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Forum topic by Tony1212 posted 12-10-2015 04:42 PM 912 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tony1212

111 posts in 1202 days


12-10-2015 04:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening jig

I decided to make some Christmas gifts this year. The first time I ever tried anything like that. So I figured I’d make something fairly easy to start with – a votive candle center piece. Just edge glue a few boards and use a forstner bit to make the dugouts for the candles. No problem, I thought! My family will be greatly impressed by my skillz.

Once I had the lumber, I realized that the wood was all slightly different thicknesses. I quickly rationalized that I really need a planer. But having no money and no time, I had to think of an alternative. Suddenly I remember the plane and sharpening jig that I got as a birthday present a while ago. It’s an older Stanley No. 5, but I’ve never used it before, so I had no idea if it worked. So I tried it on a scrape piece of maple. It BARELY worked.

So I decided to jump into the Scary Sharp method to make the plane work like everyone on this board says it should. That is, it should make paper thin shavings while being pushed with a newborn’s pinky finger.

I never got anywhere close to that, but I was able to get acceptable results. And I found that planing is REALLY fun. So much so that I probably wouldn’t have been too upset to see all of those nice votive holders end up as shavings on my floor.

But I spent a LOT of time sharpening. Most of that time (like 90%), I was trying to establish the primary bevel. I was using 180 grit wet/dry sandpaper. So maybe it would have been quicker with a lower grit, but the main issue was that I couldn’t match the bevel that was originally there. Is that common? I assume most everyone uses a jig to set the length of the blade in the holder to get repeatable bevel angles. But I also figure, everyone’s is slightly different.

I also assume that I will have to do this for every blade I get from now on. Is this the usual, or am I doing something completely wrong here?

I did the best I could with matching the bevel the first time, but didn’t set up a jig to repeat it, figuring I just need to get through this batch of gifts. Sure enough, halfway through the plane starts tearing everything up. Had to resharpen. This time I set up a jig, but I still couldn’t match the first bevel I put on it. Yet another 2 hours of setting the primary… Guess I learned something and got to work on my sharpening technique, but man, that was tedious.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs


16 replies so far

View ThomasChippendale's profile

ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 400 days


#1 posted 12-10-2015 05:05 PM

My favorite method is the hollow grind followed by a fine oil stone, it will give you the paper thin curls you are looking for if you use a fine stone.

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/16-tips-for-sharpening

BTW, wood is not the prefered material for candle holders…

-- PJ

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Tony1212

111 posts in 1202 days


#2 posted 12-10-2015 07:29 PM

Actually, there are quite a variety of wooden votive candle holders. Mine is similar to:

But mine is flat with a piece of maple on each side. I’ll post pics when they are completed.

I would love to have a grinder to get a hollow grind, but since these are Christmas gifts and the 25th is quickly approaching, I didn’t have time to research, buy and setup a grinder. Nor do I have the money to buy one at the moment. Scary Sharp was just a quick $25 run to Autozone for the high grit wet/dry sandpaper. It took me less time to get everything I needed than it did to sharpen the blade.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6579 posts in 1618 days


#3 posted 12-10-2015 07:38 PM

If you have a cheaper sharpening jig, most people make jigs to repeatably set the angle the same. Might be worth doing. Just a piece of ply with various pieces screwed or glued on top.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 400 days


#4 posted 12-10-2015 07:45 PM

Do you have a belt sander, a disk sander, an edge sander, a dremmel tool ? Anything that can grind a flat so you can then micro bevel with a fine sandpaper.

BTW, I almost set a house on fire giving such a gift…didn’t use a glass cup; wood + wax = fire

-- PJ

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Tony1212

111 posts in 1202 days


#5 posted 12-10-2015 08:06 PM

jmartel -

I have a very similar jig to the one in your picture. I didn’t set up the angle jig until the second time, but now I’ll have that for the future.

My question is about sharpening a new blade (or any blade that I have not already used in my jig). Since the bevel is so narrow, is it even possible to match the bevel it came with?

PJ -

I do have a belt sander. Would I also use the blade holder jig (as seen in jmartel’s picture) when grinding the initial bevel on the belt sander? If not, I don’t see how I could match the angle when I move to the finer grits on sandpaper or stones.

Also, I’m using the votives with the glass cup. I had the same worry about fires. Got them for a few bucks per dozen at Wally World.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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Richard H

489 posts in 1148 days


#6 posted 12-10-2015 08:15 PM

The bevel angle of the edge is not that critical in a bevel down plane. To high and you don’t have clearance between the bevel surface and the work and it doesn’t work well and to low and you end up breaking off the edge to easy but there is a pretty large area between those two numbers that people love to argue over which is the best one. If you want to sharpen a edge quickly pick a angle that is slightly higher than what is currently on the edge so you end up putting a micro bevel on it. Sharpen until you feel a consistent burr on the back side of the iron than remove that by running the back of the blade lightly over the sandpaper/stone/strop and you have a sharp edge.

