Handplane Issue - No.4

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ED65

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Now your plane losing lock on the irons, that is a problem you need to address now even if it's currently only showing up on oak. Any plane worth its salt should hold setting and if it's not adjustments need to be made until it will; unfortunately however it can be because there's a mechanical issue with the plane that you can't directly fix but instead will need to work around.

First thing I think of when this happens is whether the lever cap is not original to the plane. I've experienced this myself on planes that look to be all of a piece (generally on cheaper planes) but I've created the problem more than once when trying to assemble a Frankenplane/harlequin from disparate parts, so I'm on the lookout for mismatched parts being the cause now when I find it on a plane I'm inspecting.

Some lever caps just don't work right on some frogs. If this is the case with yours you may have no choice (for now) but to snap the lever cap down, then tighten the screw a 1/4 turn or so (however much is necessary) so that the iron assembly is held firmly enough. Remember this also means you have to loosen this screw every time the lever cap has to come off. This is a pain, but necessary because while you can lever the lever cap's lock up using the shaft of a screwdriver this is bad practice, it can eventually wear the the lock so that it won't work properly and in the worst case snap the top off.
 

cookiemonster

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Sounds like you have been unlucky with the Axminster 3-in-1. I bought one of those as a factory second along with a block plane, and for the life of me I couldn't see what was wrong with either of them.

But the 3-in-1 iron has to be dead square. Do you know anyone (competent) with a grinding/sharpening wheel who could regrind it square for you? On an iron that thin it won't take more than a few minutes.
 

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bp122":270ib96c said:
Can you please explain it? I didn't follow this very well (homer)

The iron and cap are in some kind of tension, either attached together (which is the case even for old wooden irons - the cap iron will flex the iron and bow the pair of them slightly).

On a stanley plane, you have another source of tension - the lever cap, putting tension on two ends of the iron in a line (at the business end) and at a point (at the top of the frog). All of these things bias an iron to favoring the contact points at the bottom and top of the frog.

In old wooden planes, the back of the iron is intentionally concave to allow the bed to be flat but have the iron bed where you want it to. A smart infill maker will bias the bed of a plane a little bit, too, so that any minor movement over time won't affect the iron bedding at the points where pressure need to be (at the edge of the bevel just above the mouth and further up somewhere that a cap or wedge are putting tension on an iron).

When you look at a stanley plane, it may look like the iron is flat on the frog and you can see no light, but it's not bedding the way you think it is. All of the pressure is on a couple of points somewhere - it's unrealistic to think that any iron like that, and a relatively imprecisely made frog, will have even engineering-quality bedding like a machine way or something like that. The design is smart so that the work doesn't have to be perfect. When people spent time lapping frog faces into a mirror, etc, they're wasting their time.

Lastly, when I was in my learning phase about how to make a good working plane (so that I wouldn't go to the trouble of making tools and then have objects that work less well than my purchased tools), I learned to bias things in my favor like this. It's the same thing as not sharpening a full long before with a fine abrasive - you chance not getting the parts that count right because you're wasting time elsewhere. I noticed the jeweled bed on veritas planes, and I asked Rob Lee how they don't get irons high centering on a machined area like that, even just a little due to variation or seasoning, and he confirmed what I suspected - that they bias the beds to be lower in the middle to make sure the iron beds properly for a long time.

Over the years, I have probably had 75 stanley type planes - they come and go, but I'm out of the habit of bringing them in at this point. I have had exactly two that didn't work properly due to machined bits. One had some kind of slag-like nib on the frog sticking up, and I filed it off. It was a pain to use, but someone else suffered through it for years. Not sure what it was, but it was cast iron (it wasn't glue, etc).

The second plane that had a problem from the factory was a later model english stanley where the adjuster pawl was much thicker than the slot in the cap iron was wide. That left the iron suspended on the adjuster pawl just above the frog of the plane. It still worked, but it didn't work that well in terms of setting and adjusting (as you might expect it may not).

Engineering flatness isn't something that really goes with frog faces and plane irons on stanley type planes - the iron itself will never be flat enough under the tension of the lever cap to warrant it.
 

bp122

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cookiemonster":2opgesxn said:
Sounds like you have been unlucky with the Axminster 3-in-1. I bought one of those as a factory second along with a block plane, and for the life of me I couldn't see what was wrong with either of them.

