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Ultimate Sharpening System

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Forum topic by StumpyNubs posted 12-20-2010 11:49 PM 4833 views 2 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2267 days


12-20-2010 11:49 PM

In my blog I began a discussion with some of the veteran Lumber Jocks about sharpening. I KNOW, I know, this has been covered before, in fact many times. But I am taking some time to “perfect” every tool in my shop. And I believe the best path toward perfect is through the experiance of the woodworkers on this site. Since the tool I am currently working on is my sharpening system, I wanted to move the discussion to the regular forum to get some more comments. (Not everyone reads the blogs, though they should… they’re missing out on the best stuff on the site…)

ANYWHO… I aim to build the ultimate sharpening system. What is that? It’s a system that is fast, easy and cheap. It has to be fast enough that I won’t put off sharpening an edge. When it’s even a little bit less than sharp, I want a system that I can just walk right up to and touch it up quickly. And I want minimal maintainance.

After discussing this at length with fellow LJ’s, I think I want an automated version of the scary sharp method. A machine I can build myself that uses sandpaper and perhaps even ultra fine honing/polishing compounds on spinning MDF discs. It has to be easy to change discs (no tools needed) to change from one disc (grit) to the next. It has to allow both jig assisted sharpening, and free hand touchups. It has to work with wide plane blades.

I know my demands are high, but with the help of my fellow LJ’s I think we can come up with the ULTIMATE SHARPENING STATION for our shops.

So, LET THE IDEAS FLOW FREELY…..

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/


32 replies so far

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1676 posts in 2355 days


#1 posted 12-21-2010 02:06 AM

Here’s an idea that fits all your want list.

Cut a disk of MDF and drill a hole in the center.
Tighten a bolt and nut through the hole with a washer on each side.
Glue sandpaper to the disk, or apply compound.
Chuck into driull press or lathe.
Sharpen away.
Make a separate disk for each grit.
If using the drill press, apply the grit to the back of the disk, if the lathe glue to the front.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2267 days


#2 posted 12-21-2010 02:18 AM

Tiny- it violates one of my critera. How would you use a jig to hold the blade at a consistant angle? i want both jig and freehand sharpening ability. Otherwise, it’s just the kind of creative thinking I’m looking for!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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Gofor

470 posts in 3253 days


#3 posted 12-21-2010 02:46 AM

If the disc turns flat (i.e face is horizontal), then you could put a removable flat plate to cover a section of it. (could rotate on and off, covering just a quarter or third of the disk). If set just above the disc surface, the jig will work setting on the plate (however a new reference setting would be needed to allow for the additional height from the cutting surface) and the open face will still be clear for free hand.

A large disc would allow concentric circles of different grits (coarse toward the center and finer as you move out, ending with honing on the outside.

The area not covered would also give access to hone the back of an iron or chisel, but wouldn’t allow for initial flattening without changing grit set up on wheel. Perhaps the other side of the wheel could be coarser grit for back flattening and resetting a primary bevel (not a usual task during a project).

If the center hole of the discs are tapered, as is the driving shaft, it would be easy to swap disks (like using a morris taper in reverse) That would tend to suggest something similar to an upside down drill press .

Just some brainstorming

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

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KayBee

1083 posts in 2713 days


#4 posted 12-21-2010 03:09 AM

Sounds like the system shopnotes came up with http://www.shopnotes.com/issues/107/
Their version uses a drill press to run it, but you can use a motor instead. Make the discs any size you want then and allows both freehand and jig sharpening.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2267 days


#5 posted 12-21-2010 03:11 AM

Gofor- My goodness, I wish I had a clue what you were talking about…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2267 days


#6 posted 12-21-2010 03:13 AM

Kaybee- The Shopnotes system has been in the back of my mind. Problem is it has to be set up on the drill press each time to use. I want it ready to go at a moment’s notice or I’ll end up putting the sharpening off. Perhaps adapting it to use a motor instead of a drill press…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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Karson

35035 posts in 3867 days


#7 posted 12-21-2010 03:29 AM

This is mine and I still use it.

