Review : Chisel and Plane Sharpening - Peter Sefton

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woodbrains

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Peter Sefton":a8hkz2m0 said:
I agree with woodbrains that stropping when done with a compound is sharpening.

I am not sure how you would define stropping in your hand and if someone wishes to try and grade the abrasive effect of skin :)
I only use hand stropping if the wire edge is very fine, the action will fatigue the wire off by bending it back and forth, the wire edge element is often left on the palm as a thin fuse wire.

Cheers Peter

Hello,

Yes, I've said so in other threads; removing the wire edge is NOT stropping as such. There is a distinct difference between abrading away the metal on a charged strop, to gain a finer edge, than using an uncharged strop, or bit of softwood, or palm to break the wire edge away. The fact that some people call removing the wire edge 'stropping' I feel is a misnomer. As long as we know what we are doing, it doesn't matter to me what people call their method of removing the wire edge.

Stropping shaving razors on plain leather is different again, and razor sharpeners are a whole different breed of pedants!

Mike.
 

Jacob

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bugbear":2rpwk4lq said:
Jacob":2rpwk4lq said:
The point of stropping is not to sharpen, but to polish the bevel and a bit of the face, to reduce friction.
Do please define "polish" and what it actually does to the metal Jacob. Simple English will be fine. Nothing airy fairy for a practical man such as yourself.

BugBear
When "polished" things look kinda "shiny". Hope that helps.
 

Dangermouse 2nd

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my chisels and plane blades are ultra sharp and cut like a laser through paper and I'm not going to tell you how I do it , so there !
 

Jacob

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Dangermouse 2nd":3g2hlsv7 said:
my chisels and plane blades are ultra sharp and cut like a laser through paper and I'm not going to tell you how I do it , so there !
I wish I'd never bothered myself. They just can't get it :lol:
 

nabs

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I have no idea what magical process occurs but my chisels are sharper after I have stropped them on a bit of leather with buffing compound on it. They are shiner too!
 

David C

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Stropping on the hand was a technique taught to me 45 years ago.

It was all part of the oilstone ritual. I refer to coarse and fine India stones.

The stropping just bent the wire edge back and forwards until it hopefully fell off.

If it did not, running the edge through some end grain might work.

The resulting jagged edge was then refined on a dressed strop.

I am glad to have moved on a bit and now use 800g & 10,000g Japanese Waterstones. No Strop required!
Best wishes,
David Charlesworth P S There is some sharpening on my You Tube channel
 

Jacob

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David C":1aaa1269 said:
Stropping on the hand was a technique taught to me 45 years ago.

It was all part of the oilstone ritual. I refer to coarse and fine India stones.

The stropping just bent the wire edge back and forwards until it hopefully fell off.

If it did not, running the edge through some end grain might work.

The resulting jagged edge was then refined on a dressed strop.

I am glad to have moved on a bit and now use 800g & 10,000g Japanese Waterstones. No Strop required!
Best wishes,
David Charlesworth P S There is some sharpening on my You Tube channel
Funny how so many people don't get it.
The main point of stropping by hand (or on leather etc) is to impart a bit of polish. But yes it will remove a fine wire edge if there is one - these things merge into one another.
Stropping a cut throat razor is different again - it will polish but will also straighten the edge. A cut-throat has a very fine edge and on Desperate Dans this will get deformed, stropping being a remedy.

e06265634a409db360b82f0ed5107bb3.jpg
 

AES

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I only just found this thread, I don't often visit the hand tools section.

So first off thanks to Scaredy Cat for a very well written and clear review.

As I really know little about sharpening chisels and planes I shall certainly investigate the DVD.

As for all the rest of this thread, it reminds me of all the other sharpening threads I've glanced through - I don't really understand a lot of the points being so vigorously made, and so much "vigour" is put into these "discussions" that I'm actually glad I don't know! For me ignorance certainly IS bliss in this case :D

If said DVD offers me a choice of 4 "systematic" sharpening methods which should all work because it's presented by an experienced wood worker who earns his daily bread from wood and teaching, then that's all I need to know.

(I shall NOT be joining any other sharpening "debates", even after I've finally "mastered" tool sharpening to my own satisfaction).

AES
 

D_W

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Jacob":zxdvd6r3 said:
David C":zxdvd6r3 said:
Stropping on the hand was a technique taught to me 45 years ago.

It was all part of the oilstone ritual. I refer to coarse and fine India stones.

The stropping just bent the wire edge back and forwards until it hopefully fell off.

If it did not, running the edge through some end grain might work.

The resulting jagged edge was then refined on a dressed strop.