But the 3-in-1 iron has to be dead square. Do you know anyone (competent) with a grinding/sharpening wheel who could regrind it square for you? On an iron that thin it won't take more than a few minutes.

I had seen similar feedback, which is why I bought it.
Anyway, I don't know anyone near me who has a grinder and knows how to use it. But I got myself an old 150W 150mm grinder with the blue wheel on it - which I understand is quite coarse. I'll look into a good stone for establishing new bevels on plane irons and chisels and then practice getting a new edge on some of them and then work on the 3-in-1.
 

bp122

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D_W":1wc1i3br said:
bp122":1wc1i3br said:
Can you please explain it? I didn't follow this very well (homer)

The iron and cap are in some kind of tension, either attached together (which is the case even for old wooden irons - the cap iron will flex the iron and bow the pair of them slightly).

On a stanley plane, you have another source of tension - the lever cap, putting tension on two ends of the iron in a line (at the business end) and at a point (at the top of the frog). All of these things bias an iron to favoring the contact points at the bottom and top of the frog.

In old wooden planes, the back of the iron is intentionally concave to allow the bed to be flat but have the iron bed where you want it to. A smart infill maker will bias the bed of a plane a little bit, too, so that any minor movement over time won't affect the iron bedding at the points where pressure need to be (at the edge of the bevel just above the mouth and further up somewhere that a cap or wedge are putting tension on an iron).

When you look at a stanley plane, it may look like the iron is flat on the frog and you can see no light, but it's not bedding the way you think it is. All of the pressure is on a couple of points somewhere - it's unrealistic to think that any iron like that, and a relatively imprecisely made frog, will have even engineering-quality bedding like a machine way or something like that. The design is smart so that the work doesn't have to be perfect. When people spent time lapping frog faces into a mirror, etc, they're wasting their time.

Lastly, when I was in my learning phase about how to make a good working plane (so that I wouldn't go to the trouble of making tools and then have objects that work less well than my purchased tools), I learned to bias things in my favor like this. It's the same thing as not sharpening a full long before with a fine abrasive - you chance not getting the parts that count right because you're wasting time elsewhere. I noticed the jeweled bed on veritas planes, and I asked Rob Lee how they don't get irons high centering on a machined area like that, even just a little due to variation or seasoning, and he confirmed what I suspected - that they bias the beds to be lower in the middle to make sure the iron beds properly for a long time.

Over the years, I have probably had 75 stanley type planes - they come and go, but I'm out of the habit of bringing them in at this point. I have had exactly two that didn't work properly due to machined bits. One had some kind of slag-like nib on the frog sticking up, and I filed it off. It was a pain to use, but someone else suffered through it for years. Not sure what it was, but it was cast iron (it wasn't glue, etc).

The second plane that had a problem from the factory was a later model english stanley where the adjuster pawl was much thicker than the slot in the cap iron was wide. That left the iron suspended on the adjuster pawl just above the frog of the plane. It still worked, but it didn't work that well in terms of setting and adjusting (as you might expect it may not).

Engineering flatness isn't something that really goes with frog faces and plane irons on stanley type planes - the iron itself will never be flat enough under the tension of the lever cap to warrant it.

Thank you for the in-depth explanation. I knew the blade would be in tension, but didn't know until just now that it doesn't rest on the frog flat.

I do have a question about this - if you are looking at a plane front on, there are three important horizontal lines:
1. Cutting edge of the blade
2. Edge of the cap iron meeting the blade just above the cutting edge (As I understand it in broad terms, smaller the gap - finer the cut)
3. The line of the bottom end of the lever cap.

Now, it may be obvious that the #1 (blade edge) should be truly square to the plane body (lengthwise, ideally) and #2 should also be true to get an even shaving thickness across the width of the blade.
What about #3? Sometimes I have noticed, my lever cap sits a bit wonky and the bottom edge of it is at a slight angle to #2. I have only noticed it after planing for a while.
Since this is a line contact between the blade-cap iron combo and the lever cap, this line being not parallel has adverse effect on the tension, position and performance of the blade?

Just to clarify - this doesn't really bother me or keep me up at night, but just a wonderment.
 

