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Sharpening the L-N#112.. a breakthrough..?

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Midnight

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I was pottering in the shop this afternoon when I came across my Axminster honing guide. I bought it months ago after reading D.C.'s explanation that this was the only guide he'd found that would properly hone his 112, with the addition of some shop made contraption. At the time, I figured I could design an adaptor plate that machine shop at work could make up for me, but the lack of a tuit has that idea still on the to-do list...
Anyway... I got to wondering...what if..

I opened it till the far end of the duel threaded screw was flush with the outer face of the casting, and measured the pitch between the jaws... 80mm dead... the blade of the 112 being only 76.2mm, I got to the "I wonder" stage... stripped the blade out the plane and tried it. The jaws of the guide have a V profile to wrap over a blade to secure it, but it obviously wasn't intended for a blade as thick as this; the tips of the V were barely flush with the top face of the blade...but I screwed it down fingertight anyway... tried it on the bench with gentle pressure but didn't get very far as the blade started slipping in the jaws...
I noticed that the finger screw had a screwdriver slot cut into it.. so after resetting the blade, I gave the screw a gentle nip with a driver and tried again, gradually increasing downward pressure on the blade till I felt sure I was at the same pressure I'd normally apply when using my L-V honing guide; the blade remained firmly between the jaws...
Figuring it was worth a try, I rummaged around till I found the 3" waterstone (2000 grit) I'd bought specifically to deal with this blade, wet it down and tried it... within a minute, the scratches left by my previous efforts were being polished away, 10 minutes of repeated stone cleaning/wetting/lapping soon had the bevel looking damn near as good as it was straight outa the box, and definately more reflective than it had been previously. Inspection under a x15 mag still showed feint scratches but I wasn't expecting too much from this stone...

Anyway... I tried it on some oak salvaged from an old fishing boat I've been working on... Within seconds, the marks left by my #7 were gone, the surface feeling smooth and even; on a board as course as this it's never gonna feel glass like....
Shavings were as good as they'd been when the blade was new...
I still have that jig on the to-do list... but after this, I'm not so sure that its really all that necessary....
Thinking about it now.. I reckon if I honed small bevels on the blades outer edges, the jaws just might get a little better purchace...

Any thoughts...???
 

Chris Knight

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MIke,
It sounds as though you endorse DC's view? I have always done mine by hand with mixed results, some days it works great, on others it seems worse than when I started! Sounds like I'd better put this one on my shopping list.
 

Midnight

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I honestly donno Chris.. for me, sharpening by hand isn't an option; over the last 30 odd years I've tried repeatidly, net result being an endless stream of trashed edges and stones. For that reason I HAVE to rely on guides if I want to get a half respectable edge. I hope I got the point across that what I was doing was nothing more than a bodge that showed potential.. I can't claim to have cracked it...

If anyone has better suggestions, I'm all ears... in the meantime I gotta get another tuit..
 
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