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post #21 of 62 Old 03-05-2019, 11:16 PM
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I take my advice from the scanning electron microscope pictures of finished(?) steel edges. No opinions, just fact.
I don't see anybody else ever putting up SEM pictures to back up their opinions. Steels cannot be sharpened to perfect edges...
Err...Uhm......Japanese sharpening fanatics at the (now!) very common 削ろうかい (Kezuroukai...aka: "Shall I shave it?) use SEM and related data all the time to refine there modalites of "keeness" for different blade geometries, and there are a lot of groups into "sharpening," that get deep into this stuff.

So as to not seeing "anybody else ever putting up SEM pictures" the Japanese do rather often, and so do some of the hard core knife and shaving groups that get into sharpening...

I still think (over all) we are on the same page (and agree?) about...day to day...sharpening...

However, for the other readers into this topic...there are times when much keener, finer edges with very precise edge geometries are required in woodworking to achieve finishes required that simply...can not...be achieved with..."1500 grit" with a jump to "honing compound"...(13オ to 0.5オ). It's not a common occurrence, but it is common enough to be able to understand it if one is getting into certain areas of fine woodworking particularly with hand tools and in styles like the Japanese work...

This is just one of many examples, but most are not in English...
Review of paper by Chutaro Kato and Yasunori Kawai, Wear of Knife Used for Hand Plane III: The influence of the cap iron

Yamagata University, Yamagata, Japan

The Japan Wood Research Society Vol. 35, No. 10, p.886-895 (1989)

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post #22 of 62 Old 03-05-2019, 11:28 PM
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The "burr" isn't the issue...

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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
For those of us that don't have a microscope all you have to do is run the edge of you fingernail across the edge. If there is any burr on the edge you will be able to feel it.
"Burr" presence...better understood as the formation of a "wire edge"...isn't the issue in sharpness of a steel edge...per se...

It is rather the removal of this wire edge without eroding the underlay geometry of the alloys crystalline structure, and/or the quality of the alloy to take a fine keen edge...

As to checking how sharp an edge is, that is a learned and practiced understanding that tends to be unique to each individual for the most part, and/or following a method that works for them.

I tend to keep a few long healthy hairs around, be it horse or human, matters little. The hair either "jumps" apart for very sharp...or...can be "whittled" or "planed" by the edge when extremely keen...but that's just one method for sure. There are many others too...

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post #23 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 12:40 AM
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Hi all,

I found it (finally...!!??)

Here is a link to:

(*** Link to copyright deleted)
Ron is a colleague and great fellow in general...

This PDF is a great "go to" document for experienced and novice alike that may want a good condensed document on sharpening and related info...and its "FREE!!"
Thanks for the link Jay, it is much appreciated. This is some really great information.
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post #24 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 01:18 AM
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FWIW, I have found Leonard Lee's advice to be practical, expedient and effective.
I'm certain that since 1995, there area few other publications to follow suit to confirm his photographed findings.


It's no excessive jump from 1500 to CrOx. The performance of the edges in very soft woods confirms that.
3M specifies that the nominal particle size for their 1,500 grit is 3 microns, never 13 microns, as you suggest.


I don't carve any woods so far harder that birch and the handle woods (rosewood & mahogany, I dislike them both)



I don't carve hair so I never test in hair.
I do have "try sticks" for testing edges. These are the various woods that I carve.
I plan to carve those woods for the rest of the day so I test in those woods.
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post #25 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud View Post
"Burr" presence...better understood as the formation of a "wire edge"...isn't the issue in sharpness of a steel edge...per se...

It is rather the removal of this wire edge without eroding the underlay geometry of the alloys crystalline structure, and/or the quality of the alloy to take a fine keen edge...

As to checking how sharp an edge is, that is a learned and practiced understanding that tends to be unique to each individual for the most part, and/or following a method that works for them.