D_W

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None of those things are critical that I'm aware of aside from #2 in your list and some decent bedding at the bottom of the frog (which will probably occur by design). if the lever cap is off kilter from the cap iron a little bit, i doubt it matters (but you set that and it rotates, so it can't be that bad, or you can readjust).

In terms of what's really critical, an iron doesn't have to have parallel sides (some of them don't), and the sides of the iron and the plane don't need to be ideal to the sole. The sole needs to be functionally flat, the cap iron needs to be able to be adjusted parallel to the width of the sole and the iron itself needs to be ground and honed to be mated to the cap iron. if the cap is a tiny bit out of square but the plane adjusts fine, then grind the iron so that it matches the cap, not squareness. It's easier. I know that's not how most people visualize things, but if you learn to make small adjustments to the iron to keep it mated to the cap, the plane will always function well, and when you come across a plane with tapering sides on the iron (which is beneficial in a wedged plane), you won't be searching for a squareness that really isn't there because the sides of the iron aren't parallel to each other.

This is also preferable to adjusting the cap iron to make it perfectly square. Cap irons should only be adjusted if no other accommodations can be made (some of the older woodies are so poorly made that such a thing is necessary).
 

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I have a sorby proedge I bought on here. I also have abiding memories of honing guides and fettling planes and wet and dry on plate glass with rough as f### irons and planes I was trying to get true as a beginner while trying to take on much well intentioned advice. And I'm still a beginner. But I have a sorby and I'm glad I do.
Send me your irons for your (3?) planes and I'll grind them all at 90 degrees with whatever bevel you want as long as its a preset sorby one. 25 degrees should be grand.
Pm with your address etc.
Cheers
Chris.
 

ED65

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bp122":18mj2cqc said:
What about #3? Sometimes I have noticed, my lever cap sits a bit wonky and the bottom edge of it is at a slight angle to #2. I have only noticed it after planing for a while.
If it's slipping in use you need to tighten the screw further. IMO it's worth having a dedicated screwdriver for this purpose, one that spans most or all of the screw slots on cap-iron screws. You can make an ad hoc thing from a large washer if need be!

Unless you're doing finish planing the cap iron's leading edge does not need to be perfectly parallel with the cutting edge. It's good if it is, but not absolutely vital so don't sweat it too much if you're not using your no. 4 for finishing planing. If you're using your 6 as a fore plane it's even less vital there, if you're using it as a jointer then yes it is desirable for them to be parallel (and ideally square too).

In a rare case of disagreeing with D_W I think a cap iron's edge should be made square to its sides (assuming it isn't already, generally they are or pretty darn close unless previously messed with, damaged by a drop or worn through heavy use). Then the cutting iron should be adjusted to match and afterwards just kept that way.

I find this idea much preferable to maintaining an iron in an out-of-square condition permanently, something that would go double for someone using a honing guide.
 

ED65

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bp122":30s2jycw said:
But I got myself an old 150W 150mm grinder with the blue wheel on it - which I understand is quite coarse.
Not ideal but may still be usable. Better types of stones keep the steel cooler (not cool, they just don't get it as hot as fast) but if you don't grind right to an edge, which you're not supposed to anyway when grinding conventionally, overheating is not too likely.

And of course you can dunk the steel into cold water periodically to cool it as and when needed. The lower power of the grinder may be working in your favour here since lower speed aids in not overheating too.
 

Nigel Burden

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I was going to mention not getting the iron hot.

My cheap old B&Q grinder will blue an iron in no time. I keep a jar of water handy, and to avoid overheating I make one pass, dunk, one pass, dunk, this avoids overheating. I find that the belt sander, which has adjustable speeds does the job ok on the rare occasion that I need anything other than just honing the iron free hand.

Nigel.
 

D_W

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ED65":9kgcqxuj said:
In a rare case of disagreeing with D_W I think a cap iron's edge should be made square to its sides (assuming it isn't already, generally they are or pretty darn close unless previously messed with, damaged by a drop or worn through heavy use). Then the cutting iron should be adjusted to match and afterwards just kept that way.

if one is married to a grinding and honing solution that only works dead square, this maybe necessary (especially if the hand skill for it not to be isn't there, and hand tool use is otherwise limited, anyway).

The freehand grinding skill to match the cap iron is miles more useful in the long term, though, and it doesn't risk damaging a cap iron that's otherwise working well.

