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Edge Leading vs Trailing Cleanup…

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  • #54093
    NorCalQ
    Participant
    • Topics: 51
    • Replies: 142

    I know Terry has a similar thread that I could have posted in, however I didn’t want to hijack his thread, so I’m posting this thread.  I had been using edge leading strokes, heel to tip, for some time now, however I always had a problem once I switched to edge trailing strokes for films and strops.  It seems bevel contact with the different strokes differs so much, that I had problems getting the same bevel contact once I switched from leading to trailing strokes.  My solution was simply to use edge trailing strokes from start to finish and this seems to have solved the problems.

    I know lots of you do use edge leading strokes for the diamond stones, so I’m curious as to whether you have the same issues or not?  I think I do ultimately get more scratch-free bevels using edge leading strokes with the diamonds, however there is a lot more cleanup that has to be done with films and strops.  Hope I’m stating this clearly enough.

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    #54094
    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 286

    If it works for you it is not wrong.   I don’t even bother going past 1000 anymore, my cheap kitchen knives cut what my wife cuts, much better stopping at 1000 than if I make them all nice and shiny with a fine toothless bevel.  Is that wrong.. nope.. If you search you will find  a lot of opinions on the subject and some  science.. In the end, it if you are happy with the outcome that is all that counts.

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    #54095
    NorCalQ
    Participant
    • Topics: 51
    • Replies: 142

    Guess what I’m trying to explain here is that with edge trailing strokes from start to stops, I get pretty even contact on the bevel.  With edge leading, when I switch to films and strops, the contact changes, so have to spend a lot of time cleaning up with films and strops.  I’m wondering if that’s usually the case for others or not?

    #54096
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2148

    I will take another try at this….

    If your knife is clamped securely and steadfastly.  Then the bevels on either side of the knife edge do not move either.

    The scratch patterns are imparted onto the bevels by the moving stone, (what ever sharpening medium it is), which is held in your fingertips, as you direct it’s movement across the bevels.

    If the scratch pattern differs from stroke to stroke it is because that moving stone held in your fingertips is either being held differently or being moved differently across the bevel during your stone strokes.

    To get the same results, (i.e., a similar appearing scratch pattern, in the same position) with an edge leading vs an edge trailing stroke, or vice versa, the moving stones needs to be held, by you, in your fingertips, exactly the same way with the same pressure when the stone is moved across the bevel for both of these strokes, edge leading and edge trailing.

    If the stones position and the stone’s pressure is applied the same against the stationary bevels as you move the stones in any direction across the stationary knife the scratch patterns will appear the same and be in the same position on the bevels.

    If the stones position and the stone’s pressure is applied differently against the stationary bevels as you move the stones in any direction across the stationary knife the scratch pattern will appear differently and may be in a different position on the bevels.

    The same applies to stropping mediums.  Although these mediums may be compressible so slight angle setting adjustments to the acute side are generally recommended.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    #54097
    NorCalQ
    Participant
    • Topics: 51
    • Replies: 142

    That’s kinda what I figured.  With an edge leading stroke at the heel, the bottom of the stone makes first contact.  When I move to films and strops with an edge trailing stroke going from heel to tip, the top of the stone makes first contact with the heel.  About the only way I could figure to make the strokes contact similarly would be to start with an edge leading stroke from tip to heel, then finish up with films and strops doing edge tailing, from heel to tip.

    #54098
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2148

    Don’t over complicate it.  If you don’t see the results you want in the place on the bevel where you want them, whatever the stroke and whatever the medium,  adjust your position and pressure to achieve the appearing results you desire, where you want them.  Our techniques needs to be flexible.  This is results driven.  Do what it takes to achieve the results you want by making adjustments along the way.  Go with the flow.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    #54099
    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 286
    #54101
    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 286

    This video helped me to understand the WE sharpening strokes and how to use them. https://youtu.be/-RrvnZRVc-I  He starts out talking about the Chorera stone but gets into the use of the WE, and types of strokes and when to use them,  which is what you need to pay attention to.