I tend to keep a few long healthy hairs around, be it horse or human, matters little. The hair either "jumps" apart for very sharp...or...can be "whittled" or "planed" by the edge when extremely keen...but that's just one method for sure. There are many others too...
Unless someone is rounding the edge by honing it once all the burrs are gone it should be sharp. The burr is the most important thing to remove as when using the chisel the loose piece of metal will push into the edge doing damage to the edge.
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post #26 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 01:39 PM
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I never claimed that a microscope of any kind was at all necessary. The Scanning Electron Microscope pictures are in print, they were published in 1995. Made by the National Research Council of Canada, not some commercial enterprise.

To save time sharpening, you must judge the damage to the edge. I use a 10X magnifier and a bright light, LED is just right.
1. If an edge is really an "edge," there is nothing along the pointy edge to reflect light, correct?
2. Most edge damage consists of short sections crumpled and folded over. Take a look, you can see it all.

3. Those little flat spots reflect light like mirrors. I call them "sparks" of light. Nobody else does.
4. Based on how many and how big those sparks are, I decide which grit particle size I need to begin with.
5. The fact is, I am going to have to remove enough steel to get behind all of those to re-establish the edge.
6. In my shop, with my tools ( mostly Pacific Northwest First Nations designs), I will begin with either 600 or 800 grit.
To the 3M company, those have nominal grit particle sizes of 15 microns or 12 microns, respectively.
7. I paint the edge with black felt marker for proof of abrasion = best plan ever.
I inspect the edge with every change of grit size. Maybe, I see that I have to back up a step. It happens.
= = =
I'll claim that a lot of experience goes into this. I have started with 80 grit carborundum.
Next time that happens, I'll be buying a new edge.
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post #27 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 03:50 PM
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Amazing ... 26 replies

Well, it an interesting topic with lots of approaches and I've learned a bit here. I've never got that deep into it myself, but I haven't done any carving for a long time since Sculpture class in college. If my gouge didn't cut, I swung a the mallet a little harder at it, Cherry, if I recall.


Any way, as far as rolling the edge or eliminating it, I thought that was what st(r)opping was for? Even after all the polishing, do you still st(r)op the edge?


The word is spelled stropping FYI

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #28 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 06:22 PM
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I don't know what the word "stop" means.
I use the word "hone" to describe the final abrasive action that I do with CrOx/AlOx.
Some people call that "stropping" with the abrasive compound on a smooth surface called a strop.
I use flat strops and tubular ones, even a tennis ball for my adzes.



Maybe the tool bevel looks really nice and shiny after than final step.
Look at it with a 10X magnifier in a bright light (don't nick your nose!).
The human eye is too poor to see the very fine scratched pattern so it looks shiny.


The existence of a wire edge tells you that you have run the abrasives right out and over the tool edge.
Paint a bunch of squiggles with black felt marker on the bevel and you can watch it happen as the black marker disappears.
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post #29 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
...FWIW, I have found Leonard Lee's advice to be practical, expedient and effective...
I'm certain that since 1995, there area few other publications to follow suit to confirm his photographed findings.
I agree...I too like Leonard's work (The Complete Guide to Sharpening) and was fortunate to attend a few of his speaking engagements at conferences over the years. He will be missed in all the circles he moved!

This book is well documented for sure, as you suggested. It is "dated." The link I shared earlier does have more current information and understanding of equal note and value to the novice and professional alike. As to germane photos those are spread out in many different papers, books and related, as this subject has grown in popularity...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
...t's no excessive jump from 1500 to CrOx. The performance of the edges in very soft woods confirms that...
I fully agree with that...for what you do...and those that practice similar work. However, there are other woodworking demands that this...is not...applicable to and would cause issues with not only general poor performance, but grain tear out as well...


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...3M specifies that the nominal particle size for their 1,500 grit is 3 microns, never 13 microns, as you suggest...
Is your 3M product possibly old and no longer manufactured?

