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Your cheapest honing setup? **buying new only**

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Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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BB

For set up speed, a secondary micro bevel on 600 grit W&D takes a few strokes.

I cannot see how anything can beat green compound on hardwood for the combination of longevity, finish and cost.

Can your cheap system really beat this?

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

woodbrains

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G S Haydon":2bf984pe said:
Norton India combination stone. It'll outlast just about anything and provide an edge keen enough for all general woodworking.
Hello,

I doubt you'll find a furniture maker or woodcarver that would agree with this, though, so perhaps you should include some sort of disclaimer! :D

However, as CC has said here and myself countless times before, the Norton fine India followed by a Welsh slate is excellent and for the ultimate edge, stropped. I used this set up for decades and still do sometines now. I only changed after experimentation with the other methods available, as an education as much as anything else.

Mike
 

Jacob

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woodbrains":xexg0kx6 said:
G S Haydon":xexg0kx6 said:
Norton India combination stone. It'll outlast just about anything and provide an edge keen enough for all general woodworking.
Hello,
I doubt you'll find a furniture maker or woodcarver that would agree with this, though, so perhaps you should include some sort of disclaimer! :D ....
He has qualified it; "an edge keen enough for all general woodworking".

Move on to a bit of leather and autosol (etc) and you then have an edge keen enough for a woodcarver, without a doubt.

Would even be good enough for "fine furniture" but I expect some of them would would deny this! Nothing is ever good enough for the over-worked fussy dovetail obsessives :lol:

Happy new year!
 

Jacob

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The 10c system ..



Directions here: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTe ... ystem.html

Regards from Perth

Derek
You'd find it much easier and faster if;
1 You don't attach that lump of wood to the blade (what's it for?)
2 You simply drop your wet n dry (whole A4 sheet) onto an impermeable surface (glass, planer bed etc) into a pool of fluid e.g. water, white spirit, Glenfiddich (much cheaper than Honerite :lol: ) and flood the surface.
Thin paper wet n dry sticks very well like that, once it's flattened down. Best stored between boards to keep flat. Cloth backed no good.
 

G S Haydon

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Not at all. For some select people finer mediums might prove useful, carvers working in soft timber like lime would be something that springs to mind or Japanese finish planing on very soft timber.

The picture in my avatar is the "wood from hell" that proved difficult to plane for LN's team west-dean-pics-t24308.html . Rob was kind enough to send me a bit, must send it back! I planed it using a Stanley #4, india stone edge and a close cap iron. No issues! Clearly it's a wood that should be scraped but it was possible to plane it without an 8000 grit edge and a steep planing angle!

An india stone is very agressive when new but once bedded in it's ideal. You can even you use the money saved on sharpening gear buying wood!
 

Cheshirechappie

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JohnPW":18939rjw said:
Then, an Inigo Jones slate hone, £6-95 plus postage - http://www.inigojones.co.uk/products/Honing-Stone.php
Unless it's a mistake, UK P&P is £10!!?

So actual price is £17 unless you go there in person to buy it.
It's still by far the most cost-effective 'fine' sharpening stone I know of. Anything of comparable edge-refining capacity (somewhere in the order of about 8000grit) tends to be nearer £100 than £17 - think black Arkansas, high-grit number waterstones, ultra-fine ceramic or diamonds.

By the way, I wholly agree with Graham - the combination Norton India is more than adequate for most woodworking, the fine side giving a perfectly decent edge, especially if the last of the burr is stropped off on a piece of leather, bit of scrap wood, palm of hand or whatever. However, there are times when a more refined edge helps, such as when working softer, easily crushed woods, or those with alternate hard and soft bands, or when you want a particularly crisp finish on end grain.

For anyone just starting out, you could do a lot worse than the old 8" x 2" combination. It doesn't cost a fortune, will last a lifetime (especially in amateur use), won't need flattening often (cue rant from Jacob!), and the coarse side gives you the chance to reshape primary bevels if you don't have access to a grinder and are prepared to spend a few minutes at it. About it's only real limitation is that the exotic steels don't respond well to it - but when starting out, you can avoid those! Very versatile piece of sharpening equipment.

Edit to add - by the way, we talk a lot about honing and stropping, but we really ought to include grinding in the discussion more often. It's a vital part of the tool maintenance regime; even more so if it's intended to buy secondhand tools and refurbish them.
 

Jacob

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Cheshirechappie":1bjs0cn4 said:
.....

