Starting the Journey #1: Crossing the Line

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Blog entry by Tommy Evans posted 12-05-2013 10:27 PM 1194 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I might have crossed a line today.

I had picked up a Kunz #80 scraper for $7.50 and a Sargent 409 for $12 at an auction a couple of weeks ago. There was a real nice Stanley #5 but it sold for $65 and I do have one of those.

I tried out the scraper yesterday after learning which was the front. Turns out I’m a puller, not a pusher. All it would do is make a tiny pile of sawdust from the left end of the blade.

Figured today would be a good time to learn setting up the #80, so I reviewed Paul Sellers “Myths and Mysteries on Cabinet Scrapers” and also went thru my other saved links to card and cabinet scrapers.

I went ahead and flattened the sole like a plane.

It wasn’t bad at all, just needed polishing up really. Started at 220 grit, then 320 and 400. The blade had an angle of 45* and fit the jig very well.

Started at 180 grit then went thru 220, 320,400 and 600. I was too worried with ruining the angle by filing! I’ll have to make a holding jig.
Then the scary part – burnishing. Six weeks ago , I had no idea what the word meant in relation to a blade and I haven’t found one at auctions or yardsales. All large drill bits I have are pretty scored around the shank. I do have a fairly decent set of forstner bits. And they are smooth, surely they are hard enough, right?

Must be, I ran that booger across the edge half a dozen times and could feel an edge turned over. I don’t know if it was enough, but i put it the kunz and pulled some nice shavings. I somehow thought the shavings should come equally across the blade, but they only come from the center. Looks good.

OK, let’s keep on a roll, and pull out that 409! I had done the sole previously. Also I had taken off the tote and front knob, lightly sanded and put on a couple coats of shellac. And disassembled, cleaned and reassembled the innards already, but had not sharpened the iron.

That was 2 hours of 120, 180, 220,400,600, and then 800 grit! I have never sharpened to such a fine grit before. It looks beautiful!! Like a mirror!

. I do have 2 two-sided sharpening stones

and a seemingly very fine Waushita stone but have no idea about the grit or grade of these. They were in a box of stuff from an auction, and the price was too good to pass up.

And now the line…. I went to set the Sargent down and without thinking, laid it on it’s SIDE! Couldn’t bring myself to put that iron on the workbench. Never even thought about it. And it cuts (is that the right term?) great! It really left this hunk of dried oak firewood SMOOTH.

Ha Ha, I’m hooked and lovin’ every minute!

peace, T

5 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#1 posted 12-05-2013 10:29 PM

Very nice.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Tommy Evans's profile

Tommy Evans

147 posts in 2197 days

#2 posted 12-05-2013 10:48 PM

Thanks, Jim. Nothing very earth shattering or exciting (except maybe to me) and not like the projects some post, boy howdy, I can only dream about that, but very satisfying none the less.

I see your post-count IS moving forward. It was stuck on that 100K for a day or two. I was afraid it may stick on all 9’s and not get you that holiday! :)

peace, T

View NinjaAssassin's profile


640 posts in 1747 days

#3 posted 12-05-2013 11:37 PM

That’s great Tommy. I recently started on that same journey and, like you, I’m hooked. It’s a whole lot of fun! Good stuff man.

-- Billy

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2590 days

#4 posted 12-06-2013 12:19 AM

it’s a fun ride.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 1984 days

#5 posted 12-06-2013 12:53 AM

Nice job learning to use your tools. They are fun for sure.
I didn’t see any specifics on it as to the type of your washita , but this article says the no. 1 washita is in the 600-800 grit range. You can compare it to different grits of wet/dry sandpaper or something to get an idea of it’s grit though.

Come join us in the hand tools forum and some of the active threads like Hand plane of your dreams.

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