#5 iron bevel angle? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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#5 iron bevel angle?

What is the correct bevel angle for a Stanley #5 plane iron?

The original iron from my #5 had a big ding in it (at least 1/32 deep). It was also not square. So I had to grind it like mad to fix those 2 problems. Now I am sure the bevel angle is wrong.

To get it back, I am thinking I will make a little jig with skateboard bearings that holds it at the correct angle. Then I will run it back and forth on something flat that has 150 or 250 grit sandpaper glued to it.

Is there a better way to get it right?
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 10:15 AM
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Stanley sharpened their blades to a 30 deg angle.

Record sharpened their blades to a 25 deg angle. Even stamped this onto the cap iron.

A higher angle (30 deg) in theory may last longer, but may not cut as well as a lower angle (25 deg). If you research I predict you will find many places which recommend one over the other. Pick one.

In my restorations I have been sharpening to 30 deg.

Firemedic made a jig similar to what you are describing. Posting the thread in case it helps.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/s...ing-jig-30241/

The Paul Sellers video you linked in another thread advocates hand holding. I am not yet proficient enough to be able to hand hold and get consistent results.

I think whether you choose one angle or another, it is important to be consistent.

If you do not have any plate glass, or a granite slab, a piece of MDF is likely the most readily available flat surface. You should seal this if you use wet-dry abrasives.

I start with 120 grit wet-dry paper and work through the grits. It does not take long.
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 10:17 AM
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Rather than answering that bevel angle question directly - google "plane iron bedding angle" and "plane iron bevel angle" both related and worth reading up on.

As for the sharpener amazon sell a jig for under $10.

EDIT:

Dave and I were typing at the same time...
Still look at what I suggested. The lumber you are working with has a lot to do with you bevel angle.

Also, thanks Dave for finding that old post, I built that for jointer planes. That jack should have at least a tiny bit of camber and that jig will NOT work for a cambered iron.

My two cents :)

Last edited by firemedic; 01-14-2013 at 10:20 AM.
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post #4 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 05:32 PM
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I'll answer the question! My Stanley #5 comes up just lovely at 30 degrees. I have no idea what it was when I got it. It gets used for rough work and my carving wood is sometimes sort of dirty. Did some gentle work on a fine oil stone until the "light sparks" disappeared from the edge. Then 800 grit paper with oil and 1500 grit paper with oil then reassembled the plane. Nice. I've tried to be a little more careful since that.
All my Pfeil tools are 20. All my knives, both straight and crooked, are 12.
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys. you have given me great info .... again!
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 08:29 PM
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Just made the same decision last weekend - 30 primary bevel, 30 micro bevel, 10 back bevel. It's nice!
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavawreck View Post
Just made the same decision last weekend - 30 primary bevel, 30 micro bevel, 10 back bevel. It's nice!
I don't understand... How is it a micro bevel if the primary bevel is the same?

Why the back bevel too? To alter the primary angle's effective angle or was the iron damaged?

Inquiring minds must know!
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic View Post
I don't understand... How is it a micro bevel if the primary bevel is the same?

Why the back bevel too? To alter the primary angle's effective angle or was the iron damaged?

Inquiring minds must know!
Well, I should start by saying that I've never sharpened anything in my life prior to last weekend. I purchased a Veritas MKII honing guide and simply followed the written directions.

There are a lot of thoughts on how to sharpen a blade, what a microbevel and back bevel will accomplish. This first time, I figured I'd try it this way and see how it worked for me. I liked the results.

You make a good point about the microbevel, I'm not sure now that it is a true 30 degrees. I left the blade at the 30 degree setting but rotated the guide wheel to the microbevel position. I believe it just serves to clean up hone marks.
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 10:11 PM
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Ahh, ok.

Ok, I'm not trying to be snearish but I'm going to try to explain a bit about it. ...and see if I can keep the math straight - this could be a good laugh for us all!

When you look at effective shearing angles you have to take everything into account including the bedding angle.

The typical grind angle for soft woods is 25-30 deg. The bedding angle for Stanley iron bench planes is 45 deg.

If your iron has a primary bevel angle of 30 deg. And you used the micro-bevel setting in the MKII which should be around 3-5 deg - we'll say 3 deg. (edge is 27 deg)

45 deg bedding angle. Equals final shearing angle of 13 deg.

