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Sharpening: Looking close with a USB microscope. #2: _Water stone, compound and newspaper_

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Blog entry by mafe posted 911 days ago 3931 reads 4 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: USB Microscope the first test pictures Part 2 of Sharpening: Looking close with a USB microscope. series Part 3: Water cooled grind stone (tormek), and Touch-Up of the edge »

Looking close at sharpening with USB microscope
Water stone, compound and newspaper

Ok I found some time and had a good time in the shop playing with the new ‘toy’:


Before I could get started I needed to make a holder for the microscope so my day started by playing around with aluminum profiles.


Screws, wood and some epoxy.


A holder and ramp that I could click the chisels on to fast and adjust the angle to get a fair shot with the microscope.


After an hour I was ready to go.



The first test here will be the Japanese water stones, if you want to read more on what stones I use and how you can go to this blog.

We will start by flattening the back of the chisel and see the 800x magnification pictures of the surface and edge.


After flattening on a 320 grit water stone.


1000 grit water stone, the edge looks like a landscape.


3000 grit water stone.


8000 grit water stone, notice how much finer the edge becomes.


I make some slurry with a slurry stone on the 8000 stone and give it some more passes, it seems the surface gets a little more mirror finish, but also that the fine edge gets rounded.


And now for the sharpening:


For the water stones I used the usual setup.
The Eclipse, my pond and stones.
Here setting the angle with the guide.


Color the tip to see that I get the angle right..


And a close look at the sharpening.


Here the surface of the steel after a 320 stone.


1000 stone notice how the edge gets less rough as we go.


3000 stone.


8000 stone that leaves a mirror finish for the eye.
The lines gets closer and closer here at the microscope and what is interesting is to see how fine these Japanese stones are, the grit is really fine and the tracks of same size.


Here I try to focus more on the edge, this razor sharp edge is at 800 times magnification still bumpy.


And here it comes, the test on newspaper!


Front and back.


After the 8000 grit water stone I ran it down a newspaper page 10 strokes on both the back and the front.
I could not feel any difference of the sharpness, but the picture shows a difference in structure.
My judgment is that running down the newspaper is not giving a better edge. I might even get to the conclusion that it makes it a little less sharp, but if I went from a 6000 grit stone I think it might do the trick.


And finally I tried out with the green VERITAS compound after the 8000 stone.


Again front and back 10 strokes.


The result seems to make the surface less consistent, but smoother, but as the photo shows it rounds the edge a little bit and so it will be faster dull, so I would not use this for sharpening, but after using the chisel for a while for a fast and easy touch up of the edge .

The blog will go on, next time will be the water grinder (Tormek) system, and I plan on oil stones and sandpaper also.

My blogs on sharpening:
http://lumberjocks.com/mafe/blog/series/4076
Sharpening station blogs:
http://lumberjocks.com/mafe/blog/series/3071


Hope this blog can make some more curious, and stop some of the guessing around,

Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.



33 comments so far

View jjw5858's profile

jjw5858

1101 posts in 1187 days


#1 posted 911 days ago

Aweseome post Mads…...haaaaaa…. your back at it in your artisan laboratory testing and finding these things. I will say, I often think as I am up to a new project…”I wonder what Mads will have for us next time!?” Always enjoy your work and blogs, a positive inspiration. Be well my friend.

Joe

-- "Make something you love tomorrow...and do it slowly" JLB

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1464 posts in 2046 days


#2 posted 911 days ago

Very nice blog, Mads. I love the microscope. If you showed it before, I completely missed it but I have never seen a device like that. It is interesting to actually see the contour of the edge produced by different grits of stones. I know water stones are legendary but it would be interesting to compare these results to the diamond sharpening “stones”. I really appreciate how much effort you put into preparing, photographing, and posting your blogs.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2482 posts in 1361 days


#3 posted 911 days ago

Great microscope and better blog. After looking at it in this fashion, I have to agree. Will use this method as a “touch up.”

