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Thread: Replacement for BESS-certified test media

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    Dealer Wootz's Avatar
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    Replacement for BESS-certified test media

    It is 2 weeks since we notified the Edge On Up that we discontinue distribution of their sharpness testers in Australia and New Zealand, but willing to continue supply of the refill BESS-certified test media to the tester owners in our country.
    Our only concern is welfare of our customers - while industries can buy the refill test media in batches, high cost of postage from the USA makes it pricey for an individual ordering 1-2 refills.
    As we haven't received any solution from the Edge On Up, we've tested the potential replacement.

    The BESS Universal and Edge On Up describe the BESS-certified test media as "fluorocarbon monofilament" 0.009 inch in diameter; 0.009 inch is about 225 micron (~ 0.23 mm).
    Edge On Up recommends use of a fluorocarbon fishing line when you run out of their test media.
    The main characteristic of the BESS-certified test line that qualifies it over a fishing line is its high consistency in gauge and shear strength.

    I've compared 6 LB, 8 LB and 10 LB fluorocarbon fishing line to the BESS-certified test media, tested on a PT50B Sharpness Tester with a finely polished ceramic knife.
    The PT50B model was selected over PT50A because the majority of our individual customers own PT50B, and ceramic blade was used rather than a steel, because ceramic edge is burr-free and this way we rule out burr-related inconsistencies in the tester readings.




    The ceramic knife sharpness was measured in the same point on the edge 5 times with each test line, and the sharpness scores averaged. The results follow:


    We can see that the BESS-certified test line has the best consistency in the instrument readings, the 10 LB and 8 LB fishing lines have acceptable consistency, while the 6 LB line has the worst consistency.
    Because of the poor consistency, I had to take twice as many measurements on the 6 LB fishing line - and it is a thousand pities, because the 6 LB fishing line in 50% of measurements was the closest in sharpness score to the BESS-certified - the green numbers in the column.

    In summary, if you run out of the BESS-certified test media refills, and find it too costly to bring from the USA, the 8LB 0.235mm flurocarbon fishing line is an adequate replacement for in-house use. A 50m spool price is $24 and will last for 700 measurements, i.e. 3.5 cents per measurement, as compared to 10 cents per measurement for the BESS-certified line at the factory price not including the postage.
    Last edited by Wootz; 27-11-2018 at 12:35.
    knifeGrinders.com.au
    Precision Sharpening and Knife Rental

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    Registered Member Rs-Travis's Avatar
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    I have been wanting to initiate a similar test but you beat me to the mark . I will still go ahead and test some other brands though until i find something very close to the BESS media. Because if I can buy a huge spool of media that reads the same for a fraction of the cost, thats what I will do .

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    Dealer Wootz's Avatar
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    Found the match!

    ICON Fluorocarbon fishing line 7 LB 0.21 mm



    The ceramic knife sharpness was repeatedly measured in the same point on the edge using BESS-Certified vs this fishing line, and the sharpness scores averaged.
    Then tested a new out of the box Schick DE razor



    The results follow:


    Cost per measurement 3 cents.
    Last edited by Wootz; 16-12-2018 at 16:36.
    knifeGrinders.com.au
    Precision Sharpening and Knife Rental

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    Australian Knifemakers Guild Del Raso Knives's Avatar
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    I’m happy to see you guys are finding a cost effective way around this issue. Long term, the fluorocarbon leader material will pose its own problems with availability. Many of you know I fish and so am very much aware of the constant changes in line and leader material.

    I would recommend you re-work your tests to use general purpose monofilament fishing line rather than leader material. All mono-line is constantly being engineered thinner for the same strength, leader material especially. You may find the manufacturer has changed the specs to the line you are using in a very short period of time. If you move to general fishing line you can purchase much bigger spools of line, 150 to 1000 meters. Buying a thousand metre spool will give you consistent results for what I imagine would see out the life of the machine. Look for a quality, class tested line so you can assure quality control. It will have breaking strain and diameter recorded on the spool as it is being made.

    Hope this insight in to the ever changing face of fishing tackle helps you find a long term solution.
    Peter Del Raso
    Victorian State Rep
    Australian Knifemakers Guild

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    Dealer Wootz's Avatar
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    I believe in the idea of a standard test media for sharpness testing coming from a single source, produced with strict quality control, and available globally.
    The BESS-certified test line used in their sharpness testers is calibrated to give the instrument reading in nanometers of the apex radius, and this allows an insight into events happening in the edge, normally visible only in the scanning electron microscopy.

    In my view, a replacement for BESS-certified test media is only a palliative till the Edge On Up sorts out issues around an Australian distributor for it.
    knifeGrinders.com.au
    Precision Sharpening and Knife Rental

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