• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

When to replace a plane blade

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
614
Location
PA, US
PS I had a look at the Nelson plane thread. If I was desperate enough to want to use it wouldn't have bothered with all that flattening of the pitted edge I would
This is a fair comment if you're intending to use the plane a couple of times. I put in the time commentary because I'm setting this plane up once, and more from maker's fascination will track how much it moves. It probably won't move much.

The amount of time I spent on the iron, an extra two or three minutes to work most of the pitting out, will be recovered in a half dozen sharpening sessions and length of time between sharpenings. The illustration of that in five minutes is also a matter of "I need to take a shortcut" reasoning vs. "I need to buy a special stone for this". No, a $20 glass shelf and $2 worth of PSA roll will do this, but it'll do several dozen chisels before I need to change it, and a bunch of other things.

And there's no reason to come up short. What you don't see beforehand is deep pitting right in the apex and on the bevel side (which needed to be squared to set to the cap iron - i wouldn't do it if it didn't need it). The reality is you would have spent more time than I did in both of these - on the bevel side, needing to take a couple of hundredths off of the iron (Which is a LOT) was aided by a ceramic belt grinder. total time on all of it was about 10 minutes. It's good for life now and will plane anything without ever clogging.

All of these little bits are easily glossed over as "that's rabbit hole". it's bad advice. A better question is how can I do that well and quickly and only once. Shortcut applies if the answer to that question is "you can't, you can shortcut quickly or take a long time".

You couldn't have ground the pitting out of this iron and squared it in ten minutes by hand, let alone had it sharp (add about 3 minutes to the 10 above for finishing the job after flattening and correcting the bevel and setting the cap edge).
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
614
Location
PA, US
If it came down to numbers of and volume of work done with this, Jacob, you wouldn't fare well. If we took equal time, the plane would pop out with my suggestions in permanently good shape.

If we had to work to an equal standard, I'd do three of these to your one. wetted sheets of wet and dry are extremely poor performing compared to the PSA roll on a glass shelf. You're flopping on the shore because you've never compared to two, but gotten by with one. Getting by is OK. confusing it with experience and a better suggestion is dopey.

When I do try to make a simple suggestion, like "I've tried just about everything, done hundreds of flattenings of planes, irons and chisels and for $33 or so US equivalent you want a shelf and a roll of PSA 80 grit" and that's disagreed with, and then explanation of it is called going on too long.

Just dumb.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
614
Location
PA, US
We were barred from using the grinder in the two places where I had any formal training.

A poster on the US forums has a funny response for this.

You can't do isn't the same as can't be done. The idea of weak edges from a hollow grind is equally dopey, but I've seen that accusation before from a few other people who hadn't actually tried hollow grinds.

Confidence and simple assertions are really easy when lacking experience.

(minor edge chipping that leaves lines on work is about 1 or 2 thousandths. Very heavy chipping caused by silica stops a plane from working when the chips are 3 or 4 thousandths of an inch deep. I couldn't get the back edge a microbevel on the screen taking a look at these through a microscope.

Translation - believing that nonsense will have someone wasting time eliminating chipping in the first 10th or 20th of a bevel by working metal after the back side of it. The chipping continues. Addressing what's happening in the first several thousandths stops the chipping.

Solving the problem is easier than supposing it twice.
 
Last edited:

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
4,427
Reaction score
940
Location
Matching Green
We were barred from using the grinder in the two places where I had any formal training.
I remember working for Old Charm furniture and bringing in an electric driver, they all shat themselves and I wasn't allowed to use it. Excuse was it was handmade, which was rubbish as they had massive industrial equipment. The truth was it was piece work and they didn't like paying me more.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
17,704
Reaction score
672
Location
Derbyshire
I remember working for Old Charm furniture and bringing in an electric driver, they all shat themselves and I wasn't allowed to use it. Excuse was it was handmade, which was rubbish as they had massive industrial equipment. The truth was it was piece work and they didn't like paying me more.
The thing about the bench grinder wasn't about being trad for it's own sake - it's more that as a trainee if you don't know what you are doing you are very likely to spoil a blade or a chisel and get through them very quickly.
But more importantly you need to get to grips hands-on with sharpening so that you really do know what you are doing, with or without a machine.
 

