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Dave Martell
06-07-2011, 11:47 PM
I just finished an email marathon with an individual who was struggling with trying to grasp what de-burring is all about. This fellow had been reading many forums and blogs on this subject as well as perusing YouTube videos and had been completely jumbled up, confused, and somewhat mis-led by what he found.

I thought I'd take just a second to get something straight on this subject, make a short post that hopefully will be read by people who want the true skinny on what really works for de-burring and what doesn't and why.


Ok, first off we have two things to deal with as a consequence of sharpening....

1. Burrs

2. Wire Edge



Common ways to de-burr....

1. Strop



What works for de-burring.....

1. Stropping with a rough(ish) medium/substrate (such as leather) that provides physical drag/draw.
The action provided from using a strop that offers draw is that the burrs are physically pulled away from and off of the edge.

2. Running the edge through a material (that's not harmful to the edge) that offers some sideways grabbing action applied to the edge such as something that self heals. This action pulls burrs off of the edge from the lengthwise direction.



What doesn't de-burr.....

1. Newspaper, balsa, polishing stones, or anything smooth (even smooth leather).
These items serve to either refine and/or align the wire edge and/or burrs. They will not remove burrs from an edge. The reason why they don't remove burrs is because they offer no physical drawing/pulling/grabbing action - they abrade slowly and align micro-teeth.



How to remove a wire edge.....

1. Abrasion
Use finer and finer stones/strops/hones until the wire is so small that it becomes practically insignificant.



This is just a small and very general outline of my thoughts on this subject. I hope that it helps to make things clearer for people.


Dave

mpukas
06-07-2011, 11:55 PM
Nice post Dave.

Can you define burr and wire edge and describe the difference between the two? Cheers! mpp

Jay
06-07-2011, 11:58 PM
:thumbsup:

The burr can be made to flop from side to side. That's a good sign that you're ready for the next stage of sharpening. I believe that flopping the burr from side to side fatigues it so much that it becomes very easy to remove it.

Sometimes a burr can be very stubborn to remove.

Dave Martell
06-08-2011, 12:04 AM
Can you define burr and wire edge and describe the difference between the two? Cheers! mpp



Traditionally burr and wire edge are used as one in the same thing and I wish we had come up with a different name altogether for what we call wire edges bu we didn't so we'll have to go on as if they're two separate things.

These are my definitions, my way of thinking on this.... :)

Burrs = The little cling-on bits of steel that are left over ex-edge. These little bits of steel will be seen hanging on to the newly created fresh edge/wire edge glinting in the light often folded to one side of the knife.

Wire Edge = A thin strip of steel found above the newly created cutting edge that is too weak to support a cutting edge. Like burrs, it is often folded to one side of the knife but unlike burrs it will not glint in the light.

JohnnyChance
06-08-2011, 12:37 AM
Anyway to tell the difference between a burr and a wire edge during sharpening? Or will you only realize you have had a wire edge after your edge doesn't last?

Dave Martell
06-08-2011, 12:48 AM
Anyway to tell the difference between a burr and a wire edge during sharpening? Or will you only realize you have had a wire edge after your edge doesn't last?


The quick failing edge is a sure sign of a wire edge but it's also possible to detect it before this. If you haven't done the light stroke to align the wire type of stropping then it should be bent to one side of the blade. It can be only the slightest difference in feel between smooth and curled over so be critical with what you feel.

tk59
06-08-2011, 12:51 AM
I hate to be the dissenter given that I've seen on the OP referred to as Yoda on more than one occasion BUT... :outonlimb:

What works for de-burring...
Should really read, "The easiest ways to de-burr..."

What doesn't de-burr...
Should read, "It is more challenging to de-burr by..."

...Newspaper, balsa, polishing stones, or anything smooth... ...they abrade slowly and align micro-teeth...
These do, in fact, de-burr. A burr is the product of imperfect sharpening, among other things. More consistent sharpening will decrease the thickness of the metal attaching the burr to what is supposed to be the edge. For example, I generally can see and feel a bit of burr remaining after a 1k stone. I switch to a 5k stone and within a few passes, I generally have nearly no burr, as observed under 40X magnification. With a few passes on any 8k, I am pretty much burr-less. Then, I actually use the strop to do aligning, refining and taking care of the occasional bit of burr. If I have wire edge/burr issues for whatever reason (mainly sloppy), I will generally add a tiny microbevel to one or both sides of the edge. I've tried the newspaper, too. It works but only if your edge is pretty close to perfect. If your burr is attached by too much metal, of course, it will take forever (not fun but it still works).

With regard to "fatiguing" the burr, I don't know for sure if that is a good thing to do. I would imagine that half of that fatigued metal ends up being your primary edge. For that reason, I try not to "flip the burr" for the sake of doing it. I try to get the burr to fall off from abrasion rather than fatigue. I've tried to see if I can "prove" this but I can't say I'm sure about this part.

Dave Martell
06-08-2011, 01:03 AM
I hate to be the dissenter given that I've seen on the OP referred to as Yoda on more than one occasion BUT... :outonlimb:




How dare you disagree with ME!?!? :boxing: :beer: :lol2:

Chef Niloc
06-08-2011, 03:16 AM
You pull off the burr so you can get to the wire edge as to abrade it into a finer edge. I got caught off gard recently by one of these things, but I'll save that story for another post.

ceramic
06-08-2011, 05:30 AM
The quick failing edge is a sure sign of a wire edge but it's also possible to detect it before this. If you haven't done the light stroke to align the wire type of stropping then it should be bent to one side of the blade. It can be only the slightest difference in feel between smooth and curled over so be critical with what you feel.


I have been sharpening in a style that is essentially "monkey see, monkey do". In this I manage to somehow get a nice sharp edge but I have no feel for the burr itself.

In essence I've resigned to being burr blind as people are colour blind, or can I be shown the light??

JohnnyChance
06-08-2011, 05:36 AM
You have never been able to detect a burr at all?

ceramic
06-08-2011, 05:43 AM
Not sure, I dont really have a benchmark to compare it to- by the time I've finished on 4 fine stones, there isnt much left to feel during the stropping session. If I dont cut corners and am slightly aware of what I'm doing then the blades themselves come out capable of peeling hair strands (only true for the small petty I have) or cutting paper. The edge retention seems to be dependant on the beating the blades get- but I'd say I have to run them through a 6k stone at least once a month.

