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Hello, and some questions

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Anonymous

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Hello. My name is Matt, and I have been lurking around this forum for a little while now. I have signed up because I am just starting out with woodworking and this forum is one of the most informative I have come across. I am posting my introduction in hand tools because I don't really own any power tools (and don't have any plans to buy any soon). The reason for this is because I have very limited space to work, and need to be fairly quiet when I am working. I also love the look of hand tools and the idea of making stuff with them.

Questions:
I recently bought a set of 4 Narex chisels from Lee Valley and have been using the Scary Sharp method for sharpening them. After I have flattened the back and made my primary bevel, do I start with roughest sandpaper for the secondary bevel? or do I start from a higher grit (such as 600 or 800)? Would I also start with this higher grit when I am removing the burr?

One of my other purchases was a Veritas 5 1/4 (I kind of regret not just buying a 4, but I liked the 5 1/4 when I was flattening out the top of my bench). When I am sharpening the blade I heard you want to slightly round it to avoid tearing the edges of the wood. Are you supposed to only round out the blade on the secondary bevel? or do you do it on the primary bevel? Also (since this is my only plane) I was wondering what type I should buy next. I am leaning towards a block plane since that seems the most all around useful.

There are so many more questions I have to ask but I can't manage think of them right now. Anyway, thanks in advance for your comments and answers. I know I will be learning a lot from all of you (and bugging you in the mean time).
 

Midnight

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matt... welcome aboard...

stick around, you'll get some fine answers real soon.. :wink:
 

Noel

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Matt, good to have you along. I do my chisels my way so I think I won't be much assistance to you. I would've thought that once you had created the primary bevel it would be best to start the secondary bevel with something like a 240 or 320 or maybe even higher. If you used a low grit, there's a good chance that the area where the two bevels meet would be alot less defined, as well as possibly upsetting the finish on the lower area of the primary bevel. Bear in mind that you are removing alot less metal for the 2nd bevel and therefore a less abrasive grit should do.
Personally I always remove the burr with the same grit that I'm using on the bevel side before moving up a grade.
Try experimenting, it usually the best way of learning. Since you're a LV customer try Leonard Lee's sharpening book.
Can't really help you on the plane choice although a block plane sounds good.

Rgds

Noel
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for your reply, I did experiment a little with an old stanley chisel that had been laying around and was very neglected. Starting from the lower grits seemed to leave a very wide secondary bevel, that is why I was wondering if too large a bevel would be bad for the chisel overall.

I am also interested in any books that are very useful. Books that I will want to read many times and use as reference. I just don't like having books laying around that I read once through and will never look at again (I guess that's what a library is for). Even project books that focus on hand tools would be great... I can only seem to find ones that demonstrate building things with power tools.

Any other advice or knowledge that would be helpful to a future hand-tool junky would be great.
 

Aragorn

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Hi Matt
Welcome to the forum
Can't help much with your questions, but no doubt you'll get all the answers you need pretty soon!
 

Keith Smith

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matt andros":3mhide6e said:
Hello. My name is Matt, and I have been lurking around this forum for a little while now. I have signed up because I am just starting out with woodworking and this forum is one of the most informative I have come across. I am posting my introduction in hand tools because I don't really own any power tools (and don't have any plans to buy any soon). The reason for this is because I have very limited space to work, and need to be fairly quiet when I am working. I also love the look of hand tools and the idea of making stuff with them.

Questions:
I recently bought a set of 4 Narex chisels from Lee Valley and have been using the Scary Sharp method for sharpening them. After I have flattened the back and made my primary bevel, do I start with roughest sandpaper for the secondary bevel? or do I start from a higher grit (such as 600 or 800)? Would I also start with this higher grit when I am removing the burr?

One of my other purchases was a Veritas 5 1/4 (I kind of regret not just buying a 4, but I liked the 5 1/4 when I was flattening out the top of my bench). When I am sharpening the blade I heard you want to slightly round it to avoid tearing the edges of the wood. Are you supposed to only round out the blade on the secondary bevel? or do you do it on the primary bevel? Also (since this is my only plane) I was wondering what type I should buy next. I am leaning towards a block plane since that seems the most all around useful.

There are so many more questions I have to ask but I can't manage think of them right now. Anyway, thanks in advance for your comments and answers. I know I will be learning a lot from all of you (and bugging you in the mean time).
Hi Matt and welcome to the forum,

I don't have a set regime for sharpening, some blades seem to need different grits than others to get a good edge reasonably quickly.

Generally for the primary bevel; I usually start with 250 grit and work up to 600, IMHO if the primary is not fine enough you will need to cut the secondary back further to get a good edge. For the secondary I start with 600 and work up to 1500 if you do it properly you should have little or no burr when you have finished, if you do end up with a slight burr it can be easily removed with the 1500 grit.

Rounding the edges only really becomes necessary if you are using the plane on boards wider than the plane blade, it only needs a very slight bevel to make a big difference, you are just looking to take the point off the corner. This is not the same as honing a curved blade though.

A block plane would probably be my next choice with a shoulder plane after that then a ..............oh no, I hope you realise plane purchase is adictive :lol:

Keith
 

Alf

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Welcome to the forum, Matt.

