Author Topic: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.  (Read 5732 times)

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Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 262
Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« on: September 28, 2016, 08:46 AM »
After getting the Select II 1200 I decided to buy another stone from the same brand, the 6000 grit Select II stone. The first impression after an initial lapping is that is feels very smooth, kinda soft and velvet like. I really like how this stone feels. Think of it as a very, very refined version of the 1200. So how does it sharpen? Well, fast and smooth. It almost immediately starts to cut and produces a shaving sharp and very smooth edge. In fact, it's the kind of edge I get from my Coticules. The stone also resembles my Coticules in sharpening feel and feedback. I see absolutely no need for an even higher grit stone as a finisher. The Select II does a very good job at this. Time will tell how well it resists dishing but I suspect that with proper use of the full stone's surface it will stay flat a long time. I also like the speckled surface of the stone, it gives it some personality.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 08:53 AM by Lemwise »

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Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 785
Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2016, 11:09 AM »
Glad the Sigma is working out for you.  I know you said you don't need anything more, but you should at least TRY a 10k or 13k.   [big grin]
Are you finishing with some green compound or other strop? 

It's also worth noting in your review for those that don't remember your previous post (correct me if I'm wrong), that you are sharpening PM-V11 with this setup. 
Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high

Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 262
Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 11:20 AM »
I'm not finishing with anything else. It's from this stone to wood. I really don't see why you'd need to go to a higher grit and I'm saying this as a shipwright with 17 years of experience. The edge this stone produces is more than enough for anything woodworking related.

And yes, I'm sharpening PM-V11 on this stone.

Online derekcohen

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    • In The Woodshop
Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2016, 08:57 AM »
I suppose it depends on the wood one works. The local West Australian timbers are very hard, and a 13000 stone makes a big difference in my opinion.

Rather than "sharp", I prefer to describe what happens when one moves to a higher grit as "smooth". The steel becomes smoother, and the bevel penetrates the wood will greater ease. The move from 1000 to 6000 is big. The move to 13000 is very noticeable. Wait until you finish on green compound (0.5 micron). It is sublime!

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline waho6o9

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    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2016, 10:02 AM »
251665-0

Stropping makes a world of difference for me at least. I also add oil to the mix, either mineral or 3 in 1.


Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1222
Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2016, 10:08 AM »
Can I ask a stupid question (only because I will be learning this process very soon - the reason I've been following this thread)?  How long can a plane blade hold it's edge when it's taken down to a really fine edge as Derek is suggesting?  I understand it depends on a lot of factors, but is it a few passes on some end grain and you need to touch it up again or would a quality blade like A2 or PV-11 hold that edge for 30-40 passes in hardwoods? 

Also, it seems there are two methods, a super fine stone (13K on up) which are really expensive, or strops/wood blocks/diamond paste/honing compound.  Are both methods equally good?
-Raj

Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 262
Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2016, 04:56 PM »
I suppose it depends on the wood one works. The local West Australian timbers are very hard, and a 13000 stone makes a big difference in my opinion.
I work mostly with iroko, teak, mahogany, oak and cherry. All of them are softer than the wood you're used to.

I did discover something neat though. I have a small coticule/bbw natural combo rubbing stone and I created some slurry with the bbw side because I wanted to see what would happen. This resulted in a highly polished and even sharper edge.

Can I ask a stupid question (only because I will be learning this process very soon - the reason I've been following this thread)?  How long can a plane blade hold it's edge when it's taken down to a really fine edge as Derek is suggesting?  I understand it depends on a lot of factors, but is it a few passes on some end grain and you need to touch it up again or would a quality blade like A2 or PV-11 hold that edge for 30-40 passes in hardwoods?
It depends on the hardness of the wood and how much impurities it contains. For example, teak with chalk in it (is that correct English?) dulls a blade very quickly. Not even PM-V11 can withstand that. It also depends on the thickness of the shavings and the angle of attack of the blade.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 05:06 PM by Lemwise »

Online derekcohen

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Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2016, 08:35 PM »
Good comments, Lemwise.