I’ve pretty much gravitated to sandpaper (Most of it micron 30, 20, 9, 5 and 1) I also have some 0.1 Micron diamond that equates to 300,000 grit on some charts.

I still haven’t come up with a angle fence to use on it. Everything is still done free hand.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2267 days


#8 posted 12-21-2010 03:40 AM

Karson- I think you’re idea is genious. But I want to use both fixed jig AND freehand sharpening. Looks like yours is just freehand?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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Karson

35035 posts in 3867 days


#9 posted 12-21-2010 03:40 AM

David: posted a blog a couple of years ago. You might find some aditional info there.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View spunwood's profile

spunwood

1198 posts in 2302 days


#10 posted 12-21-2010 03:53 AM

I am just a beginner, and I have yet to invest in a sharpening system. However, having read Ian Kirby’s book on sharpening, I am struck with this thought in response to your need to have it ready at a moments notice. Perhaps you meant this already…but, Kirby saves all of his heavy grinding for when he has free time or when a bunch piles up. However, the honing and sharpening is continuous.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2267 days


#11 posted 12-21-2010 03:59 AM

Kirby’s a moron. If he said the sky was blue I’d drive to Vegas and put a thousand bucks on it being red. I don’t like the look of his chubby round face.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

View KayBee's profile

KayBee

1083 posts in 2713 days


#12 posted 12-21-2010 04:15 AM

Either find a cheap, used drill press or motor and make a dedicated sharpening system. It’s just a motorized scary sharp, like the worksharp. Look on craigslist for some of the crap craftsmans type lathes with tubes. You want the motor and pulleys, not the lathe part. Mount the motor on its end, under the box.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

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TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#13 posted 12-21-2010 04:30 AM

Nice job karson. it is one my favorites list and I forgot all about it :-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2267 days


#14 posted 12-21-2010 11:45 PM

Ok- I think sandpaper may not be fine enough for that ultra sharp edge, especially hand plane blades. Has anyone used diamond paste? I konw Karson has used polishing compound, perhaps I’ll use some of that.

I guess I need to settle on how many grits I need. For those using the Scary Sharp/sandpaper method- what grits do you use? Let’s assume you need to totally rework a bevel because of a chip. Where do you start? Do you use a 120grit wheel on the grinder to create the new hollow ground bevel? Or do you use paper all the way?

Do you use courser that 120 paper? Then what? I have paper up tp 2000, but is that enough or should I go with polishing compound from there? Do I need five or six grits of paper or just four or five?

Karson said black honing compound actually sparks- does that mean it is course enough to replace 120 grit paper? What grits of paper/compound do I need? HELP!!!!!!!!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#15 posted 12-22-2010 01:43 AM

There are a lot of ways to grind and sand your way to an edge
that’s good enough for hacking and other rough work.

The trick of sharpening is in the 1000 grit and up range. I’ve used
several different methods and they all work well if you get the
geometry of the edge right and don’t round it over right when
you’re getting it really sharp. This is where the real skill of sharpening
a blade to the point where it can “scare” the hair off your arm, imo.

I’ve polished to this point with waterstones, sandpaper, a strop or a
buffing wheel charged with honing compound. They all work pretty
quick once you’ve got the technique figured out.

I’m not wild about the sandpaper-and-glass stuff, but that’s a personal
bias. It has its advantages.

You can do almost everything you need to with a coarse white grinding
wheel, a medium stone (diamond, oil, or water) and a buffing wheel.
Grinding usually doesn’t need to be done too often unless you’re
careless with tools. Get the geometry right on the medium stone
and the polishing is easier. If the work on the medium stone is poor,
getting a final polished edge that actually cuts wood well is hard to do –
so sharpen with a locked wrist or an angle guide.

Planer blades pose a slightly different set of problems than plane irons,
knives and chisels. I’ve found the Makita wet grinder to be nearly the
perfect solution – fast,accurate and quite sharp enough. For day to
day sharpening hand tools, it’s messy and throws water around.

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