Sharpening details

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2,694
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Kyiv
Hello chaps,

I've very recently gotten into sharpening stones (long overdue). Playing with my knives at the moment, since I only have the basic 1000/3000 whetstone. But since I've got a couple of ol' straights laying around collecting dust, I'm now wondering if those of you with plentiful experience could advise on the most practical grit progression to use for the straight razors - at least to get it to the point of diminishing returns.

Please advise, so to speak.
 
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5,319
Location
Lichfield
General rule is to double the grit for each stone - my progression is 1, 3, 5, 10k synthetic and I usually end on a Japanese natural stone but also have a 20k synthetic.

If you look at sites that sell stones ( knives and tools for example), you will see that the higher the grit, the more expensive - so it’s a bid decision to invest if you’re uncertain. I’d say you need a 10k stone as a minimum for finishing so look at that for some idea of the cost. There’s also a 12k Naniwa that gets good reviews.

You could try the ‘want to buy’ page as there may be someone with stones they no longer want.
 
OP
Helveticum
Messages
2,694
Location
Kyiv
General rule is to double the grit for each stone - my progression is 1, 3, 5, 10k synthetic and I usually end on a Japanese natural stone but also have a 20k synthetic.

If you look at sites that sell stones ( knives and tools for example), you will see that the higher the grit, the more expensive - so it’s a bid decision to invest if you’re uncertain. I’d say you need a 10k stone as a minimum for finishing so look at that for some idea of the cost. There’s also a 12k Naniwa that gets good reviews.

You could try the ‘want to buy’ page as there may be someone with stones they no longer want.
That's not too bad - I can definitely add two stones over time, no rush here. Very happy with my 1k/3k Suehiro so far, really good investment.
 
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747
Location
Not too far from LHR
Where I am unsure is when to change up (down?) a grit. I've got an 800/2000/5000 progression for my kitchen knives, and hope to soon get my 12k so I can have a crack at getting my Stiz shaveable . But how do you know when you're done with 1k and time to go to the next? With kitchen knives you look for a burr but I don't think you'd be doing that with SRs.
 
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5,890
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Rebublic of Scotland
As Far as a Progression Goes..I Use a Naniwa I K, 3 K, 5 K, 8 K, 12 K...Then Maybe a Higher Grit Natural...But..The Current 12 K Naniwa Super Stone has a Far Higher Grit Finishing Capacity than its Grit Rating..I Can Knock Out around a 15 K Edge with it...Its a Great Stone..I Can Jump from a Naniwa 5 K to a 12 K if I Desire...It Works Fine But Needs a Bit of Experience Perhaps..The Tighter the Progression the Better... A Tight Progression is the MOST Practical without Any Doubt.. :cool:

AS Far as Knowing when to Come Off a 1 K Bevel Setter is Concerned...You Should be Able to Shave with it from the 1 K Stone...Most of the Magic & Work Happens on the 1 K Stone..I Keep Saying this..You are Not Looking for Burrs with an SR Edge..Forget the Comparison to Knifes..Different Animal in Many Respects..You Want an Even Bevel from Heel to Toe & as Smooth an Edge as Possible from that Stone and a Polished Bevel..End of Story..:D

This Thread Maybe Useful with My USA Friends Across the Pond..Lapping Film Comes UP Ere..:alien:

Billy
 
Messages
5,319
Location
Lichfield
Where I am unsure is when to change up (down?) a grit. I've got an 800/2000/5000 progression for my kitchen knives, and hope to soon get my 12k so I can have a crack at getting my Stiz shaveable . But how do you know when you're done with 1k and time to go to the next? With kitchen knives you look for a burr but I don't think you'd be doing that with SRs.
It’s worth investing in a jewellers loup to examine the edge but basically you move on once the bevel is set - and there are a couple of ways to check this. Firstly, try shaving your arm or leg hair along the whole length of the blade. If the hair cuts easily you can move on. If not, then you need to look at the bevel under magnification to determine where the bevels on both sides are not meeting. A sharpie colouring marker can help here - you run it along the bevel and then look to see areas that are not contacting the hone.

When you have done with the 1k stone, everything further is polishing to get finer and finer scratch marks whilst always checking to ensure that the bevel remains set. If you are using tape to protect the spine, make sure to replace it regularly - especially after lower grit stones because they will wear the tape quickly. What then happens with worn tape is that you start to change the bevel angle so that it no longer meets.
 
Messages
747
Location
Not too far from LHR
Many thanks for your input, this and Billy's reply has really helped my understanding of what to look for, even though I've watched loads of videos. Unfortunately my 12k seems to be subject to a lengthy delay. I might still give it a go on the coarser stones I have, and see what I can do after 5k with 2mic 1mic half mic diamond strops. I'm guessing though that 5k to 2μm might be a bit of a jump.
 
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