Re: Two questions
Response To:
Re: Two questions ()

David Weaver
It's possible that the second treatment of the edge (very fine) would yield edge life proportional to the cost of having it done (depending on what that cost is).

When we tested plane irons, I saw an increase in edge life over typical finish stones to 1 micron diamonds of about 20%. But you have to plane something that doesn't damage the edge to get that edge life.

I wouldn't be surprised if volume of wood removed by these polished bits is higher before they are totally dull (as in, if you'd use them for finish work only when fresh, but insist on running them until they don't feed well, they should go longer than a normal router bit).

I don't think most people care about that kind of stuff, though, because it's not easy to quantify. When I mention the edge life improvement of a refined edge on a foreign forum, and how different the feel is (and effort) on foreign forums where some of the folks are career joiners (vs. surface planers for a final finish), there's usually no belief that a plane works better when it's sharper.

Where does that translate for routers? If the bit is sharper, it can probably remove more volume in each pass, too. But efficiency is a matter of competition. If nobody else is more efficient, then the engineering challenge of saving a few pennies isn't there. And the curse may be - if you can find the efficiency, eventually the technique becomes the commodity work standard.

As far as what I saw on plane irons, the edge life improvement was a surprise. The difference in side by side effort was a surprise (steve elliot had done the edge life improvement before, so it wasn't that much of a surprise, but sometimes you expect you might get a different result just out of some kind of test parameters). What was also a surprise is that as the iron approaches functional dullness for us (which is far sooner than machine dullness), the rate that material was being removed from the edge of the plane iron increased (I would suspect this is the case on tooling, too).

In commodity metal milling, this stuff probably becomes very important quickly.

But back to the original thing I've found since doing my testing - I can't get the sharpening intervals to be the same in regular work, because they're not like planing wood that's already planed and flat - avoiding some kind of nicking or damage over the life of an edge is hard. I would imagine the adherence to routine and care by japanese users would have something to do with being able to get that with highly refined bits. I'm not so sure about the care of the average american woodworker who might like to launch small bits of wood across the shop from time to time.

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