If I went and did a presentation at a woodworking club on grinding and sharpening, I'd bet 3/4ths of the room couldn't set up a moving fillister plane because they wouldn't understand the concept of checking the iron against the sole and adjusting by touch. If you're going to use a moving fillister a lot, detaching from knowing angles or checking them (it doesn't matter what they are, it matters that you're honing the iron relative to the sole of the plane) will make it so that sharpening and grinding a skew plane takes the same amount of time as any other plane.

Limited tool use (plenty of people would wonder why you'd use a moving fillister plane instead of a router, let alone why you would pick up a vintage wooden plane that may have a cap iron that's fairly far off - and then compound that by having an iron that's tapered in along its length - there is no square)....anyway, limited tool use may make it so that this isn't a useful skill. But less than limited, especially if you get into making some of your own tools on top of that - it's monstrously useful.

I work in isolation, though. The guy who got me into woodworking thinks I'm an oddball luddite (he's even English living in the states here) - I don't know what an average woodworker does. I started with all of the square stuff, and the very prescriptive jigs, etc. It was aggravation.
 

bp122

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D_W":7dwpg41l said:
None of those things are critical that I'm aware of aside from #2 in your list and some decent bedding at the bottom of the frog (which will probably occur by design). if the lever cap is off kilter from the cap iron a little bit, i doubt it matters (but you set that and it rotates, so it can't be that bad, or you can readjust).

In terms of what's really critical, an iron doesn't have to have parallel sides (some of them don't), and the sides of the iron and the plane don't need to be ideal to the sole. The sole needs to be functionally flat, the cap iron needs to be able to be adjusted parallel to the width of the sole and the iron itself needs to be ground and honed to be mated to the cap iron. if the cap is a tiny bit out of square but the plane adjusts fine, then grind the iron so that it matches the cap, not squareness. It's easier. I know that's not how most people visualize things, but if you learn to make small adjustments to the iron to keep it mated to the cap, the plane will always function well, and when you come across a plane with tapering sides on the iron (which is beneficial in a wedged plane), you won't be searching for a squareness that really isn't there because the sides of the iron aren't parallel to each other.

This is also preferable to adjusting the cap iron to make it perfectly square. Cap irons should only be adjusted if no other accommodations can be made (some of the older woodies are so poorly made that such a thing is necessary).

Understood. Thank you for the clarification :)

Bm101":7dwpg41l said:
I have a sorby proedge I bought on here. I also have abiding memories of honing guides and fettling planes and wet and dry on plate glass with rough as f### irons and planes I was trying to get true as a beginner while trying to take on much well intentioned advice. And I'm still a beginner. But I have a sorby and I'm glad I do.
Send me your irons for your (3?) planes and I'll grind them all at 90 degrees with whatever bevel you want as long as its a preset sorby one. 25 degrees should be grand.
Pm with your address etc.
Cheers
Chris.

Thanks, Chris. That is very kind of you. I will arrange for that as soon as possible and send you a PM with the details.

ED65":7dwpg41l said:
If it's slipping in use you need to tighten the screw further. IMO it's worth having a dedicated screwdriver for this purpose, one that spans most or all of the screw slots on cap-iron screws. You can make an ad hoc thing from a large washer if need be!

Unless you're doing finish planing the cap iron's leading edge does not need to be perfectly parallel with the cutting edge. It's good if it is, but not absolutely vital so don't sweat it too much if you're not using your no. 4 for finishing planing. If you're using your 6 as a fore plane it's even less vital there, if you're using it as a jointer then yes it is desirable for them to be parallel (and ideally square too).

In a rare case of disagreeing with D_W I think a cap iron's edge should be made square to its sides (assuming it isn't already, generally they are or pretty darn close unless previously messed with, damaged by a drop or worn through heavy use). Then the cutting iron should be adjusted to match and afterwards just kept that way.

I find this idea much preferable to maintaining an iron in an out-of-square condition permanently, something that would go double for someone using a honing guide.

Good point about the wide screwdriver. I struggled with it at first, but then watched Paul Sellers use the lever cap's bottom edge to do the job. It made sense so I am using that until I find a better solution.

I do want to keep my No.4 for smoothing, as I like the surface that way. I'll set it up carefully.

