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Plane sharpening advice needed

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Adam W.

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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
I use a bit of slate with WD40 for a polish followed by a strop with cheapo green screwfix compound, I do think it makes a difference.

As for inspecting an edge under a loupe........it's either sharp or it isn't, so what's the point?
 

Jacob

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I use a bit of slate with WD40 for a polish followed by a strop with cheapo green screwfix compound, I do think it makes a difference.

As for inspecting an edge under a loupe........it's either sharp or it isn't, so what's the point?
Well yes stropping won't do any harm but it won't make the difference between planing or not being able to plane at all, which was tibis prob.
I sometimes think stropping/polishing may be more to do with reducing friction as the shavings get forced past, rather than making a sharper edge - which wouldn't stay super sharp for long.
 

Adam W.

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I definitely makes the edge sharper and carving spruce capitals proved that point for me. As for longevity of a sharp edge, I don't know and just sharpen when I feel I need to.

But then I've also got a Tormek, so there's no hope for me.
 

D_W

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I use a bit of slate with WD40 for a polish followed by a strop with cheapo green screwfix compound, I do think it makes a difference.

As for inspecting an edge under a loupe........it's either sharp or it isn't, so what's the point?
It absolutely improves the edge and if done properly, it improves the longevity. The inexpensive store compounds are generally very fine and high quality. Almost all compounds are predominantly alumina and something occurred in terms of production method to make them cheap.

The loupe is important for learning, not just to see if sharpening is complete, but to then figure out how to get it faster and faster.

You'll get a better sense for sharpness benefits carving than most people will with planes and chisels.
 

D_W

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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
It takes about a minute to finish a plane iron with something like a 1 micron finish. The trick is to do the work you're doing properly, and then just add the fine finish at the tip. You get all of the benefits, and the amount of effort that you save is a large multiple of the effort of working over the tip.

I don't mean an extra minute, I mean to use something like a washita stone or an india stone and work over an iron and then use a compound of some sort just to work the tip.

I tested plane irons two years ago and just the difference in edge life between 1 and 5 micron diamonds is about 50% increase (and the 1 micron iron for the last number of feet that match the 5 micron edge is easier through the wood). Adam has a bit of a leg up because he'll feel every aspect of this carving, but it's there on planes and chisels. The only way it can't be had is in dirty wood or something that damages edges (the geometry is the controlling factor for an edge if one can be made to stand up).

The reason for the loupe for people starting out is to learn to get the finish work only at the tip so it takes the place of stropping and doesn't add time.

In terms of expensive stones like the shapton 30k or any other sharpening anything over a hundred bucks...there's definitely no practical benefit to it other than convenience for folks who are fans of a guru. Or, who just want to believe that somehow a shapton 30k edge that looks the same under a scope as a $3 edge gotten on compound is better - even if it doesn't look different or last longer.
 

cowtown_eric

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SHARPENING-what a rabbet hole

Got too many sharpening gizmos, grinders, and gadgets, but the site-truck has fine grit Wet/dry sandpaper that does just fine.....a system called "scary-sharp"

Eric
 

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