I was never concerned about the burr, but this talk is making be feel slightly devoid of sharpening experience- like a soul less child :(

Yday I pickled about 2 kilos of red chillies and 300 grams of ginger in mirin for a a friend's family as well as my own. That type of workload on a regular basis often expedites some type of sharpening. I tend to cook in bulk and do it quite often- any excuse to sharpen really; its bloody relaxing.

JohnnyChance
06-08-2011, 06:00 AM
You don't have to feel for a burr whenever you sharpen. On most of my knives I sharpen by muscle memory and I don't check for a burr, but I just know what angles their bevels already are. I do check after each stone by slicing through paper, for any spots where it hangs. Then I deburr on a felt strop and check again. When I sharpen someone else's knife or am changing bevel angles or something I check for a burr.

Well if you have a cheap knife you can sharpen, sharpen it on one side one your lowest grit stone. Once a burr has formed, the bevel you are grinding on has met the bevel on the other side. To check for a burr, hold the knife with side you were not just sharpening on upwards, and then rub your thumb across the edge. Not tip to heel, but from the spine across the width of the blade and off the edge. You dont have to start at the spine obviously, I hold my thumb right on the edge at a 45 degree angle or so and just rub off the edge. If there is a burr there, you will feel it. You can easily feel the little curl of metal coming off your new bevel and going "around the corner" to the other non sharpened bevel side. Try the side you just sharpened, your thumb should glide off no problem. I said a cheap knife and a low grit stone because that will create the biggest burr and be the easiest to feel. The finer the grit stone the smaller the burr and the harder to detect.

ceramic
06-08-2011, 08:35 AM
You don't have to feel for a burr whenever you sharpen. On most of my knives I sharpen by muscle memory and I don't check for a burr, but I just know what angles their bevels already are. I do check after each stone by slicing through paper, for any spots where it hangs. Then I deburr on a felt strop and check again. When I sharpen someone else's knife or am changing bevel angles or something I check for a burr.

Well if you have a cheap knife you can sharpen, sharpen it on one side one your lowest grit stone. Once a burr has formed, the bevel you are grinding on has met the bevel on the other side. To check for a burr, hold the knife with side you were not just sharpening on upwards, and then rub your thumb across the edge. Not tip to heel, but from the spine across the width of the blade and off the edge. You dont have to start at the spine obviously, I hold my thumb right on the edge at a 45 degree angle or so and just rub off the edge. If there is a burr there, you will feel it. You can easily feel the little curl of metal coming off your new bevel and going "around the corner" to the other non sharpened bevel side. Try the side you just sharpened, your thumb should glide off no problem. I said a cheap knife and a low grit stone because that will create the biggest burr and be the easiest to feel. The finer the grit stone the smaller the burr and the harder to detect.

I have a grin ear to ear after reading this, thanks so much for the tip. I'm very excited to try this out on Friday or over the weekend and will definitely let you know how it goes. I'd do it today but am too bogged down with work to concentrate and give it the trial justice- I also have just the knife for it. A basic stainless steel blade I've had for... 9 years or so. It could never really hold an edge, too soft-will see how we go with it.

MANY THANKS!

Dave Martell
06-08-2011, 10:40 AM
You pull off the burr so you can get to the wire edge as to abrade it into a finer edge.


This a KEY thing to note if you want to push your edges to that next level - longer edge retention - not just sharp.

tk59
06-08-2011, 11:03 AM
Why wouldn't you be able to abrade the wire edge with the burr still on?

Dave Martell
06-08-2011, 11:12 AM
Why wouldn't you be able to abrade the wire edge with the burr still on?


You can from the side but the actual cutting edge of the wire never gets touched completely until the burrs are gone. If you remove the burrs early in the sharpening process the edge retention will be increased because the wire will be significantly reduced by the end of the sharpening progression/process.

mikemac
06-08-2011, 11:25 AM
...A burr is the product of imperfect sharpening, among other things. ...

Imperfect because you've raised a burr? Or imperfect because you haven't removed the burr?

tk59
06-08-2011, 11:59 AM
Imperfect because you've raised a burr? Or imperfect because you haven't removed the burr?

I was using Dave's definition of little bits of metal hanging off your edge. I'm just saying that if you're careful to hit your entired edge gently at the angle of your bevel, the burr pretty much comes off without any additional de-burring steps. You have to raise a burr to remove the damaged metal with any semblance of efficiency. You aren't suggesting I've been Schwartzified, are you? That's offensive...:mad3:

stereo.pete
06-08-2011, 12:02 PM
I have been sharpening in a style that is essentially "monkey see, monkey do". In this I manage to somehow get a nice sharp edge but I have no feel for the burr itself.

In essence I've resigned to being burr blind as people are colour blind, or can I be shown the light??

I had a hard time feeling the burr when I was starting out but I have recently found that I can feel it. Take your index finger and thumb and pinch the back of the knife (near the spine) and slowly draw your fingers towards the edge. You should feel something grab either your index finger or thumb depending on what side the burr is on. If you do not feel a burr at this point you probably have not created one. Keep in mind that I typically start with a 1k stone, which makes for an easy to feel burr and then I deburr on a felt block after that stone. My next stone is a 5k stone, which creates a much more subtle burr that is harder to feel. The coarser the stone, the bigger the burr in my experience, however I have only been sharpening for about a year now so I am no expert like many here.

If you cannot feel a burr at all on any stone you probably are not sharpening the edge but rather right above the edge so you may want to raise your angle a tad bit.

karloevaristo
06-08-2011, 12:40 PM
I read this at CKTG. It's the description for the DT ITK... "You will also find much better sharpening properties since AEB-L is less prone to produce wire edges that are so common when you sharpen most high end Japanese kitchen knives."

Does this mean that it would also depend on the type of steel? Are other steels more prone to develop a wire edge/burr than others?

Lefty
06-08-2011, 12:46 PM
Sometimes the edge of your nail can detect a snag from a burr when your tips cannot. I use the "corner" of my nail on finer grits.
I really like johnnychance's tip, because once you've felt a burr, you'll know it, and be able to pick them out almost all the time!