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14491 posts in 1152 days


#4 posted 911 days ago

that microscope sure looks like its fun.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

2232 posts in 1365 days


#5 posted 911 days ago

Another excelent post, you’re doing the LJ world a favour with the
“mad” scierntist route Mads.
;-)

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View Roger's profile

Roger

13954 posts in 1388 days


#6 posted 911 days ago

gr8 info. thnx for the blog

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Brit's profile

Brit

5103 posts in 1427 days


#7 posted 911 days ago

Look out, professor Mads is at it again. Great blog my friend. I might have to invest in one of those microscopes when I come to sharpen my saws.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2001 posts in 1417 days


#8 posted 911 days ago

Well, the scientist in me wants to scream out that with such a surface pattern you don’t need a microscope and could do with a laser, by capturing the diffracted beam and applying it a reverse Fourier transform, while maintaining the ability to get everything in focus and filtering the image at the same time with a far smaller expense ($4 for a laser pointer, and put the camera in the way of the refracted beam, then some computing to extract the data).

Or you could use a high power IR laser diode to recut the surfaces, leaving them absolutely poyfekt and shawp.

Or take some nice shop time to grind them on stones with water and elbow grease, hehehe :)
Looking forward to the following of this series!

Best thoughts my friend :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View nobuckle's profile

nobuckle

1120 posts in 1345 days


#9 posted 911 days ago

Cool! Thanks for posting this information. It will come in very handy when I get my sharpening station set up.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View stefang's profile

stefang

12405 posts in 1919 days


#10 posted 911 days ago

An interesting blog Mads. That microscope is really amazing and the pictures are very revealing. I could use that microscope. it would be perfect to check my bank balance now after Christmas! Seriously though this is ideal to check edge tools with and well worth the price for a perfectionist like yourself. It was smart making that nice stand to get good quality pictures too. I am looking forward to seeing what other ways you might find to use it. I’m sure your daughter could probably get some good use out of too for her school work.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1239 days


#11 posted 911 days ago

I am so glad you did this. I have been looking forward to the results from you lab for quite some time.

Mad Scientist.

I could not resist.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1839 posts in 2145 days


#12 posted 911 days ago

Interesting and good job on the microscope mount.

BTW, Mads, it’s GRIT not GRID. :)

-- Joe

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2257 days


#13 posted 911 days ago

Looks good, Mad.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View stefang's profile

stefang

12405 posts in 1919 days


#14 posted 911 days ago

An interesting blog Mads. That microscope is really amazing and the pictures are very revealing. I could use that microscope. it would be perfect to check my bank balance now after Christmas! Seriously though this is ideal to check edge tools with and well worth the price for a perfectionist like yourself. It was smart making that nice stand to get good quality pictures too. I am looking forward to seeing what other ways you might find to use it. I’m sure your daughter could probably get some good use out of too for her school work.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View bko's profile

bko

110 posts in 1602 days


#15 posted 911 days ago

Very interesting! The microscope seems to bring some insight and some new questions.

In my own work, a 10X loupe magnifier and a low angle light were instrumental in making me a better sharpener. If the edge can reflect light, it is not sharp.

I used to use mostly ceramic stones but now use sandpaper on glass (scary sharp), mostly because it is faster to go from dull to perfect with fewer strokes on many grits (600 up to 4000 grit), not because the sharpness really differed all that much.

Through the years, I have tried Arkansas stones, water stones, ceramic stones, diamond stones, and while they all work, I have settled on sandpaper on glass. I have some diamond stones for carbide and some ceramic stones for knives but everything else gets scary sharp on glass.

I think stropping on paper or leather etc. does blunt the edge slightly but smooths off the jagged little metal bits that would make the cut in wood rough and burnishes the metal smooth. This seems like a good trade-off for carving tools where your tool needs to leave a finished surface that is burnished by a smooth tool.

Keep up the good work!

-Brian

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