How To Guided rod stropping, my Paper Tape Stropping (PTS) method

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by kreisler, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. bucketstove

    bucketstove

    Sep 23, 2014
    Hi
    :eek: :D

    What is "struggle with white pages phonebook paper"?
    How is that possible when you're jig sharpening?



    What is the satin finish and what is the borderline in those two pictures?
     
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  2. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Thanx for an EXCELLENT discussion of your methods. I have some of that 3M tape in our Emergency box...purchased just after 9/11. I'll have to shop my local hobby shop for the balsa but that should be pretty easy.
    I have the CN 0.25 micron paste already, so will soon have a chance to check it out. I can get my blades very sharp on my EdgePro, but usually stop at 1000 grit. I do NOT get hair-whittling sharp under any conditions... I hope that will change.
    Don
     
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  3. kreisler

    kreisler

    434
    May 11, 2012
    Here better to understand, pic extra made for you ;), as you can see the transition (transitional area) between the polish and the satin is not a 2-D area but just a 1-D line, a straight line, very cleanly cut, defined:
    [​IMG]
    Okay maybe i should take that quote back. Actually all of my knives (wide edge angle like Paramilitary2 or narrow edge angle like chef knife) can slice through phonebook paper well, after 2 PTS steps. I was just saying that it is easier for a thin chef knife to slice noiselessly than for a wider edge angle. Fixed jig sharpening is a very satisfactory, accurate task, and i am not thinking of EdgePro or Lansky where there is still some minimal play and angle inconsistencies during the jig operation left. Even the modded Ruixin has some minimal play in the guided-rod movement, i mean it's a cheap 20$ rig made out of non-machined metallic parts!

    There is still an enormous gap between 1000grit stone and CN 5.0 micron paste. My last stone steps are RUIXIN1500 or RUBY3000, then i proceed with fast-cutting solid paste WHITE then BLUE (as shown in the OP) and usually stop there. The BLUE paste already leaves a fine polish and a shaving sharp edge. Only for show blades do i continue with further PTS steps, now using the CN pastes (starting from 1.5micron), also because it's fun being able to refine the edge with our inexpensive means.
    Tree-topping shaving sharp is not as sharp as hair-whittling sharp; using 0.5micron paste i cannot expect to get to hair-whittling sharp.

    I made an animated GIF for my exfactory edge, BEFORE and AFTER applying the PTS method. The files are too big (1280p) that i don't want to post them as embedded pic but only as links.
    pic1: BEFORE
    pic2: AFTER

    The reduced image quality of GIF's doesn't show all the original JPEG details, the cam focus is on the bevel line, the rest is blurry. What i can see through the microscope with my bare eyes is more refined, clear, sharp, detailed, than what the JPEG or GIF can convey. It is highly instructive to note that there are 2 opposite lighting directions which reveal best if the bevel line is really perfectly sharp; for example, a dull, rounded, or convex bevel would reflect more light into the microscope's eyepiece. A super-acute bevel line, "atomic thin", would be too thin to reflect light in any direction, even at that microscopic level.

    To be clear, i don't think that my particular PTS method components (i.e. Ruixin jig, 3M Micropore, balsa holder, CN diamond paste) can lead to hair-whittling sharpness. That's because the tape and the balsa still have some minimal give —which is needed for effective polishing 2-D contact between the curvature of a knife edge and the flat 150x20mm strop surface— and 0.25micron might not be small enough, depending on the edge angle.

    If you check any of Michael Christie's videos, you'll learn that he reaches hair-whittling sharpness consistently on all of his premium folders (= wide edge angle!) by decreasing the micron size (on loaded balsa, basswood, or leather) from 0.25 down to 0.005micron in 5 or 6 steps:
    0.25 0.10 0.05 0.025 0.015 0.005micron :eek:

    If hair-whittling sharpness was our goal, then we'd follow his method and forget about our cheap Ruixin investment cheap PTS method. I am saying, for the little money and efforts invested, let's be reasonable and satisfied with reaching "shaving sharp up to tree topping" (e.g. on my chef knife with narrow edge angle) and enjoy. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  4. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Earlier, I mentioned that for my casual cutting chores, I usually stop sharpening at 600 or 1000 grit...sufficient for a working edge. To check out your ideas, I will take the Edge Pro edges up to 3000 or 4000 with the "tapes" before using the 3M tape and CN 0.25 micron paste.
    thanx again for your detailed instructions.
     