Lefty
06-08-2011, 12:49 PM
If you cannot feel a burr at all on any stone you probably are not sharpening the edge but rather right above the edge so you may want to raise your angle a tad bit.
This is also a really good piece of advice, but don't go too steep! The sharpee trick solves this problem really well.

mikemac
06-08-2011, 01:02 PM
....You aren't suggesting I've been Schwartzified, are you? That's offensive...:mad3:

Thats exactly what I was thinking....but I didn't want to diaparage you, so thought best to ask for clarification....:D

Dave Martell
06-08-2011, 01:05 PM
I read this at CKTG. It's the description for the DT ITK... "You will also find much better sharpening properties since AEB-L is less prone to produce wire edges that are so common when you sharpen most high end Japanese kitchen knives."

I would rather it state something like, "AEB-L, if heat treated by someone proficient (like Devin Thomas), is less prone to producing wire edges....."




Does this mean that it would also depend on the type of steel? Are other steels more prone to develop a wire edge/burr than others?

Yes it's probably true, sure feels like it sometimes but again it's not only the steel's properties but what the heat treater does with it that makes a difference.

Dave Martell
06-08-2011, 01:09 PM
You aren't suggesting I've been Schwartzified, are you? That's offensive...:mad3:


That's fighting words! :nunchucks: :D

karloevaristo
06-08-2011, 01:21 PM
For example, I generally can see and feel a bit of burr remaining after a 1k stone. I switch to a 5k stone and within a few passes, I generally have nearly no burr, as observed under 40X magnification. With a few passes on any 8k, I am pretty much burr-less.

I get the same thing... For quite some time I always thought that you should always have to feel a burr before you move up to a finer grit... ha! Nice to know I'm doing something right!

Question though, tk59: so you don't deburr at all before moving up to a higher grit?

tk59
06-08-2011, 01:53 PM
I get the same thing... For quite some time I always thought that you should always have to feel a burr before you move up to a finer grit... ha! Nice to know I'm doing something right!

Question though, tk59: so you don't deburr at all before moving up to a higher grit?

I do not perform an extra deburring step before going up in grit, in general. The trick for me has been to figure out how to decide to move to the next stone. For me, it's once the edge has been "improved" to my liking. I'll basically make a few passes on a stone and then evaluate. If the edge is a lot sharper than the previous stone, then I move on but it is a totally arbitrary decision based on experience. If the burr isn't coming off, I'll make a few more passes but 95+% of the burr pretty much always comes off by the time I'm done with the 5k.

With regard to wire edges, I definitely have more trouble with some steels over others. The A-type for example always takes a few extra strokes and most stainless takes a little extra. Dave may be correct on the early burr removal. I don't know. I've blind-tested different sharpening methods on other people including a couple of pros. They can't seem to tell a difference. However, I think it's really up to you and what works for you. Try both and let us know if you can tell the difference. I'd be interested. Better yet, do your own blind testing on someone else. :devilburn:

JohnnyChance
06-08-2011, 01:56 PM
Blindfolding someone and making them handle knives doesnt sound like the safest idea Tinh!

tk59
06-08-2011, 02:01 PM
Blindfolding someone and making them handle knives doesnt sound like the safest idea Tinh!

Yeah, maybe I should rephrase, lol. Sharpen someone else's knife maybe four or five different times, randomly switching and don't tell them if you deburred early or late and see if they can tell the difference.

JohnnyChance
06-08-2011, 02:20 PM
Haha, I knew what you meant.

karloevaristo
06-08-2011, 02:24 PM
I do not perform an extra deburring step before going up in grit, in general. The trick for me has been to figure out how to decide to move to the next stone. For me, it's once the edge has been "improved" to my liking. I'll basically make a few passes on a stone and then evaluate. If the edge is a lot sharper than the previous stone, then I move on but it is a totally arbitrary decision based on experience. If the burr isn't coming off, I'll make a few more passes but 95+% of the burr pretty much always comes off by the time I'm done with the 5k.

With regard to wire edges, I definitely have more trouble with some steels over others. The A-type for example always takes a few extra strokes and most stainless takes a little extra. Dave may be correct on the early burr removal. I don't know. I've blind-tested different sharpening methods on other people including a couple of pros. They can't seem to tell a difference. However, I think it's really up to you and what works for you. Try both and let us know if you can tell the difference. I'd be interested. Better yet, do your own blind testing on someone else. :devilburn:

I've done both... I am fairly new to sharpening, so I'm still trying to find the best way to get a great edge... and I really don't notice a big difference if you deburr or not in my opinion, (though I don't have a lot of experience with good quality knives yet, only have a takeda AS, hiromoto AS and a DT ITK nor am I an expert at sharpening)...

What made a difference though was when I purchased stones that bridged the gap between my 500, 1000, and 6000 stones. I think this is where I was able to take a little bit of the burr every time I move up to finer grits. Resulting to a finer and more stable edge.

What do you guys think? Does bridging of large gaps from one grit to another also help out in getting rid of burrs without really "deburring"?

Eamon Burke
06-08-2011, 04:53 PM
I have to say that a "Burr" is a metalworking term, used universally, and "Wire edge" is a knife sharpening term. A wire edge IS a burr. It's just a burr that has been aligned at the edge, so it will cut things(for a little while). It is essentially a piece of metal that has been thinned to an acute angle that the steel cannot support. Super soft steel, given a wire edge(like a grocery store brand knife) will cut 2-3 tomatoes before being a butter knife. I've worked a whole shift, however, with a wire edge on a VG-10 knife.

I deburr after every stone, strop on the stone, and deburr again. Wire edges are my nemesis! I hate them!

I heard Dave say once that he will slam a knife on a cutting board, edge first, with the force of hammering a nail, and if it doesn't survive, the edge isn't satisfactorily strong. That's exactly how I feel, and I've done this with knives I've sharpened at work that people are babying, afraid the edge will go dull.



As for bridging gaps, that does one thing. It shortens the time it takes for the next stone to achieve it's ideal finish level. So yes, it will save time on the final stone, assuming all cutting speeds are equal.

tk59
06-09-2011, 12:16 AM
I heard Dave say once that he will slam a knife on a cutting board, edge first, with the force of hammering a nail, and if it doesn't survive, the edge isn't satisfactorily strong. That's exactly how I feel, and I've done this with knives I've sharpened at work that people are babying, afraid the edge will go dull. LOL. Sure a good edge can take a thwack and still cut but you definitely aren't doing yourself or anyone else any favors but doing it. Regardless, I'll have to try that sometime. How deep does you blade get wedged into the board? If a nail can go in a couple inches in one strike, your blade must go in a fair amount.

