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Very difficult to remove burrs

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by chuckasher55, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    @bgentry , that is a good video that covers burr removal. Much of that is what I use. DM
  2. chuckasher55


    Dec 4, 2005
    I ordered a 6 inch stacked leather wheel (with a white charging stick? for adding grit to the leather) for my bench grinder that has my paper wheel on the other end. This leather wheel, which arrived today, is for stropping and honing. I had low expectations for this wheel because of my bad experience with leather belts and a bench strop.

    However, this wheel is amazing. It will take off burrs quickly and efficiently, even from ductile steels including 5$ gas station knives, 4$ WalMart knives, etc. along with knives with blade of VG10, CPM154 and other hard to debar steels. Some of my knives, that I had considered lost causes now cut paper well and shave. If I had discovered this a long time ago I would have had a lot less frustration and would have damaged fewer knives by trying, over and over and over again to deburr them.

    If you are like me and have a deburring problem, I highly recommend a leather wheel. Oh, by the way, I ordered a Tormek T4 knife sharpener with a bunch of accessories and it is supposed to arrive tomorrow. Wish me luck!
    kreisler likes this.
  3. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    Sharpmaker is great for deburring,thats what i use most times,or higher angle burr cutting,or wood,all 3 are great for it.Vg10 has stubborn small burr sometimes,but its not thay hard to remove,just practice and be patient.
  4. drail


    Feb 23, 2008
    When removing the final burr from any kind of steel with any kind of stone your final passes need to be very light. As in just the weight of the blade. Otherwise you will just keep making a new burr on the opposite side. When dealing with a microscopic burr I pull the blade through the end grain of a piece of pine board.
    lonestar1979 likes this.
  5. wootzblade


    Feb 24, 2014
    It is a bad practice (though common) to draw the edge through a wood block, rubber or cork to “rip off” the remnants of the burr. If you do, the metal crud will build up on the front of the slice, and you'll be dragging the rest of the edge through the crud and this, together with breaking off of ledges of material along the edge, will roughen the edge and worsen sharpness.

    The following SEM images by Todd Simpson show the burr on his ZDP-159 knife in the 1st image, that was then “ripped off” by cutting cross-grain into a piece of wood in the 2nd image – loss of the sharp edge is obvious:

    MtnHawk1, willc and kreisler like this.
  6. MtnHawk1

    MtnHawk1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 22, 2019
    ^ Great info and images! :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  7. HeavyHanded


    Jun 4, 2010
    Dragging through wood should be used along with sharpening, not as a final deburr. It does a good job of weakening the burr as you work.
    I'd also say there's a bit more to this based on the observation by @wootzblade and others that using a cutting board can often increase perceived edge sharpness. There's probably a size factor - very small burrs perhaps can be removed using this method, whereas larger ones will need some additional work.

    I don't go this route often, but if putting a utility edge on a tool under less than ideal conditions, I'll drag it across wood every couple passes on the stones, repeat till the edge is sticky - don't wait for the burr to form, just make the wood drag part of the process.
    lonestar1979 likes this.
  8. I'll sometimes drag an edge through wood to gauge just how heavy or tough a burr is. I don't necessarily expect the process to de-burr or enhance sharpness (though sometimes it does; I attribute this to some 'aligning' of the burr in the wood).

    Depending on the steel type and how the wood-drag affects a burr, I can get a good idea about what more the edge needs, in terms of apexing fully or thinning the burr a little more. Steels like 420HC, VG-10 (below 60 HRC) or ATS-34 can form some amazingly ductile, tough & strong burrs. Unless they're thinned enough, these burrs won't be fazed much or at all by dragging through wood. With such edges, I'll keep thinning the edge & burr on the stone, periodically test-cutting in paper to check sharpness. There comes a point when I might see the effects of a burr, like snagging & slipping, or steering of the cut according to how the burr is leaning. I might notice those behaviors in the first pass or two in cutting the paper, after which the paper itself is enough to strip any remaining bits of the burr off. After that, the blade just falls through the paper cleanly, repeatedly and in a straight line. That's a good sign, to me, that I've done enough thinning & refining.
    wardcleaver likes this.
  9. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    I don't want to get too far off the subject matter and I find this thread very informative in some ways. But there is one common item that stood right out to me when you listed those particular blade steels i.e. ATS-34, VG-10, AUS-8 ect. It's interesting because those are 3 of the main steels I'm talking about in another thread on another forum. And what those 3 steels I find have in common is that I've found all 3 of them to be great steels for serrated edges, more particularly Spyderedges ( Spyderco's patented serrated edge patterns). And I don't find most of these to be high end performers for plain edges but I do find them to be a beast in SE which I find interesting that these particular steels also deal with this subject matter you're talking about. PM me and give me a list of the ones you find with burr problems because there is an experiment I would like to do with some of these in my spare time.
    Didn't mean to get too far off the subject matter but it is a very interesting correlation needless to say.
  10. Spideyjg


    Nov 7, 2017
    I have a block of 2X4 and drag the blade lightly on the end grain near the end of sharpening. Every now and then need to cut about 1/8 " off to get rid of the worn side.
    It helps judge the edge. Any edge worth a damn, especially a kitchen knife, will not be destroyed by a draw on end grain wood.

    The wood draw is not the last step but as HeavyHanded and OWE said a wood draw can be part of the process. You are drawing the edge not trying to cut the block in half for Petes sake.

    I did have some pretty Italian blades that the edge would always collapse on the draw. If the edge reflects light after the draw it is a fail.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019

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