Yesterday, JohnyChance and Uptothehilt came over to help with a rope cutting test and to learn about making sayas. I went over the basics and did a quick carving demonstration for one of JC knives. We didn't go past that, as I glue sayas overnight, so the next week we pick up where we left off this week- shape, sand and oil-finish it.
For rope cutting test, we selected several knives with comparable thickness above the edge. I made a makeshift cutting station - an end-grain block attached to a digital scale with an external reader. For counting cuts, we used a mechanical click counter. We used 1/2" sisal rope.
JC sharpened all knives to same lever of sharpness, using same stones and strop. We exposed about 2.75" of edge, to speed up dulling.
The test asked for a pull cut, however, we did it with push cut, as it seemed a little more natural when cutting rope. At some point later, we will redo it with a pull cut and compare the results.
As this was an experiment (with not very high expectations), I am not going to post results, as we need to improve cutting technique (cutting 1/2" sisal rope is nothing like food) before we can use numbers in any meaningful ways, but I think we got a good feel for it.
It was pretty obvious that choice of steel and heat treatment had a direct effect on rate of dulling. However, some steels continue cutting even after they were dull to the touch, while others quit. Once we get better at testing, I will elaborate about this.
Overall, it was an interesting experiment and I want to thank both members for coming over and helping out. I hope we can do this more frequently.