Jameson
06-09-2011, 12:32 AM
I agree with alot of the advice here, but I could never agree with "slam your knife against the board, imitating the force of hammering a nail...l" for any edge test.

Well , maybe with my Sabatier cleaver, but it is so sharp I am afraid it would Split a 2" board in half!

JC

Dave Martell
06-09-2011, 01:02 AM
:chicksign:

tk59
06-09-2011, 01:06 AM
So, Dave. You can call somebody a chicken but you can't tell me how deep your blade wedged in the board? What kind of board? And what exactly do you mean by "survive?"

unkajonet
06-09-2011, 01:09 AM
I noticed that Dave never said he whacked his own board...

Dave Martell
06-09-2011, 01:18 AM
Haha you guys crack me up.....OK this whole hammer the board thing came from me telling about how I used to test my edges back when I was first trying to figure things out in the game. I used to get my crappy el-cheap-o old edge grain board out and literally whack the board, sometimes as hard as possible and other times repetitively while watching TV. It's very telling if you go about it all scientific like (not).

Do I still do this? No way but you can ask Joel at CutBrooklyn about us hammering his knives into this old cutting board of mine, we (well maybe just me) had some fun that day. :D

So what would I be looking for? When full hammering I'm looking to see how much force I can apply before the edge either bends over or cracks/snaps/chips/etc. This is cool to see how far you can push things before they fail. Is it useful for most people? Probably not, and I think this is true because even amongst the hardcore knifenuts here most don't want to know that they're cutting with a weak wire edge, ignorance is bliss...no? :)

UglyJoe
06-09-2011, 01:20 AM
Oh, he does. He also takes the edge to a belt grinder if I remember to see if he can pop the wire edge over if it's there. Whenever Dave brings up this test people who haven't heard it before freak out till they do it and realize that they've had wire edges on every "finished" knife they've ever sharpened. For what it's worth Murray Carter's edge didn't pass the wire edge test in the sharpening olympics of yesteryear. In fact, if I remember correctly I think the only contestant who passed the wire edge test was Adam, who had specifically worked with Dave about getting rid of wire edges in the past.

It seems crazy, but a wood cutting board is MUCH softer that steel. If you have a real edge, whacking the knife against it (or any piece of soft wood) won't damage the edge, at least not if you just do it once.... but if it's a wire edge, it'll fold over right away.

Dave Martell
06-09-2011, 01:28 AM
It's true Joe, almost everyone has a wire edge thing going on and have no idea. I'm actually cool with that, especially when it's my competition being the one's with their head in the sand, LOL. Seriously though most users will never be effected by this because they are home cooks with multiple knives, they sharpen often, and use their knives carefully on beautiful BoardSMITH cutting boards. The problem doesn't become a problem until someone asks a knife to go full throttle for a long duration on crappy cutting boards in a pro restaurant setting.

tk59
06-09-2011, 01:44 AM
Yeah, I remember reading Ryan's description of the belt grinder deal and I do remember the results of the olympics. What I'm wondering now is what is the definition of a wire edge because Murray shaves with his edges and I know from personal experience that shaving with a wire edge SUCKS. I know I don't have what I would consider a wire edge, at least not much of one but I'm always interested in testing out what I've got. Getting reliable benchmarks is the most difficult thing in this respect.

UglyJoe
06-09-2011, 02:09 AM
A wire edge is like any other piece of metal... it can be abraded and refined and can get extremely SHARP. Murray's edge had a wire edge... and it still won the olympics. It's not a question of sharpness, it's a question of durability and folding. If you microbevel at a significant angle like Jon does then you usually get rid of the wire edge at the cost of acute sharpness, but if you don't then it takes very very careful abrasion to get rid of it as Dave talked about. Like he said though, for most home cooks that really don't go through the kind of extended cutting sessions that pros do then it doesn't really matter. The wire edge is plenty sharp for a couple of days or weeks depending on use and it easy enough to sharpen the knife back up anyway.

karloevaristo
06-09-2011, 02:38 AM
The wire edge is plenty sharp for a couple of days or weeks depending on use and it easy enough to sharpen the knife back up anyway.

How much longer would a knife, with the wire edge taken out properly, last? Given it's used as much as the knife with the wire edge on and it's sharpened the same way...

tk59
06-09-2011, 03:07 AM
...It's not a question of sharpness, it's a question of durability and folding...The wire edge is plenty sharp for a couple of days or weeks depending on use...
I'm not sure I made my point clear. You can't really shave your face with a wire edge (unless you've got peach fuzz for whiskers) but I doubt a razor edge would survive a cutting board chop or a date with a belt grinder. So where do you draw the line?

MadMel
06-09-2011, 10:29 AM
Damn.. After reading all of this, I feel like a noob at sharpening all over again.. Any one of you guys planning a trip down to Singapore anytime soon?

karloevaristo
06-09-2011, 10:41 AM
Damn.. After reading all of this, I feel like a noob at sharpening all over again.. Any one of you guys planning a trip down to Singapore anytime soon?

Dude I'm in Singapore... It'll be awesome if you can show me how you sharpen your knives... I can make my knives shaving, pushcut a tomato sharp, but it would be nice if someone who's had a lot more experience than me show me a thing or two about sharpening! What say you? haha

Dave Martell
06-09-2011, 02:26 PM
How much longer would a knife, with the wire edge taken out properly, last? Given it's used as much as the knife with the wire edge on and it's sharpened the same way...


Wire edge = 10-15 min to ?

No wire edge = 1- 2 weeks ?

Eamon Burke
06-09-2011, 03:33 PM
For a home setting, good board, feeding 2-3 people:
Wire edge:
Cheapo steel - 1-2 weeks
VG-10 and the like - 3 weeks or so
Real edge:
Cheapo Steel - 4-6 weeks before I get pissed at it.
VG-10 - 3 months with upkeep

Work setting(poly boards, high abuse, large volume):
Wire edge:
Cheapo Steel - an hour
VG-10 - 1 shift
Real Edge:
Cheapo Steel - a week
VG-10 - 2, maybe 2 1/2 weeks

This is assuming maintenance. The worst is that if you have a wire edge you are cutting with, and use something to maintain it, like a strop or a steel, you may end up snapping it right off and you're left with a knife that's worse than before.

Dave Martell
06-09-2011, 05:22 PM
The worst is that if you have a wire edge you are cutting with, and use something to maintain it, like a strop or a steel, you may end up snapping it right off and you're left with a knife that's worse than before.


