best budget waterstones? should I buy diamond levelers?


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17 hours ago, Dennis J said:

It is possible to get a superior edge using the right stones on good quality steel, but what really matters is the end result. If it doesn't pass the newspaper test something is wrong.

 

Slicing a newspaper is vastly different from carving wood. A wire edge can do a spectacular job of slicing newspaper, but will bend, or break leaving chips in the cutting edge, when using it on wood. Then your edge is junk after your first slice.

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2 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Amen

Yup.

5 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Slicing a newspaper is vastly different from carving wood. A wire edge can do a spectacular job of slicing newspaper, but will bend, or break leaving chips in the cutting edge, when using it on wood. Then your edge is junk.

My ultimate edge test is to press it lightly against foam rubber, then slice.  If the foam parts cleanly without resistance, you've got a screamingly sharp knife, etc. Keratin and paper can fool you, but not foam.  Plane irons and chisels should be able to lift translucent shavings thinner than paper, IMHO.  :)

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3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Slicing a newspaper is vastly different from carving wood. A wire edge can do a spectacular job of slicing newspaper, but will bend, or break leaving chips in the cutting edge, when using it on wood. Then your edge is junk after your first slice.

I don't know what sort of newspaper you are using, but I've found that anything but a perfect edge on a chisel or plane blade will not slice smoothly through the newspaper  I use.

Try holding a newspaper sheet in the air then releasing and stabbing through it at the same time with a fairly wide chisel. It can be done with a very sharp blade.

It does require a very sharp edge right up to the corner of the blade though.

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@David Burgess @Violadamore

Gee thanks guys.   I have to read those qualifications AFTER I made this video...

Got my stones and strop today.   Did a chisel and spent 60 seconds touching up the knife on the strop. 

The chisel was taking nice transparent sheets off of some soundpost stock just now.

(Is it OK to put YouTube links in like this @Jeffrey Holmes?)

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That's not a demanding test. Stiff, relatively thick paper can be cut by a medium sharp blade. A sharper blade would also cut through with less force and make less noise.

Newspaper is far more difficult to slice through because it is fibrous and floppy especially when humidity is high.

 

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39 minutes ago, Dennis J said:

That's not a demanding test. Stiff, relatively thick paper can be cut by a medium sharp blade. A sharper blade would also cut through with less force and make less noise.

Newspaper is far more difficult to slice through because it is fibrous and floppy especially when humidity is high.

 

I don't have a newspaper :o  At any rate, I didn't do a microbevel.  Should probably try that.  Also, thanks everyone for the tips and knowledge.

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21 minutes ago, JesseBrano said:

I don't have a newspaper :o

Yeah, that's a problem. Where I am newspapers are still sold and I do read them. You might find art supply shops sell the same sort of stuff.  But I would suggest Violadamore's suggestion about using foam is probably  a good testing method.

I think that a lot of beginning makers don't realise how sharp a blade can be honed. But there are a lot of things that can prevent that happening.  First I would suggest with any new chisel or plane blade, or old one for that matter, that the flat side of the blade should be lapped flat and smooth if it is not already. That can be done using silicon carbide grit on a flat piece of glass. You don't have to polish it just get a grey low sheen finish. Silicon carbide breaks down as you lap so you can finish with 1000 or 1200 grit to do the job. Then grind a 25 deg. primary bevel. Start honing with a slightly higher angle with about a 1000/1200 grit water stone. Aim at keeping that bevel narrow, preferably below 2 mm. It is best to regrind the primary bevel to keep that honing angle narrow. Otherwise a coarser stone will be needed to start the honing process.

As soon as you can feel a definite burr or wire edge developing along the cutting edge switch to something about 4000 and finish with a 5000. You could then go to 10,000.  After that I use a leather strop or cotton mop on the bench grinder charged with honing compound to remove any burr. Removing the burr this way has to be done thoroughly so the time spent on each grit is important.

Removing the burr by flipping the blade over onto a fine stone is one way of removing the burr. But in doing so you mess up your nice flat, smooth surface.

