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TOPIC: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes?

Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 7 months ago #8797

  • cbwx34
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PhilipPasteur wrote:
I guess my ZEN is dead. I can tell differences in feel and sound, only up to a point.

That made me smile. :P

I really don't think it's a "Zen" thing though... if you pay attention to the sound/feel, the change is definitely there. I think characterizing it as "Zen", might make some think it's not an actual occurrence. But you make a good point... actually looking and seeing what is going on is probably more accurate.
Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by cbwx34.
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 7 months ago #8802

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The "feel" is important. Not only can you sort of tell when a stone is finished, and ready to move on, but you can also feel when the stone is off (bad stroke) or you have a section of the blade that isn't quite right, needs more work, etc.

For example, I do all strokes tip to heel, edge trailing. For stones 600 and below I do some edge leading strokes in middle of each stone to clean up any burr. You can "feel" the difference right away on the first 4 strokes when I switch to edge leading, then the next 4 are much smoother. Going back to edge trailing the first few stokes I can feel the stone cutting more, then it gets smoother again.

IMHO, I think tactile feedback and sound (hearing) are equally if not more important than sight when it comes to sharpening. With the WE once you set everything up and get the bevels/angles right it is more about sound and feel than sight. (since the blade never moves and the angles don't change). I am not suggesting you sharpen blind folded by any means.

I have to give kudos to the WE for the excellent tactile feedback. I didn't get this with other systems.

At the same time the WE design eliminates a lot of variances in other systems, so even if you can't "feel" the stone you can still get a great edge with the WE.
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 7 months ago #8803

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Geocyclist wrote:
The "feel" is important. Not only can you sort of tell when a stone is finished, and ready to move on, but you can also feel when the stone is off (bad stroke) or you have a section of the blade that isn't quite right, needs more work, etc.

I agree, feel gets one in the ball park... The problem is, when someone is learning and asks for a number of strokes, it does not tell them what they need to know by telling them to feel it. Feel, I think is developed over time. Even when you can feel it... this is very relataive. I don't feel things the same way you do, nor does anyone else. Feel is something that is hard, if not impossible to define or teach, especially via text communication. It is highly subjective and personal.

As I mentioned, I can feel and hear differences to a point. But I cannot feel, especially with the finer stones or strops, the difference between very good and nearly perfect.

Now the OP asked for number of strokes to use at first. If he was an accomplished sharpener that could feel it, he likely would not have to ask that question.

Maybe I am just jealous because my ZEN is so darn elusive to contact... or so limited that I cannot detect the level of differences that I need for the reults that I want...
:(

Phil
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 7 months ago #8812

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PhilipPasteur wrote:
The problem is, when someone is learning and asks for a number of strokes, it does not tell them what they need to know by telling them to feel it.

Good point!!!
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 7 months ago #8819

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I agree, sorry I missed the original question. 50 per side sounds about right.

For a count I guess it boils down doing too many or too few. If you too many it doesn't really hurt anything. (unless you do a thousand strokes then our just grinding your blade away). Too few and the next stone won't work as efficiently. After each stone I wipe the blade clean with a paper towel and inspect. I am looking to see smaller scratches and a smoother edge.
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 7 months ago #8820

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From what I've learned and experienced either scrubbing or alternation single direction strokes work, but again they each have their own advantages that makes them unique. I personally scrub on lower grits or when fixing an edge; I find I'm able to develop a burr a lot easier scrubbing. I then transition into alternating single direction strokes at higher grits when i've apex-ed the edge and start refining it; I find the sweeping motion helps de-burr the edge more effectively.

In terms of how many strokes on each side of the blade?? Honestly..... TILL YOU FEEL A BURR (period)

Once an edge has been apex-ed, then why not benefit from what makes the WEPS special and UNIQUE, use ALTERNATE sweeping strokes to refine the edge.

Just my two cents :P
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 7 months ago #8821

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Just to make it clear... there is absolutely no reason to raise a burr more than once on each side using the coarsest stones in your chosen progression. After that you are simply wasting time and steel to raise a burr!!!

This:
In terms of how many strokes on each side of the blade?? Honestly..... TILL YOU FEEL A BURR (period)

Can only make sense if you are talking about using your coarsest stones.. one time in your complete progression (period) !!

Phil
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Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by PhilipPasteur.
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 7 months ago #8822

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PhilipPasteur wrote:
Just to make it clear... there is no reason to raise a burr more than once on each side using the coarsest stones in your chosen progression. After that you are simply wasting time and steel to raise a burr!!!

Absolutely!!!
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 7 months ago #8823

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OK..
Then after your coarsest stones, how many strokes do you do and how do you determine what is enough ?
Phil

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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 7 months ago #8824

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I only apex my edge and create a burr at either 600 grit or 800 grit depending on the steel. I use a microscope to determine when i change stones. I look for a consistent scratch pattern on the bevel and a perfectly spaced bevel prior to changing grits. I'm pretty lucky to have such equipment and it removed the "skill" "experience" or "Zen" required to sharpen and perfect an edge, and Microscopes aren't that expensive. In my experience there has never been an appropriate number of strokes before changing, it really depends on the Knife Steel, Forging process, and how the knife was previously sharpened. IF I WAS TEACHING SOMEONE TO SHARPEN, I STILL STAND BY THE FACT THEY SHOULD DEVELOP A BURR AT EVERY GRIT TILL THEY LEARN THE SKILL, EXPERIENCE, OR "ZEN;" LOSS OF METAL IS A SMALL COST TO LEARN HOW TO SHARPEN AND UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON WHEN SHARPENING. But hey experience sharpeners will not need to develop a burr till higher grits and they can focus on preserving metal. That's something experienced sharpeners learn from experience and testing different sharpening techniques.

So.... does a hand made carbon knife need the same 50 strokes per grit and side as for example a super soft chinese steel knife???? a new sharpener wouldn't understand that the soft steel might only take 5 strokes at any grit to burr the edge, because of the steel. But on the other hand, a super hard steel like the carbon wont even remove the previous grit scratch patterns after 100 strokes and never create a burr....

there are too many variables to contented with to put a number of strokes on grit progression other then visually seeing it and measuring it.
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