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Plane sharpening advice needed

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tibi

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What is your actual planing set up like? Are these big timbers On a bench? Maybe you need something in between scrub plane and jack e.g. a jack with a very cambered blade?
I use scrub plane, jack plane and smoothing plane. They are 32 mm boards (10 or 20 cm wide) with various lenghts (0,5 - 2,5 m), as I had to cut off spoiled wood or wood with some broken screws as I used screws on elevated garden bed and some of them just snapped their heads off while disassembling. I plane them on the workbench. I am building currently my workbench, so I am not working with the oak at the moment, but I will build whatever will yield from the wood that is still in good quality (some parts of the boards look like 500 year old church oak pews, so they are of no use). Here is a similar example I found online, but I may take some pictures tomorrow
1637690874255.png
 

D_W

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If you want to talk about sharpening knives, go ahead and start a topic on the Off topic forum, and I'll address that there.

The trick with knives is that the hardness specs are all over the board, so you can do something that will create a fine edge on tools, but do a poor job on knives. Example, steel around 55 hardness is tough, but won't hold a fine apex. It'll also cut like crazy on natural stones and create a burr.

If you have good hard steel, your agate stone will struggle to hone it deeply, thus no strong burr will form (maybe none perceptible at all). As I mentioned, if you become very accurate with finishing edges, this can be an asset (it's essentially what leads to good razor sharpening, which is a notch more difficult than knives as the final bevel is about 17 degrees and anything can deflect - one foul stroke and you get to start over, but like everything else, you develop habits that don't foul edges and the tightrope walk feeling goes away).

The key to sharpening tools other than not having clearance problems and not failing to finish an edge is getting some success and then duplicating the feel. Charlesworth's method is precise, and you get the feel at the outset and then know what to duplicate. Most "gurus" will suggest that you can't match that sharpness without a guide, but you can actually better it a little bit.

But that's stuff to worry about after you get the loupe and get a feel for nailing the edge just out of feel.
 

tibi

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what you describe is either a dull blade or lack of clearance (probably the latter).

Dullness ultimately will create a lack of clearance (and when I get blades from people who use the "sellers method", they always either have lack of polish at the tip, or lack of clearance, or both).

As you mention that you have a 1k/4k waterstone, i have an experiment for you while you wait for your loupe.

grind at 25 degrees with the 240k diamond hone (if you're using a guide - I think you said you were), use your guide and iron for a full minute on the finest diamond stone to make sure the grind scratches are 1200 grit.

Then, work the back of something flat (this should be done with something flat if you have an iron that is) that this is being done with on the 4k grit waterstone side, and then put the bevel of the tool on the waterstone, lift it only a very small amount and pull it 5-10 times, being careful not to roll it steeper. Work the back lightly on the waterstone again and then pull it once at the same angle on your strop.

work it briskly on your pants or palm then (something with no abrasive), and then check sharpness. It should shave hair easily on both sides (something shaving hair only on one side is incompletely sharpened or hasn't had the burr removed).

If that's sharper than the agate edge, then you know you have issues.

a 1200 grit diamond hone (no matter how much someone tells you otherwise) will not create a finished edge and the wire edge is a bear to remove. If you do as paul does and take it off on a leather strop, you're just creating a half dull profile already as both sides will be rounded.

Charlesworth's method is far better for a beginner as it delineates each step better and you can take what you learn from it and run with it freehand later.
My main bevel should be ok, as it is hollow ground on the bench grinder, but my microbevel might be too steep at some sharpenings, indeed. I no longer have a guide as it was severly out of square, so I threw it off. I will try to use 4k stone instead of the agate stone to see if I can get better results. But I would rather use the agate stone, once my technique is corrected, because I do not need to soak it in water and it is less messy overall with oil.
 

Jacob

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I use scrub plane, jack plane and smoothing plane. They are 32 mm boards (10 or 20 cm wide) with various lenghts (0,5 - 2,5 m), as I had to cut off spoiled wood or wood with some broken screws as I used screws on elevated garden bed and some of them just snapped their heads off while disassembling. I plane them on the workbench. I am building currently my workbench, so I am not working with the oak at the moment, but I will build whatever will yield from the wood that is still in good quality (some parts of the boards look like 500 year old church oak pews, so they are of no use). Here is a similar example I found online, but I may take some pictures tomorrow
View attachment 122450
Belt sander, after the scrub plane. Start with 40 grit and work up through the grits.
If you really want to hand plane them perhaps get some practice in by just planing the 32mm edges and see how that goes. The stuff needs to be very firmly held to have any chance of being able to plane it at all.
 
