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Plane and Chisel Sharpening System

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Hi,
I'm needing a system for sharpening plane blades and wood chisels, started looking around and there are loads of options. Loads of reviews point you to the Tormek system and then others to the pro edge.
Axminster, triton and scheppach have systems similar to the tormek....significantly cheaper. Do I just go Tormek?
 
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I'm a beginner and its doing my head in......I'm happy to pay 300 - 400 for the T4 but if there is a perceived better option....
 

AndyT

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Scroll down a bit and you'll see a list of similar topics - there are quite a few more.
Short answer - there are lots of different ways to sharpen, they all work, some are very cheap, some cost too much for many of us.
 

TFrench

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Pro edge is fantastic for turning tools, I also use it for heavy regrinding of chisels and plane blades that are knackered. Finish them by hand though.
 

Jacob

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Pro-edge is good. It's a purpose designed linisher, you can buy similar cheaper, but it is well put together and thoughtfully designed.
Never had hands on with Tormek but I gather they have gone out of fashion
 

Ttrees

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Slow speed grinder and a diamond CBN wheel if you want to go all fancy.
Ultex diamond hones if they're still on half price offer.
I have used a Jet whetstone one and its messy, slow and not practical if you have to move it to use it.
Takes about five times too long to sharpen when its set up, if not about twice that long.

Not suited for anything but planer knives and woodturning tools IMO
 

John15

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Welcome to the forum Anthony.
As a beginner I suggest you start by mastering the basics of sharpening by using something like an 800 and 1200 grit water-stone and a guide to give you the right angles. You can then move on to more sophisticated equipment if you feel the need.

John
 

woodbloke66

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Sharpening isn't difficult but it's crucial in woodwork; without sharp tools you (or I ) won't achieve much. Essentially what we're discussing is the intersection of two planes of steel and the finer the intersection, the sharper the blade.
However, there are hundreds of ways of achieving that intersection which is where the difficulty arises for a newcomer as you'll need to find a method that you're happy with; hence the reason why this thread is liable to go on for 10+ screenfulls :lol: as members offer advice.
Over the decades, I've tried most of the methods 'out there'; oilstones, waterstones, ceramic stones, diamond stones and sharpening films etc; each has their merits and disadvantages.
My initial advice would be to find a method which is cheap and which will produce a reasonable edge. Obtaining a repeatable angle is often the most difficult thing for a newcomer to achieve so I would recommend the use of a honing guide of some sort; the Eclipse and it's clones are a good place to start.
Use the guide on a film of some sort that can be stuck to a dead flat surface such as glass. For many years now I've used the self adhesive 3M films from Workshop Heaven which work for me.
Grinding is a different process using something like a Tormek (and again, there are dozens of systems around) which removes lots of steel very quickly once the honed bevel becomes too wide, as it will after repeated sharpening. Again, you don't need to use a very expensive machine; a very coarse abrasive film stuck to your glass will do the same job albeit more slowly.
It's bit of minefield and requires some experimentation to find a method that you can happily use - Rob
 
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Thanks for the replies.
So really what you guys are saying is look for a system that suits yourself.

For totally knackered plane blades and chisels, something that can "rough" the angle back on and then something to hone the edge sharp.

Suppose I'm asking a different question....what do you all use now for them needs?
Thanks again
Ant
 

woodbloke66

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Anthony Salisbury":2f5xb2nt said:
...system that suits yourself.

For totally knackered plane blades and chisels, something that can "rough" the angle back on and then something to hone the edge sharp.

Suppose I'm asking a different question....what do you all use now for them needs?
As you've asked the question, this is the system that I use and one which I'm very happy with...but it's not the cheapest!
Grinding - Tormek T7 fitted with a coarse diamond wheel. Expensive, but the coarse diamond wheel (around £200 :shock: ) is a revelation.
Honing - a selection of self-adhesive 3M films from Workshop Heaven stuck onto a piece of 10mm float glass, WD40 (or similar) for lubrication. For the honing guide, I now use the Veritas Mk2 which is difficult to fault IMO but again, not cheap - Rob
 

craigsalisbury

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ooohhh wonder if the OP is a long lost relative :D

I started with a diamond plate and a Veritas MKII honing guide which was good, I then moved to a Tormek T4 which is also great but there's more or a learning curve IMO, saying that once you get to grips with it it's a great tool. You can then go crazy buying Japanese waterstones for it and polishing up EVERYONES kitchen knives lol
 

Jacob

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Anthony Salisbury":1yziqmnd said:
Thanks for the replies.
So really what you guys are saying is look for a system that suits yourself.
Or default to older, universal, cheapest, tried and tested sharpening methods which were the rule before the modern jig hysteria/craze kicked off
For totally knackered plane blades and chisels, something that can "rough" the angle back on
Grindstone (large/wet best, small/dry worst), belt sander, coarse wet n dry (on flat surface and very wet), coarse side of double sided oil stone, whichever is handiest
and then something to hone the edge sharp.
Fine side of oil stone
Suppose I'm asking a different question....what do you all use now for them needs?
..
As above. I don't have time for crack-pot hobby sharpening - got woodwork to do.
PS the most extravagant thing I bought was a Pro edge. I don't really need it (a belt sander will do so much more) but it just good enough to deter me from selling it on.
PPS Actually a belt sander can be a fire hazard due to sparks and dust. The Pro-edge, and most wheels and linishers, avoid this by having an open structure with no corners for dust to accumulate.
 

Jacob

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woodbloke66":2kv9rufa said:
.....
Use the guide on a film of some sort that can be stuck to a dead flat surface such as glass. For many years now I've used the self adhesive 3M films from Workshop Heaven which work for me......
I found that thin paper-backed wet n dry lies flattest and doesn't need sticking, if thoroughly wetted
with water or white spirit. It also cuts a lot faster when wet and doesn't clog up so quickly. Best stored between boards so that it stays flat - then just liquid alone will keep it stuck down. For bigger jobs (flattening plane soles frinstance) just put down another sheet end to end.
 

GrahamF

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desmo11225

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Hi Anthony
I see the Tormek machines are around 300 odd pounds, with one around 150 pounds , I've used a Tormek for years , Ive used 3 or 4 stones with it now all double sided , you use a double sided trimming stone to change the grit , very useful when there are lumps knocked out of chisels, planer blades etc.
For normal carpentry thats great but now I only do sharpening for my carpenters and they carry a diamond flat stone with them at all times ,they touch them up every time they use them and because they are hollow ground they last ages . All the Best desmo11225
 

Rich C

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Personally I use a set of diamond stones and sharpen by hand. I think the more paraphernalia you have the more it gets in the way to an extent.
 
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So a good starter...a set of diamond stones with a horning guide....most point to the veritas mk2....and then the diamond stones....and good examples brands sets? There seem to be loads and I don't fancy buying some duff ones.

Ant
 

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