I love this - so true!

sudsy9977
06-09-2011, 09:18 PM
hey dave...am i still the only one to pass your test?.....i wanna make sure i don't have any competition yet!.....ryan

Dave Martell
06-09-2011, 09:31 PM
hey dave...am i still the only one to pass your test?.....i wanna make sure i don't have any competition yet!.....ryan


I believe so Ryan but I'm probably mistaken.....you can't be that good. LOL :razz: :D

Adamm
06-09-2011, 09:49 PM
Why cant balsa remove a wire edge? Iv been stropping with balsa in the past few months with success and feel it does take off wire edges. Ive dont the smack the edge on a engrain board like a hammer and my edges always pass, unless im doing in wrong...

sudsy9977
06-09-2011, 09:54 PM
i know i got a little lucky!.....ryan

Seb
06-09-2011, 10:31 PM
Can't remember where I first saw it but I heard I about using wet (not dry) newspaper for de-burring. I'd imagine that wet provides more of the 'draw' that Dave talks about - the fibers get all soft and saturated and better for catching and pulling burrs.

Seems to work good but messy and a PITA. Simpler to use the felt pads if you have 'em.

Dave Martell
06-09-2011, 11:55 PM
Why cant balsa remove a wire edge? Iv been stropping with balsa in the past few months with success and feel it does take off wire edges. Ive dont the smack the edge on a engrain board like a hammer and my edges always pass, unless im doing in wrong...


Balsa can remove a wire edge IF you use it with enough compounds to abrade the wire edge down but you'd need as many strops as stones and you'd need a week per knife to make it work.

Balsa can't remove burrs....just too slick. You could, however, use it like Jon uses newspaper and strop with pressure at a high/obtuse angle and this will help.

Dave Martell
06-09-2011, 11:56 PM
Can't remember where I first saw it but I heard I about using wet (not dry) newspaper for de-burring. I'd imagine that wet provides more of the 'draw' that Dave talks about - the fibers get all soft and saturated and better for catching and pulling burrs.

Seems to work good but messy and a PITA.


Now that might be worth looking into, I can see that being a possibility and I'm sitting here wondering why I've never tried it wet.

Dave Martell
06-10-2011, 12:06 AM
i know i got a little lucky!.....ryan


I just felt bad for ya.....what's a little white lie to make a guy feel good? :D

Seb
06-10-2011, 12:34 AM
One 'o these days, I am gonna make a denim strop by cutting up a old pair of jeans and gluing it to a base... cheaper 'n felt, I bet! Try an' tell me that denim ain't got no draw. :D

JohnnyChance
06-10-2011, 12:53 AM
One 'o these days, I am gonna make a denim strop by cutting up a old pair of jeans and gluing it to a base... cheaper 'n felt, I bet! Try an' tell me that denim ain't got no draw. :D

And soon a new debate with rage: acid wash? stone wash? black denim? dark wash? designer? wrangler? which jeans work the best? haha.

Seb
06-10-2011, 01:02 AM
I have always been partial to Wranglers myself but the funny thing is you can't buy them in Australia! If I told you how much Levi's cost here I bet you would puke!! :D

stopbarking
06-10-2011, 02:56 AM
Dave,

Is the technique you use for deburring + sharpening + wire edge removal currently available on your dvd set? If it is I've wasted about 8 months reading internet information.

I don't want to take any business from you at all but would love a source to know how you do what you do best. The only reason I have not sent my lot out to you was because I thought I was doing everything correctly but with my edge failure rate I'm starting to think it's not just because I'm a new sharpener but that I don't have the complete knowledge available.

I feel sure that I'll be sending you my knives at least once a year once I have a knife to switch it out with, but I'd love to be able to be sharpening a legitimate knife edge that is not over a burr or a wire edge until I feel only you can do what you do best.

Currently my knives last a week with hardcore prep use. A case each of tomatoes, bell pepper julienne, iceberg, green leaf, red and yellow onions, cucumbers, cabbage, butternut squash, and carrots every few days and after a week I feel I need to go back to a 1K, 2K, 5K, and 10K, progression and every month or so I start back with a 400 and repeat the process. When I have an issue with gliding through tomatoes I'll touch up with the 5 and 10K but if I could cut that to every two weeks I feel it would save my stones and knives.

With all the info you've provided me with from this forum I'd love to benefit from your knowledge and you benefit from me having it. I'd love your DVD set if this information is included, or to benefit from a future DVD set that will encompass everything.

I do alright with my sharpening, but would love to do better. A de-burring 101 DVD would help immensely!:

Also this forum has saved me from buying a Moritaka and an Aritsugu with out knowing fully what I could potentially be getting myself in to. Thank you all forum members for all of your hard work!

JanusInTheGarden
06-10-2011, 02:57 AM
For a home setting, good board, feeding 2-3 people:
Wire edge:
Cheapo steel - 1-2 weeks
VG-10 and the like - 3 weeks or so
Real edge:
Cheapo Steel - 4-6 weeks before I get pissed at it.
VG-10 - 3 months with upkeep

Work setting(poly boards, high abuse, large volume):
Wire edge:
Cheapo Steel - an hour
VG-10 - 1 shift
Real Edge:
Cheapo Steel - a week
VG-10 - 2, maybe 2 1/2 weeks

This is assuming maintenance. The worst is that if you have a wire edge you are cutting with, and use something to maintain it, like a strop or a steel, you may end up snapping it right off and you're left with a knife that's worse than before.

You refer to assuming maintenance as to how long the edge lasts. After reading this I am suddenly realizing that I must have wire edges because I strop on a 6k stone and leather every day or two between my weekly sharpenings--yet I really only feel like I get one great day off the initial edge. So hypothetically, upon removing the burr properly, my AS could have an edge that lasts 2 weeks with just some honing on a boroscilate rod or stropping on leather?

stopbarking
06-10-2011, 03:03 AM
You refer to assuming maintenance as to how long the edge lasts. After reading this I am suddenly realizing that I must have wire edges because I strop on a 6k stone and leather every day or two between my weekly sharpenings--yet I really only feel like I get one great day off the initial edge. So hypothetically, upon removing the burr properly, my AS could have an edge that lasts 2 weeks with just some honing on a boroscilate rod or stropping on leather?

