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Old 09-23-2019, 07:39 AM   #1
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New level of sharpness...

I discount much of what I read on the interweb as the chest beating of self-important posers. It seems that everyone on the knife forums spouts off about "shaving sharp" and "treetopping hair." I'm pretty sure that very few of these claimants can actually whip out their CQC7 and get their faces date-night clean without substantial blood loss. It seemed even more ludicrous the claims that they could wave their knifes across a hair and chop it in half. Right? Right?

So last night I was looking at micrographs of edges sharpened with different grits and different techniques. There's edge leading, edge trailing, pressure, stropping, convexity, cutting, burnishing... and it's all supposed to create an edge that you can use to slaughter hogs in the morning, rig sailboats in the afternoon, and then slice hot pizza for dinner.

Even though it was late when I finished looking at the micrographs, and I should have been getting ready for bed, the ideas were dancing in my head so I got out the sharpening gear.

I tried to start with a 1k stone, but then backed off to a 400. Throughout the progression, I was more thorough than usual. Even after the edge looked good under magnification and my own intuition, I kept going on each side.

When it came to stropping with diamonds, I went way overboard from my usual technique. The micrographs showed that convexity is established on the first few strokes, but then it stabilizes. Subsequent stropping just refines the edge. So I just kept going and going.

When I called it quits, I did the usual routine: shaving hair off the back side of my hand. This time, though, my EDC pocket knife seemed to be doing as well as my double edged razor that I use on my face. But I wasn't using shaving soap, and I'm certainly not getting that thing anywhere near my face.

Next I played with the knife on my arm hair... not shaving, though. I would put the knife near my arm, maybe 3/32" above the skin, and go through a shaving motion. I could feel the knife pulling the hair. Odd. I kept playing, adjusting the angle of the blade, and soon I was "tree topping" the hair on my arm!

So it appears that some of the claims of the interweb keyboard jockeys are not pure hokum. What remains to be seen is if this edge is actually going to last long enough to be useful. Time will tell.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:13 AM   #2
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I'm in awe of what you've done, you're playing in Chico's league now.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:04 AM   #3
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Just be careful. I think Band-Aids and Superglue should be part of your every day carry now.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:57 PM   #4
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@RustyIron, yes, your knife is sharp, but if you put it under high magnification it would look like a "mini-mountain range.' The answer is simple.

Can Ken Schwartz, and tell him you want to polish your edges with "paste, papers and glass." He'll know what you mean, and the products are not that expensive.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cucamonga kid View Post
Just be careful. I think Band-Aids and Superglue should be part of your every day carry now.

paper towels and plastic wrap are good to have handy..trust me
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by The Tourist View Post
Can Ken Schwartz, and tell him you want to polish your edges with "paste, papers and glass." He'll know what you mean, and the products are not that expensive.
I'll have a chat with him sometime soon. Right now I want to use the edges that I have, and decide what I like/dislike about them.
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Old 09-27-2019, 08:18 AM   #7
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Rusty,

Nicely done. If you get a chance, and/or have the capability, it would be great to see the images of the magnified edge. It's definitely rewarding to get to that level of edge, and there are plenty of stone/strop/voodoo combinations to play with. At this point, practice is the best tool. Done wrong, it doesn't take much to screw up an edge.
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:18 PM   #8
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I wasn't going to photograph it, but your request was like throwing down the gauntlet. I had to give it a try. First, I had set up the knife with the edge propped up where it was stable. Then I had to set up a magnifier so it was close to the same angle as the edge. Then I had to set up lighting that came be illumination on both surfaces with minimal glare. Then I had to stick the lens of the camera at the perfect location so that the focus was acceptable and the circle of the image is lined up with the circle of the camera. And if I bump it, then it's back to square one. It's easier to put a keen edge on a knife than it is to take a picture of it.

This knife as been carried and handled since it was polished, so it's not as good as it was a coupled days ago. Every time the edge is touched or wiped with a paper towel, more scratches blemish the polished surface. That's why you use microfiber towels to detail your Ferrari rather than paper towels and denim rags.

The image:
The upper left corner is the side of the knife. It's really quite pretty. Even with my good glasses, I can't actually see the individual striations of the grind. It looks horrid in the picture. The center part of the image is the edge of the knife. There are a couple areas that look fairly smooth at this magnification. You can see a couple narrow scratches that look a little brighter than the others. Those are new scratches that happened after I was done polishing. They probably happened when I was wiping the blade on my pants or with a towel. Look for parallelism between scratches. You can also see bits of dirt that I couldn't easily wipe off. Most interesting are the scratches that are wide and rounded off. Those are scratches from coarse grit that I didn't subsequently polish out.
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Last edited by RustyIron; 09-28-2019 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:45 PM   #9
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don't make me break out my zeiss microscope
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:28 AM   #10
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SOOOOO i shot my knife and a scalpel...as rough as my knife looked the scalpel was rougher...but still the knife had no problem slicing a 14" cut up my leg

top
pic knife.
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File Type: jpg SCALP EDGE.jpg (1.51 MB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg SCALP TIP.jpg (1.46 MB, 3 views)
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Last edited by Shootinit; 09-29-2019 at 10:34 AM.
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