    #54108
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1943

    It’s absolutely normal for you to notice a change in angle when switching from leading to trailing.  With leading strokes, your grip spends very little of the stroke above the edge and as a result, you’ll see very consistent angles throughout the stroke.  When you switch to trailing, a much larger part of your stroke has your grip above the edge.  Even the tightest system ( tolerance wise) will show a jump in angle when the pressure point rises above the edge.  The result shows that you’d have missed polishing the lower part of the bevel facets.

    The answer lies in technique; trying to maintain the same pressure point, regardless of stroke direction and avoiding transitions across the edge.  Once you have identified the cause of your frustration, make the correction and stick with it.

    Unless the edge has a deep belly curve, you can probably get away with edge-leading strokes, (and/or scrubbing strokes) even with the film.

    I’ll apologize in advance if I misunderstood the problem.

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    #54109
    NorCalQ
    Participant
    • Topics: 51
    • Replies: 142

    Ya…you’re on about that.  There is a slight rock due to play in the handles.  For me, I seem to get the most consistency when I hold high on the handles, so when I apply pressure during the stroke, it’s always applied to the top of the handle.  With a leading edge stroke from heel to tip, when I reach the tip, I’m at the top of the stone.  When I get to the films and strops and use an edge trailing stroke from heel to tip, when I reach the tip, I’m at the bottom of the handles.  There seems to be a difference in where on the bevel the stone makes contact, whether you’re at the top vs the bottom of the stone.

    All that said, I guess it all comes down to doing what works best for me.  I also want there to be a right way and a wrong way to do it, but I guess that’s just not the case.  I’ll just keep working on it.

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    #54110
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1943

    I always hold the handles near the bottom – my thumbs placed at the second finger-groove.  Mainly to keep from letting the pressure point to move above the edge, but also to keep my other fingers away from the edge.  The only time I’ve ever cut myself while sharpening was the first time I did a really long jerky knife and let my pinky (little finger) dangle out in mid-air.  Every time since has been when reaching beyond the knife’s tip.  I’d get bit on the return motion.

    If you grasp the handles at the top, you should take your angle measurements with pressure applied above the edge; preferably with the handle placed high on the edge.  Since I use a low position, I measure with the stone at the bottom end of where a stroke would end and with pressure applied there.

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    #54111
    rummels
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 26

    I have found this discussion to be very thought provoking.  I have never considered where on the stones I have been placing my fingers.

    So I went and picked up one of my diamond stones.  I apparently put my index finger near the top of the stone, with my other three fingers and my thumb on the bottom half of the stone.  This just seems like a natural way to hold the stone.

    Wouldn’t it be best to hold the stone in a way that distributes pressure as equally as possible along the entire length of the stone?

    On longer knives I find myself using the entire stone, so would more consistent pressure along the length of the stone provide more consistent results?

    Rummels

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    #54112
    NorCalQ
    Participant
    • Topics: 51
    • Replies: 142

    The handles have a small amount of play on the rods, which results in a slight rocking motion, pivoting on the knife bevel. That rocking will rest either on the top of the bevel or the bottom.  Trick is to consistently have the stone surface contact at the top or the bottom and not rock from top to bottom or vice-versa as you move thru your stroke.  Personally, I find that index finger at the top notch keeps my fingers safe and gives me the broadest range of contact from top to bottom.  Keeping constant pressure at the top of the handle, hopefully keeps the rocking to a minimum.

    #54113
    rummels
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 26

    Ah!  Got it.  Thanks NorCalQ

    Rummels

    #54114
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2148

    The other way to look at is…now that you know that finger hold position and pressure effects how the stone scratches the bevel.  Study the resulting scratch patterns of these different finger positions with a magnified visual aid.  Then use this knowledge to steer where you place your scratches.  By understanding this cause and effect you can use it to your benefit.  Then you are truly in control of your stone work.  You can still be consistent just more capable.

    To qualify this further… depending on what your doing this ability to place or direct the results of your effort is particularly helpful.  When first profiling the bevel angle it helps you to specifically remove steel from right where you need to. Then to go on to flatten the entire bevel shoulder to apex.  Then while polishing it helps you remove scratch remnants from where they remain.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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