ED65":7dwpg41l said:
bp122":7dwpg41l said:
But I got myself an old 150W 150mm grinder with the blue wheel on it - which I understand is quite coarse.
Not ideal but may still be usable. Better types of stones keep the steel cooler (not cool, they just don't get it as hot as fast) but if you don't grind right to an edge, which you're not supposed to anyway when grinding conventionally, overheating is not too likely.

And of course you can dunk the steel into cold water periodically to cool it as and when needed. The lower power of the grinder may be working in your favour here since lower speed aids in not overheating too.

What stone do you recommend which would do most jobs if not all?

Nigel Burden":7dwpg41l said:
I was going to mention not getting the iron hot.

My cheap old B&Q grinder will blue an iron in no time. I keep a jar of water handy, and to avoid overheating I make one pass, dunk, one pass, dunk, this avoids overheating. I find that the belt sander, which has adjustable speeds does the job ok on the rare occasion that I need anything other than just honing the iron free hand.

Nigel.

Cheers, Nigel. I'll keep that in mind. What stone do you use?

D_W":7dwpg41l said:
if one is married to a grinding and honing solution that only works dead square, this maybe necessary (especially if the hand skill for it not to be isn't there, and hand tool use is otherwise limited, anyway).

The freehand grinding skill to match the cap iron is miles more useful in the long term, though, and it doesn't risk damaging a cap iron that's otherwise working well.

If I went and did a presentation at a woodworking club on grinding and sharpening, I'd bet 3/4ths of the room couldn't set up a moving fillister plane because they wouldn't understand the concept of checking the iron against the sole and adjusting by touch. If you're going to use a moving fillister a lot, detaching from knowing angles or checking them (it doesn't matter what they are, it matters that you're honing the iron relative to the sole of the plane) will make it so that sharpening and grinding a skew plane takes the same amount of time as any other plane.

Limited tool use (plenty of people would wonder why you'd use a moving fillister plane instead of a router, let alone why you would pick up a vintage wooden plane that may have a cap iron that's fairly far off - and then compound that by having an iron that's tapered in along its length - there is no square)....anyway, limited tool use may make it so that this isn't a useful skill. But less than limited, especially if you get into making some of your own tools on top of that - it's monstrously useful.

I work in isolation, though. The guy who got me into woodworking thinks I'm an oddball luddite (he's even English living in the states here) - I don't know what an average woodworker does. I started with all of the square stuff, and the very prescriptive jigs, etc. It was aggravation.

I tried freehand a few times, the bevel looks like a crumpled tinfoil :D :D :D :D :D
 

D_W

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Definitely stop short of the bevel freehand grinding - that's part of the key. Stop just short of the bevel, manage the angle overall with a medium stone and work the back of the iron and only the very tip with a fine stone. What's manage the angle with a medium stone mean? It means if you need to remove some material from the high side of a bevel, then raise a larger wire edge on that side than on the other. Do that each time you hone if anything is off, and nothing will ever be off far enough to worry about doing more than just that.

Easy.

Once you grind all the way through the bevel, best to go check with the medium stone where the "line" of the edge will be so that you don't keep grinding the overground parts further while you're attempting to knock down the high spots.
 

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No probs. BP. If you can put together a little cardboard wrapping that I can open 1 end of with a knife etc and readdress easily that would make life easier for me. Will also stop postie from knocking irons together or cutting his finger off. Always good.
Cheers

Chris
 

Nigel Burden

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bp122":353l2txx said:
D_W":353l2txx said:
None of those things are critical that I'm aware of aside from #2 in your list and some decent bedding at the bottom of the frog (which will probably occur by design). if the lever cap is off kilter from the cap iron a little bit, i doubt it matters (but you set that and it rotates, so it can't be that bad, or you can readjust).

In terms of what's really critical, an iron doesn't have to have parallel sides (some of them don't), and the sides of the iron and the plane don't need to be ideal to the sole. The sole needs to be functionally flat, the cap iron needs to be able to be adjusted parallel to the width of the sole and the iron itself needs to be ground and honed to be mated to the cap iron. if the cap is a tiny bit out of square but the plane adjusts fine, then grind the iron so that it matches the cap, not squareness. It's easier. I know that's not how most people visualize things, but if you learn to make small adjustments to the iron to keep it mated to the cap, the plane will always function well, and when you come across a plane with tapering sides on the iron (which is beneficial in a wedged plane), you won't be searching for a squareness that really isn't there because the sides of the iron aren't parallel to each other.

