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Forum topic by LeslieJohn posted 09-03-2015 05:49 AM 999 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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LeslieJohn

15 posts in 861 days


09-03-2015 05:49 AM

Hi I need some information about handplane sharpness. I bought a combination waterstone of 250/1000 grids. So last few days I was sharpening on this stone for testing . My sharpening skill is not bad but I think I can improve it better. I am planing some rosewood which is a hardwood. So using that 1000 grids does not really polish the edge as I think it may be too aggressive for a polish edge. But it does sharpen well. So planing rosewood with a 1000 grids grid is not bad but have to put a little effort to push the plane. I am a kind of guy who like to work smart not hard. So wondering what will the difference will be if I use higher grids stone. Will the planing be even more softer to push? Is it well money spent on a higher finer polishing stones?

Thks
Leslie

-- leslie john


15 replies so far

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Derek Cohen

296 posts in 3434 days


#1 posted 09-03-2015 05:56 AM

Leslie

I think a better term for sharpening is “smoothing”. Essentially what you do as you work on higher and higher grits is to refine the edge by making the steel smoother and smoother. Smooth steel has less resistance to coarse steel.

The 1000 grit is coarse. A 5000/6000 is a Medium stone. 8000/10000/12000 is a Fine (or polishing) stone. It is often too much work to go from Coarse to Fine, so one adds in a Medium stone.

There is still a law of demising returns. Going to 50000 grit is not necessary going to make for a productively sharp edge. 6000 may be enough for many. It depends on what you are cutting. Cutting end grain pine requires a ver smooth edge.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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Slemi

103 posts in 1007 days


#2 posted 09-03-2015 09:25 AM

You could use a little candle wax on the sole of the plane, but only in front of the blade, otherwise the wax will stay on wood and You will have trouble with finish.

Regards!
Gregor

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Derek Cohen

296 posts in 3434 days


#3 posted 09-03-2015 11:08 AM

Gregor, the effort to push comes from either a dull blade or a high cutting angle, both creating resistance. I do use candle wax on my soles, and add a squiggle along the entire length of the plane. This does not transfer affect the finish.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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bearkatwood

1210 posts in 478 days


#4 posted 09-03-2015 11:40 AM

I generally stop at 3000 grit. That should give you a good enough sharpness, but if you want to cut the tricky stuff then 8000 would help. Don’t forget to hone it when you are done sharpening.

-- Brian Noel

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LeslieJohn

15 posts in 861 days


#5 posted 09-03-2015 02:23 PM

First of all let me thank you for your feedback.

Before buying the 250/1000 grid stone I was using the sandpaper system. It did give me a sharp edge but evenly got tired of replacing new strips on my glass and also had to remove the glue before applying new ones. Also the sandpaper is expensive in the long run. The highest grid I can get hold of is 2500 grid. Hard to find grid higher than that in our market here in South Africa. So that why I bought the waterstone.

@Gregor —I am a firm believer using wax when handplaning. It does make the job easier but using the waterstone I have does not feel any difference weather I use wax or not.

@ Derek —The rosewood I bought from the mill where I always go is rough sawn. I normally plane first with a scrub plane and would continue with other plane to flatten and smooth out the surface. The “new system” I am trying with the waterstone just seeming harder to push the plane even across the grain. Often slip and ski. So as you mention I will buy the higher grid stone. I google and see some nice diamond stone. I am willing to buy the higher grid stones but not sure which one to buy the waterstone or the diamond stone/plate. I just visit your website and found lots of interesting things there. Nice stuff you making! So I read all about your sharpening techniques. But the more I read about sharpening the more I get lost. I just don’t want to go back to the sandpaper thing :-)

-- leslie john

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

296 posts in 3434 days


#6 posted 09-03-2015 02:40 PM

Hoe gaan dit, LJ? Danke vir die vriendelijke woorde. Ek is ‘n ou Kaapenaar, omtrent 30 jaar in die velede.

That 2500 grit sandpaper you were using before is equivalent to a 8000-10000 grit waterstone! And you are attempting to replace it with a 1000 waterstone.

You did right to get the waterstone. The 250 is to be used sparingly as it will dish quickly, and that is not good. The 1000 is only for establishing the bevel. Ideally, you also need a minimum of a 6000 to have a decent edge. Better would be two stones, a 5000 and a 8000. Just the 8000 may be a too large a jump from the 1000.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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bandit571

14606 posts in 2149 days


#7 posted 09-03-2015 03:33 PM

How do I sharpen all those rusty & krusty plane irons that come through the shop???
Like this..
I have a 1’’ x 30” beltsander, with a worn belt. It will smooth the backs and establish the bevel back to what it is to be..

