Primary bevel question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-23-2012, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Primary bevel question

I am cleaning up some blades for use ( no 4-7 and low angle block planes) i have been reading that the primary bevels need to be set at 25 degrees and then make a microbevel accordingly. I use very hardwood and some figured. Should I go with a 30 degree micro or should it be higher. Also do you think the primary should always be 25 degrees?
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-23-2012, 04:20 AM
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I am cleaning up some blades for use ( no 4-7 and low angle block planes) i have been reading that the primary bevels need to be set at 25 degrees and then make a microbevel accordingly. I use very hardwood and some figured. Should I go with a 30 degree micro or should it be higher. Also do you think the primary should always be 25 degrees?

You will get a lot of different answers here. That is why I like Sharpening inquiries. I am still learning, but would like to think of my self in the neither land.

The Cream of the Cr.p or I am the Cr.p of the cream. The lower the Micro bevel potentially the sharper you can get your chisels and plane blades. But the down size is the harder the wood the more quickly you damage the edge.

If I can explain it this way, the average is 25 degree primary bevel and a three degree micro bevel. Then experience tells you for what your average wood where you should aim for. But if you are just learning then forget the experimentation for the time being and stick to 25degrres primary and 28 to 30 degrres secondary or micro bevel.

Pete

ps.

I regard myself as an advanced learner so heed what I can with some reservation. In sharpening I believe it is to each their own.
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-23-2012, 08:05 AM
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There are no right or wrong answers.

For normal hard woods I use a main bevel of 28 degrees and two micro bevels, one at 30 the next at 32. For soft woods, I use 23 with one micro bevel at 25.

For highly figured or very difficult grain, I use the same as for hard woods, but with a 15 degree back bevel.

Last edited by WillemJM; 01-23-2012 at 08:12 AM.
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-23-2012, 09:33 AM
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All those angles are approximate. The wood does not have calibrated eyeballs. It won't shrink away at the last second, start laughing, point to the cutter of the plane and say "27? What's wrong with you newbie???" (If it does, then the answer to your first question is "Yes, that was one hell of a party, mexican tequila is awesome, now maybe you better to sleep it off before using hand tools.")
I do like to use an even thinner angle on a few block planes that I use for end grain. The edge doesn't last as long, but I can wave it in the direction of end-grain and get a shaving.

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post #5 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the responses! One more question, what do you use to grind down thhe primary bevel quickly?

P.s. I dont have the money for a tormek. I have three water stones (800,1200,6000) and it took me forever to get the primary bevel on this old iron that was way out of wack!!!
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 03:53 AM
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Thank you for all the responses! One more question, what do you use to grind down thhe primary bevel quickly?

P.s. I dont have the money for a tormek. I have three water stones (800,1200,6000) and it took me forever to get the primary bevel on this old iron that was way out of wack!!!

It looks like you are on the slope now, no going back. Tormek are nice but you do not need one. Infact when you have got got your angles approx right you do not have to go back to the grinding.

However For old beater chisels and those you nwant to chance the primary bevel on or repair a nick or get it at 90degrees, then a grinding wheel is called for.

Slow rev speed is the best but you can get by with a normal wheel also. They are not expensive. An Eight inch wheel is good but a six inch will be fine. Just be sure you do not overheat and blue the blade.

I do not use the cheap grey wheel that comes with a Grinding machine I use a white aluminium oxide wheel. The grinding wheel quickly does a hollow grind then over to the stones.

As I have said once you get it correct generall you only have to resharpen or rehone on tyour finest stone.

Pete
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Bwood View Post
Thank you for all the responses! One more question, what do you use to grind down thhe primary bevel quickly?

P.s. I dont have the money for a tormek. I have three water stones (800,1200,6000) and it took me forever to get the primary bevel on this old iron that was way out of wack!!!
I don't have a tormek either, and I just sold my tormek knockoff. I've tried everything in the world except a frickin' laser for sharpening. I haven no problems with simple things like plane cutters or chisels, but curved gouges drive me crazy.


