Hand Tools Archive

Re: Voids in steel
Response To:
Re: Voids in steel ()

david weaver
There isn't actually any problem with the carbides, they're fully sharpened (I can't remember what I sharpened with, but PM actually sharpens very well on natural stones because there aren't large carbides to be pulled out).

It was strictly a problem with bubbles much larger than carbides.

I'm going to speculate that the washita is ripping carbides out of the edge of LN's A2, because every time I've ever used those blades off of the washita, they have sort of a "crunchy sharp" feeling rather than smooth, and the surface i marked up with the evidence. Not significant, but the shine isn't there.

Strangely, no such thing happens with the hard ark. It's probably related to the voids in the washita.

All things equal, I would rather sharpen V11 and a2 with a washita and hard ark, or perhaps a washita and jasper with whetstone powder on it, which is extremely low maintenance and fast, and really favors stropping.

I still haven't sharpened the 420HC, but I'll do that tonight.

I have another little pointless exercise cooking comparing edges sharpened with various pastes after the continuous nonsense about the "contamination" that's in the formax micorfine honing compound. For woodworking, it actually makes the compound more practical, and the inability of some people to use it because it's waxed base is a matter of technique and not lack of fitness for use.

There was a post on another forum last week from someone who was using autosol on a firm strop wondering what they should do next, and I suggested that the deficiency for most users is understanding removal of the wire edge on autosol - which is where that came from.

At any rate, no deficiency on the carbides in the fallknaven knife - the voids were much larger. V11 handled the washita with aplomb - no clue if it also has any vandium carbides.

(for stainless knives, including the fallkniven, I usually finish the edge with some kind of al-ox or diamond, anyway, on a harder leather. it does a better job of separating the wire edge. I have used crox powder, too, but i hate to do that because my crox powder strop is my dedicated razor strop, and it does no favors to compact the surface of it and make it concave with tools.

i don't mind having all of these steels and sharpening mediums around (I've even got a brass bar with diamond on it), but it's really a waste of time for practical use. You should feel the ply wood panel surfaces on my washita-planed remaining kitchen cabinet. they're curly cherry, and given that I've sanded the other cabinets, when you aren't paying attention and touch the top, your brain freezes for a second because they're so smooth. When it goes then toward something like mortising, I posted a chisel last week that I use for plane mortises - japanese chisel, $8 variety in a bunch - used. 15 strokes on a washita between plane mortises and it will cut another mortise. Hard enough that it generally refuses any organized wire edge off of the washita, but the first cuts of the mortise will be shiny again after those 15 swipes. For a routine like that - 15-30 seconds for 20 minutes of mortising in beech, never vist a grinder (it's not necessary), I just don't see improvement anywhere else.

There is more absolute sharpness (despite the fact that the edge will shave hair after the washita), but in mortising something like that, the resistance is not from severing, it's from wedging, and no amount of sharpness will solve that.

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