Alright, as xceptnl suggested, just got a large strop and the black and green compounds ordered from Robert at stropman.com. Not sure how long it'll take to get here but I hope it isn't too long! So far the Elmax Mule has lived in its box, the M4 Manix2 has been seeing some light duty opening boxes and envelopes and the 154CM Manix2 has also experienced some light duty cutting. Nothing very heavy for these three so it should be interesting to see how new and lightly-used factory edges take to stropping as well as a Lansky-reprofiled edge.
The way I read his site, this strop has two sides marked coarse and fine. So technically, I guess I just ordered two strops?
Sorry Clay, missed your post. I think it's an Olympus, but I'll get the model tomorrow.
Got some pictures today of my Bark River Little Creek. Edge has been stropped with black compound when I received it and green after EDCing it. I've cut some branches, paracord, opened boxes and food prep. I've been cutting apples daily and that's built up a light patina. Today's pictures were after a fresh stropping. Edge is very shiny so it was throwing light around a little as well.
A2 steel, convex grind, stropped with green compound regularly.
50x - I freaked out here when I saw the vertical cracks on the edge, but as I got closer it looks like these are just the deeper scars from the grinding process that haven't been polished out yet.
100x - I took two pictures at 100x because the convex grind gave me some trouble here. When I tried the multi-layer grab like usual artifacts appeared and made the edge look rough.
100x - Here's a better quality shot of the rest of the blade
The stropping definitely adds a smoother finish than the Lansky diamond system and finishing with the black Arkansas hone. I'll be stropping all my blades from now on.
Here are some black and white pictures of the patina, just for show.
10x - The picture here makes it look like the etching is almost gone, but I retook the above picture to show it's still factory-fresh.
30x - The patina is nice and even all along the blade except right at the corners where the grind starts, tried to show that here.
Thanks for those great photos. Puts all
my equipment to shame. You did a great
Clay, it's an Olympus PME3.
Awesome pics! Many thanks!! XD :)
Could I make a suggestion? I don't know how polished other "shiny" things are. So when you zoom in 1000x and look at a knife edge, I don't know what to compare the scratches to. So, maybe you could take a metallographic image of, say, a polished ball bearing? And maybe an optics-grade first-surface mirror?
Or if your setup allows you to, maybe take a picture of the surface of a optical lense from a camera? I don't know if this is possible with your lighting setup (it might require so-called "Dark Field" illumination?).
For kicks, it might be fun to also do a bit of aluminum foil, which will surely be bumpy on the mat side, and probably have scratches on the shiny side. Other possibilities include shiny chrome-plated stuff, polished jewelry, and possibly gemstones.
Ah, sorry. I don't mean to give you a whole pile of work to do. But if you think it would be interesting, please try some other stuff, so we can compare microscopic smoothness of knife edges to other things! Pretty please, with cherry on top? :)
Also would be interesting if some of us could send in a knife to you, which we sharpened. Then you could look at the edge we made in more detail than we ever could imagine. ^_^;
Finally, how about:
(2) Look at edge (color photo from normal camera to show us how it looks visually, and then with your fancy metallographic microscope)
(3) Cut stuff, or strop, or sharpen differently, etc.
(4) Look at edge (color photo from normal camera to show us how it looks visually, and then with your fancy metallographic microscope)
Compare to similar knives with different steels (M4 vs s30v vs M390, etc.).
Dang. I can think of 5 billion super interesting things to try. Maybe you could do just a couple of them? ^_^;
It's a ton of work, so realistically, I won't expect you to do so much stuff.
But maybe, we could help you out? :)
Great Thread Clip...Thanks for sharing, read through the entire post and the pics and info is fascinating....Thanks
PS: Watch out for Lag, he'll have a work station and laboratory set up in your home in no time at all.....lol
FWIW: I always used a 10x Jewelers Loupe to check edges. But about 20 years ago I saw in an art supply store a loupe made by Bausch and Lomb, It was a three in one loupe, three slide out lenses that could be placed on top or in combination with each each to create different power magnification. Don't think they make it anymore but if they do it's quite amazing...I think I paid about $35 back 20 years ago. I can see through this loupe from 10x-300x. It's pretty amazing to see if you can hold your hands still long enough....at 300x......But it's nothing compared to the photos you have seen above.....and here I was thinking I was doing it good enough.......Doc:)
I also put a rating of Excellence on this thread and advise others to do so as well.....I figure this is only the beginning of this thread and it is going to be around for quite some time as people are going to be interested in seeing these photos and whatever theories, observations, tests, and conclusive material that can be drawn from using a sophisticated magnification equipment as an aid to better understanding of what works and what don't......Give it 5 stars...Doc:)
I think I'm going to invest in a budget 400x USB microscope to do some minor edge observations. Should be fun!
There's always the option of getting an older microscope with quality glass, but I think these are still running pretty expensive. There would be the problem of getting it to talk to the computer to get images.
These guys might have something of interest. I might think about picking one up if I had the chance to try it first, or at least read a review.
I tweaked one of your images for demonstration:
The shorter red bar I added is approximately 1.0 microns in length. This is a very important length-scale: According to Prof. Verhoeven, a modern razor has an edge of 0.4 microns.
The following length scales may be of interest:
180 - 7 Microns: Diameter of human hair. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair
100 Microns: Approximate thickness of paper (copier paper of weight 24 lbs; 500 sheets is about 2 inches thick).
16 Microns: Thickness of household aluminum foil. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_foil
25.4 Microns: = 0.001 inches (1.0 mil). Standard resolution for an imperial caliper.
2.54 Microns: = 0.0001 inches (0.1 mil). Standard resolution for an imperial micrometer.
0.75 - 0.38 Microns: Wavelength of visible light. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visible_spectrum
0.4 Microns: Sharpness of a modern razor blade. http://www-archive.mse.iastate.edu/f...nifeShExps.pdf
0.2 Microns: Resolution limit of optical microscopes. http://www.microscopyu.com/tutorials...alc/index.html
0.05 Microns: Sharpness of diamond coated razor blades. http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/25988/
0.005 Microns: Sharpness of a diamond microtome knife. http://www.tedpella.com/diamond_html/diamondk.htm
0.003 Microns: Sharpness of concoidally fractured obsidian. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsidian
0.00034 Microns: Van Der Waals diameter of a single carbon atom. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_der_Waals_radius
This is also fairly interesting when combined with Komitadjie's Grand Unified Grit Chart, which is an approximate conversion between sharpening stone grits and microns. The graph below is made by Mr. Wizard who used the data compiled by Komitadjie.
Hope this is useful.
You guys are definately getting obsessive with this edge thing. I think it's crazy.
I have to force myself to maintain that opinion. If I don't I'm going to buy a bunch of magnification equipment and start posting pictures and information on a knife forum. :) I still remember the day when a knife was sharp enough if I could get my cardboard box open. :D Now my knife has to be able to whittle hairs and I'm looking at pictures like the ones posted here, AND FIND THEM INTERESTING. I guess there are worse ways to spend your time. :D Keep it coming. :)
Hey Clip, didn't see this thred until now. Here's my setup:
I'm limited to 10x, 60x, and 200x. I also wish I could adjust the light, but it is a kids toy. I have a sweet scope, well I should say a family member does, an they won't let me touch it (for now)