If you can pick up a cheap 2-sided oilstone (I use water on mine, it works fine) the rough followed by the fine side will do the job quickly if you're using one of those jigs to hold the cutter in place. (I use the old veritas one, once it's got the primary bevel done I just flip a knob 1/4 turn and do it all again to get the secondary bevel).

I don't have an 800 grit waterstone. I've got a 4000, 6000, and 10,000. I only use the first two, after the oilstone. (nothing wrong with the 10K, I'm just lazy and 6K does it more than good enough for me.

Or you can just use sandpaper spray-glued to a sheet of something flat. Doesn't have to be plate glass, thick MDF will work just as well. 220 grit if it's real bad, then work your way up. Some people get up into the bajillion-grit which is like black-glass and will shine the metal fine enough for you to count nose hairs, if that's a hobby you'd like to pick up.

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post #8 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks joesbucketofrust! I think I am going to find an oil stone. I read somewhere that they cut pretty quick. That is hilarious about the nose hair shine! I have run across that a lot on the Internet. I just want a good straight edge. Some of these o'l planes I bought off eBay are kinda jacked and not square!
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 12:53 PM
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I start out with 60 grit sandpaper to flatten the back of the plane iron on a dead flat surface, then run through the grits to 440. Then I clamp the iron in a jig, set the primary bevel angle I want and start grinding, eventually working my way through the grits as before. Then, move to my waterstones. I set the jig for the secondary bevel I want and get that done with 15 pull strokes on a 1,000 grit waterstone. At that point, I carve off the corners of the iron as well. Then I set the jig for the third bevel and do 12 pull strokes each on a 6,000 and then an 8,000 grit waterstone. I do not polish the entire back of the iron: instead, I remove the wire edge with David Charlesworth's "Ruler Trick" which gives me a highly polished back at the edge where it is needed. Then I flatten the waterstones with a low grit diamond stone and store them. Everything I have read says that oil stones are just too slow.
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Ok! I have some 60 grit. I will try that out. Thanks!
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 02:39 PM
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Ok! I have some 60 grit. I will try that out. Thanks!
When you are flattening the back of the irons, start with strokes that leave scratches that go from side to side. Then go the other way so that you have scratches running the long way down the iron. Even with 60 grit sand paper, this can take a long time, but hang in there. It is well worth the time spent, and you should only have to do this once.
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 03:32 PM
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I do not polish the entire back of the iron: instead, I remove the wire edge with David Charlesworth's "Ruler Trick" which gives me a highly polished back at the edge where it is needed.
I think the "ruler trick" is actually putting a small bevel on the back, but a lot of people use it and like it. In any case, it's good of you to point out that you don't polish the entire back. It drives me nuts (yes, I know, it's a short trip) to hear people say "flatten the back, polish the back" and then see some newb with a stack of sandpaper trying to make the entire back surface of a 6-8" long iron look like a mirror. The chip-breaker covers all but the very tip and if the chip-breaker is sitting correctly then no wood shavings will ever tough the remaining 99% of the blade. It seems so obvious, but I've picked up a few planes that someone tried to refurbish and gave up on after spending a week just on the back of the iron. It's like starting to tuneup your car by detailing the trunk.

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post #13 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by joesbucketorust
I think the "ruler trick" is actually putting a small bevel on the back, but a lot of people use it and like it. In any case, it's good of you to point out that you don't polish the entire back. It drives me nuts (yes, I know, it's a short trip) to hear people say "flatten the back, polish the back" and then see some newb with a stack of sandpaper trying to make the entire back surface of a 6-8" long iron look like a mirror. The chip-breaker covers all but the very tip and if the chip-breaker is sitting correctly then no wood shavings will ever tough the remaining 99% of the blade.
Actually, most of the experts are only talking about polishing the front 3-4 inches of the plane iron. The idea, I think, is that the it is done and won't have to be done again as you continue to sharpen the iron. You are exactly correct that "The Ruler Trick" creates a tiny micro bevel as the wire edge is removed and this tiny bit of the iron IS highly polished and so should result in the promised "scary sharp" edge. Every time you touch up the iron, then, you are polishing both sides of the plane iron. David Charlesworth says that these touch up sharpenings take about 4 minutes and that includes washing his hands after. I am not that good yet.