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
4,427
Reaction score
940
Location
Matching Green
But more importantly you need to get to grips hands-on with sharpening so that you really do know what you are doing, with or without a machine.
Why's that then, I tend to hand sharpen, but couldn't give a monkeys how my chaps sharpen as long as they achieve a good edge.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
614
Location
PA, US
Why's that then, I tend to hand sharpen, but couldn't give a monkeys how my chaps sharpen as long as they achieve a good edge.
Because you're results oriented rather than ideals oriented! Hah!
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
17,704
Reaction score
672
Location
Derbyshire
Why's that then, I tend to hand sharpen, but couldn't give a monkeys how my chaps sharpen as long as they achieve a good edge.
Site work mainly. Often nowhere to put down your piece of plate glass and fiddle about like a berk for hours with jigs. Could end up having on-site sharpening arguments and nobody getting anything done! :ROFLMAO:
And it's generally handy just being able to do things the simple way.
 
Last edited:

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
4,427
Reaction score
940
Location
Matching Green
Time is money for me, if they use a jig, they are very familiar with the set up and it's seconds not hours. I think you're doing something wrong if it takes hours, have you read the instructions?
 

Exluthier

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
3 Aug 2018
Messages
30
Reaction score
3
Location
Bedford
Basically I don't grind thin irons at all (or small chisels), except for remedial work. That's the whole point of thin irons and the Stanley/Bailey design; easier and quicker to sharpen.
I quite agree; the hollow grind is a heresy, and should only be necessary after damage to an iron, which shouldn’t happen anyway!
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
614
Location
PA, US
Site work mainly. Often nowhere to put down your piece of plate glass and fiddle about like a berk for hours with jigs. Could end up having on-site sharpening arguments and nobody getting anything done! :ROFLMAO:
And it's generally handy just being able to do things the simple way.
Who cares about site work.99% of what's discussed here is in a shop.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
614
Location
PA, US
I quite agree; the hollow grind is a heresy, and should only be necessary after damage to an iron, which shouldn’t happen anyway!
Good grinding doesn't remove the edge, so it's not really a matter of damage or not. Not that it isn't a good way to grind an iron off square and refresh if there is damage.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
17,704
Reaction score
672
Location
Derbyshire
Who cares about site work.99% of what's discussed here is in a shop.
Except for the large number of people who also fit their work, or repair in situ, etc
And it's generally handy just being able to do things the simple way, even in the workshop.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
614
Location
PA, US
"simple way", very paul sellers. Using several stones instead of a grinder and one stone.

There's nothing complicated about a hollow grind, or any grind.

It'd be fairly hard to find a site worker who had to regrind a fresh iron in a given day. But you can create all kinds of false problems. I got two planes from a site worker (a joiner). He used a single stone to sharpen them, but they were terribly sharpened. They would've husked wood, but would've been unsuitable for cabinet work. I don't suppose he had to use the planes that much as they were old and both still had their original irons partially consumed. A third plane had no iron at all - a bullnose plane, nor a wedge. I guess it was just good intentions that sometime it would be used.


This guy refreshes his chisel grinds with a simple 6" grinder. I talk to him quite often (this page is probably 25 years old now). I can just imagine him rolling his eyes about rolling bevels over leaving wavy edges to do it "the simple way". The guitars are only a tiny slice of the things that he made, and still intermittently makes. At one point, he made all of the specialty tools at williamsburg, and most of the planes and saws, and any other projects the general trades weren't capable of doing, several harpsichords, and he's got a gaggle of violins and violas in professional symphonies in the US.