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  5. bucketstove

    bucketstove

    Sep 23, 2014
    Hi
    Thanks for trying :) but I still don't see it , the seperated parts of the image all look the same , the most noticable thing is the spotlighting from the flashlight, but everything else is identical from all parts shown in the picture :/ Its ok if you're making a joke on me or I never understand :) mysteries are everywhere



    Hmm,
    I think tree-topping is a higher level of sharpness than hair whittling.

    I would expect this level of sharpness straight off the ruixin stones.

    One example Edge Pro Clone-Three Step/Plateau on Guided System


    I think you should be able to if you compensate for the give/squish of you strop, by lower the angle when stropping. After all, if all those straight razor guys can do it with their buitl-in-sharpening-jig, why not.

    Being noisy cutting paper means you've got big angle microbevell, thats easy to get with squishy strop and compound.

    Believing it can be done also helps us get it done :D (Its true our brains are weird machines)
    The thing with Michael Christy is he doesn't try to remove the burr until his last and final wooden strop (or the last 3 strops).
    Removing the burr sets the final hair whittling sharpness.
    Everything that came before is simply preparation.
    Finall sharpness does not depend on grit.
     
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  6. kreisler

    kreisler

    434
    May 11, 2012
    To cut this post short, Micropore is superior to Leukopor. Do not buy Leukopor for the PTS method! That's all one needs to know. If you want to know more details, feel free to continue reading. :)

    I've phoned 3M gemani (various sites) and i've phoned BSN medical GmbH (various departments). All info bits given coincide as follows:
    • 3M Micropore factory is not the manufacturer of Leukopor product, nor vice versa (Micropore is produced by 3M factory in the U.S.A., Leukopor is produced by BSN factory in gemani)
    • 3M did not license the production of Micropore from BSN, nor vice versa. In fact, the 2 companies and the 2 products are direct competitors on same market segments like medical taping supplies.
    • 3M Micropore is not 100% identical to Leukopor. Even though the two look/feel/perform very similar in every respect and are basically "the same stuffz fwiw", in a macroscopic 1:1 comparison one could see with bare eyes and some efforts that the two tapes are non-identical.
    • The street price of 3M Micropore is lower than of Leukopor. Both products are sold in geman pharmacies at very steep PZN-prices, and also on amazon/ebay at affordable PZN-free prices.
    So, USA-made Micropore is less expensive than gemani-made Leukopor, and both products are not identical but competing:p products. But which is the better one for PTS?o_O

    To this end i actually went out and bought 1 roll of Leukopor from the local pharmacy. The item, 3.5€ for 2.5cm*5m:eek:, comes like this, the paper tape on a plastic roll plus a plastic cover to protect against contamination. A date of expiry is printed on the plastic roll, very serious oic:
    [​IMG]

    Bar code, PZN number, and on the left the 3M Micropore for 1:1 comparison. It's hard to make out a difference between the 2 tapes:
    [​IMG]

    If i compare the price-per-meter, then the cost for 1m Micropore was only 1/4th of 1m Leukopor.:confused: Can you now see any difference between the 2 tapes? The left one might have minimal gloss to it:
    [​IMG]

    Let's examine the tape surface under the portable microscope. This is the 3M Micropore... :
    [​IMG]

    ...while this is the Leukopor. The fabric looks denser, tighter, and made from the same fibers:
    [​IMG]

    To me, both tapes feel and 'perform' the same (adhesive force, tapes tearing). The Leukopor fabric might look a bit whiter/denser and a bit more matt; I've tried to capture the hardly visible difference between the two:
    [​IMG]

    But when loading the tapes with CN paste, i can tell a notable difference. The Leukopor would not take in as much compound, or it would not exhibit uniform/homogeneous loading but a pattern/texture:confused::
    [​IMG]

