Archive for the ‘KME Sharpener’ Category

Spyderco Stone Challenge

May 2, 2018

We recently started offering Spyderco Medium, Fine and Ultra Fine stone in 1×4″ and 1×6″ custom sizes for various sharpening systems. That is nothing major by itself, but it spurred a friendly challenge because historically, it was said that he Fine and UF were the same stone, only finished differently. I am of the mind that the Fine and UF are the same materials, and are formulated the same way, but use different sized abrasives (Fine is approx 2K while UF is approx 4K). This would explain the difference in finish as well as the cost for the stones. Konstantin from Gritomatic is of the mind that the stones are exactly identical in every way, including grit size, except there is a different surface finish/texture on the stone which influences the resulting scratches. So the gauntlet was thrown down to see if I could discern the difference between 5 fine and ultra fine Spyderco stones. The stakes are high, so we wagered a bottle of Russian Vodka vs. a bottle of Kinmen Kaoliang.

Before I continue, it must be said that both theories hold water. Natural stones such as quartz can be surface finished rougher or finer for different depths of scratch, which results in coarser or finer finishes. You see it with dressing sticks for tormek wheels, and is similar in action with raising slurry with diamond plates, and nagura or slurry/conditioning stones for synthetics. However, my stance is that regardless of the surface texture, the resulting scratches have always produced the same results under the scope despite their aggressiveness (as long a no other abrasives are introduced into the mix).

So we begin! The obligatory data info first – pictures were taken on a Dino-Lite AM4113T. There are bar measurements for 1mm at 20x and 0.2mm at 200x if you enlarge the photos.

I received 5 stones from Konstantin and was assured that there was at least 1 Fine and 1 UF in the mix. I did several “tests” to see if I could tell the difference before the scratch test. Now this is a little unfair since I have my own stones, cut and uncut, processed and unprocessed to compare to. So the first test was the thickness test. The Spyderco Fine is just a little thicker overall than the UF, so in theory, the thinner stones should be the UF. My results were as follows: Stones 2 and 5 should be Fine stones while 1, 3, and 4 should be UF. But of course, Konstantin would know this, so I could clearly not choose the cup in front of me.

So I took to the scope. First round was 20x pics against a control of my known stones. Results were interesting, and seemed pretty straight forward at first. Stones 1,2,4,and 5 were Fine while stone 3 was UF. But we knew Konstantin would know that I would use a scope, so he changed up the surface finishes to hide any immediate tells, so I could clearly not choose the cup in front of him.

Spyderco Fine Control 20x

Spyderco UF Control 20x

Stone 1 20x

Stone 3 20x

Stone 4 20x

Stone 5 20x

 

Onto the 200x, which would reveal even more secrets. Results were slightly different, with the 1,3,4 and 5 stones being fine and stone 2 being UF. Clearly this was starting to get dizzying…So I could clearly not choose the cup in front of me.

Spyderco Fine Control 200x

Spyderco UF Control 200x

Stone 1 200x

Stone 2 200x

Stone 3 200x

Stone 4 200x

Stone 5 200x

So seeing as the stones were lapped before I got them, and the control pics were different from what I was seeing, we lapped everything again – both my controls and the stones from Konstantin to see if that would even the field more. I spared you the 20x pics and jumped straight to the 200x. Results were 1,2,3 and 5 as Fine, and 2 and 4 as UF, so I could clearly not choose the cup in front of him!

Spyderco Lapped Fine Control 200x

Spyderco Lapped UF Control 200x

Stone 1 Lapped 200x

Stone 2 Lapped 200x

Stone 3 Lapped 200x

Stone 5 Lapped 200x

So enough games – it’s time to drink. Last test was the all out scratch test. I started off with a control 600 diamond scratch, and then make parallel scratches against the control stones. Each time I went to a new stone, including the on the controls, I reset the askew angle on the 600 diamond to erase all traces of the previous scratches so we could see a true finish. Here the results are a little more visible, ending with stones 2,3,and 5 being Fine and Stones 1 and 4 as UF. Quite a different story from the previous tests.

600 Diamond Control 200x

Spyderco Fine Control 200x

Spyderco UF Control 200x

Stone 1 Blade Test 200x

Stone 2 Blade Test 200x

Stone 3 Blade Test 200x

Stone 4 Blade Test 200x

Stone 5 Blade Test 200x

 

So in conclusion, I say the Fine stones are 2, 3, and 5, while the UF stones are 1 and 4. This was a tough test, to be honest. I’m glad we were able to have fun, I will post the actual grits from Konstantin when he reveals them.

