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TOPIC: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes?

Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 5 months ago #8826

  • PhilipPasteur
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RoccoSanello wrote:
Looking for a little clarification. In Clay's introductory video, he goes from the 100 through the 1000 grit paddles (I think) with alternating single direction strokes. While checking out a few random wicked edge YouTube videos, I noticed a lot of "scrubbing". It seems pretty easy to create a burr with the scrubbing motion. Is there a reason to use one method over the other? Should I do alternating strokes with everything except the ceramics? Should I use scrubbing through the first few grits to get a burr on the other side then switch to alternating single direction strokes towards the finer grits? You guys never let me down. Thanks.

- Rocco

Hey Rocco, any specific videos that you are looking at.. Links?

I had this crazy idea that we should define terms before going much further.

Maybe this is wahy we are getting crossed up in the discusion a bit.. What does the term "scrubbing strokes" mean to you ?

I use three different classes of strokes and variations from there. There are the circular scrubbing strokes, only used for very agressive material removal. This method leaves the most and deepest scratches. I believe that it should only be used for reprofiling. After doing this, even with 100 grit diamonds, I would finish with sweeping strokes to align the scratches and make it easier to remove them going forward. This is what I think of first when I read "scrubbing strokes. The motion I might do to clean a floor or a dirty pan.

Then there is the "scrubbing" that is up and down perpindicular to the blade edge. I use this when changing grit at lower grits, say up to 1000 diamonds or Choseras. It is more agressive than the sweep, but not as much as the circular scrub. I do this to help remove the scratches from the previous grit more quickly. I may do this for a minute alternating sides and working heel to tip. It is real hard to count actual strokes. I always finish with a full stroke count using sweeping strokes. This is what I would do when finish sanding wood... with the grain. Though I guess it is a form of scrubbing, maybe I jump to the wrong conclusion that others don't think of this first when scrubbing is mentioned.

Sweeping, well this can be edge leading, edge trailing and heel to tip or tip to heel. I always use sweeping strokes with finer grit stones and as above with the coarse stones. I use mostly edge trailing sweeping strokes heel to tip. Lately, thanks to Clay, I have been doing a full stroke count (whatever I determine to be the requirement) then adding about 25% more strokes edge leading. This really seems to help in scratch removal, but only is needed whan you are looking for that perfect mirror edge, or possibly to "aim" the micro teeth in the direction you prefer.

It seems like I saw at least one video with someone doing all "scrubbing" perpindicular strokes. I tried this once... only once. I did not like the results nor the speed of scratch removal. That is just me though, I can't say it is the wrong approach.

Try it, but for precision and appearance, my vote it for sweeping strokes to finish.. you might try both edge leading and edge trailing... but finishing with sweeping strokes is the ticket IMHO.

The beauty of the WEPS... or one of them, is that there are so many ways you can get a very sharp edge.
Is the process more important than the results? I think not. See what works for you and go from there. People can generally tell you what works for them, but never what is best for you.

I am coming from reading what Clay has done and some of the instructional stuff from Tom. I have seen neither use any form of scrubbing as anything more than an interim step. This is my story, and I am sticking to it... !
:)

Phil
Phil

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Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by PhilipPasteur.
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 5 months ago #8827

I can't remember the specific videos but when I say "scrubbing" I'm referring to an almost circular motion with the paddles. Since the advice to really listen for the sound change, I'd say more overall "zen" has improved. I really do use the lupe a lot and have been paying more attention to the scratch patterns. I usually go through another 5 or so knives before I get back to posting to you guys and with every one the feeling has been getting a little better. I'm a little more comfortable with the process after every knife, if that makes any sense.

Rocco Jr.
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 5 months ago #8828

  • blacksheep25
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Not my video, but you can really hear the difference as he goes from rough to finer grits. Also a good representation for how much time you'd spend at each grit for someone learning the WE system.

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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 5 months ago #8845

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NicholasAngeja1 wrote:
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.

While the majority of your post makes a lot of sense, the part you CAPITALIZED :) actually doesn't... especially on a guided sharpener. If you create a burr at 100g, then move to the next stone up, you'll create a burr in just a few strokes. (1 or 2 actually, but it may take a few more to feel it.) Once you create a burr, if you continue to finer levels, it becomes a matter of refining the edge and bevel, which goes beyond the work needed for burr creation.

Also, just for clarification, the original tip from Leo wasn't to do 50 strokes thru all the stones. It was...
mark76 wrote:
Then Leo told me: first raise a burr on both sides of the edge (with the 100 grit stones), with subsequent stones do 50 strokes per side.

... raising a burr was the first step, then do 50 strokes thru the rest of the stones. You may not get a perfect mirror edge, and you're right, different steels need different work, but it is a good starting point. I would even venture that you could raise a burr with the 100g, then do 20 strokes thru the rest of the stones, and you'd end up with a pretty good edge. A bit of a pyramid scheme might be even better, for example... create a burr, then do 20 with the 200, 25 with the 400, 30 with the 600, etc.... this would result in even a better polished edge. I viewed this more as a beginner "you gotta start somewhere tip"... from this point, a sharpener could then make adjustments as their needs, education, and experience grew.

You do have a good grasp of the concept that, as your experience improves, it's better to not create a burr until the finer stones are reached, if possible. But burr creation and edge refinement are really two different goals, and having one, doesn't tell you that you've acquired the other.
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Re: Scrubbing or alternating single direction strokes? 1 year 5 months ago #8846

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blacksheep25 wrote:
Not my video, but you can really hear the difference as he goes from rough to finer grits. Also a good representation for how much time you'd spend at each grit for someone learning the WE system.

I really do not think that this is a very good representation of the time that a person of any experience level needs to take to get a sharp knife using the WEPS. This guy is reprofiling significantly and creating multiple bevel angles. If one simply wants to sharpen and stay close to the factory angle... all of this scrubbing will not be required. As Clay has shown, a simple sharpening can be done in just a few minutes.

Also, keep in mind that the video was not real time. He specifically stated that he only showed 25% of the initial reprofiling time. (claimed to have speeded up things by 4X)

Of course, it is all about developing ones own technique, but I would never recommend sharpening the way they guy in the video did. In the end he had a scratchy looking bevel that he could ... slice cut paper with. I am not impressed, especially considering the amount of effort that he expended.

Putting a video on youtube does not make anyone an expert...

Phil
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I miss you Buddy!
Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by PhilipPasteur.
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