 

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16 minutes ago, Dennis J said:

Removing the burr by flipping the blade over onto a fine stone is one way of removing the burr. But in doing so you mess up your nice flat, smooth surface.

What rubbish. If you deburr a dead flat surface on a dead flat stone, nothing of value is lost. 

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1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

What rubbish. If you deburr a dead flat surface on a dead flat stone, nothing of value is lost. 

Veritas PMV11 plane blades come to mind. I have a few and from memory they recommend not presenting the lapped side of the blade to a stone. That's not why I don't stone the backs of blades, I stopped doing so a long time ago. In practice no stones are dead flat and they always leave scratches. After taking the time and effort to lap the backs of a lot of chisels and plane blades with diamond and silicon carbide on glass I've concluded it's madness to go anywhere near a stone.

There are two sides to a cutting edge and there's is no point of honing to 10,000 grit while the other side has scratches and rounded over edges however slight they may be.

 

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10 minutes ago, Dennis J said:

Veritas PMV11 plane blades come to mind. I have a few and from memory they recommend not presenting the lapped side of the blade to a stone. That's not why I don't stone the backs of blades, I stopped doing so a long time ago. In practice no stones are dead flat and they always leave scratches. After taking the time and effort to lap the backs of a lot of chisels and plane blades with diamond and silicon carbide on glass I've concluded it's madness to go anywhere near a stone.

There are two sides to a cutting edge and there's is no point of honing to 10,000 grit while the other side has scratches and rounded over edges however slight they may be.

 

I have and use daily many pmv11 blades. Please show the documentation that Veritas provides suggesting that they backs not be dressed.

In my practice, stones are dead flat. I make sure of it. 

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2 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

I have and use daily many pmv11 blades. Please show the documentation that Veritas provides suggesting that they backs not be dressed.

In my practice, stones are dead flat. I make sure of it. 

I can't say for certain that is what was said, but they certainly implied it. They suggested that the finish on the lapped side of the blade was as good as it gets and the implication was not to touch it.

And, having resurrected a lot of old cast steel chisels which needed lapping I know for certain water stones do not produce flat surfaces. They tend to work more aggressively around the edges of the blade. Diamond plates do but have plenty of drawbacks as well.

As far as surface finish goes a glass plate with silicon carbide and diamond paste works well provided you make sure you don't hollow out the surface of the glass.

And, as I recall, lapping advice was to work down to a grey haze finish, not to a polished finish.

If you can find a flat piece of plate glass and sprinkle some silicon carbide grit on it and lap the blade for a while you'll see how flat your blade is.

All this is splitting hairs but is important if you want to get optimum sharpening results.

And, to really do this subject to death, why do Lie Nielsen and Veritas place so much importance on producing perfectly flat, smooth lapped surfaces. It's hard to understand why if they expected buyers to start stoning them. It would be cheaper to leave them in a flat milled state.

That is how early plane blades were made because that is precisely what users did when sharpening. But now, with these thicker inflexible blades it is the sensible approach.

 

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29 minutes ago, Dennis J said:

All this is splitting hairs...........

Isn't that the goal of what we're discussing?  :huh:  :lol:

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20 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Of course, all roads lead to Rome. I am sure that our friend will arrive at a workable solution from all that has been offered here. Whatever he should decide to use, he will be fine once he has acquired the necessary skill. 

Indeed.

By the way, I'm not suggesting for a moment that the ability to regrind/customize knives, gouges, chisels etc isn't an essential skill for anyone wanting to move beyond Violin Making 101. Of course it is. But these skills can be developed in a less stressful way than having at a $30 knife (or whatever Hock charges these days) as a first attempt. Grinding an old file into a bridge knife would be a good place to start, for example. Might even turn out to be better than the Hock. Win Win :D.

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8 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

I have and use daily many pmv11 blades. Please show the documentation that Veritas provides suggesting that they backs not be dressed.

In my practice, stones are dead flat. I make sure of it. 

To my recollection, all that Veritas say is that the backs are dead flat as supplied,  so don't need any further work. And that's true. But I don't think they mean that the back must never be touched. I just sharpen them like every other plane blade, bevel and back.