Either way, it was better than getting involved in a land war in Asia. I think it’s time to drink some alcohol! Inconceivable!

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Jende Industries Stone Cutting

February 27, 2018

Jende Industries is the leading supplier of customized cut stones for the KME Sharpener, Hapstone, Edge Pro, TSProf, and the Wicked Edge.  It’s not hard to see why.  www.jendeindustries.com

 

Suehiro Stones for the KME Sharpener- GC 180 and R 1K – an Economical Progression

January 8, 2018

I decided to kick off the new year with some of our Suehiro stones for the KME Sharpener. Using the GC 180 and R 1K Suehiro stones, I took a very dull and neglected blade and brought it back to life using a minimalist approach. The results speak for themselves, proving that you can get some very respectable edges with economical stone alternatives. And although you can only pick 2 options from Good, Fast, or Cheap, choosing wisely is the key.

 

Since the Suehiro stones are waterstones, they will need to be presoaked, especially upon the first use. Do not use oil with these stones. A small dish or tub of water will do. The GC 180 is thirsty, and the R 1K may bubble for a minute. I usually add a small capful of soap or bleach to my stones to kill anything in my tap water and to keep the stones sanitary.

 

While the stones took a bath, I set up the knife in the KME. This was an old Herder Reed Knife, which is essentially a hollow ground razor in a handle. I lined up the spine with the first line on the KME jaws and made sure the both sides were even, since there are no flats for the jaws to grab.

I then set my angle, which in this case was dictated by the limitations of the narrow blade. I set the angle so the stones would just clear the jaws. It ended up being around 25 degrees. I was ready to put the Suehiro GC 180 into the KME handle. Since one side of the stones are labeled, it is highly recommended to use only the unmarked side, so as to keep the stones clearly marked over time.

Ready to sharpen, here’s what our edge looked like under the scope – first is the macro picture, then the micro picture. You can see the rust and overall lack of shape or edge in both pictures. The microscope pictures were taken with a Veho-400, and macro image size is 10mm high by 13mm wide while the micro images are 0.75mm high by 1mm wide.

Herder Before – Macro

Herder Before – Micro

 

Using the Suehiro GC 180, I began scrubbing away at the edges. I did approx 200 strokes per side, adding a spritz of water as necessary to keep viscosity. I use a 7ml bottle, and 1-2 spritzes is enough to keep things alive for a while. The 180 will require more water in general, as it is more porous in nature.

 

The Suehiro GC 180 is a rather coarse stone, which literally gives its life to the cause of speed (remember – good, fast or cheap). I won’t try to fool anyone, but the stone dishes as a result of its sacrifice. All coarse grits dish. It’s a curse, really because they get the most use. Ideally, you would use a belt sander or the XX-Coarse diamond KME stone first to set the bevel, and then use the 180 to clean things up in the transition to the 1K, which is a decent working sharp, and only 3 stones. I felt the burr after about another 100 strokes per side. Here are the resulting macro and micro images.

Herder, Suehiro GC 180 Macro

Herder, Suehiro GC 180 Micro

Not bad, and a big difference.  The edge is jagged, yes, but it is defined and ready for the next step to the Suehiro R 1K. But first, I want to show the dishing of the stone. It looks worse than it is. On a small length like 4″ for the KME Sharpener, the abrasion happens in such a concentrated area. We will flatten the stone afterward and you will see it’s not so bad.

 

So, onto the Suehiro R 1K. I wiped off the 180 residue and prepped for the 1K by using the olde sharpie trick instead of the stone thickness compensator. Basically, jab the tip of a sharpie (or permanent ink marker) into the blade and slide it across, Seppuku style – it marks both sides of the bevel in one swoop. It kills the tips of the markers, though.  🙂

Then onto the Suehiro R 1K, and I tested to see if just a couple light strokes would remove the sharpie line, and it did. So I didn’t need to further adjust the height/angle of the stone, despite the slight dishing from the GC 180.

With the R 1K, the intention is to remove the 180 grit scratches and smooth over the edge with the 1K scratches to get a working sharp edge. I did about 100 scrubbing strokes per side, checking for a burr, which appeared with no problems, as per the sharpie trick, and then switched off to a pyramid progression of 30-20-15-10-5-3-1-1-1-1-1-1 per side, with a light touch.  The idea behind finishing with the pyramid is to minimize the burr buildup, allowing for the edge of the edge to be as intact as possible. Here are the results under the scope.