Having said that I find that a jig like jmartel shows is very helpful. What you call 30 degrees I might call 32 but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. What does matter is being able to get the iron back in the jig at the same position every time you go back to sharpen it so you get consistent results. You will probably end up setting all your edges to whatever that jig is set to because it’s just easier in the long run to only have one or two settings to choose from but you could have a block set for each of your irons if you wanted.

Good luck with your project and hope this helps,

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daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1043 days


#7 posted 12-10-2015 08:20 PM

What you have to do is look the primary bevel that is on it,with the iron in the jig,slide it back and forth till you get the bevel to sit flat on the surface (glass,tile,mdf) that should be your primary factory or former users bevel,then tighten making sure you bevel hasn’t moved and is still square. your looking for 25 degrees +- and your micro 30+-. you can also make the plywood stops like shown above after to figure out the bevel.if you make the plywood big enough you can mount your glass/tile on it too.

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OSU55

1063 posts in 1457 days


#8 posted 12-14-2015 03:48 AM

Primary bevels can be made a lot of ways, and is not critical – 25-30°. You could use your belt sander freehand, or make an angled jig out of wood to get you close. Welcome to the slippery slope of hand planes. Here my “scary sharp” method for honing a truly sharp edge.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1777 days


#9 posted 12-14-2015 04:36 AM



Primary bevels can be made a lot of ways, and is not critical – 25-30°. You could use your belt sander freehand, or make an angled jig out of wood to get you close. Welcome to the slippery slope of hand planes. Here my “scary sharp” method for honing a truly sharp edge.

- OSU55

Your link doesn’t work, at least for me.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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OSU55

1063 posts in 1457 days


#10 posted 12-14-2015 12:53 PM

Try this again here

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Tony1212

111 posts in 1202 days


#11 posted 12-14-2015 03:41 PM

Ah, I’m getting it now! So the primary bevel (possibly set on a belt sander with a separate jig) is shallower than the micro bevel (set using the blade holder jig, the plywood angle jig and sandpaper). Therefore, I don’t have to worry about setting the exact same angles on two separate jigs. That’s where I was getting confused.

OSU55 – How far back along the primary bevel do you bring that first micro bevel? A quarter of the way? Half the way? Lee Valley says no more than 1/32 inch. I’m not sure what that will look like on my Stanley iron.

From all that I’m gathering is that only the first 1/32” of the bevels will get a mirror polish, while the rest of the bevel is still roughed up from the course grit on the belt sander or what-have-you, correct?

Thanks for the help!

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Tim's profile

Tim

3119 posts in 1429 days


#12 posted 12-14-2015 06:12 PM



OSU55 – How far back along the primary bevel do you bring that first micro bevel? A quarter of the way? Half the way? Lee Valley says no more than 1/32 inch. I m not sure what that will look like on my Stanley iron.

The amount of the microlevel doesn’t matter all that much. The less it is the less material you have to remove to establish it. The point of it is to quickly get your finest stone right to the very edge of the bevel so you get the very edge as sharp and polished as possible. 1/32” will just look like a rather thin line at the end, and ideally it will be of even width.

From all that I m gathering is that only the first 1/32” of the bevels will get a mirror polish, while the rest of the bevel is still roughed up from the course grit on the belt sander or what-have-you, correct?
- Tony1212

Exactly.

View ThomasChippendale's profile

ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 400 days


#13 posted 12-15-2015 01:10 AM

The micro bevel gets wider at each touch-up sharpening until you trade elbow grease for reseting the primary bevel.

-- PJ

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2200 posts in 949 days


#14 posted 12-15-2015 12:15 PM

Make sure the back is dead flat first or you’ll never get a good edge.

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

View GregTP's profile

GregTP

51 posts in 411 days


#15 posted 12-28-2015 09:27 PM

One thing that may be worth mentioning is the substrate you are putting your sandpaper on. You want something dead flat; tempered glass or granite scraps work well (my local Restore gets 2×2ft granite scraps pretty regularly). Or, if you dont want to have yet another one-trick pony laying around the shop, you can use your table saw top. I have recently been sharpening a lot of old flea market irons, and i have been starting with 80 grit paper and mineral oil on the table saw top. Just duct tape it down and have at it. I do set my jig and re-grind a primary bevel but it goes really quick on low grits. Most of the time savings come from flattening the iron though, which I’m finding will beat you to death on higher grits. If you get 24 or 48” sanding belts and cut them you get a long strip of paper that works well for flattening the sole also.

Its a bit low-brow, but it does work. Once I get all the rough work on the sand paper done I take the iron to some water stones to get the finished product

-- From exercise machine warning label: "Step ladders can cause injury and even death; the ROM machine is more dangerous than a stepladder"

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