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Upping my grit game

Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:49 pm

I was going to email Ken Schwartz about this, but thought more folks would benefit if I posted on the forum. Hence, I lay bare my ignorance in public. And even though I sharpen with an Edge Pro, I placed this in the general sharpening subforum for wider distro.

My current high grit progression is Shapton Pro 5K to Shapton Pro 8K to the '6K' EP polishing tape, advertised as 1u. This has served me well with softer steels. Not sure the EP tape sharpens further, but it does provide a mirror polish. However, I have now procured knives in AS and HAP40 and am not sure the polishing tape is optimum.

To progress from the SP 8K is the 15K the obvious answer? Followed with the (ka-ching!) 30K?

Or would Ken's diamond films in 1.0u/0.5u/0.1u be a better bet? Definitely more palatable price-wise. I am assuming the diamond would perform better against the hard steel. How durable are they? (I would buy the heavy duty where available.)

I have had my eye on the nano cloth strops and sprays as well, but that seems to be widening this rabbit hole that is already too deep. Add up the cost of various strops and sprays and I'm in 30K Shapton territory.

I know, I know, a kitchen knife doesn't need this level of edge refinement. Humor me and please advise.

Cheers,

Rick

Re: Upping my grit game

Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:21 pm

Why?

The only added benefit of going past the 5k would be to Chase the mirror. It will do absolutely nothing for cutting performance.

I have been down the road of chasing the perfect edge and while it is fun its not practical. But..... I would say get a finer stone (10k) and add some diamond sprays in the 1 and 1/2 Micron flavors and if you can't separate time with that edge then your not doing it right :)

Re: Upping my grit game

Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:25 am

Grab the shapton 16k

Some CBN in .5 and .25 micron , and 2 kangaroo strops. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face without spending as much as a 30k shapton.

Re: Upping my grit game

Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:31 am

Absolute waste of time and especially money to go over 6k unless your just chasing the perfect mirror for fun. 6k is somewhat overkill.

Re: Upping my grit game

Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:47 am

Because he wants to? He already agreed that its overkill. He just wants to chase a sharper edge.

Re: Upping my grit game

Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:20 pm

Jeff/Jason <> I understand where you're coming from and appreciate that your advice is sincere. And you're probably correct on every point. But this is a hobby to me, so efficiency and cost-effectiveness take a back seat to selfish gratification. Let's face it, for what some (non-professional) cooks here have spent on knives and stones they could have gone out to eat every night. But where's the fun in that? (I do need help, don't I?)

Of course I want to chase a mirror! But I can do that with my soft steels. I also want to explore the limits of what the knife can do. Since the steel is alloyed with copious amounts of Vanadium and Tungsten and with an advertised minimum HRc of 64, I'm hoping what edge refinement I invest time and money into will survive beyond the first contact with food.

Cheers,

Rick

Re: Upping my grit game

Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:13 pm

Rick - for a minimum investment/maximum return, I would get a couple of nano cloth strops for the EP and put 1 micron diamond spray on one. If you want to go even further, get 0.5 micron diamond spray and put it on the other nano cloth strop. You can go from the Shapton 8K to the 1 micron/nano cloth, no problem. I wouldn't worry about getting a higher grit stone than 8K. If you do your job right with the EP, you should be able to just about split atoms with your new JKnives and 1 micron/0.5 micron nano strops!!

I wouldn't waste the nano cloth/diamond spray on the softer steels. If you like your current routine for the soft steels, just keep at it for those.

Re: Upping my grit game

Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:25 pm

I have the 8K glass and go from that to a .25 spray on the nano cloth......

you can see yourself in the thing and it is very mirror like, most people go holly *****

I have been happy, but if use get the light angle just right you can still see fine scratches from skipping the other stone witch i why i just bought the whole glass stone set (well i didn't buy 6K or 30K, i will buy the 30K one day)

the 30K will out last the sprays and such so you will spend more in the long run on sprays

Re: Upping my grit game

Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:52 am

Tall Dark and Swarfy wrote:Jeff/Jason <> I understand where you're coming from and appreciate that your advice is sincere. And you're probably correct on every point. But this is a hobby to me, so efficiency and cost-effectiveness take a back seat to selfish gratification. Let's face it, for what some (non-professional) cooks here have spent on knives and stones they could have gone out to eat every night. But where's the fun in that? (I do need help, don't I?)

Of course I want to chase a mirror! But I can do that with my soft steels. I also want to explore the limits of what the knife can do. Since the steel is alloyed with copious amounts of Vanadium and Tungsten and with an advertised minimum HRc of 64, I'm hoping what edge refinement I invest time and money into will survive beyond the first contact with food.

Cheers,

Rick


Steels with vanadium carbides don't do so well with highly refined edges. White steel would be best to test the limits of sharpness. Just a little FYI.

Re: Upping my grit game

Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:13 am

I wish to thank everyone for their advice.

Jason's mention of the Vanadium carbides made me rethink a bit. HAP40 is 3% Vanadium, not the 4%+ of some of the super steels out there, and is advertised as having a fine and uniform carbide distribution, but still...

What I have decided to try are diamond films mounted on EP blanks. Maybe even skip the 5K Shapton altogether and go 3.0u-1.0u-0.5u-0.1u. What I am hoping to achieve is to use the diamond to shape the Vanadium carbides along with the steel matrix versus a softer stone abrading only the steel and leaving the carbides to fall out of the matrix. Call it an experiment, and a cheap one at that.

I will report back with results, whether it be to gloat or eat crow.

Cheers,

Rick
Last edited by Tall Dark and Swarfy on Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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