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D_W

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My main bevel should be ok, as it is hollow ground on the bench grinder, but my microbevel might be too steep at some sharpenings, indeed. I no longer have a guide as it was severly out of square, so I threw it off. I will try to use 4k stone instead of the agate stone to see if I can get better results. But I would rather use the agate stone, once my technique is corrected, because I do not need to soak it in water and it is less messy overall with oil.
ahh. got it - I missed the grinder part and thought you were using the 240 diamond. Revised suggestion then - off of the grinder, strokes on the hollow on the 1200 grit stone until you get a strong burr, work the back. Then raise a small amount and pull a few strokes on the 4000 grit stone and then brisk stropping.

Shapton cream is about where stones don't draw much of a burr on most mid-hardness steel, and light pressure "teasing" off of the edge on slower stones (like your agate) - but again, the pressed agates can be all over the board. I've got a gaggle of microscope pictures, but I'll spare you - toolmaking needs gives me more desire to get high sharpness without much work as the last thing I want to do with a made chisel is spend half an hour grinding the bevel and getting the chisel sharp. It's more like 5 minutes total (but the grinder is a ceramic belt, so not duplicated with a wheel grinder - different class).

My opinion, though, is the process should be as easy and lazy and forgiving as possible or you'll not do it right or often enough.

You're ahead at the start just by the fact that you're using a grinder. The only diamond stone you really need is the finest one - the grinder will do the rest to keep wasted effort out of the way.
 

Hanman-Tools

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I have classic Stanley blades ( for no.4 and no.5 hand planes). The whole system cost around 30 EUR, but it does the job.
[/QUOTE]
Hi tibi,

Out of interest are the Stanley blades made in the USA ?
Years ago when I hung my partner's front door on the refurb of her house, it was one of the heavy types for the building regs. I was trying to plane the edges with my Stanley No. 5 (made in England) and after many a sharpen I picked up a Stanley No. 5 (made in the USA) what a difference. I sharpened the blade/Iron just the once and completed the whole door and to this day I will only use a Stanley (made in the USA) preferably an older one.

This may be a little controversial after being a carpenter for some 30 years+. Maybe the English blade/Iron was faulty!

Please excuse me if I've messed up the "Quote" part here, I'm new to this!
 

Cabinetman

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I have classic Stanley blades ( for no.4 and no.5 hand planes). The whole system cost around 30 EUR, but it does the job.
Hi tibi,

Out of interest are the Stanley blades made in the USA ?
Years ago when I hung my partner's front door on the refurb of her house, it was one of the heavy types for the building regs. I was trying to plane the edges with my Stanley No. 5 (made in England) and after many a sharpen I picked up a Stanley No. 5 (made in the USA) what a difference. I sharpened the blade/Iron just the once and completed the whole door and to this day I will only use a Stanley (made in the USA) preferably an older one.

This may be a little controversial after being a carpenter for some 30 years+. Maybe the English blade/Iron was faulty!

Please excuse me if I've messed up the "Quote" part here, I'm new to this!
[/QUOTE]
Hi, tried Stanley blades in the States and in the UK and didn’t notice any difference, both worked fine - interesting, will keep an eye on it.
Welcome, just say you may want to remove the end of your postcode on your badge, Ian
 

Hanman-Tools

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Hi tibi,

Out of interest are the Stanley blades made in the USA ?
Years ago when I hung my partner's front door on the refurb of her house, it was one of the heavy types for the building regs. I was trying to plane the edges with my Stanley No. 5 (made in England) and after many a sharpen I picked up a Stanley No. 5 (made in the USA) what a difference. I sharpened the blade/Iron just the once and completed the whole door and to this day I will only use a Stanley (made in the USA) preferably an older one.

This may be a little controversial after being a carpenter for some 30 years+. Maybe the English blade/Iron was faulty!

Please excuse me if I've messed up the "Quote" part here, I'm new to this!
Hi, tried Stanley blades in the States and in the UK and didn’t notice any difference, both worked fine - interesting, will keep an eye on it.
Welcome, just say you may want to remove the end of your postcode on your badge, Ian
[/QUOTE]
ThankYou Cabinetman, I have quite a few USA and English Stanley here, the next moment I get I will revert back to English and see how I get on with them now. As a carpenter, I mostly worked softwood so never really noticed any problems.
 

tibi

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Hi tibi,

Out of interest are the Stanley blades made in the USA ?
Years ago when I hung my partner's front door on the refurb of her house, it was one of the heavy types for the building regs. I was trying to plane the edges with my Stanley No. 5 (made in England) and after many a sharpen I picked up a Stanley No. 5 (made in the USA) what a difference. I sharpened the blade/Iron just the once and completed the whole door and to this day I will only use a Stanley (made in the USA) preferably an older one.

