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Sharpening Chisels & Planes

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Mikegtr

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I am not to good at sharpening chisels & planes. Your expertise most welcome. I have done a bit of homework on the subject.
My question is: Which of the following 3 methods would you choose to sharpen?
a) Tormek sharpening system--is this the best method?
b) Wet & Dry paper on a tempered glass plate? --thickness of glass?
c ) Diamond stones?

When 'stropping' which side of the leather would you use to strop?

Many thanks.
 

MikeG.

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A/ If I was a carver or wood turner, then maybe.

B/ No, it chews through paper at an annoying rate, and it's a real faff changing paper. 6mm+ thickness if you are going to do it.

C/ Same technique, same results as B/, but without the faff of wearing out and tearing paper. Initially more expensive, but the cost of wet & dry paper soon adds up.

Stropping: It doesn't matter. If you use the "split" side you'll soon smooth it.
 

woodhutt

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Pretty much as Mike said above but I often use wet & dry on glass to polish the bevel as my diamond plates only go up to 1200. Can't say I've had much problem with tearing but I probably would if I was trying to establish a bevel using that technique rather than just polishing.
As to glass thickness, that's not too important if the glass is sitting on a relatively flat surface (say a sheet of MDF) it's unlikely to crack.
I assume you are using cutting compound when you strop? If you are, you can strop on MDF but if you prefer leather then either side will do the job as long as it's not cut up.
Diamond plates are definitely the way to go IMHO but be sure to buy wisely. As they say 'buy nice or buy twice'. Good brands are Eze-Lap, Atoma, DMT and perhaps Trend.
Cheers,
Pete
 

Phil Pascoe

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Use the "Advanced Search" and you'll find enough information (and disinformation) to bore you death for the rest of your lifetime. In the meantime I'll get the popcorn out. :lol:
 

Eric The Viking

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Phil, as usual, is dead on.

I use Scary Sharp (SS) for anything critical. Glass is whatever I have around - I recently salvaged a long narrow piece from a built-in cooker. I think it's only 5mm or 6mm, but it is toughened and it works well.

Using SS and an Eclipse-guide I can easily get to "dry shave" sharpness with chisels and plane irons. I have only managed that once or twice with the Rutlands slow whetstone ("Tormekkalike") system I have. I keep it for more fundamental stuff now like primary bevels and reshaping tasks, although I occasionally strop kitchen knives on it when in a rush to cook!

If doing SS, to be honest I usually strop on the thigh of whatever pair of jeans I am wearing (VERY CAUTIOUSLY). or kitchen paper flat on the glass or, if knives, the kitchen worktop edge.

Scary sharp: I try to stick with Hermes wet+dry (usually from Axminster), in reasonable steps down to 2500 grit for finishing. You can get by with using capilliary action to stick a sheet to the glass, but not when finishing - there is a microscopic "bow wave" ahead of the edge that dubs it over if you are not careful. Instead I use spray on adhesive (3M spray mount) used wet (before it dries out), and flatten down with a wallpaper seam roller.

If you hone frequently you don't need to keep coarse grits on the plate, which means more practical honing between each sticking down session. One or two drops of detergent in the water breaks the surface tension and cuts better.

SS is despised by purists, but I have Norton stones, the wet grinder, and diamond plates too. The latter cut fast, but get the most use doing coarser work.
 

That would work

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If you have a Norton India fine grade oilstone and go on youtube you will have sharp tools plus develop a very good understanding of tools and sharpening in general. And It will only cost you a short song.
Ignore anyone who poo poos this method :roll: it's simple, cheap and has been the standard for the joinery/cabinet trades for decades plus plus plus.
Next, look for Peter Sellers on making a strop and you will have everything you need.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Being the standard for decades doesn't necessarily make something the best - we'd still be living in caves and cooking on open fires if that were the case. There are good arguments for them, but that isn't one of them.
 

rafezetter

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Toughened glass eric? NOOOOOOO - that toughening has an effedct of making the glass ever so, ever so, ever so, ever so, ever so, ever so, ever so, ever so, SLIGHTLY bowed - therefore it's WRONG!

