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post #21 of 51 Old 02-14-2013, 04:53 PM
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STAR (Hi Pete) Brings up the most basic of points = there are a bunch of different methods for sharpening tools. For the job that the edge is expected to do, pick a method. Use it, learn it.

The strop and water stones (1K & 4K) have worked very well for me for years.
But, as I began to make more and more use of crooked knives, all that goes out the window
and I had to pick up another method to deal with the progressive sweeps in those blades.
The very best strop, in those cases, is a strip of cereal box cardboard, chrome green, wrapped around a stick. Any wheel, any flat strop = useless.
Hindsight tells me now that those knives were the real learning experience. Even then, I show you some old, 15 degree pictures. Too much chatter so I've recently changed every one of them to 12 degrees.

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post #22 of 51 Old 02-14-2013, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillemJM View Post
For carving chisels I hone with a fiber wheel on a bench grinder.
Willem, can you post more info about these fiber wheels? I don't think I am familiar with them.
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post #23 of 51 Old 02-14-2013, 10:37 PM
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I bought a Stanley (England) #64 Spokeshave. My intentions are to make some spokes, some kitchen tool handles, in the range of 0.75" - 1" diameter. I'll explain later.
For the price ( $36.00) , this is an indescribable piece of crap.
I can repair it. I will repair it. I will be breathing FIRE if I ever have to speak to that venerable company. What are they thinking?
In this day and age, any fool wanting a spoke shave is unlikely to be repairing 16th century wagons.
Don't hold your breath, but I will document every step of the repair.
There's a divot out of the bevel edge that even a dog could find.
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post #24 of 51 Old 02-15-2013, 07:29 AM
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I tried the low cost way; free hand with a combo water stone. I quickly understood that I lack the skills to get the edge I wanted. I bought a set waterstones, a diamond steel to flatten the stones and a Veritas guide with built-in micro bevel offset. Never had another issue sharpening chisels, planes or whatever.
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post #25 of 51 Old 02-15-2013, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Curl View Post
Willem, can you post more info about these fiber wheels? I don't think I am familiar with them.
Once a chisel has the main bevel grinded on a normal 8" bench grinder wheel, I go to one of the wheels below to hone the secondary bevel and flatten the back. I almost never go back to the grinder. It takes seconds to re-sharpen. If I do wood carving, this is a great effortless way to keep chisels razor sharp all the time and depending on the pressure one puts on the fiber wheel one can get a micro bevel that works really well.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/G5939

http://www.grizzly.com/products/T24201

Pure mathematics is, in it's way, the poetry of logical ideas. - Albert Einstein.
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post #26 of 51 Old 02-15-2013, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillemJM View Post
Once a chisel has the main bevel grinded on a normal 8" bench grinder wheel, I go to one of the wheels below to hone the secondary bevel and flatten the back. I almost never go back to the grinder. It takes seconds to re-sharpen. If I do wood carving, this is a great effortless way to keep chisels razor sharp all the time and depending on the pressure one puts on the fiber wheel one can get a micro bevel that works really well.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/G5939

http://www.grizzly.com/products/T24201
willem, thanks for that link.

i have a homemade grinding wheel setup, but it is incomplete in that it doesn't have a way to hold something (like a chisel) at a set angle. i should try to figure out a way to incorporate something like that into it. then the problem i have with the robert larson jig for chisels would be addressed.
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post #27 of 51 Old 02-15-2013, 09:44 AM
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Sharpening

I became OCD with sharpening. I used guides, honing wheels on a grinder, you name it.
Now I free hand both the primary and microbevel. I touch up the microbevel using Veritas diamond paper. About three swipes and I am good to go again.
It did not take long to get free hand down once I quit being anal about it and realized what I was doing showed up as damn good in the finish and fluffy shavings.
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post #28 of 51 Old 02-15-2013, 11:56 AM
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I find that the more I think about sharpening and trying to get a perfect edge, the worse the edges get. Here's my current routine.

1) For REALLY BAD edges. Big nicks, incorrectly skewed blades, and chisels with inconsistent bevels.
I hate bench grinders (though I'm thinking about trying to find a good hand-cranked one), so I don't use one. I have a collet that's designed to attach flat sanding disks -- almost cutoff wheels -- to an electric drill. I put that in my drill press, and hold the blade to a ramp bolted to the drill press table. The ramp is cut at whatever angle I want to grind at. The disk is about 80 grit, and leaves the blade a huge mess, but it also cuts fast, and it's easy to make short, controlled cuts by lowering the disk onto the blade.