This is what I am reading as well. I went from :D to :ohmy: in 6 pages of forum. Also I am evidently not de-burring at properly/at all.

tk59
06-10-2011, 03:21 AM
I think you folks need to keep in mind an edge degrades as you use it. It's not like it becomes dull all of the sudden. Nobody said your edge would be amazing for three weeks and then just fail. It's a judgement call when you decide your edge is done. Case in point, I just picked up a Tojiro DP suji for sharpening. The guy said it was still working great except for the tip but I thought the edge was just about dead. Anything short of generating a burr at 1k or lower grit constitutes a touch-up, imo. You'd be grinding a long time on a higher grit stone before you get rid of the compromised metal so you're edges wouldn't last all that long that way.

AnxiousCowboy
06-10-2011, 10:30 AM
anyone have some vids of different wire edge removal techniques?

Dave Martell
06-10-2011, 11:53 AM
Dave,

Is the technique you use for deburring + sharpening + wire edge removal currently available on your dvd set? If it is I've wasted about 8 months reading internet information.

I don't want to take any business from you at all but would love a source to know how you do what you do best. The only reason I have not sent my lot out to you was because I thought I was doing everything correctly but with my edge failure rate I'm starting to think it's not just because I'm a new sharpener but that I don't have the complete knowledge available.

I feel sure that I'll be sending you my knives at least once a year once I have a knife to switch it out with, but I'd love to be able to be sharpening a legitimate knife edge that is not over a burr or a wire edge until I feel only you can do what you do best.

Currently my knives last a week with hardcore prep use. A case each of tomatoes, bell pepper julienne, iceberg, green leaf, red and yellow onions, cucumbers, cabbage, butternut squash, and carrots every few days and after a week I feel I need to go back to a 1K, 2K, 5K, and 10K, progression and every month or so I start back with a 400 and repeat the process. When I have an issue with gliding through tomatoes I'll touch up with the 5 and 10K but if I could cut that to every two weeks I feel it would save my stones and knives.

With all the info you've provided me with from this forum I'd love to benefit from your knowledge and you benefit from me having it. I'd love your DVD set if this information is included, or to benefit from a future DVD set that will encompass everything.

I do alright with my sharpening, but would love to do better. A de-burring 101 DVD would help immensely!:

Also this forum has saved me from buying a Moritaka and an Aritsugu with out knowing fully what I could potentially be getting myself in to. Thank you all forum members for all of your hard work!


No my DVD doesn't cover this much at all so if that's what you'd be looking for you should save your money. :)

I actually think that you're getting some decent time from your edges as it is, not to say that they can't get better because maybe they can, but you're looking damn good from where I'm standing.

Dave Martell
06-10-2011, 11:55 AM
So hypothetically, upon removing the burr properly, my AS could have an edge that lasts 2 weeks with just some honing


Yes I think so.

Dave Martell
06-10-2011, 11:58 AM
anyone have some vids of different wire edge removal techniques?


I doubt this exists. You will find TONS of vids mentioning that they're doing it but they're just making a pass or two on a strop which isn't the same thing. What needs to be shown is the system of how it's done through abrasion - sharpening.

Benuser
06-10-2011, 06:42 PM
What would you think about pulling along the edge with some major pressure on a higher grid stone to remove a tenacious burr?

tk59
06-10-2011, 06:49 PM
Major pressure will create a larger burr/concave edge. This is the worst thing you could possible do. Always use light pressure at the end. If you're stropping on a softer substrate, a bit more pressure is not as bad but not "major pressure."

Dave Martell
06-10-2011, 08:50 PM
What would you think about pulling along the edge with some major pressure on a higher grid stone to remove a tenacious burr?

For me this just flops it over to the other side.

Eamon Burke
06-10-2011, 09:43 PM
Too much pressure and you bend the steel while abrading the edge, which is a world of new problems.

There's really only 2 ways to skin this cat. Patient, consistent abrasion against progressively finer surfaces, stopping *JUST* when you reach the ideal finish of each stone/strop(which is the way straight razors are done), or creating as small a burr as possible, chasing it as little as possible, then removing it with an aggressive surface, then refining the edge that remains(which is how kitchen and carry knives are supposed to be done).

Don't anyone bring up that "I don't ever raise a wire edge" routine.:cookoo:

Seb
06-11-2011, 12:27 AM
I have committed all of the above sins. Too much pressure, oversharpening and not knowing when to stop and throwing in that extra swipe/stroke (or ten).

karloevaristo
06-11-2011, 12:37 AM
I have committed all of the above sins. Too much pressure, oversharpening and not knowing when to stop and throwing in that extra swipe/stroke (or ten).

+1

MadMel
06-11-2011, 03:45 AM
I have committed all of the above sins. Too much pressure, oversharpening and not knowing when to stop and throwing in that extra swipe/stroke (or ten).

+1

bieniek
06-11-2011, 05:36 AM
Too much pressure and you bend the steel while abrading the edge, which is a world of new problems.

Worth mentioning that when you remove burr by slicing into wood or anything other too much pressure kills your edge also. I been through that bit before and noticed significant difference in final edge with a lot of pressure applied to the wood or no pressure at all. And this was only made after 1k stone [For me this is most important stone in setup as it prepares you for all of higher grits. Get it wrong and finish will never be as good.Plus you really can get knife decently sharp on it.]



Don't anyone bring up that "I don't ever raise a wire edge" routine.

Wire what?:rofl2:

iceman01
06-11-2011, 05:55 AM
Don't anyone bring up that "I don't ever raise a wire edge" routine.:cookoo:

I guess from the technical point of view it is nearly impossible. Most likely the people who use the sharpen-without -raising-a-burr-technique stop at the moment the burr just starts forming so technically they actually raise a burr. :)

Salty dog
06-11-2011, 08:27 AM
I have only felt what I would consider a burr only once on a knife I sharpened. I contribute that to the grind of the knife and the angle I was using. Otherwise I don't bother looking or feeling for one. I just do my thing. I have issues with feeling in the tips of my fingers so I don't bother.