Our West Australian (and Australian) woods generally contain a high level of silica. This makes them particularly abrasive and hard on steel. I've experimented quite a bit with different steels, both in plane and bench chisel blades. A recent experience will highlight the attraction of some of the more "exotic" steels vs the more classic ones:

The older Clifton blades, which are hammered high carbon steel, are prized for the excellent edge they are able to achieve due to their refined grain. I have a couple of these. They dull after a dozen strokes in a LN #3. By contrast, A2 will last about 3 or 4 times this, and PM-V11 will outlast that by another 50 percent. Steel does make a difference .... but whether it is necessary will depend on the wood one works.

Not all honing media are equal. Some struggle to refine the edges of the more modern steels. Diamond abrades everything, but it does not get edges fine enough. Spyderco, Shapton and Sigma are the ones I use, and they are reliable for most steel, even M4. I hone on a hollow grind, achieved on a CBN wheel, and this reduces the amount of steel to abrade, which in turn makes honing easier.

A smoother edge (higher grit level) does last longer than a lower, coarser edge. I suppose the reason can be due to fewer serrations at the edge, and that smoother equals less resistance equals less wear.

For the few extra strokes that it takes to hone to a higher level, one gets a lot of extra work time back in exchange. Simply "stropping" the edge on green compound (I use it on hardwood, not leather) can make a very noticeable difference.

Regards from Perth

Derek


« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 09:06 PM by derekcohen »

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2016, 08:49 PM »
I hone on a hollow grind
That's what I do as well. We have a Tormek at work and I use my bench stones until the hollow grind is half way gone. Then I put the blade or chisel on the Tormek to create a new full hollow grind and repeat the process (I actually stop just before it's a full hollow grind). This really saves a lot of time on a bench stone.

Online derekcohen

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Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2016, 09:14 PM »
I hone on a hollow grind
That's what I do as well. We have a Tormek at work and I use my bench stones until the hollow grind is half way gone. Then I put the blade or chisel on the Tormek to create a new full hollow grind and repeat the process (I actually stop just before it's a full hollow grind). This really saves a lot of time on a bench stone.

Have you tried a CBN wheel on a high speed grinder (actually, mine is an 8" half speed grinder)? This blows away the Tormek. CBN run very cool (I think that the metal construction acts as a heat sink). They never wear out of shape and therefore never require dressing. They don't wear at all.

I started using these wheels about 2 years ago. At that time they were very well known among turners but not used by flat woodworkers. The hollow off a 180 grit is just wonderful - smooth and even. This translates to minimal extra work when honing, such as the edge does not require straightening before honing. I can grind to the edge of the blade, which then means even less steel to hone, and the hollow lasts longer. The edge is not any weaker for this (I did the same on a Tormek for a decade before moving to the CBN).

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2016, 03:49 AM »
I've never even heard of these wheels until now. I'm going to bring these up at work.

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 785
Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2016, 05:05 AM »
Derek, how do you find the CBN wheels on PM-V11?  I have a CBN wheel for my turning tools, but never dared try hollow grinding on my chisels and certainly not on plane blades...seemed like a sure way for me to bugger things up. 
Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high

Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 262
Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2016, 07:08 AM »
The way I teach people how to hollow grind on a bench grinder is I put a square line on the back of the blade near the edge with a magic marker. This helps them to guide the blade to ensure they don't grind it out of square. Other than that, just take your time.

Btw, Derek, have you also noticed PM-V11 hardly produces any sparks on a standard white bench grinder stone?

Online derekcohen

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Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2016, 08:50 PM »
Derek, how do you find the CBN wheels on PM-V11?  I have a CBN wheel for my turning tools, but never dared try hollow grinding on my chisels and certainly not on plane blades...seemed like a sure way for me to bugger things up.

CBN wheels do better than fine on PM-V11. The wheels are only recommended not to be used on unhardened steels. I use them on with great success on O1 through to M4.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Online derekcohen

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Re: Sigma Power Select II 6000 review.
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2016, 08:52 PM »
The way I teach people how to hollow grind on a bench grinder is I put a square line on the back of the blade near the edge with a magic marker. This helps them to guide the blade to ensure they don't grind it out of square. Other than that, just take your time.

Btw, Derek, have you also noticed PM-V11 hardly produces any sparks on a standard white bench grinder stone?

Yes. It's an observation that many have made.

Regards from Perth

Derek