This is also preferable to adjusting the cap iron to make it perfectly square. Cap irons should only be adjusted if no other accommodations can be made (some of the older woodies are so poorly made that such a thing is necessary).

Understood. Thank you for the clarification :)

Bm101":353l2txx said:
I have a sorby proedge I bought on here. I also have abiding memories of honing guides and fettling planes and wet and dry on plate glass with rough as f### irons and planes I was trying to get true as a beginner while trying to take on much well intentioned advice. And I'm still a beginner. But I have a sorby and I'm glad I do.
Send me your irons for your (3?) planes and I'll grind them all at 90 degrees with whatever bevel you want as long as its a preset sorby one. 25 degrees should be grand.
Pm with your address etc.
Cheers
Chris.

Thanks, Chris. That is very kind of you. I will arrange for that as soon as possible and send you a PM with the details.

ED65":353l2txx said:
If it's slipping in use you need to tighten the screw further. IMO it's worth having a dedicated screwdriver for this purpose, one that spans most or all of the screw slots on cap-iron screws. You can make an ad hoc thing from a large washer if need be!

Unless you're doing finish planing the cap iron's leading edge does not need to be perfectly parallel with the cutting edge. It's good if it is, but not absolutely vital so don't sweat it too much if you're not using your no. 4 for finishing planing. If you're using your 6 as a fore plane it's even less vital there, if you're using it as a jointer then yes it is desirable for them to be parallel (and ideally square too).

In a rare case of disagreeing with D_W I think a cap iron's edge should be made square to its sides (assuming it isn't already, generally they are or pretty darn close unless previously messed with, damaged by a drop or worn through heavy use). Then the cutting iron should be adjusted to match and afterwards just kept that way.

I find this idea much preferable to maintaining an iron in an out-of-square condition permanently, something that would go double for someone using a honing guide.

Good point about the wide screwdriver. I struggled with it at first, but then watched Paul Sellers use the lever cap's bottom edge to do the job. It made sense so I am using that until I find a better solution.

I do want to keep my No.4 for smoothing, as I like the surface that way. I'll set it up carefully.

ED65":353l2txx said:
bp122":353l2txx said:
But I got myself an old 150W 150mm grinder with the blue wheel on it - which I understand is quite coarse.
Not ideal but may still be usable. Better types of stones keep the steel cooler (not cool, they just don't get it as hot as fast) but if you don't grind right to an edge, which you're not supposed to anyway when grinding conventionally, overheating is not too likely.

And of course you can dunk the steel into cold water periodically to cool it as and when needed. The lower power of the grinder may be working in your favour here since lower speed aids in not overheating too.

What stone do you recommend which would do most jobs if not all?

Nigel Burden":353l2txx said:
I was going to mention not getting the iron hot.

My cheap old B&Q grinder will blue an iron in no time. I keep a jar of water handy, and to avoid overheating I make one pass, dunk, one pass, dunk, this avoids overheating. I find that the belt sander, which has adjustable speeds does the job ok on the rare occasion that I need anything other than just honing the iron free hand.

Nigel.

Cheers, Nigel. I'll keep that in mind. What stone do you use?

D_W":353l2txx said:
if one is married to a grinding and honing solution that only works dead square, this maybe necessary (especially if the hand skill for it not to be isn't there, and hand tool use is otherwise limited, anyway).

The freehand grinding skill to match the cap iron is miles more useful in the long term, though, and it doesn't risk damaging a cap iron that's otherwise working well.

If I went and did a presentation at a woodworking club on grinding and sharpening, I'd bet 3/4ths of the room couldn't set up a moving fillister plane because they wouldn't understand the concept of checking the iron against the sole and adjusting by touch. If you're going to use a moving fillister a lot, detaching from knowing angles or checking them (it doesn't matter what they are, it matters that you're honing the iron relative to the sole of the plane) will make it so that sharpening and grinding a skew plane takes the same amount of time as any other plane.

Limited tool use (plenty of people would wonder why you'd use a moving fillister plane instead of a router, let alone why you would pick up a vintage wooden plane that may have a cap iron that's fairly far off - and then compound that by having an iron that's tapered in along its length - there is no square)....anyway, limited tool use may make it so that this isn't a useful skill. But less than limited, especially if you get into making some of your own tools on top of that - it's monstrously useful.