Herder, Suehiro R 1K Macro

Herder, Suehiro R 1K Micro

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself! Then it was time for the cleanup. Lapping is an essential step in sharpening to keep waterstones clean and flat in order to yield the best results with precision sharpeners like the KME. This can be done with wet/dry sandpaper, SiC powder on glass, or, probably the easiest method, is with a diamond plate. No matter what method you employ, the technique is the same. 1. Mark the stone with a pencil. 2. Lap in alternating configurations 3. Repeat until all pencil marks are gone. Step 1 is marking. That’s easy!

Step 2 gets a little more complicated. Bascially, I do a series of 5-10 strokes in a “straight line”, then switch to an askew in one direction, and then an askew in the other, then back to center. I found this changes the pressure points to even everything out.

Straight lapping first

Askew one direction – but keep the lapping motion straight.

Askew in the opposite direction – but keep the lapping motion straight.

Step 3 is making sure all the pencil markings are gone. I generally repeat step 2, and will use more or less strokes per position depending on how much pencil is left. In the example below, I ended up doing only 3-5 in each position since we were pretty close already.

Repeat until all pencil marks are gone!!!

Ahhhh! That’s better!

And remember how badly the stone looked dished? Well, it looks normal again. Keep in mind, there will be a gradual increase of difference between the coarser and finer grit stones as time goes on.

As for the R 1K, it barely showed any signs of dishing, and was clean in 3-5 strokes per position.

 

Total time on the knife, including sharpening, lapping, pictures and microscope fiddling was about 30 minutes. Actual sharpening time was about 10 minutes, max. Of course, your times will vary depending upon blade condition, thickness, length, and steel type. I totally understand that not everyone wants to, can, or even needs to drive a Ferrari or Lamborghini. With the Suehiro GC 180 and Suehiro R 1K, it makes a no frills, yet very respectable and economical progression option for your KME Sharpener.

FInd these, and other fine stones for the KME Sharpener on our website: https://www.jendeindustries.com/sharpening/kme-sharpener-products/kme-stones-films.html?___SID=U

KME Sharpener Diamond Films by Jende 1″x4″

September 14, 2017

The KME Diamond Films by Jende bring yet another level of ability to the KME Sharpener! With the mainstream use of more abrasion resistant steels and ceramic blades, comes the need for something that will cut through everything. That would be diamonds. We’ve custom made the 1″x4″ Jende Diamond Films to fit the KME Sharpener with a 1/4″ acrylic base to create the proper thickness. These films can also be used for slip stones, wrapping around dowels for serrations, and whatever else you can think of!

The KME Diamond Films by Jende come in a wide range of grits, including 80, 60, 45, 30, 15, 9, 6, 3, 1, and 0.5 microns (from 220 grit to 30,000 grit!) with or without PSA backing. They are also available in 6 grit variety packs, or single grits of 5 pieces.

You can see our full line of KME Sharpener stones, strops, and films here.

Jende Nanocloth Ultra Strops – Color Coded for Your Pleasure!

September 9, 2016

We are happy introduce Jende Nanocloth Ultra, our newest innovation in stropping mediums!

jende-nanocloth-rainbow-big

Jende Nanocloth Ultra Rainbow

  • The Jende Nanocloth Ultra is a synthetic stropping material that has no weave, so feedback is the same in all directions. Other weaved strops tend to have noticeable resistance change feedback variations, like a rug when vacuuming, which can make you second guess your stropping stroke.
  • The Honeycomb structure is very consistent. The shape allows the emulsions to fill up the honeycombs, keeping more abrasive on the strop and off your knife. The shape also fills up and beads on the surface, giving a snow-shoe effect with even scratches when stropping.
jende-black-nanocloth-plain-400x

Jende Nanocloth Ultra – 400x

  • The depth of the honeycomb has little compression – less than leather in general.
  •  Because of the depth of abrasive in the honeycomb tubes, differential pressure can be used to give the strop more or less aggression by adding pressure for more aggression, and super light strokes to just tickle the edge for finish stropping.
  • The color-coded Acrylic base allows you to instantly recognize the grit strop you desire to use, saving time and confusion.
  • Laser etched to ensure long-lasting and clear identification marks.
  • Works equally well with our Jende Poly Diamond Sprays, Jende Poly Diamond Emulsions, and our Jende CBN Emulsions.

We are offing a huge variety of sizes on color coded acrylic, including 210x70mm and 2×6″ Bench strops on 3/4″ thick acrylic blocks, and for a full array of guided sharpening systems, including the Edge Pro (EP), Hapstone Sharpener, KME Sharpener, and Wicked Edge (WEPS).  Stropping will never be the same again!

