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sharpening or what?

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engineer one

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after looking and starting a couple of links recently i wonder whether it is worth seeing whether we can devise a new way of explaining what to do with new tools.

seems to me that one of the problems for many new entrants including me, is the constant use of the word sharpening when in fact often that is not what is happening.

what i mean is this. you buy a new tool, and you have to attack it, and make it workable, by fettling it into tip top condition, flatten, and sharpen.

then, after you have done this you keep it in good condition by "honing", or "sharpening " or what??

also having at the weekend bought the Tom LN Sharpening book, i note he comments that everybody has their favourite sharpening method, and each preaches it to others often ignoring other methods which may be quite as effective. but what he says is if it works for you, then use it, and do not try to brow beat people to become converted to your method.

at the same exhibition, kempton park in england i also met briefly Andy King, and had a useful conversation about making more effective my plough plane. thanks andy. interesting to see his new old plane, and check out his chisels,mentioned on another posting.

anyway enough rambling, what about a standard system that is less confusing about initial cleaning up and setting the tool, and the subsequent maintenance of it, maybe the magazines would then agree to, wouldn't that be a step forward?

back to the back flattening of my new LV No6 ( you were all right it is catching and apparently unstoppable, notleast because i bought the scraper plane too.)

paul :twisted: :whistle:
 

Chris Knight

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Paul,

Unless you want to reshape blades after their initial treatment - which is sometimes the case (higher bevels on plane blades, more camber perhaps etc.) - then indeed it is mostly honing or touch-up sharpening if you like that is needed. Which is just as well for on my carving tools, the initial shaping/sharpening can take me ages.

Eventually however, the form of the bevels starts to deteriorate with enough touch-ups/honings and then it is time to go back to the more aggressive grinding that characterised the initial work, although there will still be less to do (plane iron and chisel backs should still be fine for instance).

I certainly think there is no best method of preparing blades for use and that what works for one person may not for another. After a period of experimentation most folk plump for one method and stick to it.
 

Alf

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engineer one":ozb1pizq said:
...do not try to brow beat people to become converted to your method.
engineer one":ozb1pizq said:
...what about a standard system that is less confusing about initial cleaning up and setting the tool, and the subsequent maintenance of it, maybe the magazines would then agree to...
These two things would seem to be mutually exclusive. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

Shady

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Hmm: nice idea, but it'll never happen in this game matey!! Too many individualists, just work out what you're happy with, and get good at it!

All I would say is that, for me, there are 3 separate processes involved in bringing any tool into use:

1. Fettling: adjusting the relationship of parts to one another, flatness of surfaces, etc.

2. Changing the shape of a blade - which I choose to call/think of as grinding. This might be to add or remove a curve, remove nicks, or alter a primary bevel angle.

3. Sharpening the blade, which I choose to call sharpening :lol: bringing the shaped blade to the point at which it will cut wood in the way I want it to.

This holds for me whatever grit/method/jigs I'm using - I'm doing one of those 3 things if I'm not actually cutting wood with the tool.
 

engineer one

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alf said These two things would seem to be mutually exclusive.

i guess you are right, but. what i think i am suggesting is this.

Sharpening what to do when starting. "there are as many ways to get a sharp edge as drink beer, the right one is the one that works for you".

"when just beginning to restart woodworking, or start a new career, you will find the need to fettle and sharpen your tools. if you are not sure that whether you like this, then do not spend too much money. get a/b/c
and start out. then when you develop, you may well find you want even sharper tools and then investigate other methods."

we have here all learnt that there is an optimum sharpness for us, but only by trial and error. but do not put people off by suggesting things too expensive at the beginning.

i know this is a chestnut, or even a shaggy dog, but it is worth chasing i think.
paul :whistle:
 
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engineer one":aom6ycc6 said:
what i mean is this. you buy a new tool, and you have to attack it, and make it workable, by fettling it into tip top condition, flatten, and sharpen.
paul :twisted: :whistle:
depends who made it. If of adequate quality, fettling is not neccesary - LN saws come to mind, use out of the box.
LN or LV planes? Hone the blade for 30 seconds is all that one needs do.
 
