Reply by David Kirtley

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Posted on honing using sand paper

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David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3025 days

#1 posted 11-19-2011 09:47 AM

Don’t over think it.

Abrasives are the same no matter the binding medium. Any abrasive will work. Anything that removes metal and doesn’t mess up the temper will do. Waterstones, diamond stones, oil stones, sandpaper, grit on glass, all have their advantages and drawbacks. About the only place that sandpaper shines (pun intended) is on the finest grits—1000 grit and finer and if you need a really big area for something especially large like a jointer blade. That or on a belt sander for really rough shaping. It really doesn’t make sense otherwise. You can pick up a cheap diamond stone for $15 that will handle most sharpening and outlast the equivalent in paper many times over. If I am doing one chisel, I just use the diamond stone and finish up with a strop or sandpaper. If I have a handful of stuff to do, I go get some water and fill up my electric wet grinder and spend some quality time with it.

The biggest problem most people have with sharpening is that they try to do everything with one grit that is too fine. The trick to sharpening effectively is to work through the grits. You can go through from coarse to fine in just a few minutes or you can beat your head against the wall and spend hours at it with a fine grit.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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