I'd imagine if there was some advantage to not using a grinder, he'd know it. Nothing expensive or goofy, just a flat front grinder that sears used to sell.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
17,704
Reaction score
672
Location
Derbyshire
"simple way", very paul sellers. Using several stones instead of a grinder and one stone.

There's nothing complicated about a hollow grind, or any grind.
......
If you do it the simple way, with thin blades you don't ever need to grind at all.
More or less the whole point of the Stanley Bailey design in fact: quick and easy to remove/sharpen/replace/adjust
Odd that modern sharpeners having been given this brilliant design have set about making it all more difficult!
Big wheels are better - grind less hollow. Best of all is flat to convex (more metal, stiffer).
 
Last edited:

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
614
Location
PA, US
If you do it the simple way, with thin blades you don't ever need to grind at all. More or less the whole point of the Stanley Bailey design in fact.
Big wheels are better - grind less hollow. Best of all is flat
All of this is conclusions in your mind, but the only thing you've shown is tools with uneven grinds and edges that wouldn't be suitable for smooth planing.

For some people (hollow grinding at the same angle as they hone), a shallower grind would be worse.

But, like you said, you were told to do something years ago and not allowed to do anything else, so how would you know? Heavy on assertions, low on proof or explanation.

Grinder takes less time, provides a better result.
 

GerryT

Member
Joined
28 Apr 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
6
Location
Cheltenham
All of this is conclusions in your mind, but the only thing you've shown is tools with uneven grinds and edges that wouldn't be suitable for smooth planing.

For some people (hollow grinding at the same angle as they hone), a shallower grind would be worse.

But, like you said, you were told to do something years ago and not allowed to do anything else, so how would you know? Heavy on assertions, low on proof or explanation.

Grinder takes less time, provides a better result.
Evening all.

I’m new to this forum so I don’t want to step on any ironclad toes.

You see this sort of sabre rattling on nearly all woodwork forums and if it stays as such then there is no harm as most sabres are blunt through the use of improper sharpening methods anyway.

It‘s good to argue a point that one has experience of or in and it would seem that some of the protagonists in this thread appear to be in that position.
But is there really any” best“ways to sharpen a tool ?
Sure, there may be more efficient ways, quicker ways, or preferred ways to sharpen, but if all methods end up with a sharp enough edge to plane or pare wood then what’s the issue?
I sharpen by hand ...and now and again by Wetstone grinder.
I enjoy the freedom that hand sharpening can give me but I’m not adverse to using any other method that gives me the edge I want/need.
But if folk want to use a grinder or house brick to sharpen an edge then so be it.
I know Jacob here is often denigrated for his “odd” methods but I don’t see them as quite so odd.
Similarly I don’t much like a hollow grind but that’s my “oddity” and there are times when I will do one If I takes my fancy.

I’m not so sure that a grinder is faster and gives “better “ results as said by D-W but in some situations it may and in some it may not.
Surely there are no absolutes when it comes to sharpening except to get a sharp edge .
It‘s good to discuss and to compare methods and the proof of the pudding is in the eating but no method should be said to have a monopoly.

Anyway that’s enough for a first post on this forum.
Good evening to you all gentlemen .

ps:Maybe the use of “gentlemen” is not applicable when it comes to sharpening but it’s good to give it the benefit of the doubt .
 

Inspector

Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!
Joined
18 Jun 2006
Messages
2,043
Reaction score
333
Location
Saskatoon, SK., Canada
Welcome to the forum Gerry but please PLEASE 🥺 don't bring common sense and curtesy into the discussions. It just isn't right at all and reduces these multi week threads to just a few days.;)

Pete
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
614
Location
PA, US
I’m not so sure that a grinder is faster and gives “better “ results as said by D-W but in some situations it may and in some it may not.
Surely there are no absolutes when it comes to sharpening except to get a sharp edge .
Though Jacob's methods do get questioned sometimes, to stamp him as the guy who proposes things and they get shot down vs. the other way around would probably not have good historical basis.
 
Top