2) Until the last month or so, I used an old, old Brookstone oil stone. The company no longer has any record of ever having produced it, by my father had it for well over 20 years before he gave it to me. It's still flat to within the limits of my ability to test. It's got a coarse side and a fine side, and it works well. The coarse side is good for starting out a badly dulled blade -- or one that was ground with my drill press jig -- and the fine side gets a blade almost sharp enough to use.

I still have that in my travel kit, but I was given a DMT three-stone diamond set (one of these) which has replaced the oil stone for bench work. My shop has been packed up to move, so I haven't had a chance to play with them much, but I suspect they'll remain the replacement for quite a while.

3) Finally, i have a strop for final polishing and mid-job touch-up. I'm currently using a yellow compound the guy at WoodCraft talked me into, and it seems to work. He claimed it was far better than the green stuff, but I really don't know.


As for technique... I've written about this a couple of times recently, and I'm beginning to think I should just type it up as a blog entry and start posting links to it. I started out trying the scary sharp sandpaper method with a side-clamp jig. Yeah, it worked, sort of, but I had a lot of trouble with consistency, and it never felt like I was getting things as sharp as they really could be. Fortuitously, I attended a talk given by Paul Sellers at a Wood Show about a year ago, and he talked about how he sharpens. I figured it couldn't be worse than what I was doing, so I pulled out the old oilstone and gave it a try. Go look up "Paul Sellers sharpening" on YouTube for his explanation, but the short version is this, with the same technique on the fine and coarse stones (he has three, I had two until the end of December).

Start the blade at the edge of the stone nearest you, with the blade at about a 30 degree angle to the stone. Push forward, letting your hand drop until the blade is around 20-25 degrees to the stone. Pull back and raise it to 30 again. Repeat. When you're done with the coarse stone, do the same thing with the medium and the fine.

When you're done with the three stones, pull the back of the blade across the stone once to remove the burr. Then move to the strop: hold the bevel down hard against the charged strop, and pull back 30 times. After that, put the back of the blade flat against the strop, press down hard, and pull it across a few times.

Using this method, I've been getting a better edge every time I sharpen for a year or so. As I said, most of my shop has been packed up for quite a while so I haven't gotten perfect results, but it's clear that the tools work better each time I sharpen them, so I'm going to keep on with this method.
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post #29 of 51 Old 02-15-2013, 01:55 PM
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Thanks Alex: perfect example of my point = pick a method. Use it. Learn it.
I don't use oil stones unless there's been a disaster.
BUT for you, you get edges that you like, if/when you start there.
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post #30 of 51 Old 02-15-2013, 02:00 PM
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For me, I try to keep it simple. Wet/dry paper on two panes of glass glued together if I need to flatten a back, correct a bevel or flatten water stones. Honing is done on a combo water stone of 1000/6000. I use one of the inexpensive guides with the single wheels in the back for plane blades. For chisels, I free hand them with no problems even down to my tiny 1/8" chisel.

"Good Behavior is the last refuge of mediocrity" -- Henry S. Haskins
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post #31 of 51 Old 02-15-2013, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
Thanks Alex: perfect example of my point = pick a method. Use it. Learn it.
I don't use oil stones unless there's been a disaster.
BUT for you, you get edges that you like, if/when you start there.

Exactly. And if the method you're using doesn't work for you after a fair shake, move on.

That said, I'm not doing precision carving or anything... mortises and dovetails are pretty much what I use my chisels for, so I don't need quite the fine edge that a carver does. If I start doing carving, I may find that I want a different system.
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post #32 of 51 Old 02-15-2013, 03:07 PM
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It's a myth that one system/method is far better than all others. What are the tools? What are those edges supposed to do?

I comprehend "carving sharp" as just a slightly different way of thinking about the edges: flat, curved, Vee. 30 minutes max and it needs tuning up.

I have learned one thing about my carving tools = if I have to, I can start with 1,500 grit and go to the strop from that. 4,000 grit and up is not necessary. I still get glassy cuts in mahogany, birch, rosewood, and my favorite, Western Red Cedar. Don't believe the softwood hooey. Some WRC is a whole lot tougher than birch.

If I held my wood carvings in one hand and carved with straight-bladed knives better than scalpels, TomZ or Tormek could be the power way to go. But, totally useless equipment for crooked knives.

I really admire dovetail corners. The appearance. Ignorant of the mechanical properties. I'd want good edges for a nice fit.
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post #33 of 51 Old 02-16-2013, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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To address the problem of holding chisels with the Robert Larson guide, I am making one of these this weekend.

