It has been about a week since I glued my cherry hardwood table top together. As you might remember if you have followed my blog, I also make clamping cauls that I used during the top glue up. Even though I used these cambered cauls I still had some ridges at the jointed edges. I intended to use only my #6 bench plane and my #4 smoother to flatten both sides of my table top. I began that process and quickly wished that I owned a low angle jack plane. I was tempted. What I did do was to sharpen the plane’s blade. I have a granite slab that I bought early in my woodworking experience. I use many grits of sandpaper and a Veritas Mark II Honing Guide. I have experimented with DMT Duo sharpening stone and DMT diamond Whetstones. In addition, I bought a Grizzly wet grinder and have used Tormek sharpening jigs or tools. For this task I used only my sandpaper methodology that graduated to 2,000 grit.
I have not perfected any of these methods. I know. Practice with one or all method will lead to better results. However, I have watched many videos of what others are using. I am tempted to make an investment into Rob Cosman's Sharpening Kit that is sold at Woodcraft. I have closely watched and analyzed Shapton glass stones. The flatting stone is what is most costly. I notice now that Rob Cosman uses a Trend workshop stone to flatten his Shapton’s. I have not only watched his videos, but recently I have also seen him demonstrate his sharpening technique live at my local Woodcraft’s new store opening event. This kit contains the following:
1) Trend Classic Professional 8” Double-Sided Diamond Workshop Stone (#852975),
2) a Shapton Glass Stone 16,000 Grit 5mm (#834946),
3) a Shapton Stone Holder (#839778),
3) a bottle of HoneRite Gold, 250ml (#152586), and
4) Rob’s Angle Trainer (#150879).
I had already taken Rob’s advice by using HoneRite on my DMT stones. His kit costs nearly $500 so that will delay my purchase. Maybe I will take more time to practice my existing methods to see if I can perfect those methods first.
While planing my table’s surfaces I had some troubles of causing some scratches. I suspect they may be coming from my plane’s base edges or somewhere on its surface instead of my blade. I have a good magnifying lens, but I didn’t use it to inspect the plane. I simply used my old, aging eyes and did not discover any problem.
What I determined what I would do was this: I would sand those scratches out by using my 21 inch Porter Cable belt sander. I know how to move it over a table’s surface so I do not “dig” the sandpaper in the surface and make tracks. I loaded a new 120 grit belt in the sander, put my respirator mask and hearing protection on and began the work. When I completed this task, I ended my work for the day by blowing out all the fine dust from my shop. My leaf blower does a good job with that.
They next day, I sharpened two card scrappers. I have had a hard time learning a method to sharpen this tool so I can get good wispy shavings. A while back I bought a Veritas variable burnishing tool and holder. Today I got good results with my card scrapper, finally.
These photograph demonstrate the results I achieved on this small cherry table top. I am pleased well enough with the results.
Next I will turn my attention to cutting my mortises and tenons for the trestle table’s leg assemblies.
As you may know by following my blog entries, I have made the plunge router jigs and have practiced the routing methods using the guide bushings. Plus I have made spacers to cut my tenons on my table saw.
The double saw blade method that I was using on my old table saw by following a method I had adopted from a Woodworker Journal article, I had to abandon. My new Saw Stop table saw will not allow a double 10 inch blade to be used with their safety brake system. I never got a reply from the email message I sent to their customer or technical support. I wasn’t surprised by that. My questions were blunt but fair and straight forward, I think. The expected answers I wanted is most likely further than their marketing guys would want to tread. So be it. I bought the saw for its safety measures, I might as well adhere to their methods although a new brake could be designed and sold, I’m sure, that could accommodate a twin blade joinery method.
-- --- Happy Howie