Eamon Burke
06-11-2011, 10:55 AM
YOu can certainly sharpen without raising uneven burrs...by doing equal strokes, one on one side, then one on the other, and so forth. You don't chase burrs on straights. But there is a wire edge that gets formed which you abrade down. This is just a characteristic of steel being softer than the particles abrading it!

slowtyper
06-28-2011, 04:07 AM
I've read this thread but can someone explain the actual technique of deburring either on a strop or stone? I have been slicing through cork but I think it isn't working well...I am seeing major wire edge problems with my sharpening (single bevel).

stevenStefano
06-28-2011, 07:24 AM
Probably echoing what other have said, but cold someone post a list of sorts of deburring techniques? The felt blocks are unobtainable where I am. At the minute I am using a ceramic hone to deburr. I flip the burr over many times and then run the blade through a bit of wood gently. However, I don't think this works very well and it is very time consuming. Another thing is that this can't be a good idea when you get to the higher grits, because the hone is only about 2000 I reckon

Dave Martell
06-28-2011, 09:43 AM
I've read this thread but can someone explain the actual technique of deburring either on a strop or stone? I have been slicing through cork but I think it isn't working well...I am seeing major wire edge problems with my sharpening (single bevel).


Using a leather hone/strop can be easy if you follow a couple of simple rules.


1. Approach the hone in the correct manner.

When you go to lay the knife down on the hone you should lay the knife down flat on it's side (edge away from you). Never approach the hone edge first as you will likely cut into the leather.


2. Find the angle.

Find the correct angle by simultaneously raising the spine and pushing the knife forward until the edge bites (not cuts) the leather. This is the exact angle of the bevel.

Over time try experimenting with the angle that you hone with. Try using the exact angle, then a slightly more acute (spine lower to the hone), and then a slightly more obtuse angle (spine farther away from the hone). I personally find that I often get a better edge by slightly raising the spine by about 1 deg from exact.


3. Use appropriate pressure.

For years I told people to use light pressure when stropping on leather. This was good advice since most leather is soft (often a lot softer than it appears) and easy to conform and wrap around a knife's edge serving to dub or roll the edge. If you can obtain leather that is very thin and stiff it will offer little to no give even under heavy downward pressure. This is advantageous to burr removal on high hardness blades like Japanese knives as you can now also use pressure to add to the draw that the leather provides to pull the loose burrs off of the edge.


4. Do not whip the blade at the end of the stroke!

This has to be the #1 mistake of the new stropper - whipping the knife off of the hone at the end of the stroke and rounding the edge over.

The correct technique would be to pull back and STOP at the end of the stroke - then lower the spine down to the hone (thus raising the edge off of the hone) - and then lift the knife off of the hone and continue back to the opposite end for the next stroke.


6. Take your time.

This is the #2 big mistake made when starting out - rushing.

You should take your time and ensure control. If this means doing the edge in little sections (versus a real impressive sweeping motion) then do so. It's almost a dead certainty that what you do at this stage of the game will either enhance or detract from what you did while on the stones. Taking your time will help achieve good results.

Dave Martell
06-28-2011, 09:48 AM
Probably echoing what other have said, but cold someone post a list of sorts of deburring techniques? The felt blocks are unobtainable where I am. At the minute I am using a ceramic hone to deburr. I flip the burr over many times and then run the blade through a bit of wood gently. However, I don't think this works very well and it is very time consuming. Another thing is that this can't be a good idea when you get to the higher grits, because the hone is only about 2000 I reckon


When you scrape the burr off with a ceramic hone you will change the edge quality to match the grit on the honing rod. If you want to retain a higher grit edge try using something that self heals. I always suggest the felt block just because I've found it to be the most effective for my use but there's other things that people tell me about all of the time that they use and get great results from - a wine cork is one example.

Seb
06-28-2011, 09:48 AM
Probably echoing what other have said, but cold someone post a list of sorts of deburring techniques? The felt blocks are unobtainable where I am. At the minute I am using a ceramic hone to deburr. I flip the burr over many times and then run the blade through a bit of wood gently. However, I don't think this works very well and it is very time consuming. Another thing is that this can't be a good idea when you get to the higher grits, because the hone is only about 2000 I reckon

Try stropping at an obtuse angle (+/- 45-degrees) on wet newspaper. I like to run the edge through champagne corks (denser than ordinary wine corks).

shankster
06-28-2011, 10:13 AM
I'm curious about the wet newspaper trick.Do you use just 1 sheet or a whole section(sports etc)? I tried wrapping my largest stone with a single sheet,not sure if this is correct.

bieniek
06-28-2011, 12:21 PM
I have been slicing through cork but I think it isn't working well..

For me that would mean you didnt put enough time in creating the burr, and then in thinning it down.
Lets say, single bevel. I raise the burr, I flip it, and then I work it out more, basically I make the burr weaker and weaker by ''developing'' the edge, if thats understoodable.
After that I never had a cork problem.

Seb
06-28-2011, 06:46 PM
I'm curious about the wet newspaper trick.Do you use just 1 sheet or a whole section(sports etc)? I tried wrapping my largest stone with a single sheet,not sure if this is correct.

The whole section so that it creates a spongy mass with a bit of 'give'. I was told about it by a French chef/butcher I was talking with last year. He also said that he used vinegar as the liquid but I can't figure out why.

Eamon Burke
06-28-2011, 06:54 PM
Maybe the vinegar is to put a bit of a patina on the edge itself and keep it from degrading/rusting. Just a guess.

tk59
06-28-2011, 08:24 PM
For me that would mean you didnt put enough time in creating the burr, and then in thinning it down... Exactly. If you are having troube removing your burr/wire edge, you should make sure you've carefully abraded it down to as close to nothing as you can get along the entire edge and then it should be easy to remove. If that's a problem, you have no choice but to go with progressively more aggressive methods OR raise your angle and essentially shear it off producing a microbevel.

Seb
06-28-2011, 11:37 PM
Maybe the vinegar is to put a bit of a patina on the edge itself and keep it from degrading/rusting. Just a guess.

That could be one reason. But he mentioned that his main knife is a Glestain 300mm gyuto.

slowtyper
06-28-2011, 11:53 PM
Using a leather hone/strop can be easy if you follow a couple of simple rules.


1. Approach the hone in the correct manner.

When you go to lay the knife down on the hone you should lay the knife down flat on it's side (edge away from you). Never approach the hone edge first as you will likely cut into the leather.


2. Find the angle.

Find the correct angle by simultaneously raising the spine and pushing the knife forward until the edge bites (not cuts) the leather. This is the exact angle of the bevel.

Over time try experimenting with the angle that you hone with. Try using the exact angle, then a slightly more acute (spine lower to the hone), and then a slightly more obtuse angle (spine farther away from the hone). I personally find that I often get a better edge by slightly raising the spine by about 1 deg from exact.


