I later abandoned rope cutting as a measure of sharpness for reasons I have explained in detail elsewhere, it simply doesn't have the necessary precision, swings of 100% in sharpness can't even be detected at all. You have to remember that if you slice a piece of rope with say 15 lbs of force, about half a pound of that is the sharpness, the rest is just lateral/wedging forces. This a knife which is only 50% as sharp will show the exact same reading on a scale as you can't measure to a precision of more than 1/2 lbs.
There is only one option if you want to actually interact with the work :Did I miss an option?
-study the work and understand it
-point out areas for improvement based on the understanding
-suggest work which complements it or supplements it
and present your own work for evaluation and integration.
Here is the kicker, you have to do your own work with sensible methods or as noted, you will be dominated by bias. The methods used to actually know something through experimentation are developed for a reason and if you don't use them then you are very unlikely to come to know anything. It doesn't matter one bit at all how many people do things in incorrect ways, they are still incorrect.
This is so silly on a basic level it is hard to even imagine having a serious conversation about it. Here is the actual argument in a general sense :
-it isn't necessary to use scientific methods because lots of people don't and they all make claims and some of the claims are the same
This argument is so silly that even children will understand why it is wrong. If you accept that is actually sound logic then you have to believe *any claim* to be true simply if a large body of people claim it no matter how or what they have done (if anything) to support the claim.
As for changes, influences and corrections to work I do, it happens constantly. A day does not go buy that someone doesn't ask a question or make a comment which forces me to reevaluate what I do and what I have concluded from what I have done or what I understand in a general sense. Look at the way I do things now and how they were done in the past, it is obvious the methods have changed.
As an example, when I first started doing rope cutting I just used the same method that everyone else used. I put up some results, there was some discussion and a guy asked would the geometries of the blade beyond the edge make any difference (spine, width, etc.) . I said no because the angle and grit finish was the same and I normalized out the lateral forces.
However in order to moving beyond to what I thought to what I would actually know, I took a knife and reground it enough to change the actual stock thickness and repeated the work and the edge retention improved. This made no sense, why did cutting the spine down give the knife better edge retention. Yes there was less force but the force was not on the edge it was on the side of the blade.
But here is the thing, it doesn't matter what you think, it doesn't matter how pretty your idea is, it doesn't matter how much you are attached to it, it doesn't matter if lots of people think the same, it doesn't matter if your mom things you are the smartest guy on the planet - if an unbiased experiment shows that it is wrong then it is wrong.
So now I had to figure out why forces on the spine were reducing the edge retention. I thought about it for awhile and realized that the blade with less force on it was simply hitting the cutting board with less force at the end of the cut. I checked this by simply cutting a big notch in a block and cutting the rope over the notch. This resolved the problem and the geometry then was truly normalized out (to first order anyway there are other issues which are smaller refinements).
So yes it can be done, people do it all the time - but you are not going to do it with random nonsense and ad hominem. You have to do understand what is being done on a deep enough level to offer true insight. Hence good luck if it is attempted by methods noted in this thread.
In regards to that table, even that is in a constant state of evaluation.
Kyley noted last year that what I was doing in that table was maybe not the best presentation. He argued that instead of sharpening every knife to maximum (which takes longer for various knives) it would have been more meaningful to sharpen each knife for a given amount of time and then seen what the results would be.
I can see the merit in his suggestion and I am thinking about doing another table with exactly this restriction and limiting sharpening to just 30 seconds per blade. This will have no effect at all on the high edge stability steels as it doesn't take that long to sharpen them, but it will mean the low edge stability ones will be seriously degraded. This could be extended to look at edge retention as a function not only of edge angle and grit finish by as a function of sharpening time. I think that is a pretty interesting experiment.
As other examples :
-Clark's ultra high angle burr minimizing influenced how I sharpen
-Chris's work on machete regrinding influenced how I grind large knives
-Roman's work forced me to evaluate the meaning of "high" performance
-Discussion with Keffler changed the way I think about chopping mechanics in many areas (especially the grip)
-Your reviews point out a weakness in my commentary which was about the consistency of design, something you deal with well but I ignored for years but I have started to talk about
-Mike (Gavko) handles forced me to rethink my position on index finger notches
-Kyley's handles caused me to shift perspective on pseudo-dropped blades
I can continue at length with dozens of examples of how what I know has grown through interaction with other people. But in every case if you look at it, it doesn't come from ad hominem rantings, it comes from people who do work with the same intent I do, just often in different areas or from a different perspective so they uncover something new and we benefit from the exchange.
There are still something that I don't fully understand from some of the exchanges. I don't understand why Keffler's grip works as well as it does for example. I think it has to do with the actual bio mechanics of the grip and it is one of the things I have marked to try to figure out because right now I would not be able to design a similar handle aside from just guess/check. I have figured out some of it and Dan has confirmed that it was as he designed it, but it doesn't explain everything just parts of it. But I don't currently understand the bio part of the mechanics enough to make it obvious.
That is what it is about, trying to know - it takes work and if you are not willing to do the work you might as well write down random conclusions and start flipping coins to decide what you "know" to be true.