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TOPIC: Stroke Direction

Stroke Direction 11 months 2 weeks ago #13416

  • wickededge
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I've been discovering some fascinating things by using the Sharpness Testing Jig designed by BassLakeDan. The first thing I did was to establish some baseline values for the different grits of diamond plates we offer. In the process, I decided to test what effect, if any, the stroke direction might have. What I found surprised me; over all the grits I've tested so far (100#, 200#, 400#, 600#, 800# and 1000#) I've found that there is an approximately 20% sharpness improvement by sharpening into the blade as opposed to away from it. A typical data set looks like the following attachment: Sharpness by Grit - Diamond Stones.pdf

Still left to test (hopefully today) is whether sharpening away from the blade throughout the progress and then finishing with a few strokes into the blade yields the same results as sharpening into the blade throughout. Sharpening away from the blade is much safer and faster, so being able to continue to do so and finish with a few light strokes into the blade would be idea.
--Clay Allison
Last Edit: 11 months 2 weeks ago by wickededge.
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Stroke Direction 11 months 2 weeks ago #13417

  • cbwx34
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That is interesting. Wonder if it translates to the ceramics too... I'll often switch to edge leading when I get to those. Always thought they were sharper at the end... be interesting to see if the numbers back it up.

I think I asked before but can't find it... have you done anything to see what the numbers correspond to? For example at XXXg it will slice at XXXg it will pushcut, etc.

Nice addition you made too (from the other thread).
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Stroke Direction 11 months 2 weeks ago #13418

  • JameyHoward
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Interesting. Is it worth also trying a scrubbing motion rather than pure upstokes or pure downstrokes? Or would that be futile?

After you'd finished the progression and did the final grit, how many strokes did you do with the final stone?

And 34 complete progression sharpenings on the 600 grit stones alone? Wow, this must have taken you ages.
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Stroke Direction 11 months 2 weeks ago #13419

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Good questions Curtis. I'm guessing it will translate to the ceramics too though I won't speculate until I've actually tested it.

I don't remember if you asked about the other tests though it is a great idea. Maybe a series of tests after using the jig like Hanging Hair Test, Push Cut Copy Paper, Slice Cut Copy Paper etc... Those would be pretty easy to add into the sheet for each grit/angle.
--Clay Allison
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Stroke Direction 11 months 2 weeks ago #13420

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JameyHoward wrote:
Interesting. Is it worth also trying a scrubbing motion rather than pure upstokes or pure downstrokes? Or would that be futile?

After you'd finished the progression and did the final grit, how many strokes did you do with the final stone?

And 34 complete progression sharpenings on the 600 grit stones alone? Wow, this must have taken you ages.

I was also wondering about testing the scrubbing though I'm not sure it would work well. I say that because whenever I'm finishing a knife, I find that anything beyond alternating from side to side, one stroke at a time, raises a burr and I think that would decrease the sharpness. Still, it's a great question and definitely worth testing. I think we'd need to establish exactly how long one scrubs or uses a circular motion per side. Another thing I'd like to test is what effect sharpening parallel to the edge has.
--Clay Allison
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Stroke Direction 11 months 2 weeks ago #13426

  • razoredgeknives
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That's a very interesting observation! I normally use sweeping passes up and away from me until I get to the final stone and then use edge leading passes from the heel to the tip. Maybe I have been getting the optimal edges all along! :-)

I know that it makes a HUGE huge difference in cutting ability if you maximize the direction of your grind for the way the knife is used.
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Stroke Direction 11 months 2 weeks ago #13427

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razoredgeknives wrote:
That's a very interesting observation! I normally use sweeping passes up and away from me until I get to the final stone and then use edge leading passes from the heel to the tip. Maybe I have been getting the optimal edges all along! :-)

I know that it makes a HUGE huge difference in cutting ability if you maximize the direction of your grind for the way the knife is used.

I've been using the exact same technique for a long time and it has always appeared to work best. It's nice to see it quantitatively as well.
--Clay Allison
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Stroke Direction 11 months 2 weeks ago #13428

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I just ran a quick test of a blade that was prepared with 100# diamond plates and edge trailing motion. I then applied 10 strokes each side with the 100# plates and edge leading motion. Here are the results:

Edge Trailing AVG = 276g (Averaged from 10 measurements)
Edge Leading AVG = 235g (Averaged from 10 measurements)
Difference = 15% less force needed after 10 Edge Leading strokes applied per side

I'll do a lot more testing but it does seem to be effective to do the bulk of the progression with edge trailing strokes and then switch to edge leading strokes with the last stone, maybe even the last 10-20 strokes with the last stone.
--Clay Allison
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Stroke Direction 11 months 2 weeks ago #13430

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I took the previous test a step further and completed an additional 5 Edge Leading strokes per side and then took another 10 measurements. Here are my results:

Edge Leading AVG = 223g (Averaged from 10 measurements)

The additional 5 strokes per side brought us to a 19.4% improvement from the original blade that was prepared using only Edge Trailing strokes.
--Clay Allison
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Stroke Direction 11 months 2 weeks ago #13432

  • Mikedoh
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Could the edge trailing be leaving a bit of a burr?
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