We have a massive amount of Edge Pro products so we figured it would be good to have a whole section on how to use the machine and what to use on it.
Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:56 pm
I tried this machine a few times over a year ago so I did have some basic idea of how it works.
My first attempt yesterday went pretty well. Here are some questions/comments.
The diamond plates cut fast as is expected.
On a typical 10" blade how many times do you move the knife? I can stretch almost the whole length of the knife but I don't think that's ideal since it changes the angle quite a bit. Any experienced users like to comment on this? I changed spots 2 so I clamped it 3 times total.
Does anyone use the diamond plates wet? I'm just thinking this would keep the metal from going airborn. Not sure if it matters much.
I've been trained to find a burr but if you alternate strokes with the paddles you don't really generate burrs that you can detect. I guess I could work 1 side and then the other and get a burr that way but it's more fun to use the paddles with alternating strokes. I just felt the edge until it felt like a crisp edge and then moved to higher grit.
I tried the strops and they worked well.
There's a little slop at the connection rods where they connect to the base of the machine. I'm not sure if that makes the edge a little less precise.
I didn't use a base. I had to weigh down the sharpener so it wouldn't move on my table. I would really like to see a smaller and lighter base since the ones that are available are big and heavy and a bitch to ship. I'm thinking about using an 8x8" cutting board and drilling some holes in it to make a smalller and lighter base for it.
I was out of the ceramic stones so I didn't get to use them but I'm looking forward to trying these.
All and all I get a good edge but I can still do better free hand. I'm sure that will change as I practice a few times. The machine works well.
Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:03 am
Mark, these mechanical sharpening devices have me interested. I was looking at the EP, only for the reason, I had not seen the WE. Today I finally get to have a look at it. I checked both sites, youtubed a bunch, compared accessories.
Your comments have me rethinking, and pursuing freehand, maintaining the angle at the reaches of the setup are a concearn, as well the ability to sharpen say a 350 mm suji. Long, and not very high. I am curious how either system tackles long blades. Hopefully someone can weigh in on this.
I like the idea of establishing a set angle, and be able to provide a customer with "It is ground at (X) angle" Which has brought another question to light for me. I am a surveyor, use angles all day. I am curious how either deal with different blade lengths. If a paring knife has a height of 20 mm and a cleaver has a height of 110 mm, clearly the angles will be drastically different.
Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:56 am
Long blades are not an issue on the EP since you move the blade anyway. Very tall blades like cleavers are also easy. Not sure how it would work on the WEPS, but I assume it's not an issue considering the length of the arms.
You need an angle cube to set the angle on both. The marks the EP has for an angle are never correct because of difference in blade height and stone thickness. The EP does have the drill stop collar trich that makes it very fast to swap stones. On the EP, You'll need to use the angle cube again I believe.
When I had mine, I used a big side grain bamboo cutting board as a base. Did the job.
I had a look at the new arms the other day, and I must say they are a BIG improvement.
Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:14 am
I use 1 paddle at a time to get the burr on 1 side then switch to the other side, up thru my diamond stone progressions. With the 1200/1600 ceramics i only use edge trailing but i do use them alternately like you were stating. When the knife is finally sharp, i then switch to the strops and use both sides alternating (Wicked Fast polishing). I have heard others say that when the diamonds get wet the metal plate will rust. One user even uses an Ultrasonic cleaning station on the diamond plates. I dont think i have ever seen Clay use them wet.
Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:38 pm
In my experience using the WEPS I havent had to change the clamping position through the sharpening process once I found the "sweet spot" for the knife. And to do so you just color the edge with a permanent marker place it in the appropriate height slots using the adjustment key with the ruler connected to it so that you have a reference point for the next time you touch up or sharpen the knife. I will usually start depending on how much belly and length there is to the blade close to the center point of the blade. I then make a few passes on each side and look to see where the marker has been removed along the entire length of the blade. If there is a difference from the heel to the tip then I adjust the knife one way or the other until it is removing the market evenly across the length of the blade and then record where the tip of the knife lines up with the ruler connected to the depth key.
This method has worked very well for me and helped keep the angles and settings quickly accessible for future sharpening and touch ups. And the largest knife I have sharpened was a 12 inch western slicer with a fairly narrow blade and I didn't have any issues.
As far as the burr development from what I understand you shouldn't be devoloping much if any of a burr if you are just using alternating strokes. For devoloping a burr I start with the lowest grit I'm going to use and scrub up and down moving down the length of the blade as I do so alternating sides until I get a burr to develope then I switch to the sweeping type strokes and work my way up in grit size from there. Some users go as far as to develope a burr at the start of each grit change just incase there are any minute changes in angle between the sharpening plates.
Also try to keep in mind that all of the diamond plates and the ceramics have a short break in period of about 6-10 knives, but it can be shortened by LIGHTLY rubbing together like grit stones to break some of the jagged edges off the abrasives.
While there is some play in the guide arms at the collar this can be fixed by either sending the arms into Clay to be modified with a screw cap instead of the friction pin. Or on the WEPS website in the forum there is a article on how to do the modification yourself if you feel so inclined. It is also necessary to use an angle cube if you want precise angle adjustments on your knives. Especially if you venture into the use of Shaptons and Choceras.
As far as the base I have the paper stone base and I find it works great. It's not super heavy like the granite ones he has.
Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:43 pm
I'm going to have another go of it on Saturday. I'll rub the stones down to get them evened out a little and see how that works. I'll also take your advice on centering the knife and marking it for future sessions.
Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:10 pm
Mine is mounted on an old wood 12" square cutting board and have the cutting board sitting on top of a lazy susan plate from Woodcraft. The lazy susan allows me to easily turn the unit 180 occasionally to correct for differences in strength or technique between my left and right arms.
The edges produced have been superlative. I did have to modify the arms to achieve these edges and intend to purchase the ball joint arms as soon as they are available.
The results on my CCK1303 sharpened on the WE at 10.90 degrees have made it my favorite knife..so far.
I think you will be pleased with your efforts this weekend.
Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:20 pm
The lazy suzan is a genius idea Marty! I love the stuff you guys come up with.
Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:08 pm
How did your Wicked Edge practice go?
Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:58 pm
It went really well. I sharpened 1 knife on Saturday (my Fanatic cleaver). The sharpening motion becomes easy fairly quickly. I decided to use a simple edge trailing stroke since the diamond stones are coarse and it allows me to get into a groove when I switch to the strops. They cleaver's edge was set quickly and refines well and I like the edge it produced. I need some tweener stones between the diamond plates and the strops but other than that I thought the machine works well. I love not having to flip and constantly adjust the machine once it's clamped onto the knife. My only real complaint is the sloppiness of the connection between the control arms and the base which lessens the precision of the edge.
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