I'm not a Scary Sharp user, but fwiw I only use my two finer stones on the secondary bevel and for removing the wire edge. You really want to aim for a grit that gives you the best speed of sharpening but wastes the least amount of steel. Experiment and see; it won't hurt. :D

Ah, the #5 1/4. Nice plane, I seem to recall. I liked it a good deal more than I expected. Right, what you're talking about is a cambered blade. Jeff Gorman's your man online for that, or alternatively David Charlesworth's books, articles and/or DVD. The easiest way to remember which bevel to work on is to think of the primary bevel as the grinding bevel. That's the one that has the basic, coarse initial bevel angle work done on it. If you were to try and camber the blade on a coarse wheel or abrasive it's be far too rounded within nano seconds, so leave that one straight and concentrate your efforts on the secondary, where all the fine work on the edge is done. (I dunno, does that help..? :? ) In short, camber the secondary bevel.

I'll also vote for a block plane. Depending on your budget and how soon you could justify a shoulder plane as well, maybe a rebate block? It's very, very useful to have a plane that has the blade going the full width of the sole like a shoulder or rebate plane, 'cos it means you can get right into the corners and tweak your joints much more reliably than free-handing it with a chisel.

Books; the ones recommended time and again by galoots are Roy Underhill's Woodwright ones, The Complete Woodworker and The Practical Woodworker edited by Bernard Jones (bit old fashioned, and really one or the other will do), anything by Charles Hayward (I particularly recommend The Junior Woodworker - if it's designed for a kid to understand, even I have a chance of getting what he means, right? :wink: ), Fine Woodworking on Hand Tools (and probably Planes and Chisels too, but I don't have that one), Planecraft (reprinted by Woodcraft, but originally British), erm... Actually a subscription to Popular Woodworking would probably be worth having too; they're much more hand tool orientated than any other mag and have some very good articles. Have a look at the Old Tools Book List too. Also for your delectation and delight, The Hand Tool Knowledge Base, The Index of Fossil-Fuel-Friendly Woodworking Knowledge and The Old Tools List Archive (use the "advanced search" to try and find stuff; the basic one isn't half as good). And of course we're always available to give you all sorts of dubious advice... :wink:

That should keep you out of mischief for a while. :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi Matt

1. Sharpening chisels

After establishing a primary bevel with medium grit (600 SS), the purpose of a secondary bevel is to reduce the amount of effort involved in sharpening to higher grits (1500-2500 grit sandpaper). That is, you don't want to keep sharpening the wide bevel with increasingly higher grits as this takes so much time. The secondary bevel is only going to be a few mm wide (about 2 degrees higher than the primary bevel) so should not take long on each successive grit (1200 upward). You could add a third bevel still, even smaller than the secondary one, which will again reduce the amount of sharpening required for this range. As Alf has recommended, you should read David Charlesworth's books for more detail.

My current philosophy about sharpening blades is that chisels do not need to be sharpened to as high a level of smoothness as plane blades. Note that I did not say that they need to be less sharp. The difference lies in the number of grits one uses to sharpen. That is, when you do not follow a grit with another that is aimed at removing existing scratches, what you will end up with is a blade with a serrated edge. One can have a sharp serrated edge - such as when a 600 grit sandpaper/1200 grit waterstone is followed by honing with Veritas green rouge - and this will shave arm hair, cut mortices and pare dovetails with ease. But the same blade in a plane will leave a serrated timber surface, which is not what you want. So a plane blade must be sharp and smooth - that is, don't omit the grits between 600 sandpaper/1200 waterstone and 2000 sandpaper/6000 waterstone.

2. Cambering the plane blade

I have heard very good things about the LV #5-1/4. I know a lot of people who prefer a #5-size plane as their smoother (DC for one). While I prefer smaller planes myself (LV LA Smoother with HA blade, and Mujingfang mini smoother), I also enjoy using this size on other occasions.

Cambering the blade is a good way to avoid leaving track marks. I like David Charlesworth's ("5 finger") method here since it is repeatable and predictable in the results it gets. Basically, you need to first sharpen the blade square. Then you sharpen the right and left extreme outside edges, the right and left near sides and the middle, and you do each a set number of strokes. Obviously the number of strokes increases as you move outboard since you want to create a camber on the blade. Knowing the number of strokes will guide you when resharpening the camber.

3. Block plane

There are just so many choices. Vintage vs new. If going new, the LN and LV ranges are the ones to explore. I have a couple of vintage Stanleys, the main one being a #65 Knuckle joint with a Hock blade. This is about as good as it gets in this price range. I also have a LN bronze #102, which is about the best value for money I could imagine. I suspect that the LV Apron plane would be much the same. Check those out.

But do get a low angle block plane, and get an extra blade. In LA mode it will do all the end grain work. The extra blade should be ground to create a cutting angle of 55-60 degrees (for a 12 degree LA bed, this will then require a bevel of 43-48 degrees) and provide a HA mini-smoother that can take on all manner of gnarly timber.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Noel

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Midnight":2dqe3gug said:
stick around, you'll get some fine answers real soon.. :wink:
Cos of the "fine answers", didn't qualify...............

Noel
 

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