Wrong I tell you :)

sorry lol I'm feeling frisky this morning.

Mike - I have used diamond plates and scary sharp, right up to 7000 flour paper and my general verdict is ummm both :) HTH!

No seriously - for regrinding damaged primary bevels or fettling a new average priced chisel, a diamond plate is the only way to go to keep your sanity - I recently bought a 140grit plate from axminster, which was a little spendy £70 ish, BUT having done the same job with paper over hours, and hours and hours, I can tell you the £70 is worth it and will last for decades.

I then use 300 / 600 / 1200 plates with the "ruler trick" and ONLY go past 1200 using paper to really polish the secondary if I'm doing finer work (which doesn't happen often) or chiselling pine as that needs the sharpest chisel you can get to reduce tearout with dovetails etc (plus utilising the "either side" technique) - otherwise for most general chiselling 1200 is enough as long as you use the ruler trick which makes a bigger difference to the edge than you might think.

David Charlesworth shows the "lift" method apparently used for centuries and centuries according to some, but with the modification of using a ruler (which has been populariased by, and thus attributed to him even if it's not strictly accurate) , which gives infinitely repeatable results, which the lift method does not - and has at least one YT on it, Rod Cosman also has a YT on it for cross reference, both of those two should be more than adequate to get you started and a keen enough edge providing you follow instructions correctly.

DMT diamond stones are argued to be the best, but seriously spendy, mine are Ultex which aree used by several members here and much cheaper but still good thick plates.

I also have some faithful cheapos for "sharpening" things like card scrapers, paint scraper blades and such like which is impossible with paper, as it just tears right through it.

HTH :)

(Edited for the pedants)

PS the ruler trick is only "supposed" to be used for plane blades, but will also work for chisels used for all work except paring and dovetailing, and probably even then because a microback bevel created by 3 swipes will be so small as to be almost invisible to the naked eye thus rasing the cutting edge of the chisel by less than the thickness of a human hair - which again for most work is more than adequate.
 

That would work

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Phil Pascoe":384fb20j said:
Being the standard for decades doesn't necessarily make something the best - we'd still be living in caves and cooking on open fires if that were the case. There are good arguments for them, but that isn't one of them.
I'm interested in your arguments in their favour?
 

MikeG.

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That would work":g0panbkd said:
If you have a Norton India fine grade oilstone and go on youtube you will have sharp tools plus develop a very good understanding of tools and sharpening in general. And It will only cost you a short song.
Agreed, but there are caveats. Firstly, unless they know someone who can show you how to do it a newcomer wouldn't even know what grade of stone they have got. They also wouldn't know how to start dealing with dished surfaces. If someone has to teach sharpening to themselves, starting with a homing guide can be a useful way to learn what it is they are trying to achieve......and you can't use a honing guide effectively on a dished oilstone. Oilstones were much more realistic when every adult male in the country owned one and had the skills to use it, and could teach the next generation. Now that that's been lost, it is just frankly easier to start with something which is reliably flat and of known grit.

Ignore anyone who poo poos this method
Are you Jacob? This "ignore people who say X......" schtick you repeatedly use does sound familiar.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Tww - I said there are good arguments in the favour ..... not that I would make them. :D
Personally, I don't like them, I've used predominantly water stones for nearly 40 years - but they would be impractical on site. When I did maintenance work I carried spare sharp tools rather than a means of sharpening them. I have a couple of nice very fine Arks which I use occasionally - I use isopropyl rather than oil.
 