It uses a wedge to hold the blade in place, very much like the old planes. If a wedge can hold it in place during planing, it damn well better be able to hold it in place during sharpening.
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post #34 of 51 Old 02-17-2013, 08:33 PM
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I am still new to the forum but one thing about me is that I think I enjoy sharpening my tools a bit more than I do using them. I also think I am much better at sharpening than I am at woodworking.

I love using my whetstones but about 2 years ago I purchased 3 different grits of Diamond plates.

I love those things.

I usually use a bit of dish soap in water as a honing solution, depending on the task, so cleanup of the plates is usually a matter of running them under some water and hitting them with a dish brush. For the longest time this is how I kept my plates clean.

Then I saw a video of a different brand of diamond plate that came with a little cleaning block. I wasn't sure what the block was but I was curious about it after having seen it used and the results it produced.

I looked around at some reviews of the plate and finally found someone who commented on the cleaning block. They claimed that it had appeared to be a regular old pencil eraser.

Well, whether it is or isn't I thought I would try a pink pencil eraser on one of my older more beat up looking plates.

So, without even believing the results I got and not even being sure if what I used was the same thing the diamond plate looked bright as the day I bought it and the cutting surface was back to a condition that I hadn't even realized it lost.

So given that there are so many tips in this thread on sharpening and so many techniques I thought I would offer my little trick on cleaning those diamond plates should you have any that need it.

I didn't invent this but was so excited about the results I got with just a standard pink eraser I had to share.

also, I did not proofread this. Sorry.
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post #35 of 51 Old 02-17-2013, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a home made honing guide for plane irons.

It works great.
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post #36 of 51 Old 02-18-2013, 12:19 AM
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What is the strop used for?
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post #37 of 51 Old 02-18-2013, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Here is my honing station. I secure the paper at the front for a couple of reasons:

- it helps keep the edges from curling up as much
- I can use both hands
- That is the only place where I can easily put clamps
- I can also hone the back of the blade with it open in the front

I start at the front with the edge of the blade on the paper closest to me, and push it away from me.

This is, right to left, 100, 500, 800, and 1500 grits.

nbo10, the strop would be used with a bar of polishing compound to put the final mirror polish on the blade. I recently got a cloth wheel for my drill and polish on clearance at Sears, so now I use that.
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post #38 of 51 Old 02-18-2013, 06:12 PM
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If I need to grind out nicks or square up a blade, I use my belt sander, with the blade riding in a honing guide I got in a kit from Stanley for $10,95. I run the sander away from the point of the tool, until if has a nice clean edge at about 25 for a plane, less for a chisel. With a new chisel or plane blade, or one I've just ground as above, I put the blade in the honing buide and set it about 3 higher than the original setting. I rub this on a 1000x waterstone untilI have a good, even secondary bevel, then I put the guide on a 4000x waterstone until it is very shiny. I then turn the blade over, lay it along the stone and put a thin ruler or other piece of metal under the top of the blade, and rub in small circles until there is a slim polished edge on the back of the tip of hte blade. When I get a wire edge, I take the blade and rub the wire edge off without removing the blade from the guide. I can take shavings down in the low thousandths of an inch, so it must be OK.

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post #39 of 51 Old 02-18-2013, 07:52 PM
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nbo, to me, the "strop" is the object and to "hone" is the action part.
I use a hard leather strop with chromium oxide honing compound. 0.5 micron nominal particle size.
Many say that's about 50,000 grit. Don't really care.
Besides putting a nice finish on a bevel, the honing process makes my tools "carving sharp." That is the part that concerns me most. That edge will last about 30 minutes.
For crooked knives, I use a 3/4" piece of aluminum tubing wrapped with cereal box cardboard and scrubbed into the chunk of chrome green. Flat sharpening gear is not at all useful.
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post #40 of 51 Old 02-21-2013, 01:13 PM
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For chisels once the bevel is established, 25-30 degrees I use a 1000 grit waterstone. I raise the chisel up a few degrees from the original bevel and take enough swipes on the 1k waterstone until I feel a burr going all the way across. Then I change to a 8k waterstone and raise it just a little bit more and take a few swipes...tough to feel any burr but I take a look and see if the "shine" is going all the way across the bevel...if so then I rub the back over the 8k a few times and call it done. This only takes a minute to do...very fast.
Now with plane blades I do the same but I use an old eclipse jig....
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