I am glad to have moved on a bit and now use 800g & 10,000g Japanese Waterstones. No Strop required!
Best wishes,
David Charlesworth P S There is some sharpening on my You Tube channel
Funny how so many people don't get it.
The main point of stropping by hand (or on leather etc) is to impart a bit of polish. But yes it will remove a fine wire edge if there is one - these things merge into one another.
Stropping a cut throat razor is different again - it will polish but will also straighten the edge. A cut-throat has a very fine edge and on Desperate Dans this will get deformed, stropping being a remedy.

e06265634a409db360b82f0ed5107bb3.jpg

Jacob, I don't think it's that simple (imparting polish), but rather depends on the finish stone. If you're finishing with a trans ark or a fine charnley, then you're still removing the last bit of foil at the edge. Polishing is minimal and requires something like a genuine linen. I can show you a tool edge off of stones that level of fineness at 150x, and you'll see nearly no polishing from bare leather, but you'll see what initially appears to be a slightly less regular edge than prior to stropping because the weak bits on the edge have been removed.

This is the reason that we follow a stone with a linen when we set a razor, and the reason that the linen is used at regular intervals before returning to a stone (which shouldn't be required more than once every 200 shaves).

At lower grits, like fine india or something of that sort - palm stropping is entirely for manipulation of the wire edge and has no polishing effect. Perhaps if one oiled their palm and sprinkled chromium oxide on it, something might happen, but the unintended green spots on projects would be pretty annoying.

The only thing off here is that David, unfortunately (or not, depending on who you're talking to) went from a coarse vitrified oilstone to waterstones, and ultimately a more complete progression of oilstones would be faster than the waterstones (if not during actual sharpening, simply due to the fact that you don't have to faff around with flattening them or cleaning them. Additional lubricant as a matter of sharpening practice keeps the stone clean).

Plus, there's no nonsense of wiping irons and chisels with oily rags - there will be enough left on them after sharpening to keep them from rusting.

Once I got a microscope, I was quite surprised to see just how little bare leather, bare jasper, etc do. And even in linens, there's wide disparity. Some are treated to make them finer cutting and probably more resistant to contaminating bits, and some are relatively abrasive and can complete the work of a subpar stone on a razor.
 

Jacob

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D_W":o7dcycpt said:
......
Once I got a microscope, I was quite surprised to see just how little bare leather, bare jasper, etc do. And even in linens, there's wide disparity. Some are treated to make them finer cutting and probably more resistant to contaminating bits, and some are relatively abrasive and can complete the work of a subpar stone on a razor.
It doesn't have to do much if all it's doing is imparting a bit of polish. It just needs to take off the sharp edges of the grinding scratches to reduce friction.
 

CStanford

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One can't help but wonder how Medieval European and English ecclesiastical carvers, joiners, etc. ever got along. They managed to produce stunning work, that's for sure.
 

D_W

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Not sure, but I'd be willing to bet that they had people with O.D.D. come around from time to time to tell them that they were debating or discussing the wrong things, and that someone else could've done better than them four centuries prior.
 

CStanford

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Yeah, maybe David. Can't pick and choose history I guess, leaving out the parts that might not fit a narrative.
 

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Jacob":23ytbsyb said:
The point of stropping is not to sharpen, but to polish
What is the difference in the context of sharpening chisel and plane blades other than abrasive grit size :?: Surely this is just semantics at this juncture. I would have thought stropping with leather and using stones with high grit values are pretty much the same thing these days.

You effectively move through the grits to (1) grind, (2) sharpen and (3) hone although the end result is ultimately about sharpening, hence why you concentrate on certain elements of these three aspects depending on how often you do them in descending order (after initial sharpening of course).
 

Peter Sefton

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I believe stropping is sharpening the blade and improves the cutting edge, it also polishes the steel if a fine cutting compound is used, or scratches it if it's a course abrasive is let loose on the cutting edge. Stropping can also round and ruin the edge if not done correctly, as will poor sharpening in the wrong hands.

Cheers Peter
 

Jacob

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Peter Sefton":2zpkcjqv said:
I believe stropping is sharpening the blade and improves the cutting edge, ...
effectively sharpening the blade yes but not necessarily improving the actual cutting edge.
Compare it to polishing the sole of a plane - it can appear to very effectively improve the action of the plane as if magically sharpened but without having any effect on the cutting edge at all.
Similar effect with other edge tools but the obvious disconnection less clear cut.
 

Peter Sefton

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Jacob":f8m9b33n said:
Peter Sefton":f8m9b33n said:
I believe stropping is sharpening the blade and improves the cutting edge, ...
effectively sharpening the blade yes but not necessarily improving the actual cutting edge.
Compare it to polishing the sole of a plane - it can appear to very effectively improve the action of the plane as if magically sharpened but without having any effect on the cutting edge at all.
Similar effect with other edge tools but the obvious disconnection less clear cut.

When teaching sharpening I will often show students how you can improve a blade from not cutting hair to razor sharp cutting hair in two or three seconds on a strop, I says it's sharper-you may say I waxed the sole of my plane, what are you on about?

I know we cut timber not hair but it's a teaching aid.

Cheers Peter
 

CStanford

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Assuming it has been charged it's probably functioning as a high-grit finishing stone. If not charged, then the strop is straightening the edge which will indeed improve performance, though for only a short period of time on wood.

It is important to note that a foil edge, ragged burr, whatever you want to call it, can and will cut hair. The true test would be so see if it would cut the forearm hair on a swarthy Italian. Keep one handy in the shop.
 
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