This may be a little controversial after being a carpenter for some 30 years+. Maybe the English blade/Iron was faulty!

Please excuse me if I've messed up the "Quote" part here, I'm new to this!
Hi, tried Stanley blades in the States and in the UK and didn’t notice any difference, both worked fine - interesting, will keep an eye on it.
Welcome, just say you may want to remove the end of your postcode on your badge, Ian
[/QUOTE]
Hi Cabinetman,

I have two old and two new blades. Old blades are made in England and the new are probably made in China.
 

tibi

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I went to the shop and tried to plane a face of one board. Interestingly, it cut just fine without any gliding over the surface. I did not even need to sharpen once during the face planing. It is not a top finished surface and I could have flattened it better, If I had more time today, but it is just for an illustration what the wood is like. Maybe I just got better at sharpening since I planed this oak a month ago :)

Here is the original painted board with all the debris and holes. In the picture there is also my Pinie european style scrub plane.
1637700766712.jpeg


Here is the board after using the scrub plane
1637700850853.jpeg


after jack plane

1637700878943.jpeg

After using a dedicated blade with a steeper back bevel in the jack plane
1637700920580.jpeg


Most of those boards have deep black cracks , maybe caused by water and frost, as you can see on the face and end grain in the third picture. There are a lot of small and large holes after screws. Do you think that they might be worth making some woodshop furniture like shelves or wall cabinet or I should just cut them in pieces and burn in the fireplace in winter? I assume this will no longer be a furniture grade wood.

I had also an idea to make few wooden stools like Squarerule makes in this video to utilise this old oak. This way I cut cut out holes and other bad parts and make legs and stretchers from the good parts

 

D_W

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Hi, tried Stanley blades in the States and in the UK and didn’t notice any difference, both worked fine - interesting, will keep an eye on it.
Welcome, just say you may want to remove the end of your postcode on your badge, Ian
Era matters quite a lot - not many english stanley blades here until later (but I have gotten two stanley planes - one made in mexico and then one made in sheffield - the latter plane was defective, but the iron was great (it was recent make).

Round top irons made in the 70s (presumably some were made in both places) generally softer, and when you go back to the sweetheart era blades and earlier, the hardness is probably about 60 on the C scale. I wore a sweetheart stanley iron and then took 300x magnification pictures -they have surplus carbon, so they are not at all short on carbon and could probably be a lot harder (whereas something like 1095 or O1 at 0.95 will not show much for surplus carbon).

In short, the older blades are great, and the hardness of the irons seems to have varied based on time frame (the really really old laminated irons are a bit softer, but there may have been an assumption that a user wouldn't have synthetic stones to grind them - old butcher irons are often a bit soft, too - age prior to widespread use of washita stones or futher yet, synthetic stones, and using something like a sandstone to grind shifts favorability in overall effort toward a somewhat softer iron).

The interesting thing is the notion on blogs, etc, that it's a cost issue. It's definitely not. high carbon high quality rod and bar stock is a couple of dollars per kilo. The difference between 1.1%carbon steel rod and 0.65% carbon rod is probably about 10 cents per plane, but a site guy planing dirt may like a soft iron better as it won't chip much and will be easy to resharpen.

Long story short, if the irons are same hardness, I haven't seen a difference between USA and English. Irons in the round top era do seem to be soft (but would work fine on softwoods).

Seeing a stanley iron show more carbon than O1 was a bit of a shock. At some point, I'll reharden one and temper it to 400F and see where it lands as far as hardness goes.
 

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Hi Tibi,

I'm not going to suggest anything sharpening wise; I'm still doing it the way I learnt in school! (I have added a strop and that green compound stuff, magical!) But I would say, some wood just isn't worth blunting your tools on, except to get more practise in sharpening!

I think that stuff - cracks and all - would make lovely rustic stools, shelves, picture frames etc. but I'd be using my power-tools for most of the sizing & squaring. Keep the hand tools for the final sizing & finishing, your superbly sharpened planes should leave a fantasic finish.

Some folks are going a bit mad filling cracks with resin and other tricks. I think there's been a few items in 'the last thing I made' thread on that.
 

