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Counter-intuitive Productivity (jointing an edge AFTER sharpening)

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Blog entry by swirt posted 11-10-2010 07:52 PM 4595 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There have been several times in my woodworking hobby where something has been introduced to me that at first seemed WRONG or counter-intuitive. Probably the first, was over 20 years ago when I was told I should not grip a saw handle so tightly. What? No death grip is needed? Hold it like you are holding an injured sparrow? Of course now I know that to be the truth …. but at the time I thought it was crazy talk.

Today I read Ron Hock’s blog and he suggests jointing the sharpened edge of your plane blade (or probably chisel blade too) AFTER you have sharpened it. What? risk that sharp point I worked so hard to get by dragging it bluntly across a stone?

After pondering it a while, and seeing the electron microscope photos, I have to say it does make sense …. I just haven’t brought myself to try it first.

http://hocktools.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/the-edge-joint/

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com



10 comments so far

View mafe's profile

mafe

11172 posts in 2555 days


#1 posted 11-10-2010 08:48 PM

Very interesting, I have no doubt its right.
Thank you,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4607 posts in 2502 days


#2 posted 11-10-2010 09:07 PM

Doesn’t everybody?

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View volman's profile

volman

6 posts in 2262 days


#3 posted 11-10-2010 09:09 PM

I am at least skeptical with the results presented in the original article. The joined edge looks smoother, but my guess is that is more blunted because of the jointing and therefore less “sharp”. Still as swit said somethings are counterintuitive, and I will give it a try. Thanks for the food for thought.

I just wish the original article would have compared apples to apples. The original article should have posted pictures of planes sharpened on 16000 grit with and without jointing, instead of 16000 grit with jointing and 8000 grit without.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2243 days


#4 posted 11-10-2010 09:20 PM

I think I know what the article is trying to say but I don’t know if I would run my blade across a stone like that. It looks like the idea is to get the burr off the edge. On a blade with A2 hardness, it won’t dull the blade. If it is a newer blade, it will make it dull. Rule of thumb, if it take 2 or more hours to sharpen, this, if done lightly, will have no effect. I use a razor stroup for removing any final burr. This same burr on a straight razor will mess up your face when shaving, does the same on wood. The stroup is treated with a mild abrasive as well.

It is also an idea to slightly take the sharp corners off the plane blades. This reduces gouging from the corners, so I am told. I leave them sharp.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2438 days


#5 posted 11-10-2010 10:06 PM

I have a feeling the best results would be to sharpen, joint the tip, then do one more swipe at sharpening on the finest stone. Now if only I could find where I left that darn electron microscope so I could prove it… errrr I also need someone to loan me their 16,000 grit stone as I don’t have one of those either ;)

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1441 posts in 2930 days


#6 posted 11-10-2010 10:37 PM

yeah i’m not sure about this either. David is right – it will depend on the hardness of the steel. but still, i’d rather get any burr off with a light sweep across a strop. The other thing to consider is how quickly you get to a worn-working edge. I think Brent Beech talks about that – no matter how sharp it is off the stone, it will bend or blunt quickly once it hits the wood.

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2438 days


#7 posted 11-10-2010 11:17 PM

I don’t think the practice is intended to remove the burr. It seems to be clean-up after removing the burr has done its damage.

AaronK, won’t Brent Beech’s head explode if you reference him as a source and recommend stropping at the same time? (link)

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1441 posts in 2930 days


#8 posted 11-10-2010 11:48 PM

haha yeah, i remember that. IIRC he sharpens on paper down to 0.5 micron, which is hard to find. I understand his point, but i think the issue is a little complicated by the mechanical compliance of whatever you’re using as a strop. To me, a strop is a flat piece of MDF charged with 1.0 micron and then 0.3 micron alumina, so…. not your daddy’s strop. a conventional leather/suede strop on the other hand flexes around the sharp edge of the blade, which can dull it, or at least round it. but does it really matter what the precise angle of the blade is as long as its super sharp?

whatever the case may be, I still can’t wrap my head around this blade “jointing.” what if you have a cambered blade (all of mine are, on purpose)? if the “teeth” that are left are fine enough – ie, you’ve sharpened it on a high enough grit – then it doesnt really matter if they are there or not… which is really the entire way sharpening works.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2243 days


#9 posted 11-11-2010 12:04 AM

I remmember someone using craft paper instead of a strop also.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2438 days


#10 posted 11-11-2010 04:10 AM

hmm good question about the camber. Ron would be a better person to answer that for sure. My guess and only a guess, is that it just as effective on a cambered blade, but probably a bit harder to pull off.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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