    Only for the sake of direct comparison did i stick the tapes on my manual strop. It's a commercial strop made out of very hard wood ouch. Unlike a smooth leather belt, the tapes take in loads of CN paste, beware. (That's why one could preload the tape with 1-2 droplets of oil, as explained earlier.) The following pic shows how i've dabbed the paste on the Micropore:
    [​IMG]

    After finger-rubbing the 7.0micron CN paste with best efforts all over the Micropore, the paddle strop looks like this, uniformly loaded:
    [​IMG]

    I tried 3mins of manual PTS (Don't try this!). Because of the small size and belly-ish shape of my blade only half of the strop got in touch with the blade:
    [​IMG]

    So i turned the strop and did another 3mins:
    [​IMG]

    As you can tell, even though at the loading stage the Micropore looked equally blue, now at the stropping stage they don't look equally black:oops:. The lower section has more blue spots remaining:
    [​IMG]

    Then i stuck Leukopor on the handle of the paddle strop and did the same, loading and stropping:
    [​IMG]

    Clearly a difference in stropping performance!, and I am not happy with the Leukopor's PTS performance:
    [​IMG]

    Maybe the following pic can show more clearly that there is a difference and that the Micropore product has the superior performance for the PTS method (please ignore the stripe of Micropore on my diy leather strop, that was a poor test/idea omg):
    [​IMG]

    It seems that the Leukopor surface is not as plane (or smooth) as the Micropore surface, or it does not get compressed homogeneously/plane-ly during stropping. I would conclude that the Leukopor fabric has a more random/chaotic fiber structure, whereas the Micropore fabric has a more directional fiber structure. Maybe this can be seen from the microscope pics before? :poop:

    I also spent hours of guided-rod PTS'ing with the Leukopor tape but the results only confirmed that "Leukopor is no good for PTS!". Micropore is the clear and only winner. Congrats to the USA-made product :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  7. Piero

    Piero

    29
    Mar 21, 2017
    Hi Kreisler,
    I received all I needed, diamond paste, the ruixin and even the 3m micropore :)
    I also have sandpaper 3k, 5k and 7k!

    I tried to compare diamond paste with binocular loupe, but can't see a big difference between 5 microns and 0,25 microns, hope it will work good!
    I will try it soon! :thumbsup:
     
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  8. kreisler

    kreisler

    434
    May 11, 2012
    @Piero congrats to buying this entire set of stuffz, you're all set now! :cool:

    So you got some balsawood as 'holder' for the Micropore? Even though the tape sticks well to glass, smooth natural stone, or aluminum, i cannot recommend these hard, heavy, non-absorbing, non-giving, unforgiving 'holders' as strop holders. It is actually the opposite qualities which make balsa perfect for the tape holding task: being light-weight (=for little pressure), giving/soft-ish (=for 2-D contact instead of 1-D contact), absorbing (=for controlling the moist, passing through the optimal moist level), forgiving (=for accidental mis-movements).

    When you do PT-stropping with CN diamond paste, you can/should be generous with applying the inexpensive paste on the paper tape (and one can experiment with adding 1 droplet of oil or not) but you'll have to find out on your own which the optimal moist level on the tape is; too much paste on the tape won't be effective, not enough paste on the tape won't be effective either! So there is an optimal loading point at the start. Also, you'll learn that, during the minutes of PT stropping, the tape dries up a little or seems to do so. That's because the moist of the paste gets absorbed by the tape deeper and deeper and eventually reaches the balsa wood. By that point in time your tape should have turned black already (from the pulverized knife steel). If you want to keep stropping, you'd add another tad of paste on the (now blackened) tape and continue stropping.

    Once you're done with 1 PTS stage, say 5.0micron, you must remove the blackened tape from the balsawood (and bin the tape). Otherwise the balsa keeps absorbing moist from the tape and turns soft too fast. After tens of knives, countless of hours of PTS, of course, there will come the time when you must bin the balsa and replace it with a new piece. The balsa, even though it functions as a holder only, is still a consumable, becoming softer over time and deformed and possibly damaged; this is not a problem because you're stropping and polishing at a fixed ruixin angle, but you'll know when it's time for a balsa replacement when the balsa surface isn't plane anymore but concave in one direction and convex in the perpendicular direction like a saddle lol.