That would work

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MikeG.":2gbh0u8b said:
That would work":2gbh0u8b said:
If you have a Norton India fine grade oilstone and go on youtube you will have sharp tools plus develop a very good understanding of tools and sharpening in general. And It will only cost you a short song.
Agreed, but there are caveats. Firstly, unless they know someone who can show you how to do it a newcomer wouldn't even know what grade of stone they have got. They also wouldn't know how to start dealing with dished surfaces. If someone has to teach sharpening to themselves, starting with a homing guide can be a useful way to learn what it is they are trying to achieve......and you can't use a honing guide effectively on a dished oilstone. Oilstones were much more realistic when every adult male in the country owned one and had the skills to use it, and could teach the next generation. Now that that's been lost, it is just frankly easier to start with something which is reliably flat and of known grit.

Ignore anyone who poo poos this method
Are you Jacob? This "ignore people who say X......" schtick you repeatedly use does sound familiar.
I don't know who Jacob is.
Repeatedly? You sure?
 

sammy.se

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As a recent newbie to sharpening myself, I'd recommend diamond stones, and a home made honing guide. I've used wet and dry / scary sharp methods, and it works, but I found it messy, and fiddly, IMO.


I bought cheap and very cheerful diamond plates from banggood, stuck them onto some plywood and away I go.

I use car polish for stropping on MDF and a scrap of denim (until I find some leather).

Yes, it passes the dry shave test everytime :) on my arms, Not face or... anywhere sensitive.


Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
 

Droogs

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I don't know who Jacob is.
Repeatedly? You sure?[/quote]


You lucky lucky ...
 

MikeK

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rafezetter":rp749tuy said:
I then use 300 / 600 / 1200 plates with the "ruler trick" and ONLY go past 1200 using paper to really polish the secondary if I'm doing finer work (which doesn't happen often) or chiselling pine as that needs the sharpest chisel you can get to reduce tearout with dovetails etc (plus utilising the "either side" technique) - otherwise for most general chiselling 1200 is enough as long as you use the ruler trick which makes a bigger difference to the edge than you might think.

David Charlesworth invented it, and has at least one YT on it, David Katz-Moses also has a YT on it for cross reference, both of those two should be more than adequate to get you started and a keen enough edge providing you follow instructions correctly.
Just to be clear, the ruler trick is for plane irons, not chisels. Never use the ruler trick to put a micro back-bevel on a chisel, as this defeats the purpose of having a flat back.
 

John15

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Am I the only one using waterstones? I get on with them very well. Weather I could improve with other methods I'm not sure - judging by the posts above I could.
I use an 800 grit to raise a burr then onto a 2000 and 6000 grit. I then hone on a 12000 grit. Am I going over the top? I don't soak my stones, just spray with water when using. The 800 and 2000 dry out quicker than the others. When not in use I cover with plastic.
The sharpening process is very quick, only a few seconds on each stone.

John
 

Nikolaj33

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That would work":2ouimoh3 said:
If you have a Norton India fine grade oilstone and go on youtube you will have sharp tools plus develop a very good understanding of tools and sharpening in general. And It will only cost you a short song.
Ignore anyone who poo poos this method :roll: it's simple, cheap and has been the standard for the joinery/cabinet trades for decades plus plus plus.
Next, look for Peter Sellers on making a strop and you will have everything you need.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Peter Sellers could walk on water. Can Paul?

[youtube]a7P1FPkcWYw[/youtube]
 

D_W

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rafezetter":3580k32o said:
David Charlesworth invented it
...
Perhaps with the exact set of devices he uses, but the "lift" has been done with freehand sharpening for a long time. It's especially popular on moulding planes from the hundred or so that I've bought.

my friend george in the states has done this freehand for at least 60 years. "lift" is his term.

Methods are discussed here all the time but what beginners really need is to understand the result and not to choose a method without understanding the result and standard they're looking for because it takes little time to find something that won't fit your method if you stick with the hobby.

I figured out about four weeks ago that I can sharpen the flat face of a beading plane with a buffer instead of a stone and suddenly they will go any direction on a board without tearout.

It will not become the DW method for rounding over the very tip of a beading plane because....

.....I'm sure it's been done in various ways for eons.
 
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