KME Sharpener Chosera Stone Introduction

April 6, 2014

Tom Blodgett of Jende Industries demonstrates the Chosera stones available for the KME Sharpener. In terms of guided sharpening systems, the KME is one of the best systems on the market. With the Chosera stones now available for it, it adds a whole new level of versatility. There is a nice surprise at the end, so please do enjoy the video in its entirety. 🙂

In this video, I prepared the initial edge on this knife with the stock KME diamond plates at 22 degrees per side, and then used the 1K, 3K, 5K, and 10K Chosera stones.

There are 8 Chosera grits in all:

400, 600 & 800 are best for initial profiling, repairs and make great transition stones from the stock KME diamond plates. These stones leave an aggressive, toothy edge. The 800 leaves a very good “working” edge.

1K, 2K, 3K are best suited for maintenance and light repair. These stones refine the edge that is on par, and often better than more traditional sharpening levels. The 1K is an excellent “working” edge, and the 2K and 3K leave an edge that easily slices, but still has a little “bite”.

5K & 10K stones are truly polishing stones – they take the sharp from the 1K, 2K, and 3K and polish/refine the edge even further – these are the game changing grits. The knife will slip effortlessly through things, and yes, you can shave your face directly off the 10K. It is a great platform from which to continue on to even higher finishes using the strops and compounds available for the KME.

You can find the KME Sharpener and Chosera stones on the KME website, and the Choseras for the KME are also available from Jende Industries, LLC.

 

Finding Your Sharpening Philosophy

November 3, 2012

There is a HUGE range and variety of sharpening products and methods out there, and before going any further down the sharpening rabbit hole, forming  a sharpening philosophy can help you save time and money in the long run.

When you first embark on your sharpening journey and start sifting through the usual pile of information that search engines, Youtube videos, forums, and blogs (like this one! ) spew out, it can be very overwhelming. In reality, there are only two constants when sharpening: the first is that the answer to every question is It depends; and the second is that The more you know about sharpening, the more you need to know.

The next logical question is What do I need to know? Well, the answer is, of course It depends! I’m glad we got that cleared up. 😀

Seriously, though, it’s not about answering “how to sharpen” (which is the easy part since the actual rules of sharpening are quite concrete) – it’s about asking and answering What do I want to achieve when I sharpen, and how do I go about it? The answers to these 2 questions are what form the backbones of your sharpening philosophy, and will guide you toward making purchases that are best for you.

The first major categories to think about are these:

  1. Speed vs. Cost vs. Precision
  2. Mechanized vs. Manual Sharpening
  3. Guided vs. Freehand Sharpening
  4. Maintenance vs. Full Service Sharpening

There are more categories to choose from as you progress deeper down certain paths, but these are the most important factors in the beginning.

  • Speed vs. Cost vs. Precision

The saying goes “Good, fast and cheap – Pick any 2”. Speed generally costs more, as do more precise results. However, if you are on a budget, less expensive products will still generally work. This is the is one major category that every decision will always boil down to. There is no “wrong” answer – it is completely subjective, and the answer can change at any time given the circumstances surrounding the decision(s).

Take a more in-depth look at cost vs. speed vs. precision here.

The second category will more clearly define the path of your sharpening journey:

  • Mechanized vs. Manual Sharpening

There is a definite split in the sharpening world between Mechanized and Manual sharpening. Both have many options to choose from, and both have their  pros and cons depending on the type of sharpening you are doing, and sharpeners can find a comfortable balance between them. Generally speaking, mechanized is anything with a motor – a belt sander, stone or paper wheel, grinders, etc., and are easily the fastest methods and are more aggressive than non-mechanized approaches.

Manual Sharpening is further broken down into Freehand and Guided sharpening, which are similar in terms of the types of sharpening mediums they use. They include sharpening stones, various abrasive papers, sprays, compounds, and stropping mediums, etc.. (More on this in a minute.) But overall, Manual Sharpening’s speed is slower, but results are generally more personalized and the process is more Zen-like.

So once you’ve decided where you stand in terms of Mechanized vs. Manual Sharpening, you will need to go one step further:

  • Freehand vs. Guided

With Freehand vs. Guided Sharpening, there is the obvious increase in precision with guides that makes them very powerful and almost idiot proof sharpening tools, however, the speed, skill and freedom of freehand sharpening has a large appeal as well. Note that both Mechanized and Manual sharpening can done freehand, or guided with various jigs and guides.