Jacob

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..... Keep the hand tools for the final sizing & finishing, your superbly sharpened planes should leave a fantasic finish.....
Yes except for the scrub plane which is brilliant for cleaning up a surface, taking off the grit, finding the nails, before you put it near a machine. Just for reclaimed rubbish, you wouldn't need it on clean fresh sawn wood.
Re sharpening in general - after years trying things out I now only use 2 oil stones, though I've still got dozens of the booglers, even after selling stuff off.
One is Norton IB8, fine side, for most things most of the time, the other is Norton "0" fine side for a bit extra fineness.
No power grinder, no jigs, freehand rounded bevels. Occasional strop on a piece of leather.
I use the coarse side of the IB8 for an axe.
 
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tibi

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Hi Tibi,

I'm not going to suggest anything sharpening wise; I'm still doing it the way I learnt in school! (I have added a strop and that green compound stuff, magical!) But I would say, some wood just isn't worth blunting your tools on, except to get more practise in sharpening!

I think that stuff - cracks and all - would make lovely rustic stools, shelves, picture frames etc. but I'd be using my power-tools for most of the sizing & squaring. Keep the hand tools for the final sizing & finishing, your superbly sharpened planes should leave a fantasic finish.

Some folks are going a bit mad filling cracks with resin and other tricks. I think there's been a few items in 'the last thing I made' thread on that.
As I have only a thickness planer, so I need to use hand planes at least for a reference face and edge. or face + two edges, if the board is more than 160 mm wide and I cannot stand it on its edge to run through a thickness planer.
 

jcassidy

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LoL actually After having dinged irons on hidden nails several times, i prefer to use a second hand electric planer to find the pippers... packs of new blades only €8 on Amazon!!
 

Jacob

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I went to the shop and tried to plane a face of one board. Interestingly, it cut just fine without any gliding over the surface. I did not even need to sharpen once during the face planing. .........
:LOL: You are not the first to tread this path!
Basically it's about skill, not sharpening.
By the time you've fiddled about with various options suggested by modern sharpen enthusiasts, perhaps bought some expensive kit, you find that you've simply got better at it, even if you go back to square one!
As it happens I found a bit of oak gatepost in my woodpile and couldn't resist having a go:
One stroke with a scrub plane:

IMG_4469.JPG


This is the mouth of the ECE, I've enlarged it a bit for fatter shavings.
The blade is rounded in both directions! Don't tell anybody!

IMG_4470.JPG



10 seconds later:

IMG_4471.JPG


20 seconds later cutting the diagonal the other way:

IMG_4472.JPG


Then scrub along the grain for 30 seconds:

IMG_4474.JPG

IMG_4475.JPG


Followed by a No3 above,

IMG_4476.JPG


Followed by a 4 1/2 for smooth and flat

IMG_4477.JPG


About 5 minutes work.

3 planes , all freehand sharpened, no grindstone, rounded bevels, medium oil stone, no fine stone, no stropping, no "ruler trick", squiggle of candle wax.

IMG_4478.JPG


PS The No 3 has a plastic handles but you wouldn't know except for the seam you can see on top of the handle. Perfectly good quality plane.
 
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Cabinetman

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Good bit of debunking there Jacob, never use anything other than a very ordinary combination stone doubtful if it’s higher than a 400 grit, Stanley nr4 plane needs sharpening? 2/3 mins and I’m back to work. All these stones in the 4000, 8000, esoteric end? Just not necessary in my opinion, unless you’re a heart surgeon perhaps.
All my furniture is finished from the plane, and it’s not very often it sees any sandpaper, this excessive sharpening malarkey is bound to put people off woodworking and that’s not good. Ian
 

Jacob

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Good bit of debunking there Jacob,
:LOL: My pleasure!
Forgot to add - no jigs, no stone flattening. I did have to flatten the face of the blade on that 4 1/2 (recent ebay purchase) to bring it back from the dead, it was in a bad way for no obvious reason. Did it on a sanding disc on my lathe.
The 2nd big killer (after the jig) which makes sharpening so problematic for many is the grindstone. Millions of blued blades in use, many looking as though nibbled by rats, "hollow grind" fundamentally weakens the already blued edge, etc. Kiss of death!
 

Jacob

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.......

Out of interest are the Stanley blades made in the USA ?
Years ago when I hung my partner's front door on the refurb of her house, it was one of the heavy types for the building regs. I was trying to plane the edges with my Stanley No. 5 (made in England) and after many a sharpen I picked up a Stanley No. 5 (made in the USA) what a difference. I sharpened the blade/Iron just the once and completed the whole door and to this day I will only use a Stanley (made in the USA) preferably an older one.

This may be a little controversial after being a carpenter for some 30 years+. Maybe the English blade/Iron was faulty!

Please excuse me if I've messed up the "Quote" part here, I'm new to this!
The bad blade may have just been overheated by too much machine grinding. Would slowly improve with regular freehand sharpening removing the softened edge.
 

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