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Fun with a Lansky or the sandpaper revolution

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Kai Winters, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    Hi all
    I apparently have too much time on my hands.
    I've been playing around with diamond paste on balsa wood, pine and poplar. It's worked ok but nothing to write home about. Probably more to do with me than the materials but I do use a strop with black/green compound all the time and have learned to do it rather well.

    Well I was also thinking about my Lansky system...actually thinking about buying the Wicked Edge system and looked at the packages and cost of extra hones?...wow expensive, at least more than I want to spend. I like my Lansky system a lot and get good results...but...I'm dissatisfied with the jump in grits. I use the coarse diamond hone for reprofiling along with the medium and generally start a sharpening with the fine diamond/600 grit followed by the Arkansas hones (650/1200 grits) finishing with the yellow/1000grit and blue/2000grit ceramic hones, finished by stropping with black/green compound. That's a large jump and I'm not satisfied as the scratch marks are obvious under a microscope...damn those magnifying thingys.

    So I decided to experiment with some wet/dry sand paper. I bought 800/1000/1500/2000 and 2500 grits. I have some very nice double sided tape from work and a couple of old Lansky hones. I cut the double sided tape and paper to fit the hones and after giving my ZT 770cf some work with the 600 diamond hone to fine tune the edge I progressed up the grit scale using the wet/dry stuck to the hones.
    I'm very pleased with how the edge turned out. Each progressive grit improved the edge and the polish towards the high grits. I gave each side 200 strokes, 100 at a time, before moving on. By the time I hit the 2000 the edge had a mirror polish and very smoothly shaved telly book paper with no grabs at all. The 2500 grit did not seem to increase the polish over the 2000 to the naked eye or my 16x loupe. I'm looking forward to looking at it under the mic when I go back to work.

    I really did not expect the wet/dry to work so well and I'm even more happy with how it has improved the Lansky at such a small price.
    The edge is a mirror. I'll add some pics in a day or so. I'm very impressed, not only with the polish but the finer edge.

    Sorry this is a bit long but perhaps this will cause others to experiment and improve their skill levels and edges without spending a lot of money...
  2. bucketstove


    Sep 23, 2014
    Nice work

    Have you tried a progression like this? Is it less mirror or more mirror than what you did?
    Sharpening Plane Blade on Granite Block
  3. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    I guess I'm more or less doing that now.
    My biggest mistake was creating the deep scratch marks in the first place by bearing down to hard when reprofiling and not taking the time and effort to remove the scratch marks when moving on. Also not thinking too much about the grit progression didn't help at all.
    I still have some scratch marks left from the initial profiling error...Elmax is hard stuff...especially at the edge itself where the scratches are evident as "nicks"? They appear as "grab points" when testing the edge with telly paper...the edge grabs at that point rather than smoothly slicing through the paper.

    I've removed all the "nicks" using the wet/dry progression and have a mirror finish...the edge slices smoothly through telly paper. There are still some apparent scratch marks on the edge...mainly just on one side...poor technique...so I'll continue to work on them the next time I work on the blade.
  4. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    Read Jason B's threads on "first sharpening" and "the burr"...sigh should have read them earlier...but better late then never.
    Thanks Jason...great threads
  5. HeavyHanded


    Jun 4, 2010
    The grit progression is really important. I also like to go over the bevels twice if I expect solid cosmetics.

    The give on the wet dry will impart surface scratches first, obscuring underlying issues. It takes a bit of extra work to completely overgrind.

    Consider how hard some of the belt surfaces are that are used to do primary grinds, yet take one to a flat hone like a diamond plate or hard waterstone and you'll see all manner of small defects that need to be ground out to hit a true flat. Using wet/dry is the same thing.
  6. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    I've learned that lesson.
    I also learned about pressure or how to control pressure...I used far too much pressure, trying to speed up the reprofiling process, with the coarse hone resulting in too many deep scratch marks. I've been able to remove most of them but still have more to go. I think what has bothered me the most is that some of the scratches are at the edge resulting in the "toothiness"...that really bothers and annoys me and must go.
    As a sharp knife it is far sharper than needed for my ordinary tasks...but...I am a bit obsessive about my workmanship and will continue to work on it until they are removed and I have an even finish.
  7. fvdk


    Mar 1, 2013
    You can easily make your own diamonds stone / sandpaper / polishing tapes holders. Not only because it is dirt cheap but also because they work better and faster.

    I made these from 12x18mm wood, 4mm rod, 5x20mm aluminum strip and 2.5x25mm aluminum strip. Since I use 4mm rod, I can also use these with my KME system.

    I use the ones with the 5x20mm with sandpaper and 3M diamond lapping films and the one with the 2.5x25mm strip with double sided diamond stones.
    The total cost for the materials for the 5 holders including two double sided diamond stones (150, 400, 600 and 1000 grit) is less than € 20.-
    Since these are larger than the original Lansky stones, they work a lot faster and so far, the Chinese diamond stones perform a lot better than the original Lansky diamond stones.

    You can find the diamond stones on eBay by searching for: Double Side Diamond Plate Ti Titanize Knife Sharpening Stone
    I just tape them to the holder which works perfectly.



  8. HeavyHanded


    Jun 4, 2010
    I've never used the Lansky, but when sharpening freehand I prefer to cross grind paths every other progression. Is no silver bullet, but seems to definitely make a difference IDing the deeper scratches before you get too deep and have to undo a ton of work, cosmetically speaking.
  9. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    I did that as well HH and it did bring out scratches lurking in the background.

    Wow fvdk that is a great idea. I never thought of that but it makes a lot of sense. Well done.

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