I enjoy using many of the 3M products myself...However I think your reference conversions are possibly incorrect? 3M does not call their standard 1500 grit 3 micron anywhere in any of their litruature that I can find, or have here in the shop?

3M does not use ANSI/CAMI (American National Standards Institute - Coated Abrasive Manufacturers Institute) for the most part as far as I know, have ever seen or could even find this evening when I looked to confirm their standard rating system......but rather the P rating system (European FEPA standard.)

As such, and all my P1500 by 3M...and it is as I stated...P1500 = (12.6オ ア1オ) which I rounded to 13オ while some call 3M's P1500 closer to 15オ in size...Nor does their catalog of products carry any other 1500 grit that I could find...

However, for your applications in carving, I'm sure that jump is just fine...but not in other woodworking applications it would cause issues...

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post #30 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 09:25 PM
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Well, it an interesting topic with lots of approaches and I've learned a bit here. I've never got that deep into it myself, but I haven't done any carving for a long time since Sculpture class in college. If my gouge didn't cut, I swung a the mallet a little harder at it, Cherry, if I recall.


Any way, as far as rolling the edge or eliminating it, I thought that was what st(r)opping was for? Even after all the polishing, do you still st(r)op the edge?


The word is spelled stropping FYI
The sharpening job just isn't done unless you strop the chisel. I've got a piece of leather attached to a piece of 1x4 which is loaded down with a jeweler's rouge.
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post #31 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 09:44 PM
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Looking at SEM pictures, nothing beyond 1500 grit (3 micron) with a final honing with 0.5 micron and smaller produced a superior edge.
Steel edges are always shredded. Molecular edges appear in minerals, flint, diamond, even glasses. Not in any steel.
If that were true, steels would break. . . . with edges sharper than glass. Wrong.

The direct result for me was to abandon all *** fine grits, whatever they were supposed to be, and work with facts.
I have lost absolutley nothing and gained a lot of time when opinions were stripped away from the facts.
I start with a coarser grit selection and I finish far short of what opinion demands ( time).



3m supplied a grit reference chart to Lee Valley. They publish it. I use that as a reliable reference.
I gave little creedence to opinion. 3M says 3 microns for their 1,500.

Some day in the city, I will use a calibrated ocular micrometer and measure 100 grit grains using dark field microscopy.
I taught Biometry, I can do the stats very well.
I realize that there are several "grit scale" which have no relevance to the real world. The Japanese Scale, included.

The SI Metric System is not arbitrary in dimension measurement.
= = =
Although, there is a big stink at the moment as the platinum bar meter standard is wearing out!
Something new is needed. I'll get the beer and popcorn ready while we watch.
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post #32 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 09:49 PM
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The stropping process = honing, uses a very fine abrasive to clean off the coarser scratches from coarser abrasives.
This reduces the shredded appearance of the steel edge (fact).

Strop surfaces blacken, proof that you are still removing metal.

Any 10X magnifier will show you that the shiny polished surface is just very finely scratched.
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post #33 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 11:11 PM
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...Looking at SEM pictures, nothing beyond 1500 grit (3 micron) with a final honing with 0.5 micron and smaller produced a superior edge...
Agreed...3オ to 0.5オ...is a worthy approach...to most needs in edged tools...


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...Steel edges are always shredded. Molecular edges appear in minerals, flint, diamond, even glasses. Not in any steel. If that were true, steels would break. . . . with edges sharper than glass.... Wrong.
Agreed...silicate base materials fracture to the molecular level...

This is well known and understood by those that use stone tools and/or stone scrapers in wood working, as I have discussed here before.

As for "steel would break" and your "wrong" comment...???...some steels (particularity high grade Japanese white and blue steels are often equated to...."shattering more like glass, then failing like a typical alloy..." These specialty alloys present with some interesting metallurgical characteristics that render their ability to take fine edge and leave unique finishes on wood.

