Forward, Backward, or Both when sharpening?


When sharpening a blade on a waterstone, or any other stone I suppose, should you work the blade only in one direction or both? If only one direction, Forward or Backward? Forward means towards the blades point.
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Either way works. Tom
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Is there any negative to working in both directions, that is to say working the blade back and work?
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No. "Back and work"? Tom
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It can tend to round your edge but this is all in technique. If you can hold it well, there is no problem.

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On 14 Feb 2006 21:19:15 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Here's one set of opinions. <URL:http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00003.asp
I use an Arkansas stone and typically a straight forward-and-backward motion, sometimes figure-eights with chisels. Plane irons are too wide to do figure-eights on the stone I have.
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Me too, but I use waterstones or wet/dry sandpaper for coarse stuff. One alternative I read about somewhere and have tried a few times is to hold the blade perpendicular to how you describe and sharpen so the LENGTH of the blade goes front to back. Sorry, that's confusing - if you were planing the stone, your plane would be perpendicular to the stone - that's the orientation I'm talking about. Then hold the blade so the sharp edge is flat on the stone with your left hand, and the back end sticks up at an angle in your right hand. If that makes any sense at all - I guess I need another coffee. Let me know if you want me to try to clarify further. Anyway, for thicker plane blades, at least, I've found it's easier to hold blades freehand this way without "rocking" and getting a bellied surface. Or you can use a honing jig and go front to back. In short, I think it doesn't matter what direction you sharpen as long as you end up with a sharp blade. Andy
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Andy wrote:

A long time ago a read an article claiming that sharpening front to back would leave microscopic "teeth" on the edge whereas side to side would leave long scratch marks parallel to the edge and weaken it. This would make it more likely to chip under load. 'Don't know if its true, but food for thought.
Maybe is true for grits large compared to grain size, but not for smaller grits?
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On 15 Feb 2006 10:25:03 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@muthco.com wrote:

I'd have to agree that the size of the scratches left by the sharpening process are inconsequential for a woodworking tool.
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On Wed, 15 Feb 2006 13:04:28 -0600, Chuck Taylor

This group really has gone downhill 8-(
Have you ever used tools that were really _properly_ sharp?
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Andy Dingley wrote:

I was going to ask about the extensive research using scanning electron microscopy on metal treated to various sharpening methods and their influence on the blade (sharpness, cut, durability) that must precede that statement. I'm a little shy, though, +(8-)> so I cracked a book (about sharpening) instead.
er
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On Sat, 18 Feb 2006 11:07:44 -0800, Enoch Root opined:

Cf. Leonard Lee, "The Complete Guide to Sharpening."
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Australopithecus scobis wrote:

Yep, that's the one.
er
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On Sat, 18 Feb 2006 14:13:21 +0000, Andy Dingley

This thread fell off my radar for a while. Good thing, I suppose, because it gave me time to notice the difference between what I wrote and what I thought I was saying a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I could have used a *brain* that's properly sharp.
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