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Sharpening system for hand plane

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Forum topic by Tom posted 12-07-2015 10:01 PM 824 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tom

130 posts in 521 days


12-07-2015 10:01 PM

My wife has requested that I make her a cutting board to go over the sink…and considering the cost of a pre-made one (plus questionable quality) I’d like to make one. All the videos show people with a nice workshop and a thickness planer.

I don’t have one and no $$/space for one.

What I do have is an old Craftsman plane that’s about 10” long on the base..probably 40+ years old that’s in really good shape so I figure I can use that plus some sweat to make her the cutting board. The iron looks to be in very good shape since it was my father’s and he took care of his tools. What I’m looking for is advice on is the best stones to use to sharpen it and possibly a jig to hold it at the correct angle (there’s some argument between 25 and 30 degrees.) I do have a Lansky knife sharpening system that I could probably use but I’m thinking that it would be very time consuming and not give the results I’m looking for.


17 replies so far

View brtech's profile

brtech

893 posts in 2383 days


#1 posted 12-07-2015 10:18 PM

Google “scary sharp”

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1420 posts in 2326 days


#2 posted 12-07-2015 10:21 PM

I like the vice honing guides on some plain ole silicon carbide wet dry paper.

This is a cheap one http://www.ptreeusa.com/norton_waterstone.htm#302

View Tim's profile

Tim

3110 posts in 1422 days


#3 posted 12-08-2015 12:00 AM

Those Lansky’s would actually work fine. Combine that with the scary sharp system which is some sandpaper on flat glass or granite and you’d be in business. No need to fork over $ for several stones for just one project. You can use scary sharp for quite a while before it ends up costing more than a set of stones.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2190 posts in 942 days


#4 posted 12-08-2015 01:02 PM

Ultimately the sand paper system will cost you more IF you sharpen a lot, but its probably the best way to go in your case.

Good quality stones are quite expensive but a good investment if a lot of hand tool sharpening is in your future.

Make SURE you start by flattening the back of the iron. Lots of videos out there check them out.

Not real familiar with the sandpaper grits vs. stones but I would say you want to go to something like 6000 grit.
You may be starting with something like 180 or 220 and progressing through 3 or 4 grits.

Most important thing about sharpening: never go to the next grit until you’ve raised a burr.

The bevel angle on a standard 45 degree bevel down plane is not that critical. The cutting edge is actually the back of the plane iron. 25 is a bit low only because it will not hold the edge as long. 30-35 is the usual range. (That cutting board isn’t end grain, is it?)

Just about any honing jig will work. I like these.

Good luck!

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

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1975 days


#5 posted 12-08-2015 01:19 PM

I agree with Tim.
I don’t use planes much at all, but my Lansky’s sharpening set has been a staple in my shop for years, using it mainly to sharpen chisels.
I also have a block of granite that I bought from Woodcraft on sale years ago, with wet/dry sandpaper on it. Before that I used glass, and STILL have that piece of glass with wet/dry sandpaper on it. I can get a scary sharp chisel every time. I’ve nicked myself more than once while using my chisels.

I see no reason you cannot do the same thing to a plane iron.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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toddbeaulieu

780 posts in 2465 days


#6 posted 12-08-2015 01:44 PM

Using sandpaper for the first tuneup is the only way to go. Starting with 60 or 80 glued to the table saw is a good way to flatten the plane. You don’t have to go nuts, though. I’ve spent four hours on a single plane. That was excessive. One it’s tuned up, there are a million systems, all with their pros and cons.

View Tom's profile

Tom

130 posts in 521 days


#7 posted 12-08-2015 01:50 PM

Thanks for the info. I’m going to order some sandpaper and now I’m regretting getting rid if the scrap granite from my kitchen remodel…had a piece that would’ve been perfect for this. I’ll have to see about getting a piece of glass or some other flat surface to use.

As for the design..I’m not going to do end grain. I was going to cut strips of maple and walnut, glue them together, then plane/sand them smooth and rub down with mineral oil. Sort of like the smaller ones we already have.