Then 10 deg back bevel.

The back bevel increases acuity of the angle of the bevel but it decreases the shearing angle. So the bevel has an actual angle of 37 deg but an effective shearing angle of 3 deg!

Hope that reads ok and that I kept the math straight!

Does that shed a bit of light on the matter?
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 10:31 PM
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firemedic: shame on you! Let's skew the plane 30 degrees and compose the shearing angle from there. Then we must consider the need, the all-consuming need, for a water stone which is within 1/4 wave of being optically flat.
What a bunch of hocus-pocus. Sharpen the dang thing. Learn by experience how it cuts. If that won't float your boat, try something else.

Your shearing angle of 13 degrees. I make all 8 of my crooked knives 12 degrees.
One is a Mora #188 reworked in an 18" dog leg handle for planing carving wood.
12 - 13 degrees is magic to watch in action.
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post #11 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 10:49 PM
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Robson, I do agree it is a bit hocus pocusy but I was just trying to help it be a bit more intuitive as to what is going on.

I forgot to mention that the back bevel makes the edge of the iron more fragile than a lower primary bevel with the same effective shearing angle.
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post #12 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 10:53 PM
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OK. I'll mail you a stick so you can scrape some of my DOG-MA off your shoes.
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post #13 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
OK. I'll mail you a stick so you can scrape some of my DOG-MA off your shoes.
I literally have no idea what that means.
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post #14 of 23 Old 01-14-2013, 11:22 PM
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I am accused, often, for being quite dogmatic about sharpening,and honing = that's the "dogma." My Chessies leave lots of "dogma" in the back yard.

After years of messing with it, for the past 5-10 years, I can make carving tools "carving sharp." I can't enjoy carving without that. How I get it done is absolutely irrelevant.

Pick the bevel angle that you need for that tool.
Make it so.
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post #15 of 23 Old 01-15-2013, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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now you guys have completely lost me. are you saying that a plane iron has 2 bevels on the front and another bevel on the back?

it seems to me that a bevel on the back would have more of a tendency to round the blade, not sharpen it?

in any case, i got the info i was looking for ... 30 degrees
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post #16 of 23 Old 01-15-2013, 02:07 AM
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Good, Chris. Do 30. Try it. Learn from it. Move on.
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post #17 of 23 Old 01-15-2013, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Curl View Post
now you guys have completely lost me. are you saying that a plane iron has 2 bevels on the front and another bevel on the back?

it seems to me that a bevel on the back would have more of a tendency to round the blade, not sharpen it?

in any case, i got the info i was looking for ... 30 degrees
No, some times an iron is so heavily pitted that it requires a back bevel. It's not all irons.
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post #18 of 23 Old 01-15-2013, 08:48 AM
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I thought the back bevel was in leu of flattening the blade as it only goes up 3/16" or something and that the micro bevel serves to polish the bevel without removing more material? It seems as though we might be making this more complex in nature than it is.
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post #19 of 23 Old 01-15-2013, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavawreck View Post
I thought the back bevel was in leu of flattening the blade as it only goes up 3/16" or something and that the micro bevel serves to polish the bevel without removing more material? It seems as though we might be making this more complex in nature than it is.
I have the same Veritas Mark II Honing guide.

The back of the plane should be flat (lapped). The directions mention the entire back does not have to be flat only about the first 1/4in from the edge. I flatten a bit more. The flat portion of the back is so that the cap iron makes contact across the blade to prevent shavings from getting stuck between the cap iron and the blade.

The honing guide is set to the desired angle, e.g., 30 deg.

The honing guide allows tweaking the roller for a micro bevel, which is an extra 1 or 2 degree.
" With the micro-bevel knob in the 6 o’clock position, you will obtain a micro-bevel with a 1° to 2° difference from the primary bevel."

The use of a back bevel is only for blades used on low angle planes where the bevel is up and there is no cap iron.
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post #20 of 23 Old 01-15-2013, 09:22 AM
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I sharpen everything at 25 degrees. Flatten and polish the back. I hate back bevels. They are a sucker to remove. All the "tricks" are fine if you have a great memory. You need to remember what you did next time you sharpen.
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