    Also good luck with mounting the Ruixin on a DIY wood base! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  9. Beansandcarrots

    Beansandcarrots KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    424
    Apr 15, 2014
    The cutting action of those compounds is mental! :eek:
     
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  10. Mr.Wizard

    Mr.Wizard

    477
    Feb 28, 2015
    @Beansandcarrots Did I miss what those compounds are? All I read is "The duo of WHITE plus BLUE compound costs 5EUR or so and is for polishing metals." But what brand?
     
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  11. Beansandcarrots

    Beansandcarrots KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    424
    Apr 15, 2014
    I am not sure. If it’s in there, I missed it too. But I damn sure want some! I suspect they are Alox waxes from the color of them which would explain their crazy cutting versus traditional grinding compounds

    @kreisler Would you want to help us out?
     
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  12. kreisler

    kreisler

    434
    May 11, 2012
    my BLUE-WHITE paste set is by the geman trading company kwb, and i bought it off the shelf in a geman hardware store when i was looking for balsa wood. the paste is made in gemani but kwb is not the actual manufacturer, osborn.de is afaik. amazon sells it too. the WHITE paste crumbles easily (nice!) but the BLUE paste is solid almost like a rock (argh). i will buy another set when I've run out of the WHITE which is running low on me.

    btw i don't strop much anymore. and if i strop, i do it freehandedly and use one single pad strop only, usually SiC paste on leather or any paste on paint stirring staffs.

    while i do maintain my edges regularly (sometimes frequently, depending on how busy RL is) and do enjoy the process, I don't spend much time on it anymore. just a few strokes (all with oil!!) on 204UF, CN Doublestuff, or 302UF and then moving on to other items of the daily schedule. no stropping. this way i keep my sanity (touché :D)

    The PTS method implies guided rod stropping. But personally, i moved away from any guided sharpening system (204MF, Ruixin Pro III, Exduct, etc) by now. I use the 204UF, ADAEE stones (they are hard-bound whereas RUIXIN are soft-bound), RUBY3000 all freehandedly. Freedom! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  13. kreisler

    kreisler

    434
    May 11, 2012
    A related topic, and why not post it here. It's about a "new" freehand stropping technique "i" discovered, and imho every advanced sharpener should be curious and open-minded about it and give it a try; i'm rather blown away by its effectiveness. No doubt i am not the first to have discovered it or the only one using it now and then.

    The standard freehand stropping technique is that you hold/keep a leather strop still and then pass the knife blade's edge along the length of the leather surface. Typically (and imho correctly so) the leather is mounted on a piece of wood of a preferred geometry and size (block, bar, stick, rod, paddle); such wood is cheap, hard, easy to work, smooth, flat, doesn't flex, and most importantly it is light weight, so that you could hold it in your left hand "for hours" without strain in wrist or muscles, if you wanted to. However, the bigger or heavier the leather-wood-strop is, the more you get restricted and constrained in your freedom with the freehanded stropping. Eventually you'd have to lay down the strop block flat on the desktop and then proceed. Imagine a big long knife with a pronounced belly in your right hand (say a 30cm chef knife, or for illustration purposes a sword!) and the strop block on the table. How inconvenient if not awkward it would be to strop the long bellied blade in this constellation? You'd have to stand up on your feet, provide space, and make room for your wide right arm movements while trying to balance the leather-touching edge on the (comparatively\relatively) small strop block. So challenging, so awkward. And here comes the hardest part: imagine that the sword's apex has a microburr wire edge, a very very stubborn tough microscopic one!, along the entire edge. Your leather manages to reduce the size of the microburr but it's still there, your thumb can feel it. What now? — Never mind. Just realize and admit that the standard freehand stropping technique comes with its own challenges and restrictions and drawbacks (e.g. micro-convexing vs. dulling vs. non-effective microburr removal).