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...The direct result for me was to abandon all *** fine grits, whatever they were supposed to be, and work with facts.
I have lost absolutely nothing and gained a lot of time when opinions were stripped away from the facts.
I start with a coarser grit selection and I finish far short of what opinion demands ( time). ...
To be clear Brian...are you suggesting that what I am offering isn't based on facts, such as I have present for this discussion?

The "facts" are that Lee's work is from 95' and there is a great deal of up to date work out there in both sharpening and metallurgy that is germane to this conversation.

I agree with you for the most part about..."day to day"...sharpening. However, the system of jumping large micron ranges is not a ubiquitous approach applicable in all woodworking conditions. It...would not...work in many applications because the edge is not refined enough to arrest grain crush and tear out...or...would not be durable enough to last very long.

As just one example (and there are others) SEM examination of straight razors clearly indicates both in visual perspective and in the feel of a shave, that refining an edge of some alloy types with closer micron ranges in sharpening/honing and going past 0.5オ in the final hone renders a marked difference in not only performance, but quality of the shave. This is also true in many of the Japanese planing modality...not opinion...but fact...If you have actual contrary experience with these modalities I would love knowing about them and any reference literature support that supposition?


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...3m supplied a grit reference chart to Lee Valley. They publish it. I use that as a reliable reference. I gave little creedence to opinion. 3M says 3 microns for their 1,500. ...
Again...what I have shared is not "opinion" as one source was a PhD dissertation and the other from Hock himself as colleague of Lee's.

As to the "grit reference chart" I will gladly...stand corrected...but as of this afternoon when I checked...You are using and citing outdated information as the foundation for your claim...unless your materials are also from 1995?

3M does not produce at this time (or any longer?) a 1500 grit of any kind in the 3オ range...only in the 13オ to 15オ range as they now employ a P1500 rating system, as I stated before...fact, not opinion.

If you have a source or a link to a section of the 3M catalog I am overlooking...???...I would be more than pleased to see it and add that product to our sharpening supplies...

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...Some day in the city, I will use a calibrated ocular micrometer and measure 100 grit grains using dark field microscopy. I taught Biometry, I can do the stats very well. I realize that there are several "grit scale" which have no relevance to the real world. The Japanese Scale, included. The SI Metric System is not arbitrary in dimension measurement. Although, there is a big stink at the moment as the platinum bar meter standard is wearing out! Something new is needed. I'll get the beer and popcorn ready while we watch....
The application of statistical analysis to biological data not withstanding...

I would more than enjoy your understanding (with your background in particular) of the work the Japanese are doing (and have done) in both traditional metallurgy, and that application in sharpening...well outside the context of Western understanding in many regards.

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post #34 of 62 Old 03-06-2019, 11:58 PM
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The statistical analysis isn't biological in the least. The application of common statistical methods to a pile of measurements.
The data source doesn't matter, there's no bias. Variation is a fact. The dispersion around the mean would be interesting.


I'm explaining a simplistic technique which seems to have been shop-worthy in the past 10-15 years.
It's been time saving in that I've been able to eliminate superfluous steps. That's the good part.



I have no appetite to see SEM pictures from 'scopes which might have marginally better resolution.

As you have read, I have no interest in Asian tools. The function of the Pacific Northwest designs has been quite engaging.
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post #35 of 62 Old 03-07-2019, 12:50 AM
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...As you have read, I have no interest in Asian tools. The function of the Pacific Northwest designs has been quite engaging...
Agreed...data sources do not matter...honest numbers can't be biased, and I wish I had your insight and skills to better appreciate the mean wide ranges...

It may be a "simplistic technique" of which you explain and practice but a worthy one that others could benefit from understanding as it is the "bread and butter" of my daily practice too, and keeps time better focused on craft...not needless time at stone and hone...That indeed Brain is the "good part."

I fully accept you have no interest beyond you own chosen focus and current discipline of craft...Should you ever find your self of a different mind, I would enjoy your insights...

