones work best on which steels.
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:54 AM   #2
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I think there's a knife guy on this forum lurking somewhere. He'll be along shortly to help you out.
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Old 05-25-2019, 12:19 PM   #3
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I'm no expert, and I've not done much experimentation in regards to types of steel. I pretty much use the same stones on everything, because that's what I have.

My pile of rocks consists of no-name Chinese imports, an assortment of Edge Pros, a progression from Ken Schwartz that I'll list later, some diamond plates form ChefKnivesToGo, and a small assortment of CBN emulsion, diamond paste, and strops.

Right now, my goto progression is as follows:

150 grit diamond plate from ChefKnives
used only for hogging a lot of metal fast

400 Bamboo from K.S.
cuts fast and easy, leaves a pretty edge, doesn't wear quickly

1000 Gold from K.S.
fast, easy, doesn't wear fast

2000 Speckled Blue from K.S.
I really like this one.

5000 Bamboo from K.S.
This was my finest stone for a while, it cracked, but I still use it. Moderate wear.

8000 Speckled Ume from K.S.
Edges are getting nice at this point.

1 μ CBN on nanocloth from K.S.
This made me decide that all edges need to be stropped. Next level.

0.025 μ CBN on nanocloth from K.S.
Had to see what the next level would be like. Sharp is what it's like.

Sometimes I'll try other things depending on what I'm doing, but the steps listed above will be predictable and I know what will happen. Right now I have sufficient tools, and upping my game will require learning better technique.
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Old 05-25-2019, 12:26 PM   #4
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Wow, RustyIron, you beat me to it! That is a very good progression of stones. The only one I would add is one of personal taste.

If we are talking "pocketknives," I'd say you chose the most useful. Any whisker marks that came after these could be easily polished out with paste and glass.

I'd say two years ago Ken "talked me into" a better high end stone, one of 15K grit.

While I use it out of convenience to retard deeper marks, this stone is probably better served with kitchenware. For example, I have a 20K grit stone--it's in pristine condition.

I've never had to use it.

You made some very good choices, 'Iron.
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Old 05-25-2019, 02:39 PM   #5
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It seems like those big jumps in grits to me, but I'm thinking in turns of woodworking where you make the smallest jump in grits you can. I have noticed that when I use a 600 and 800 I seem to lose a lot of sharpness. If I go from a 400 to 1500 I keep the edge and slowly lose the scratches.
I've all chinese stones
120, cuts pretty fast
180, cuts slow and rough
320, cuts fast and rough
400, cuts slow and smooth
600, cuts fast but seems to take away the edge
800, cuts slow but seems to take away the edge
2 1500, one cuts fast and the other slower and smoother
2000, cuts fast and starts making the edge look nice
3000, cuts fast and gets the edge looking almost polished

I still have a lot to figure out but for general everyday, better than factory edges I'm satisfied but not happy. I Know I can do better, I probably just need beet stones. Once I get the sharpening part down I'll move to the polishing.
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Old 05-25-2019, 02:54 PM   #6
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Polishing is essentially 'refinement.' You work a bit slower and your goal is to make the edge uniform

Look at the differences between 'painting' and 'painting.'

That's not a misprint. Painting your bedroom is not painting the Mona Lisa.

This is why I use the term"shaping" when I begin a knife. I don't think you can truly refine a edge by making it sort of uniform. One stone might embrace the bevel, but stones wear at differing rates

This is why I ink the blades. When I first began to polish, I would make a pass over the ink, and stone grabbed the bottom of the bevel near the ricasso, then grabbed the entire edge for a bit, and then finished near the top of the edge by the tip, hitting the shinogi line.

I figured it came from the factory grinder, as he turned his wrist walking across the grinding machine.

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Old 05-25-2019, 03:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by The Tourist View Post
If we are talking "pocketknives," I'd say you chose the most useful. Any whisker marks that came after these could be easily polished out with paste and glass.
My "choices" are not those made out of wisdom, but from the advice of others and through random experimentation.

My stropping experiments involve 1μ CBN on nanocloth, 0.025μ on nanocloth, 40.0μ diamonds on kangaroo hide, and 0.025μ diamonds on a wooden stick. All work well and give me edges that I thought better than was possible. What concerns me is the flexibility of all these setups, especially the nanocloth. It seems that if there is any kind of "cushiness," then my edge will tend to be rounded. If I put the finishing touches on with glass, would it make a difference?
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wayne View Post
600, cuts fast but seems to take away the edge
800, cuts slow but seems to take away the edge
I noticed that early on with some of my cheap stones. I don't know if it was the rocks themselves or my lack of skill. But after I started getting stones from Ken, I didn't notice this phenomenon. What I started noticing was a burr. Again, I don't know if it was the different stones, or increased observational ability. Stropping helped with burrs, but I think it also helped my skill at getting rid of burrs using only the rocks.

What helped a lot was magnification. I have a handful of styles. My favorite is a cheap 60x magnifier that lets me see things that would otherwise be invisible. I can see chipped edges and areas that I've totally missed. I think everyone can use magnification so you can SEE what's really going on when you polish.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AQAANDS
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
My "choices" are not those made out of wisdom, but from the advice of others and through random experimentation.
That's the point behind this thread, so we can share wisdom, experimentation, experiences, and what works what didn't.

Because you experienced the same issue with chinese 600 and 800 stones it makes me believe it's a problem with stones. I don't know if they're just crappy or miss labeled.
I did a dollar store blade and skipped over those 2 stones and was amazed at sharp that thing got, I doubt it'll hold the edge for long but it made for great blade to practice on. The bevels were uneven, it had knicks and waves, it's really flexie and cheap if if I screwed it up beyond repair.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:54 PM   #10
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Nano-cloth.

@RustyIron, did you see the nano-cloth fixture Ken made for me?

Blow up the picture, my cloths do not wrinkle or stretch.

Click on picture to enlarge.

DSC02570.JPG
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