    The guided-rod PTS method overcomes all challenges, removes microburr very(!) effectively, does not micro-convex a bit, and could handle longer knives and pronounced bellies just fine, always stropping at the exact bevel angle, machine-like. The only problem in practice is the lack of convenience: loading a paper tape with compound takes some time, 1 loaded tape is good for 1 knife stropping session only, excess oil gets soaked into the balsa holder, adjusting the Ruixin device back and forth to exact settings for a particular knife gets old soon. Basically, guided-rod sharpening followed by the PTS method is a laborious process, and normally one wouldn't do more than 1 knife during 1 afternoon. And you probably won't repeat the process more than once or twice per year. Because the more often you repeat the full shabazz the sooner you grow tired of it. — Tbh i only pull out the Ruixin device for very specific annual sharpening/stropping/polishing tasks (like annual maintenance of gardening tools/shears/cutters/mowers/scissors), not for my EDC knives anymore.

    The new freehand stropping technique: reverse the standard technique! That is, hold the (small/medium/big/very big) knife still in your left hand, then stroke the knife blade's bevel with the size-short wood staff in your right hand, stropping away the black marker from the bevel, literally cleaning up the bevel with the wood staff. Basically you're doing the same movement as with the PTS method, just without a device holding your knife and without a device guiding the movement. :thumbsup:

    Further info details:
    • Paint the entire bevel black with your preferred marker (Sharpie, Edding, ..).
    • Prepare the short wood paint stirring staff by rubbing solid polishing compound with a finger dab of oil directly into the hard-ish smooth flat wood surface. Do NOT use paper tape as intermediary/medium/carrier!
    • You can (and should) use notable pressure during the stropping strokes. Since the interface isn't soft (no leather, no paper tape, no balsa), stropping under pressure will NOT dull nor micro-convex the apex.
    • The black marker's ink on the bevel visualizes immediately, if your stropping stroke was executed at the exact correct angle. Try to memorize and maintain the exact bevel angle (with/in your right arm), when you proceed slowly along the entire edge. There is no need to strop at an obtuser angle; we don't want to create a microbevel or a micro-convex bevel.
    • Don't ask me how or why, but this hard-wood stropping at the exact bevel angle under pressure does remove all microburr, perfectly cleaning up the apex, as if you had done the guided PTS method (which btw is done without pressure)!
    • This stropping technique is so effective that your wood staff will turn black rather fast, no matter which compound you use (solid blue/white/green/orange/red/etc compound). You can continue to use the blackened strop for many other stropping sessions in future, before you think it's time for some maintenance.
    • Maintaining or substituting the 20cent strop is up to you. And don't forget that the wood staff has 2 sides which i load with the identical compound. For storage i cover the blackened side with packaging tape.
    Summary. It's good, no great!, to have this additional technique available in one's repertoire of stropping and deburring techniques. You cannot stroke your Endura4 edge with a Knives Plus Strop Block because the block is too big (cumbersome!), so you wouldn't. Not even come up with such an idea. Likewise, the original PT-strops aren't comfortable/safe to hold in your right hand to do the stropping motion without a device: don't do freehand stropping with original PT-strops in any way, i've tried it before and the results were poor!
    But imitating the guided stropping motion with a wooden paint stirring staff (it has a handle!) beats the traditional leather stropping technique in many instances. Among all freehand techniques known to me (my repertoire) it is by far the most efficient and effective method for removing the most stubborn microburrs where loaded leather doesn't do the trick. Using the black marker trick during this hard-surface-stropping makes all the difference. (Admit it, you never use black marker when you strop your knife on leather, gotcha!)

    Experienced sharpeners, of course, aren't ignorant but know this technique from their own practice, say the sharpening, deburring, and microdeburring of an axe/hatchet where you have no choice but to leave the heavy-weight cutting edge still (say in a vise) and do all sharpening and stropping motions with the stone/leather/wood in your other hand, not vice versa. The point being, my proposed stropping technique can be used equally well on blades from very small to very big size. How/why? Because of the black marker trick. It is easier to set, hold and maintain an exact angle with your entire right arm (extended by the small staff in your right hand) than to do so when holding a tiny blade with a tiny handle with your right thumb and index finger, just as an example :cool:

    ( sorry that i didn't include photos or video 4403 footage but i believe the text was clear/descriptive/imaginative enough :poop: )
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  14. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    Thank you for this write-up!
     
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