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post #36 of 62 Old 03-07-2019, 01:24 AM
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My revised thinking about carving sharp steel edges has saved about 50% of the time that I used to invest in sharpening.
Several of the steps were apparently not needed to arrive at the same end point.
If I did a lot of straight edges, some motorized contraption might have been useful.
That might even shorten the step path.


The Standard Deviation: 's', gives me a heap of information about the dispersal of the data.
+/- s is 66% of the data, that 's just how it works out. +/-2s is about 98% of the data.
Show me how big 's' is and we can see how carefully grit( in this case) was sorted out for size.
In fact, if you find a datum 3s or 4s from the mean, it's legitimate to discard it as a freak.
Nevertheless, that chunk will put a scratch in a tool face that won't come out for years.


Just maybe, late April after the students are gone, I'll get into a lab and start measuring grits with a calibrated microscope.
I'm faintly surprised that somebody has not done this for sandpapers and stones already.


Mark the stone 10 +/- 2 which would be 10 microns, +/- 2 microns so 2/3 of the grit is between 8 and 12 microns.


Now, I find a CHEAP stone to learn that the size is 10 micron +/- 5 microns. 2/3 of the stone grits run from 5 to 15 microns.
= = =

Anyway. I need predictable grit sizes to save me bags of time.
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post #37 of 62 Old 03-07-2019, 06:59 AM
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For those of us that don't have a microscope all you have to do is run the edge of you fingernail across the edge. If there is any burr on the edge you will be able to feel it.
Unless, like me you've run your finger through a spinning table saw blade to numb the feeling in said fingernail.. I didn't do it for that specific purpose however.. It was an accident. I do, however have other fingers not quite so mangled.. I try to keep them intact whenever reasonably practical..

I enjoy the PDF Jay. Thanks for the link.
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post #38 of 62 Old 03-07-2019, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the very detailed replies, much of which I do not understand. ; ).. I don't get to reply much mid week. BTW, I am talking about hand carving chisels and gouges.



A little more info: I currently use a Norton Tri-Stone that I bought about 25 years ago. I think I have only replaced the stones once. I have no idea what the coarse, medium, and fine oil stones equate to in microns, but they work fine for regular kitchen tools. If I sharpen beat up or un-sharpened gouges on that, it puts a groove in the stone... not good. And then I need to continue with many levels of sandpaper, because the tri-stone is not even remotely fine.



Regular maintenance and touch-ups I do on 800 to 2000 sandpaper, and a strop.



I was thinking a motorized method would be most convenient, and the quickest method for refinishing the bevel on a carving tool. Those that have the Tormek really like it. FWIW. Other slow grinders and such are available, but they do not have the magic stone that converts the wheel from 220 to 1000 grit..


The other slow/wet grinders are cheaper than quality wet stones. Will the edge from the Tormek be a sharp usable edge? Experience? Opinions? Thanks again.
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post #39 of 62 Old 03-07-2019, 11:12 PM
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...The other slow/wet grinders are cheaper than quality wet stones. Will the edge from the Tormek be a sharp usable edge? Experience? Opinions? Thanks again.

Feel free to ask more detailed questions...by all means...if you don't understand something.

Several here (me included) have provided answers to the question already...Some like the Tormek, and it is a good machine, while others of us (I'm one) do not think its worth the money...It also will not sharpen incannal carving gouges or many of the profiled carving chisels at all...

I recommend in an earlier post the Worksharp and I think a few other options...Making your own profiles with wood and using diamond paper and/or products like 3M will get most of your sharpening done fast....

Again, more questions are welcome...

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post #40 of 62 Old 03-08-2019, 09:46 PM
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None of you ever mention the TomZ, a motorized sharpener for wood carving eges. Designed by a carver.


Flat stones and mandrels are cheap. No need for wooden profiles, etc. Even tennis balls don't cost much.

If I was not satisfied with both the quality and the speed of my freehand sharpening, I would be looking still.


I'll be the first to say that for every carver with physical challenges,

I'm positive that we can make a machine do the job.
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