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PeterPan":1uertnqj said:
A good part of the reason why there isn't a purely standardized approach is that most people do not have adequate sharpening gear. They stumble along with a series of stones or scraps of paper, each of which in series affects each bit of steel a little differently.
Actually, I think you have that backwards. Until relatively very recent times, all tools were sharpened on natural stones and this worked very well indeed. High carbon steels and natural stones were well suited for each other and there was no "stumbling" around. The finest woodwork in both Eastern and Western cultures was produced with high carbon steel sharpened on natural stones.
People "stumble" along now with all kinds of sharpening systems because of the tendency to apply a power tool mentality to hand tools. The use of alloys such as A2, M2, etc. makes for tools that go longer between sharpening but that are more difficult to sharpen. This creates a vicious cycle: Sharpening is hard so I don't want to do it frequently so I want a steel that holds an edge a long time but now my sharpening equipment is inadequate so I have to spend more time figuring out how to sharpen this.
I find it ironic you think a Japanese chisel needs powered abrasive belts to sharpen. Laminated Japenese blades have been made this way for centuries. Do you think the Japanese craftsment "stumbled around" with "inadequate sharpening gear" waiting for 20th century technology?
 

Frank D.

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Sharpening most blades basically comes down to two operations: grinding a primary bevel, then honing and/or polishing a secondary bevel.

PeterPan":2wf0mzqj said:
A good part of the reason why there isn't a purely standardized approach is that most people do not have adequate sharpening gear.
I'm not so sure it's inadequate gear as much as different gear. Many ways to skin a cat, we all make do with what we have. Is using a grinder, or a diamond stone, or a water stone, or an oil stone, or sandpaper, or a tormek, to get a primary bevel (for axample), really inadequate, or just diferent than using a belt sander?

PeterPan":2wf0mzqj said:
But if hand tools were used in an industrial way, and the cutters were held to a very high standard, but not mystified, then we could probably all agree to hit them up with a belt sander.
Maybe, but not if I already have a grinder and no belt sander.

engineer one":2wf0mzqj said:
anyway enough rambling, what about a standard system that is less confusing about initial cleaning up and setting the tool, and the subsequent maintenance of it, maybe the magazines would then agree to, wouldn't that be a step forward?

paul :twisted: :whistle:
Sounds like a nice idea, everyone doing things the same way, less confusion for sure. Also sounds like a recipe for world peace. :wink:
2p
Frank
 

Alf

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PeterPan":1bde9nl3 said:
I don't think I have ever seen an article on using beltsanders for serious sharpening
Waits patiently for Derek to -

Oh bother it, I can't wait. Behold.

Now someone just come up with a hand-cranked belt sander and I'll give it a shot. Will it do a hollow grind...?

Cheers, Alf
 
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PeterPan":2be9ikso said:
RN, I agree, but my timeline isn't the past, it is now. The reality is that most woodworkers are not particularly gifted metalworkers, or even moderately interested. For that mater few (in percentage terms) of the metal workers I know are interested in edges. Those that are, probably aren't all that knowledgeable about woodworking, they mostly make knives.

If right now you dropped this interest in woodworking, and became an edge maker, believe me, the options that would appeal to you would pretty soon reduce to belts offered by the Norton company, and a few others. It's only a mystery to woodworkers (OK everyone else too).

"to get a primary bevel (for axample), really inadequate, or just diferent than using a belt sander? "

I don't think it would mater much as far as the result at that point in the process is concerned. Any more than when rough cutting for length you could saw it with a wide range of saws. But for sharpening, sandpaper cuts much faster, is cooler, safer, and you can go from the roughest shaping of the tool, to the finest polishing on the same tool, with seconds to change belts, that cost only a few sheckles each.

