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Woodcraft Jointer Knife hone. Opinions?

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Forum topic by ChrisCarr posted 02-26-2011 05:28 PM 2558 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ChrisCarr

196 posts in 2364 days


02-26-2011 05:28 PM

I am buying a used jointer (my first) soon. It has HSS knives already in it. I figure before I get it I should devise a plan for sharpening them. I stumbled across this jig which allows you to sharpen knives without removing them from the cutterhead…

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2000215/1668/Jointer-Blade-Hone-Aluminum-Oxide.aspx

Any opinions?
Is aluminum oxide good enough for sharpening HSS ? (i don’t want to pay more for the diamond version)
If I use oil to lubricate the hone do I need to wipe down the knives after sharpening so it doesn’t transfer to my wood?

Thank you
- Chris


14 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2316 days


#1 posted 02-26-2011 05:35 PM

Hi Chris—

Welcome to the world of joinerossity!

I bought one of those along the line somewhere and I don’t seem to have it anymore and my life seems fine without it. In other words, I’d say save your money. I couldn’t get any value out of it at all.

The key to long joiner knife life is a. Stay away from questionable material, and b. have a good system for setting the knives. Robert Vaughn has an excellent video.

I always tackle that project early in the day. From mid afternoon on, it’s easier for me to say, “good enough.” The standard needs to be higher than that.

Once you’ve got the newly sharpened knives set, if you get a nick, you can slide one knife one way or the other and get oodles more life out of them.

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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ChrisCarr

196 posts in 2364 days


#2 posted 02-26-2011 05:43 PM

What about when they get dull? I don’t have any local sharpening services and would rather do it myself than ship it off.

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lew

11343 posts in 3221 days


#3 posted 02-26-2011 05:47 PM

I have a version of this- plastic holder- and use it occasionally. I use it the way chefs use a steel- sort of a tune up between sharpening. I couldn’t get it to remove nicks as the advertisement states but it will help re-establish a sharp edge. As Lee pointed out, good usage techniques will go a long way to keeping the knives cutting smooth.

Use the oil sparingly and wipe off any excess with a rag. WEAR GLOVES- leather or canvas!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View bigike's profile

bigike

4050 posts in 2754 days


#4 posted 02-26-2011 05:55 PM

http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=33002&cat=1,43072,43078&ap=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESRLkrCy5Y4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qafs2DyYhIY&feature=related
These are a few ways to sharpen your own blades as for the hone jig I have no idea about those, I woud get one and try it out it’s only $15 other places sell it too maybe cheaper so if your worried about price shop around try ebay.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2316 days


#5 posted 02-26-2011 06:11 PM

So it looks like the clever guys have developed some nifty ways to hone knives. All that I’ve seen require removing the blades except the little portable thingy that the OP asked about.

Tage Frid, in his excellent book (Taunton) series titled Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking, shows clearly how he does it with a router and a cup stone. This would be serious enough to remove nicks, and the knives stay installed and theoretically would remain in perfect adjustment. I’d be interested to know if any LJs use this technique.

It would appear to me you could do a complete sharpening in half the time it would take to remove the knives and just hone them and then reset them.

I’m sticking by the “don’t waste the fifteen bucks” notion I opened with.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3288 days


#6 posted 02-26-2011 06:30 PM

I have one of those and like Lew and Lee stated it is ok but I only use it to hone the blades. I have not been able to remove nicks with mine either.

As far as sharpening goes I generally send my blades to Forrest. For hss they charge $0.70 per inch.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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ChrisCarr

196 posts in 2364 days


#7 posted 02-26-2011 06:38 PM

Isn’t it possible to remove bigger nicks (not huge) by just taking more honing strokes?

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5181 posts in 2660 days


#8 posted 02-26-2011 06:39 PM

Greetings Chris,

Don’t waste your money on this thing….I bought one several years ago to sharpen my knives, also.
In my opinion, these things are a piece of junk.The one I bought was made in China, and I’d bet this one is too…..They DO NOT sharpen the knives, and won’t even remove little nicks…..I would stay away from it if I were you…..

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View ChrisCarr's profile

ChrisCarr

196 posts in 2364 days


#9 posted 02-26-2011 06:43 PM

Rick, what method to use for getting knives sharp?

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5181 posts in 2660 days


#10 posted 02-26-2011 06:56 PM

Chris,

In order to get the knives sharp the way they are supposed to be, and to get the right angle, bevel,(?), you need to have them sharpened by a someone who does that, and knows what they are doing. Most companies that sharpen saw blades, knives, etc. can sharpen them the right way…They have the machines to do the job right. For instance, I send all my saw blades, jointer and planer knives together to a place over in Memphis, Tn. (I lived in Memphis, so I know about this place). If you can find a place close to you that does that, you’ll be all for the better…..

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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ChrisCarr

196 posts in 2364 days


#11 posted 02-27-2011 04:21 AM

I always have thought sharpening HSS knives was easily possible for a woodworker while carbide isn’t.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2316 days


#12 posted 02-27-2011 09:01 PM

Chris, you’re right about the ease of sharpening HSS. The issue with joiner (and planer) knives is getting them perfectly straight and making sure all three are in balance.

The pros (I’ve seen) use a fixture that holds all three knives at once, referenced to the back of the knife, so all come out identical when the sharpening is done. It’s worth it to send them to a pro if you want the joiner to work for you and not gnaw at you.

If their being gone a while to be sharpened is an issue, buy a second set.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#13 posted 02-27-2011 10:16 PM

I have one of those hones. I think I may have got it for a couple of bucks
at harbor freight. It’s useful in a pinch for light conditioning of knives,
but no good for real grinding and sharpening with the knives removed.

View Chris Matthews's profile

Chris Matthews

21 posts in 2247 days


#14 posted 03-01-2011 06:32 AM

I read somewhere (who knows now) that you can take a regular sharpening stone (try 8000 grit), turn on your jointer, and coming in from the outfeed table lightly allow the stone to contact the knives (as they are spinning) and by rubbing the stone across the table from side to side you will sharpen the blades evenly. I have done it (a very puckering experience) in a pinch and by having the outfeed table just a hair under the blade height it worked fine and got me through the job I was doing until I could get a replacement set in. They did recommend that you clamp a board on the infeed table to keep the stone from being pulled all the way across the blades and pulling your hand in, but being the lazy guy I am I did not do this.

I agree with Lee about getting them sharpened by a pro. If your blades are not straight you will have absolutely no luck in getting them set and until you figure out that the problem is the blade you will try and try. I have sent them out to Forrest Sawblade company with my sawblades and they did a great job, but have since found a more local company that can do it.

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