I have an India 600 grit (red) Medium oil stone. Free handed on it with just 3in1 oil
Without wiping the oil off the stone, I lay the first grit of wet&dry paper into the oil on the stone. I go through the 1K, 2K, and the 2.5K grits, with oil on the paper. No glue involved under them.
I then lay out an old leather work belt, usually right on the bench. Clamp one end. Belt is left dry. Pull the iron or chisel back towards me, away from the edge. 15-20 strokes each face, either the bevel or the back. Clean things up, install the iron in the plane….ready to go to work. At the most, this all takes maybe a 1/2 hour, if I have to hunt down the belt, that is.

I have such a plane coming today, I might just time how long it takes. Last one was start to finish in 2 hours, counting un-packing from the mailing box.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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bandit571

14606 posts in 2149 days


#8 posted 09-03-2015 08:50 PM

Ok, here we go. This came in the mail today…

Took it to the Dungeon Shop Rehab Center for a little while…

Swapped out them ugly plastic handles for some wood ones, cleaned the sole and sides. . Iron was reground to 25* or so, back was flattened. Edge honed to 2.5K grit. Coppertone paint job removed, black paint restored.

Seems to do ok…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Texcaster

1140 posts in 1140 days


#9 posted 09-03-2015 10:10 PM

Too right bandit ! Many ways to skin a cupboard.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#10 posted 09-03-2015 10:31 PM

I pretty much use a 1500 for touch ups and strop leather and green compound.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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LeslieJohn

15 posts in 861 days


#11 posted 09-04-2015 07:25 AM

@ Derek – Hi Derek dit gaan goed met my. Hoop met jou ook! Og so jy kom van Suid Afrika. Wel ek’s hier in Johannesburg (Northcliff). Ek het jou web besoek en ek sal vir jou se jy maak regtig mooi goed. Ek wil ook daai omslag boor maak. Ek weet nie of ek die ding reg se maar nou ja. Dit gaan my volgende projek wees ;-)

Ok…oh I did not know how to compare sandpaper to waterstone, As Derek said that 2500 grids sandpaper is equivalent to a 8000-10000 grits waterstone. I did not know that. It’s ok so that means I was sharpening correctly all along using sandpaper. I must say that I did have fine results using the sandpaper method. What funny was that when I picked up the 250/1000 waterstone at the store it felt that the 1000 grids is smoother than the 2500 sandpaper. That the reason I bought it. Also I did wanted to try “other” methods of sharpening and see what I can come up with. I am going tomorrow to my woodwork store and get the higher grids. The 1000 grids watertone is fine for fresh bevelling and flattening the bottom of the iron blade/chisels but really not ok to start planing. Try it and it sort of scratching the wood surface off instead of slicing. A polish edge is so important as I learn.

Thanks guys for your feedback. I see there are many ways to sharpen and smoothen an edge so we woodworkers have to find out what best.

-- leslie john

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rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#12 posted 09-04-2015 11:44 AM

I agree with others re: you should go well past 1000, but how far?

What works for me:
I go up to 8000. I don’t see the need for 16000 or 32000.
For touch ups I start at 1250 diamond stone.
I’ve found stropping is an unnecessary extra step.
Back to work in less than 3 minutes.

Keep in mind it also depends on what kind of wood you’re planing and your blade angle.
Low angle = more frequent sharpening.

Many people do the Charlesworth back angle but forget if not careful of degrees you can increase planing effort.
I only do that on blades I’m using for wild grain.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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ChipByrd

146 posts in 1393 days


#13 posted 09-04-2015 02:12 PM

Hi, I am relatively new to woodworking and sharpening, but I use the sandpaper method. I had been going up to 2500 grit and getting really good results. I recently started going to .3 micron and am getting fantastic results.

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diverlloyd

1445 posts in 1323 days


#14 posted 09-05-2015 01:48 AM

I use a coarse and fine diamond stone and finish with a Arkansas black stone. That works just fine and most of my projects involve hard white maple I never have to bear down it. They stay sharp for awhile. When I built my work benches I used cull pine lumber. They stayed sharp for both benches and pine planes like butter. You could check out some Paul sellers videos on the subject also. I need to try the stropping with jewlers rouge

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

296 posts in 3434 days


#15 posted 09-05-2015 01:55 AM

Keep in mind that tool steels determine the sharpening media you use. The media must work with the steel you have. Some steels are more abrasion-resistant to others. As the woods you work become more abrasion-resistant (e.g. contain higher levels of silica, such as the woods in Australia), then the tool steels need to be more abrasion resistant as well (HSS/M2, A2, PM-V11). This requires a different sharpening media to tool steels used on Pine or other soft or easy-to-work woods. With those one can get away with O1 and oilstones/sandpaper.

The point is that all sharpening media are not equal, and recommendations that this or that is best simply are inexact and possibly inappropriate for someone else.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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