When it comes to profiling the outlines of a knife from a blank of steel, it is often faster to to just grind it on the sander. Bandsaw, plasma cutter etc.. not faster. Water jet, yes if you have the tool. People will built swords even with the little 1x36 machines that cost less than one King polishing stone. Would you like to grind out a sword on you bench grinder?

OK, don't throw away what works for you now. I have the whole run of FWW magazine, and many others in boxes about the house. I have 100s of books on woodworking. I don't think I have ever seen an article on using beltsanders for serious sharpening (not talking about carpenters sharpening a chisel on the jobsite with a portable sander). Lee Valley understands, possibly because they make tools. They have been selling belt sanders, and most importantly belts. for just this purpose for quite some time.

It's like being among fishermen dragging their catches to the market in their dories - "There's this thing, it's called the wheel...".
Excuse me, Peter, but I thought the context of this thread was sharpening woodworking tools. No, I wouldn't grind a sword from a blank with my hand cranked grinder but it works perfectly well to take a nick out of a chisel edge or a primary bevel on a plane blade.

I have access to 40 ton exavators but I wouldn't tell gardeners they are "stumbling around with inadequate gear" because they are using spades. :lol:

Apple meet orange, orange... :D
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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PeterPan wrote:
I have 100s of books on woodworking. I don't think I have ever seen an article on using beltsanders for serious sharpening (not talking about carpenters sharpening a chisel on the jobsite with a portable sander)
Check out my belt sander grinder (this is the Mk II version, but there are links to the Mk I as well):

http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com.au/showthread.php?t=16156

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Alf

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Um, Derek? I already did your plug for you. It's turning into a pavlovian reaction; you wanna watch that. :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Alf wrote:
Um, Derek? I already did your plug for you. It's turning into a pavlovian reaction; you wanna watch that.
You're right (and thanks) ... I read the end of the thread first :? (I suppose that this is no better than doing it upside down), then have a knee-jerk reaction. :oops: I can only blame the time - got to go to bed now.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

engineer one

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ok i seem to finally have hit a vein.
however.
it still comes down to the fact that realistically you cannot start woodworking by hand without spending some serious money on sharpening kit to ensure that long term you get the results you want.

whilst we are all interested in speed, the problem to me of using a belt sander even dereks mk 2 version is the problem with guaranteeing the back of your blade it flat. cannot see how you can guarantee no whip over the platen. the whole basis of a belt sander is that for much of the belt it is not supported and this must set up the kind of effect you can get if you do not flatten your waterstone regularly.

having read the david charlesworth article in F&C the latest issue, i still think it misses the point for new comers. since the bear kit has no instructions, you have to search for data, and generally you have more than one tool to sharpen or newly fettle, and without data at the get go, you tend to not flatten as often as required.

i have found that getting a flat back at the beginning is best done on a dmt stone or similar and then polish elsewhere. however i have also noticed that trying to flatten along the dmt causes more troughs than going across it. i have the holder and all the bits, and use the trend diamond spray to lubricate. still takes a longish time at the get go.

so for me, the route is DMT black, then eventually green, then a bear 6000 or higher for the back, then Tormek for the cutting edge, and removing wire edge there. then polishing on the the leather wheel. they seem to work for me, but it is still a £ 500 investment in sharpening kit. however having 6-7 LV/LN and clifton planes then who is counting???

all i was looking for was a suggestion that would enable a new guy to get moving relatively cheaply.

paul :-({|=
 

Frank D.

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Oh! Why didn't you say so!?! :wink:
A coarse stone and one fine polishing stone is enough to start. Flatten stones with a cinder block or with glass and grit.
Those who don't have enough cash after buying a plane are better off with scary sharp, which is very cheap initially although expensive in the long run if you sharpen often. It's what I recommend to people who can't afford stones.
Many people already have a bench grinder, but you need a good support (which can be made). And you still need a coarse stone to flatten the backs, along with a polishing stone.
Of course a sharpening jig is also nice to have. For those with little funds, an eclipse-style is cheap and works well.
2 more p.
Frank
 

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