View Tim's profile

Tim

3110 posts in 1422 days


#8 posted 12-08-2015 03:05 PM

The only sandpaper I’d order in your case is something more coarse than your coarsest Lansky and some finer than your finest one. If your irons are pretty close to sharp already you may not even need to bother with anything coarser. Wet dry sandpaper only goes up to about 2000 or 2500 grit, but as RWE mentioned, the grits are different. I’m too lazy to look up the exact comparison, but 2000 grit wet dry sandpaper is equivalent to something like a4000 grit stone. That’s plenty for one project. Also agree the bevel angle is not that critical.
Be careful though, you may get hooked once you get a sharp hand plane working, and then you can decide to buy a good set of stones.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14547 posts in 2144 days


#9 posted 12-08-2015 03:33 PM

One little “How-to” video worth watching….Paul Sellers has a couple out. Shows a simple and easy set up for sharpening.

I have a coarse oil stone, a Medium India 600, and then the Wet-or-Dry papers get laid right on the oil stones. You might also look for a leather work belt. They are about 2” wide. It isn’t for wearing, I cut a section off, and use that as a strop to final polish edges. Might look up some of the Green Leweler’s Rouge. Rub some on the belt, and then strop.

BTW: WalMart’s auto section carries up to 3000 grit Wet-or-Dry paper.

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

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bandit571

14547 posts in 2144 days


#10 posted 12-08-2015 03:43 PM

A few other notes. The Craftsman iron may be stamped with the grinding angle. Should be @ 25 degrees, at least the ones I have done were that way.

When I do use a “Honing Guide” it is from Veritas. A MK1 honing guide. I can set the angle with the supplied jig.

I happen to have a decent beltsander, that I can clamp upside down in my bench vise. I run it with the belt running away from me. Iron is held in the honing guide, sander is locked “On” and I run the iron along the moving belt. I keep fingertips ON the iron, checking for heat….fingers say if it is getting too hot, then a dunk in some water. I also flatten the back ( non-beveled side) of the iron with the sander. I hold the iron along the side of the sander, letting the belt run past. Fingers to check for heat, again. As the iron comes up out of the water cup dunk, I check the progress.

Once the edge and back are looking good, then it is off to the stones, then the papers, then to the strop. Normally, I stop at 2.5K grit, and then strop the edge.

Might take me…..20 minutes, start to finish…...YMMV

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

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3652 posts in 1726 days


#11 posted 12-08-2015 03:49 PM

I’m a believer in that Veritas honing guide. I use scrap granite from a counter top shop and wet/dry paper. I’ve found it up to 3000 grit. I’m very happy with the results and for the cost of some of those water/oil stones. I’m pretty sure I can buy a lot of wet/dry sandpaper.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1141 days


#12 posted 12-08-2015 04:00 PM

What shape is the iron in right now? Is it shaped right just a bit dull or is it badly out of shape with deep nicks in it?

Sandpaper sharpening works fine but I find it slow when you have to remove a lot of material. If your iron is close and just need minor tuning it should work fine but if you need to do some major regrinding your going to want something more aggressive.

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daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1036 days


#13 posted 12-08-2015 05:44 PM

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1420 posts in 2326 days


#14 posted 12-08-2015 10:18 PM

While the granite is nice you dont need it. A tile from Home Depot or even a piece of laminate covered particle board available in the shelving is quite flat.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2190 posts in 942 days


#15 posted 12-09-2015 11:22 AM


I m going to order some sandpaper and now I m regretting getting rid if the scrap granite from my kitchen remodel…had a piece that would ve been perfect for this. I ll have to see about getting a piece of glass or some other flat surface to use.

As for the design..I m not going to do end grain. I was going to cut strips of maple and walnut, glue them together, then plane/sand them smooth and rub down with mineral oil. Sort of like the smaller ones we already have.

- Starfury

Careful using glass it is not reliably flat. I saw Frank Klauzs use a piece of melamine board, but I wouldn’t recommend that either. What’s always worked for me is self adhesive sandpaper on the table saw top. If you’re committing to sandpaper sharpening, I would get a piece of granite. You can pick up a piece pretty cheap at most countertop places or if you’re lucky and see an installer, ask him.

On the cutting board, when you glue up any panel, be sure the grain direction is the same for every strip or the handplaning won’t go well.

Good luck you’ll be on you’re way to scoring points soon!!

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

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