I work in isolation, though. The guy who got me into woodworking thinks I'm an oddball luddite (he's even English living in the states here) - I don't know what an average woodworker does. I started with all of the square stuff, and the very prescriptive jigs, etc. It was aggravation.

I tried freehand a few times, the bevel looks like a crumpled tinfoil :D :D :D :D :D

I actually haven't got a clue what the stones are, but they're the originals. The grinder is about thirty years old, and to be honest back in those days it was just a grinder. I had no idea about different stones and their characteristics. I very rarely use it, I'm just aware that it will blue a blade if you don't dunk regularly. As it's not used very much I'm not going to spend out on new wheels. I'm sure that someone on the forum will be along soon with advice regarding the best stone to use.

Nigel.
 

D_W

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If you're grinding with any hard/older wheel, find one of the cheap T dressers that are made in china. Even a $6 wheel freshly dressed will generally grind tool steel without too much heat (you can prove me wrong by leaning on a blade and letting it sit stationary on a wheel, but hopefully that's not the aim).
 

Nigel Burden

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I use one of those T dressers, and I definitely lean on the blade. Just a reasonably light touch and dunk regularly.

Nigel.
 

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bp122":91h0k6ea said:
Good point about the wide screwdriver. I struggled with it at first, but then watched Paul Sellers use the lever cap's bottom edge to do the job. It made sense so I am using that until I find a better solution.
Yeah, as I think Paul says occasionally (as he looks sheepishly at the camera) you should really do this. It's one of those things where you can get away with it, until you don't. Takes all of two minutes to modify a large washer to suit. Lock it in a cheap vice-grips, job done for now.

bp122":91h0k6ea said:
What stone do you recommend which would do most jobs if not all?
It depends on what you mean by most jobs.

For grinding tool steel only if you can afford it a CBN wheel is the pinnacle of grinder wheels. Their price has come down as their popularity has grown so although they're not cheap cheap they're not eye-wateringly expensive as they once were.

If you want a grinder wheel for any sorts of grinding that you might want to do what you have there is probably fine, maybe even ideal, as long as the surface isn't glazed. Glazing makes a wheel cut much more slowly, increasing friction and the chance of overheating. This isn't critical on everything, it's no problem really just grinding down the end of a bolt or other random non-cutting-tool grinder jobs, but on something already hardened where you want to maintain temper (even a screwdriver) it's best to have a fresh surface. Then just grind a bit and cool, grind a bit and cool and don't get too close to a sharp edge and you'll be fine.

This isn't an either/or situation, you can have both of these types fitted on the same grinder if you like.
 

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D_W":24pdessw said:
If you're grinding with any hard/older wheel, find one of the cheap T dressers that are made in china. Even a $6 wheel freshly dressed will generally grind tool steel without too much heat (you can prove me wrong by leaning on a blade and letting it sit stationary on a wheel, but hopefully that's not the aim).

Thank you. I will get the T dresser. The wheels on the grinder are the light blue ones - which I believe is the general purpose grinding wheels.

ED65":24pdessw said:
For grinding tool steel only if you can afford it a CBN wheel is the pinnacle of grinder wheels. Their price has come down as their popularity has grown so although they're not cheap cheap they're not eye-wateringly expensive as they once were.

If you want a grinder wheel for any sorts of grinding that you might want to do what you have there is probably fine, maybe even ideal, as long as the surface isn't glazed. Glazing makes a wheel cut much more slowly, increasing friction and the chance of overheating. This isn't critical on everything, it's no problem really just grinding down the end of a bolt or other random non-cutting-tool grinder jobs, but on something already hardened where you want to maintain temper (even a screwdriver) it's best to have a fresh surface. Then just grind a bit and cool, grind a bit and cool and don't get too close to a sharp edge and you'll be fine.

This isn't an either/or situation, you can have both of these types fitted on the same grinder if you like.

Thank you, good to know! Is there a risk of shattered / internally cracked wheels with old grinders? I just didn't want abrasive bits flying towards me :D
Also, on my grinder, I want to keep a grinding wheel on one side and a sire wheel / polishing mop on the other.
 

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