My father-in-law likes the WEPS 10K Chosera mirror finish I put on his Maestro Wu damsacus folding knife so much that he went out and bought another knife that he could use instead! So I offered to sharpen this new one up, too. He said not to make it too sharp this time….. :)
So I thought this would be a good opportunity to document the edge as I progressed from a factory edge through the WEPS stock 100,200,400 and 600 diamond plates to the 800 and 2K Chosera stones. All pictures are taken with my Veho-400 USB microscope at its maximum magnification level. The actual size of all the pictures is 1mm wide by about 0.9mm high. All of the pictures are within the same 2cm wide width, made while the knife still in the clamp, and the edges only cleaned with a wet tissue, no stropping or any other attempt to clean the edge up was made.
Below is the factory edge.
As you can see, there are some very large, yet polished scratches in the bevel. There is also the slightest hint of a curvature towards the edge (top of the picture) which is most likely from the polishing they give it after its initial grinding. Note just how straight the edge line actually is along the very top, even though there are definitely some jagged lines directly below that line. The black areas are actually the “valleys” of the blade.
With the WEPS arms set at 16.5 degrees on both sides, I started with the stock 100 grit diamond plate in order to undo any factory made scratches and to profile the edge at a true 16.5 degrees. I used my angle finder cube to set the angles.
This isn’t pretty at first glance, but at the WEPS 100 level, I’m not too concerned. This diamond plate is for pure metal removal and to establish the new angle and basic bevel shape – not to create a working edge. The fluff at the top of the edge is a mixture of metal filings literally hanging off the edge and remnants of tissue fibers from wiping down the edge before the picture.
With the profile/bevel firmly established, I moved on to the 200 WEPS diamond plate.
This almost looks worse than the 100 WEPS plate, but you’ll notice there is a lot of “white” reflecting, meaning the bevel is pretty consistent. Note the rather deep surface scratches, and the change in direction of the scratches. Also, see just how jagged, yet “clean” the very edge is. I probably could’ve done a better job cleaning up the scratches….
Then on to the WEPS 400 Diamond Plate.
There is a noticeable difference here from the WEPS 200. I would rate the WEPS stock 400 scratches as far better than the stock scratches, and probably equivalent in sharpness (without the buffed edge, though). Also, the edge of the edge is cleaning up nicely. This time, the flares coming off the edge are the fibers from the tissue, meaning there is a slight burr, which you can actually see in the slight shine along the edge’s ridge in the central to left half of the picture.
Then the 600 WEPS diamond plate.
This is a very usable working edge, IMO. The bevel is quite evenly established, with a relatively even edge of the edge. For those who need more refinement, the WEPS 600 plate creates a very solid base from which to continue.
Then it was on to the 800 Chosera for the WEPS. I would normally skip back to the #400 or #600 Chosera, but since my Father-In-Law didn’t want an edge that could cut through time, I reluctantly skipped them. This 600 WEPS to the 800 Chosera progression is perfectly acceptable, BTW, if you read my Chosera Grit Progressions Post or my grit comparison chart. The picture below as proof doesn’t hurt, either :)
Note just how much more even the bevel scratches and the line at the edge of the edge have become.
Then onto the 2K, which is part of my prescribed 800-2K one-two punch combo of WEPS Chosera stones.
The edge of the edge has become quite even, with only the slightest inconsistencies, and no real evidence of a burr or wire edge. The bevel scratches are also quite uniform. This edge will push-cut paper.
Since I was doing so well, I decided not to stop there :) I know my father-in-law is going to be really mad at me, but I can’t help myself. I then moved on to the 5K Chosera :D
This is where the mirror happens. It takes a little bit, and it’s helpful if you allow a mud/swarf to build up on the stones. Here you can begin to see some of the underlying, usually coarser scratches (bottom right corner) that become ever more exposed. It doesn’t present a problem for normal use, but for precision freaks like myself, it’s another story. For my Father-in-law’s “2nd” knife, I figured this would still have him worried about using it.
Then, not to be outdone, I moved on to the 10K Chosera stones – It was only a flip of the paddle since I have them in a 5K/10K arrangement. :)
Although it may appear at first glance to have more scratches than he previous grits, the blue hue is actually mirror at normal view – lots of mirror. Notice just how even the edge of the edge is. There ares till some deeper scratches on the bevel, but they really don’t take away from the edge.
Now my father-in-law carries two knives he’s afraid to use!! :D