By the way, if anybody wants more detail from me on the ruler trick, wire edge removal or the bevel angles I use, please ask. I don't want to assume that folks are just panting to hear me drone on subjects they are already familiar with. :-)
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 07:11 PM
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I may not be understanding this correct so forgive me if I'm not, but what's the point of flattening the back if you then put a micro bevel on it. Surly by doing this you have removed the cutting edge from the back and placed it slightly forward.

So the back has nothing to do with the cutting edge,panting,panting.
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-26-2012, 07:43 PM
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You would be correct if the non beveled side of the plane iron weren't such a mess. I have both brand new planes (Wood River) and some classic old Stanley's and it is safe to say that none of the plane irons were even close to flat when I got them. If they aren't flat, then you can't put a good bevel on them and therefore they won't ever be sharp enough. It seems like a lot of work at the time, but it's worth it.

That is one reason that you start with short cross strokes and then longwise strokes. You get horizontal scratches from the cross strokes and when those have been completely removed by the long strokes you know you are flat. But getting that plane iron flat enough to put an edge on can be a bear. The low spots will drive you crazy: or at least they do me.
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post #16 of 18 Old 02-02-2012, 09:12 AM
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HandToolGuy this post is not meant as a attack on you or your methods and I hope you see it so.
I do know and except the importance of flattening the backs of chisels and plane irons but I'm not an expert like the guys you mention,just someone who has used sharp edge tools in one way or another for the last 45 years.

But that does not mean that my opinion is right and yours wrong just different.

I thought of explaining this but just walked away, the problem with experts is that you will always find one to express a different opinion to another one,anywho I came across this video and it explains my opinion a lot better than I could or want to.

I do believe that sharpening jigs have a place in explaining to beginners just what is meant by sharp.But don't believe that they should be used as a crutch for ever,that's JMHO.

Watch the video and read the comments and you will see where I'm coming from.
http://paulsellers.com/2012/01/sharp...-micro-bevels/
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post #17 of 18 Old 02-02-2012, 09:44 AM
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Hi Billy,

First of all, I DO NOT feel that I have been attacked. My understanding is that this forum is about folks sharing how they do things. We all grow from the exposure.

That said, none of the "experts" I quoted ever said that their method is the only way or even the best way. It is just the way he or she gets the best results. Often, they are teachers and they have developed their techniques over time as the best way to get the new kids up to speed. And, please note that the link you posted (and thank you for that) is from yet another expert teaching a class. :-)

I have read a ton of articles on sharpening and tried a bunch of different techniques. The stuff I put up is the stuff that works for me. I am not a fan of freehand sharpening, mostly because I have never gotten very good results with it. I personally do not feel that jigs = crutches, but, again, that's me.

But THE BEST sharpening advice I have ever read came from Christopher Schwarz (one of my personal hero's) when he said that the best way to learn to sharpen is to find whatever system works and then stick with that.

Again, many thanks for your response and the link. I hope that I never get the reputation here for taking differences of opinion as personal attacks.
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post #18 of 18 Old 02-02-2012, 10:54 AM
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HandToolGuy I agree with you 100% go what works for you and that's good advice to any body.
As for the expert`s I except they give their advice as honest opinions,but some times they can make it seam a lot more difficult than it actually is and really confuse a beginner,I'm not saying you are a beginner but have you tried it.


I will try most new ideas, I listened to a guy explain the ruler trick and tried it on a 2" slick, it rendered the slick totally useless in my opinion, then he say`s" it should only be used on plane blades".

Yea thanks.
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