Reply by Loren

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Posted on Your sharpening setup

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10390 posts in 3646 days

#1 posted 07-15-2013 03:15 AM

If cost is an issue, 4000 is sharp enough. Really.

Sharpening to extreme levels of polish will not eliminate
tearout of reversing grain when hand planing, only going
to a higher cutting angle will – you can do that a bit by
skewing the plane in use. Beyond that minor technique
to get through trouble spots, you’ll need to go to a plane
with a higher pitch on the blade, a blade with a back bevel
(Burns system accomplishes back beveling), or use scrapers.

I have a Makita wet grinder with a 1000 grit red water stone
on it and it makes plane irons and chisels sharp enough to
shave with. I still hone to a finer grit when I have the
time, but for a lot of work it isn’t necessary and it
certainly doesn’t solve reversing grain problems.

My sense from experience is that edges polished accurately
to the cutting edge at high levels seem to hold up a little
better between honings. This is useful in chisels used for
chopping and in plane irons.

I seldom have to flatten water stones. That’s partially because
when I sharpen freehand with them I use a figure 8 pattern.

The Burns system uses a jig in such a way that wear on the
stones is more even than most sharpening jigs allow.

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