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The Skate Truck: Flatbottom!
 
 

BFD Flat Bottom Sharpening!

Totally new way to have your skates sharpened!
Unlike the conventional sharpening that puts a hollow between two edges, the BFD is a totally new way to sharpen and shape an ice skate blade. With a conventional sharpening, you have to choose between grip/bite and speed. With the BFD, you get both maximum bite (when you need it) but also maximum glide (when you need it).

The BFD Flat Bottom has virtually zero getting use to time. In a matter of minutes, you'll adapt easy to this setting and soon be reaping the rewards of super speed and endurance, yet at the same time have all the grip you need for hard turns and stops.

Getting  BFD on your skates does not alter your Rocker radius at all, it does not take off any more steel than a regular sharpening, and if you are ever in a bind for a sharpening, it can easily be sharpened over with your previous hollow by any sharpener.

The BFD (Blade Form Dressing) or Flat Bottom skate sharpening is very different than what you are use to getting on your skates. The BFD has a flat bottom and the edges are slightly higher. So when gliding, you are on the flat which gives you awesome speed, but when you turn and lean the skates, the edges then dig in giving you great turning. So for example, you can achieve the glide equivalent to a 2" hollow, yet at the same time, the turning capacity of a 3/8-1/2" hollow. How cool is that!

"I just got off the ice after my first skate on the BFD blades. This is the only way to describe it: "The Holy Grail of Sharpening". I'm speechless about how these blades perform. More glide than my 5/8ths and way way more bite. I seriously could not get an edge to lose grip even after the ice got trashed at the end of stick time...and I started trying to...it was a game to see if I could get a  edge to lose rip....nope! You can feel the enhanced glide and then the moment you roll on edge its like super glued to the ice...its crazy. I don't know if I have ever skated better, seriously. I'll never go back to "old" sharpening again."

 

BFD- Blade Form Dressing/Flat Bottom

Skate sharpening is based on creating a radius of hollow (RoH) in a skate blade, which enables the skater to skate on two sharp, square edges. There is not one magic RoH for every skater. Each hollow has its advantages and disadvantages, and each skater makes an evaluation as to which is best for them. The profile of a skate blade hollow is not limited to a radius - there is an infinite number of shapes that can be transmitted onto a skate blade.

The shape that is imparted upon the sharpening wheel is created by a dressing tool. Blademaster® has developed a dressing system that can create alternative dressings - including the current experimentation with "flat bottom" skate blades. As the industry leader, we have the experience and expertise to design and deliver the most robust high precision dressing system on the market. Fortunately, Blademaster®'s dressing system will be independent of the finishing head, and thus is available for all existing table top skate sharpening machines. Therefore, each finishing head will have the flexibility of a traditional radius or any 'alternative' wheel dressing. Would you buy a new car just to try a new set of tires? Alternative wheel dressing (or 'form dressing') has been in the machine tool business for decades. As a leader in the machine tool business for 77 years, we know the critical path for imparting an alternative shape onto a sharpening wheel and then onto a skate blade.

 

Blade Form Dressing-Flat Bottom

Proponents of the new method say this combination provides a sharper bite on turns and a freer glide in straight-ahead skating.

Conventional skate sharpening uses a grinding stone that creates a concave arc in the bottom of the blade.

Flat Bottom sharpening uses specially made wheels to carve out tiny fangs along the skate blade's ridges that bite into the ice for turns. The flat bottom between the fangs, similar to the flat cut of a speedskater's blade, puts more of the blade's surface in contact with the ice and is supposed to increase speed.

"Having the angles instead of the arc was quite intriguing," said Wilson, who is awaiting the results of a University of Ottawa kinesiology study on the effects of the flat-bottom. Depending on the angle at which the fangs are cut, he said, "when a player stops, he doesn't have that 'chattering' effect."

The dimensions involved are minuscule. A flat-bottom V cut of 90/75 means the width of the flat bottom between the "fangs" is 90 thousandths of an inch, and the height of the fangs is 75 ten-millionths of an inch.

Tiny, yet some players swear by it.

"My turns feel good, and I don't feel slow coming out of them, so I've got no complaints," Johnson said.

The Devils' David Clarkson said: "I feel like I have more of a stride, that I glide a lot better when I push. So far I like the way I feel."

Clarkson's teammate Paul Martin started using the cut at the end of the preseason.

"It's a little more efficient, so you glide better - you're not working quite as hard," Martin said before he sustained a fractured arm that will sideline him for up to six weeks.

Beyond the different feel, the flat bottom sharpening costs next to nothing in a sport where one player's equipment can easily exceed $1,500.

"It cost me $10 to get my skates sharpened this way instead of the usual $5," said Mike McBride, a 53-year-old recreation-league player in Detroit. "I had it done about two months ago, and I noticed a little difference right away. It didn't make me go faster, but it provided me with more stability; it made me firmer on the ice."

Internet message boards for rec-league players have been alight over the cut for several months.

The last innovation in hockey skates came about five years ago and involved heated blades, which were meant to create a thin layer of water between blade and ice to add speed. But it never caught on, because of its expense and the cumbersome battery pack players had to carry.

There, in the dustbin of hockey history, it joined Cooperalls (long pants of early-1980s vintage to replace the customary shorts and socks, and worn briefly by the Philadelphia Flyers and the Hartford Whalers) and the glowing puck (a visual aid on Fox telecasts of the mid-'90s meant to make it easier for American viewers to follow the action).

The flat-bottom seems more likely to have a longer shelf life.

"I've got four sons," Wilson said. "I know how much it costs to outfit a player. The nice thing about this is that it costs pretty much the same as regular skate sharpening. It's definitely not like buying a pair of $800 skates or a $300 stick."

McBride, who said he never played organized hockey as a youth and considers himself "no better than the average weekend player," recalled that he heard about the flat-bottom from someone at his office whose 12-year-old boy was playing at the pee-wee level.

"His son was raving about it, as were the other kids on the team, so I decided to try it," McBride said. "I'm going to stick with it."

 

These short video clips explain a little about flat bottom sharpenning. The equipment is different but the concept of the flat bottom is the same. In fact Blademaster introduced flat bottom sharpening and has been a pioneer in skate sharpening equipment for over 50 years.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVzGY3lI218

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqg7cRVbio0&feature=related