By the way, I wholly agree with Graham - the combination Norton India is more than adequate for most woodworking, the fine side giving a perfectly decent edge, ........Very versatile piece of sharpening equipment.
Oil stones need to be freshened it up occasionally - it makes a huge difference. I use a 3m diapad (wet) but other scrubby things will no doubt do the trick.
 

woodbrains

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Cheshirechappie":37hjrgh4 said:
by the way, we talk a lot about honing and stropping, but we really ought to include grinding in the discussion more often. It's a vital part of the tool maintenance regime; even more so if it's intended to buy secondhand tools and refurbish them.
Hello,

Which is why I say you can never have the 3 desirable qualities from sharpening stones.

If the OP uses 1000 diamond and a strop, he is obviously gaining 'cheap' by only using one stone despite diamond plates not being exactly cheap per se. But that system is going to be slow, if that is the grinding element of the sharpening, too.

I do not see the sense in stropping after too coarse a grit, though. The particle size of a Norton fine India is about 42 micron. What is the point in going directly to 0.5 micron green soap? The edge will act just the same as that the coarse stone gives, just the very tips of the peaks of the sharpening scratches will be shiny! For the cost of the Welsh slate, another stage on that would be better, even omitting the strop altogether.

Mike.
 

Jelly

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Jacob":3al279vl said:
woodbrains":3al279vl said:
G S Haydon":3al279vl said:
Norton India combination stone. It'll outlast just about anything and provide an edge keen enough for all general woodworking.
Hello,
I doubt you'll find a furniture maker or woodcarver that would agree with this, though, so perhaps you should include some sort of disclaimer! :D ....
He has qualified it; "an edge keen enough for all general woodworking".
Move on to a bit of leather and autosol (etc) and you then have an edge keen enough for a woodcarver, without a doubt. !
Being entirely lazy I've found that black rouge on a tightly stitched cloth wheel will take me from the fine side of an India stone to an edge good enough to carve soft, crumbly wood... Red or White on a leather wheel will take an edge to the point of being able to cut whitewood end grain smoothly without crushing the early wood.
 

ED65

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custard":pwn58imx said:
ED65":pwn58imx said:
Anyone new to the idea of using abrasive papers for sharpening and/or honing, it's often referred to as the Scary Sharp system these days although the idea goes back to long before that was first coined (earliest reference I've been able to find is from the late 40s or early 50s IIRC).
I'd be interested in seeing that reference. I'm sceptical because the quality of sandpaper available to the home woodworker in the 40's and 50's was pretty rubbish, surely that would have made any sandpaper based sharpening system equally poor? Looking through "The Woodworker, The Charles Hayward Years", I can't see any reference to abrasive paper based tool sharpening, nor in Bob Wearing's "The Essential Woodworker".
If I can find it again I'll post it here. Fairly sure it was a reader-submitted tip in one of the American mags whose full archives are up on Google Books. As for the quality of sandpaper, they might have specified abrasive paper or cloth for metalworking, so if it's from the date I think it was it's most likely to have been emery?

Not sure when Alox or SiC sheet material became more widely available, it was used in industry earlier than we might think since the abrasives themselves came along just around the turn of the century.

The concept of sharpening on an abrasive sheet material (paper or cloth) definitely predates Scary Sharp since I have a British publication from the mid-80s that has the tip (went and found it, it's in "The Tool Book", Orbis, 1985). And as the idea is semi-obvious I'd be shocked if that was the earliest someone had thought of it. Certainly there are tips on sharpening things like tweezers using sandpaper from the inter-war period.
 

ED65

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woodbrains":38mgo2pl said:
But that system is going to be slow, if that is the grinding element of the sharpening, too.
With respect Mike, if you haven't used 1000-grit diamond plates you shouldn't be making statements based on your assumption of how they work, as well as how slowly they cut.

Because it's finer than you're thinking and it's not slow :D

As I related to D_W, I can raise a burr in ten strokes or so. Plane irons are usually back in the plane in under 30 seconds, chisels I will usually take more time over but it's still under three minutes.
 

Sgian Dubh

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ED65":3ho4m1ck said:
The concept of sharpening on an abrasive sheet material (paper or cloth) definitely predates Scary Sharp since I have a British publication from the mid-80s that has the tip (went and found it, it's in "The Tool Book", Orbis, 1985).
Back in the 1970s when from time to time I had to go out and install some furniture or joinery we'd made, and if I'd been dumb enough to leave my oilstone in the workshop, it wasn't unusual to resort to using a bit of abrasive paper to touch up edges. I learnt that trick from old farts that had probably been doing the same for forty or so years - 'Scary Sharp' has been around for decades. I've even been known to use a smooth concrete step or similar on-site in an emergency - not great as a sharpening medium, but desperate measures can sometimes get you out of a hole.