 

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The flat back of plane iron gets the most damage from use (I mean slow abrasion by material planed, not dents from mis-use) and will need some work during each sharpening.

I don't use stones or sharpening devices or grinders. I've used fine quality paper on flat surface and simply old school hand-held sharpen all my knives, gouges, plane irons or chisels. If you are methodical and go through all the grits as necessary and don't screw the last half dozen strokes of each grit, you can get as sharp blade as any sacred stone can.

My first check is always my left forearm, the hairs have to jump away with no pressure or hint of movement caused by blade. Only then I go to wood.

I do have tiny machinist loupe (20x I believe) with fine scale that I use to check the blade sharpnes or presence of any burr.

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There was a time when I went through the laborious process making the back of all my plane blades flat. After doing so, they might fit the supporting surface of the frog or bed opening better, or they might not. I think the fit of these surfaces is highly important, for high-accuracy planing.

So once the fit in these areas is good, I have finally come over to using a micro-bevel on the flat side. As HoGo stated, much of the rounding from wear is on the backside, so much so that without using a micro-bevel, I would need to remove much more material on the other side to make that go away.

I too make regular use of a loupe to check what's going on with my sharpening. It takes a little time, but is much faster than using a failed sharpening on your work, and then needing to go back to fix either the tool of the work, time after time.

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9 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

There was a time when I went through the laborious process making the back of all my plane blades flat. After doing so, they might fit the supporting surface of the frog or bed opening better, or they might not. I think the fit of these surfaces is highly important, for high-accuracy planing.

So once the fit in these areas is good, I have finally come over to using a micro-bevel on the flat side. As HoGo stated, much of the rounding from wear is on the backside, so much so that without using a micro-bevel, I would need to remove much more material on the other side to make that go away.

I too make regular use of a loupe to check what's going on with my sharpening. It takes a little time, but is much faster than using a failed sharpening on your work, and then needing to go back to fix either the tool of the work, time after time.

Right there with you DB

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20 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

 

I too make regular use of a loupe to check what's going on with my sharpening. It takes a little time, but is much faster than using a failed sharpening on your work, and then needing to go back to fix either the tool of the work, time after time.

How can a man of your calibre make a "failed sharpening"?

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49 minutes ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

How can a man of your calibre make a "failed sharpening"?

I've been through "the school of hard knocks", and still slide back there from time to time. It's difficult to learn how to do something better if one thinks they know everything already, and doesn't experience either some real or perceived failures.

About six months ago, I cut a new bridge for a viola. Looking at the bridge today, I thought it was quite ugly. But the viola does sound a lot better than it did with the more elegant bridge it had before. :lol:

Maybe I learned a little somethin'. :)

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1 minute ago, David Burgess said:

I've been through "the school of hard knocks", and still slide back there from time to time. It's difficult to learn how to do something better if one thinks they know everything already, and doesn't experience either some real or perceived failures.

Damn right. Constant growth is good for  a person. This requires some measure of failure.

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I would strongly advise anyone buying Lie Nielsen or Veritas planes to not compromise the lapped side of the blades by removing any wire edge using a stone. It is simply not necessary. It can be done using a leather strop or buff on a bench grinder after honing is finished.

Stropping or buffing after honing is an important factor in the sharpening process.

 

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2 hours ago, Dennis J said:

I would strongly advise anyone buying Lie Nielsen or Veritas planes to not compromise the lapped side of the blades by removing any wire edge using a stone. It is simply not necessary. It can be done using a leather strop or buff on a bench grinder after honing is finished.

Stropping or buffing after honing is an important factor in the sharpening process.

 

Does anyone else second this advice?  Also, Dennis, I got my LN plane today.  And I was so excited, but not about the plane.  Do you know what it came wrapped in?

...

NEWSPAPER.

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32 minutes ago, JesseBrano said:

Does anyone else second this advice?  Also, Dennis, I got my LN plane today.  And I was so excited, but not about the plane.  Do you know what it came wrapped in?

...

NEWSPAPER.

Smart people. I think your best way forward is to ask Lie Nielsen's technicians what they think about blade sharpening as regards the lapped back.

I have no idea what they might say but it would be worth asking.

 

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