3. Use appropriate pressure.

For years I told people to use light pressure when stropping on leather. This was good advice since most leather is soft (often a lot softer than it appears) and easy to conform and wrap around a knife's edge serving to dub or roll the edge. If you can obtain leather that is very thin and stiff it will offer little to no give even under heavy downward pressure. This is advantageous to burr removal on high hardness blades like Japanese knives as you can now also use pressure to add to the draw that the leather provides to pull the loose burrs off of the edge.


4. Do not whip the blade at the end of the stroke!

This has to be the #1 mistake of the new stropper - whipping the knife off of the hone at the end of the stroke and rounding the edge over.

The correct technique would be to pull back and STOP at the end of the stroke - then lower the spine down to the hone (thus raising the edge off of the hone) - and then lift the knife off of the hone and continue back to the opposite end for the next stroke.


6. Take your time.

This is the #2 big mistake made when starting out - rushing.

You should take your time and ensure control. If this means doing the edge in little sections (versus a real impressive sweeping motion) then do so. It's almost a dead certainty that what you do at this stage of the game will either enhance or detract from what you did while on the stones. Taking your time will help achieve good results.

Thanks, I have read this from you before and this is how I strop (well, a bit slopily as I get impatient).

But as I understood it, I use this technique to polish the edge that I just sharpened. Say I am sharpening a single bevel knife and I create a burr along the backside. Would the same technique be enough to pull the burrs out or am I stropping on the back of the knife to pull the burr off? Or is the light uraoshi sharpening enough for single bevel knifes?

Dave Martell
06-29-2011, 01:59 AM
Thanks, I have read this from you before and this is how I strop (well, a bit slopily as I get impatient).

But as I understood it, I use this technique to polish the edge that I just sharpened. Say I am sharpening a single bevel knife and I create a burr along the backside. Would the same technique be enough to pull the burrs out or am I stropping on the back of the knife to pull the burr off? Or is the light uraoshi sharpening enough for single bevel knifes?


Now that's altogether different. Stropping sing;e bevels to remove burrs can be problematic because most leather gives just enough to round over the back side bevel. If you're looking to use leather on a single bevel it's best to only use it on the front side alternating between a polishing stone for the flat back. It's very slow. Another method is to use felt which allows for extra pressure and not edge rolling. The other way is to just ignore the burr and wire edge on these knives like most everybody does.

bieniek
06-29-2011, 09:11 AM
huh?:eek2:

Eamon Burke
06-29-2011, 11:13 AM
The other way is to just ignore the burr and wire edge on these knives like most everybody does.

Yeah, when I was learning from my coworkers, the generally accepted wisdom was to just sharpen often. They don't know how their edges could improve with the concept of working/removing a wire edge, so they just like the grabbiness of a wire edge, and sharpen their knives twice a week, or get used to them being dull. Heck, one guy used a Suisin that was already thin, and then he sharpened it by laying it totally flat on a 320 grit stone, and pushing so hard his fingers turned white. Wire edge, much?

BertMor
06-29-2011, 03:13 PM
So, I sharpened a couple of knives today, and I did something a little different. What gave me the idea was something Dave said about 3 years ago. He said he experimented and sharpened/ honed all the way to .25 diamond. Then he went back to 1000 grit and started all over again. He felt that his edges were the best he had ever done.

So today I modified it a bit. I raised a burr on 1000 grit, ran it through cork 3 or 4 times, stropped on felt, and went back to the stone and stropped a la Carter. Repeated on 5k ands 8k Kitayama. After stropping on the Kitayama, I did a second round on the cork and felt, then re sharpened on the Kitayama, but with no mud. Thats how I do it with str8t's and thats what Kousuke Iwasaki wrote in his 1960's pamplet.

OK nothing earth shatteringly new. However I changed up the angle on the felt when stropping. I know Dave says that you try to stay just a hair obtuse of the honed angle, but I was stropping around 30*. I couldn't seem to get rid of the burr no matter how many laps I did on felt or cork when doing it the old way. Stropping on the stone just folds it back and forth.

So, what say ye? Not really different from what Jon does when putting on a micro bevel.

Second bit, anyone use phone book paper to check their edges? My wife makes fun of me (and gets mighty p*ssed) because there are little bits of phone book all over the place after I sharpen. But if you can push cut out an inch or two with phone paper, and it is a whisper soft sound as it cuts, well all is right with the world. Your edges be sharp enough for a moile!

Third bit, now tak a piece of that phone book paper you oh so daintily whacked off :D and place it on something flat, oh like lets say, a gorgeous Boardsmith board! With no pressure slice the paper a la Salty's pressureless tomato demonstration. If it slices that itty bitty piece of paper, scr*w the moilie, you have a light sabre!

bieniek
06-29-2011, 04:51 PM
Stropping on the stone just folds it back and forth.


Did you ever had a situation when when stropping on stone you would literally see burr falling off the edge?
Now Im not saying its nor good or bad but it definitely is possible.

BertMor
06-29-2011, 05:10 PM
Nah, my eyesight ain't all that good!

tk59
06-29-2011, 06:15 PM
Did you ever had a situation when when stropping on stone you would literally see burr falling off the edge?
Now Im not saying its nor good or bad but it definitely is possible.

Generally, yes. I'll start on a 400 or 500 and get a burr which won't completely fall off and you can see some of it on there. Then I'll switch to a 1k stone and generally lose the burr within a few strokes. If I check every few strokes on these stones, I can see the burr come off a little bit every stroke. How many strokes, etc. depends on the steel and how careful I am maintaining my angle in the first place.

Seb
06-29-2011, 06:33 PM
Yes, and sometimes I can also hear it.

bieniek
06-30-2011, 10:03 AM
You mean it cracking in the smooth stroke sound? Yup

But i manage it only using 1k, i never go lower on most knives.

InSearchOfTheWireEdg
12-19-2012, 01:51 AM
Dave, I just browsed this forum. Thank you for the explanation of the difference between the burr and the elusive wire edge. I wish you would write a book on knife sharpening.

Benuser
12-19-2012, 11:05 AM
Welcome!

chinacats
12-19-2012, 11:57 AM
Greetings insearchofthewireedg! Don't think Dave has a book, but he does have a set of dvd's!

Dave Martell
12-19-2012, 01:43 PM
Dave, I just browsed this forum. Thank you for the explanation of the difference between the burr and the elusive wire edge. I wish you would write a book on knife sharpening.


Thanks for the kind words & welcome to KKF :)