I tend to agree with Jacob on the sharpening thing; the KISS principle works pretty well, and I've relied for years on a grindstone, a combination oilstone and a bit of stropping on the palm of the hand for the common straight blades, plus a few slips for gouges and the like, and all generally economically priced. Even now I do pretty much the same, except I most often use a ceramic stone instead of an oilstone, but that's only because I'm not keen on getting oily hands, and the chance of transferring the oil to the wood. Slainte.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Very much the same except I prefer water stones - I'd rather get a drop of water on the wood than a drop of oil, for one thing.
 

ED65

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Custard, so far the earliest reference I've found to sharpening using abrasive stuck down on something is from 1913 (!) and there are multiple references to it in woodworking publications (all American) from earlier in the 90s and in the 80s. One from 1989 is significant, it shows the idea was thought so commonplace that it was just mentioned in passing, "If you're sharpening on sandpaper..." kind of thing.


Sgian Dubh":10zkg8ha said:
Back in the 1970s when from time to time I had to go out and install some furniture or joinery we'd made, and if I'd been dumb enough to leave my oilstone in the workshop, it wasn't unusual to resort to using a bit of abrasive paper to touch up edges. I learnt that trick from old farts that had probably been doing the same for forty or so years - 'Scary Sharp' has been around for decades.
Yes, as it's such a commonsense solution it shouldn't be a surprise that the idea had been around for a long long time before the now-famous post on rec.woodworking in 1995. What does surprise me though is how its prior existence has been so widely forgotten, but we can file that away in the same curiosity box as the wholesale amnesia online about the close setting of the cap iron as a solution to tearout :?

Sgian Dubh":10zkg8ha said:
I tend to agree with Jacob on the sharpening thing; the KISS principle works pretty well...
Completely agree. For me this also extends to the amount of work that needs doing: flattening backs just enough to get a narrow strip near the edge flat and polished/semi-polished, doing nothing to the primary bevel if you don't need to and one or two other things.
 

timothyedoran

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ED65":2270vost said:
I mentioned something about this in another thread last week and had been thinking about starting a thread to see if there were viable alternatives out there that were similar in price or possibly even cheaper.

My candidate is an inexpensive 1000-grit diamond plate and a loaded strop. All in you're looking at under a tenner.

I got the diamond plate from AliExpress specifically to see how it compared other honing surfaces I have. It turned out to work great and it very soon occurred to me that it could be a standalone honing option if need be. Being diamond it's aggressive enough to hone quickly even on harder steels but fine enough to leave a good usable edge (obviously it'll wear in and become finer with use as all diamond plates do). By itself it works well enough, but combining it with a loaded strop I think would cover the needs of almost all users as long as they're not wedded to working on stones.

The strop can be anything you like, from the surface of MDF or planed hardwood to some random bit of leather or tough cloth stuck to a scrap of plywood or chipboard. For the compound any fine metal polish, cutting compound/scratch remover, Chromium Oxide crayon or commercial honing block will do.

Strop: free.
Compound: £5 or less.
Diamond plate: I paid € 5,51 for mine, they're currently at €3.84 which is £3.30 at current exchange rates.

Here's my plate:

I just checked back and I've had it longer than I thought, very nearly a year. It's had light but regular use, mostly used dry but occasionally with white spirit as a lubricant.

So what would your cheap-as-chips honing setup be, bought new? Can't be anything that relies on boot-fair finds; if you're lucky enough to have any good car boots near you there's a good chance you could pick up a great old oilstone for 50p to a couple of quid of course, but that sort of thing is out of reach of anyone living elsewhere.
Sorry to bring a tread back from the grave but I would love to know how your cheap AliExpress stone has lasted. Would you still recommend it?

Had to remove the link to post this
 

D_W

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I'm not Ed, but I have one that's lasted fine. I've used it intermittently for several years now (three?), and find it to hold up about as well as a DMT stone, though it's not quite as flat (it's close - good enough for maintenance sharpening).

Like any other stone, the large stones in the electroplate leave the matrix pretty soon and you're left with the stuff that isn't so proud of the surface (so the hone settles in to being a lot slower and then just sort of stays there).
 
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