The final category to consider is:

  • Maintenance vs. Full Service Sharpening

In this case, Maintenance Sharpening is for someone who has several knives that are kept consistently sharp, and would like to simply touch them up here and there, with no real damage to repair or major sharpening to be done. Full Service Sharpening is being able to perform all aspects of sharpening from making repairs to chipped edges, profiling new blades, and maintaining edges over time.

This is not a black and white category – there is an overlap of abilities with many of the products and methods. Most Maintenance-minded sharpening products and methods will perform repair tasks, and Full Service-minded sharpening products and methods are perfectly suitable for maintaining edges.

Conclusion

If you’ve taken these 4 categories into consideration, you should start to have a better view of what kind of sharpening you want to do, and which products and methods you may want to consider given the specific things you want to sharpen.

Your philosophy is not set in stone – it will change and develop as you continue on your journey  – don’t forget – the more you know about sharpening, the more you need to know. For example, there are more advanced categories to consider, such as sharpening for Aesthetics vs. Functionality, “True grit” edges vs. Polished Grooves – just to name 2.

Remember – It Depends!

Jende Industries, LLC 2012 Sharpening Party!

July 19, 2012

After a short 2 day break from my travels to Chicago and Austin, it was finally time for my Sharpening Party! Ken Schwartz from Precise Sharpening flew in the previous evening, and we had a chance to catch up again – after only 2 weeks since seeing each other at the BLADE show in Atlanta 😀 Greg (Dudly the togi from the knife forums), John Fortune (Hone Ranger), and Ron Swartz of KME Sharpeners arrived with lots of goodies in tow! Greg brought his sword polishing station, complete with stones and a couple of Katanas, John brought the all important Arizona Iced Tea along with a few sharpening goodies, and Ron brought his KME Sharpener with about 20 different accessory stones, including the new Choseras.

Having Ken, Ron, John and Greg would’ve easily been more than enough for an all day sharpening “meeting of the minds,” but we took this party to an all new level – we went international, baby! That’s right, we hooked up our laptops and had Skype video calls from Belgium with Michiel Vanhoudt from Belgian Sharpening, and Jens Skandevall (our famous – and crazy – shaving competition winner) from Sweden.
And this was completely interactive – Jens and Michiel were honing razors in front of each other (we turned the computers toward themselves 😀 ), Michiel gave Ron a Belgian coticule/BBW tutorial, and then we all watched with complete amazement while Greg blew our minds with his sword polishing demo, which took us all too quickly through just about the entire process (obviously not on the entire sword, which would take over a week).

International Skype Call

Greg’s Katana Polishing Demo

We were in the garage for the sword polishing demo for about 2 hours before we decided to head inside for some much needed AC!

Once inside, the fun continued – we brought Michiel and Jens in with us, and we all continued to sharpen stuff – Ron broke out his EDC, clamped it into the KME sharpener, and we documented the entire Chosera series on the KME on the microscope. Ken started bringing out all kinds of Nubatama stones – Japanese naturals and synthetics – for Greg to play with, and John started in on a Maestro Wu folding knife with the Atoma diamond plates for the Edge pro. I played with a few EP stones that John brought and generously gifted to me. Jens started sharpening some knives while Michiel honed up a razor or two. This was just too much fun!

L-R: Greg, John, Ken, Ron

Geeking out with the loupes and microscopes!

The fun continued until about 5pm, when we took a dinner break. This was a 7 hour marathon, and Michiel and Jens lasted over 5 hours with us, and John had to head home to his family ( a few hours later than anticipated!). Since Ron took Ken and me out to the Longhorn steakhouse a few weeks earlier, we decided to return the favor.

After the wonderful steak dinner, Greg took off, and Ron, Ken and I returned to the kitchen to sharpen even more. This time, Ken broke out his famed CBN sprays on Balsa, and put them on Ron’s KME Sharpener. I must say, that CBN is totally awesome, and it works so much faster than you would think given it’s just a spritz or two on the balsa! We continued the sharpening madness until around 11pm, a full 13 hours since we started.

It was really great to spend time with John and Greg again, and for Michiel and Jens to watch us patiently for so long (even though they were included in on the conversations). This was the first real significant amount of time Ken and I got to spend with Ron since he picked up the Choseras for the KME, and I must say, we all got along grandly. What was most amazing about this party was the fact that we all sharpened only 1 knife the entire day – not because we were slow, but because we were able to take the time to discuss and explore things in depth, rather than having to bang out a bunch of knives like we would at a trade show or convention.

What a great sharpening party!