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Michael Hartery

Sharpening trouble

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This is true to a degree, but it depends on :

1) How accurate your initial grinding is done,

2) The diameter of the grinding wheel

3) The surface width of the ground bevel on the blade.

With small blades and a narrow bevel rocking is still possible, and the honing jig will also correct any slight skew introduced in the grinding process.

The only instances I ever grind a tool is if it absolutely needs re-shaping, or if the edge is damaged in some way. Usually just touching up the edge on a stone or strop is all that's required in day to day use.

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[quote name='Bill Yacey' timestamp='1327947635' post='532513'

The only instances I ever grind a tool is if it absolutely needs re-shaping, or if the edge is damaged in some way. Usually just touching up the edge on a stone or strop is all that's required in day to day use.

To each their own. I started hollow grinding after being dissatisfied with guides, and with the environment I work (very busy shop) the speed in honing with a hollow grind (for me personally) was very appealing,

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To each their own. I started hollow grinding after being dissatisfied with guides, and with the environment I work (very busy shop) the speed in honing with a hollow grind (for me personally) was very appealing,

That's the problem I had with honing guides too. It just takes too long to set it all up. It's much faster to just touch a blade up quickly on the stones freehand and then get back to work. It doesn't take that long to get the hang of it. I run my blades sideways on the stones. Is that what you do too Jerry?

I do use a guide on a couple of very thin and short bow chisels though. I couldn't get as good results freehand on those. I use this guide. Even there though I don't spend a lot of time registering the angle with some other device. I just put it on the stone with the guide and use the previous bevel and go. You have to like the bevel you have though.

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That's the problem I had with honing guides too. It just takes too long to set it all up. It's much faster to just touch a blade up quickly on the stones freehand and then get back to work. It doesn't take that long to get the hang of it. I run my blades sideways on the stones. Is that what you do too Jerry?

I do use a guide on a couple of very thin and short bow chisels though. I couldn't get as good results freehand on those. I use this guide. Even there though I don't spend a lot of time registering the angle with some other device. I just put it on the stone with the guide and use the previous bevel and go. You have to like the bevel you have though.

I run my wider chisels sideways. I started doing that after hearing you mention it, and seeing you do it at Oberlin. Its really fast that way and does a very nice job. For plane blades and narrower chisels I pull them on the stone.

The Richard Kell honing guide is excellent. It was the best one I had found before I stopped using them (I have used all of the veritas stuff.)

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From all of this great information it appears that the most likely culprit is the grinding part of the process leaving an edge that is not straight. I have given up on grinding stones in favor of using an extra coarse diamond plate and honing guide to cut the primary bevel -- even in plane blades 1/4 inch thick O2 rockewell 62 this works (home made ala Jim Kingshott) in a matter of a few minutes. Using a waterstone, I always move my stroke around to cover the whole surface of the stone. The idea of honing a concave edge is inconceivable.

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The only instances I ever grind a tool is if it absolutely needs re-shaping, or if the edge is damaged in some way. Usually just touching up the edge on a stone or strop is all that's required in day to day use.

You must be really nice to your tools, Bill. I keep mine very flat on the back side, but in a plane the blade tends to wear (burnish round) on the back side of the edge a little. Not a lot, but it can be seen if you reflect light over it. Honing that out takes a while. A quick grind (carefully done), then a honing takes care of it rather quickly.

As I mentioned before, I don't use a honing guide. Never have... just don't like them... I'd rather feel the edge on the stone... but I do use grinding guides and/or a modified table rest. For me, the grind is really the foundation (critical bit) for establishing the edge. More time in setup there equals less time & trouble on the stone. I suppose I may end up going through a bit more steel in the end as I may grind more often than you do, but I haven't bought a new plane blade in 20 years... and then it was the purchase of a spare or an "upgrade", as I run a few of my planes with two blades (a sharp backup ready to pop in).

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I always try and keep them as sharp as possible, but you and other members that work at this full time put a lot more usage time on the tools than I do, and require sharpening more often.

I do all my rounded bottom finger plane blades by hand without a guide, but I prefer the repeatability and accuracy of the jig for my large flat plane blades. I thought I would mention the jig because it may save some time people with less sharpening experience giving them a sharp, useable edge faster.

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Thank you for all the feed back guys. I think I will re check all my stones and make sure they are truly flat. I have that veritas jig that inspires camber in the blade edge. I appreciate all the information you guys put here. I got way more here than the sawmill creek forum.

After i digest every thing and try again, I get back and post some results.

Thank you,

Michael

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For plane blades chisels or anything that needs to be truely flat and square, you need a really flat grinding surface. The best are the diamond and ceramic large bench stones since they don't need re-squaring or flattening.

Japanese water stones ( I've used the same one for 15 years slow running electric 1500 grit in a water bath ) are great for gouges and curved blade tools.

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I think I will re check all my stones and make sure they are truly flat.

I am interested in an update.

It is not difficult to create a very subtle reduction of the 2 long sides of 'soft' stones when 'flattening' the back of chisels because some pressure is required to balance the weight of the handle that is hanging off the edge.

After a while it can create a minimal concave surface which is deformed when the bevel side is sharpened.

Also interested if to know if it was a plane or jig problem.

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For water stones that are not mounted to backing frames I use the sides of the stones to hone the blade back. This helps to avoid uneven wear on the broad surfaces. Using the stone sides works well for narrower blades too.

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Hi All - from a calm windless Cape Town. After a week of being buffeted by 30C, 40kph winds, it has dawned absolutely windess - only problem is that the temp is going to hit the high 30s. Please send some cold!!!!

OK - multi-posts about the importance and problems of keeping whetstones flat.

The Engineering profession is full of examples of what I call "technology over-reach". Those instances when huge effort is expended in designing and developing a better mousetrap - only to discover that, by the time the Super-Duper-Improved,,, reaches the workface, your wife has long since despatched the mouse with a broom!

Waterpaper-on-glass has one supreme advantage over any stone (other than maybe the diamond ones)- it starts flat and no matter how much you use it, it stays flat. It never clogs. That it costs next to nothing shouldn't be held against it. For the cost of one Japanese whetstone you can buy a lifetime supply of various grades of wet-and-dry paper (right down to 0.5 micron).

Just thought of another advantage - the volume that my sheet of plateglass-on-ply, pack of waterpapers and planeblade-holding jig occupy is a fraction of the shelfspace used by my collection of ~ 20 whetstones.

Others above have posted links to the ScarySharp & Brent Beach websites - 'nuff sed.

cheers edi (please return our winter) :-)

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