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.
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.
Hope this blog can make some more curious, and stop some of the guessing around,
-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.