Stones and Strops
Obtaining a Mirror Finish
Obtaining a Mirror Finish: There's often discussions on how to obtain a mirror finish on an edge.
Here's a forum thread with a detailed discussion:
A more recent discussion:
Powder or Smoke Coming off the Ceramic Stones
There's occasionally questions about "smoke" or powder coming off the ceramic stones. Here's a bit of info on that from Clay at Wicked Edge:
A lot of people have questions about the ceramic stones because they are very unique. The powdery effect you're seeing is from the stones shedding their 'kiln' layer and is completely normal. The kiln layer is formed during the firing of the stones and creates a fine powder when rubbed. We used a mechanical process to remove the majority of it before they ship, but there is always some left on the stones. Within a knife sharpening or two, the powder will be gone and your results will get better and better. I personally tested this last batch of stones to be sure of the formulation and firing and I'm very satisfied with them. They are also deceptively hard. Over a period of 3 years of regular use, I have one set that has only seen a reduction in thickness of 0.005" of thickness, most of which came from me lapping them.