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How do you hone in between sharpening sessions?

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Forum topic by live4ever posted 11-14-2012 11:09 PM 1382 views 0 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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live4ever

983 posts in 1662 days


11-14-2012 11:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening waterstone green compound honing

Nothing like a freshly sharpened plane iron. My plane irons are all A2, but I find they lose their super sharp edge pretty quickly and need a touch-up.

My general sharpening strategy consists of 1000, 6000 waterstones followed by green compound on MDF. Therefore, the quick touch-up for me is on the MDF with green compound.

In order to make the touch-up as painless as possible, I’d prefer not to have to chuck the blade in the honing guide because I’m not likely to touch-up if I have to spend time getting out the guide, setting up, yadda yadda. But it’s almost impossible (for me) to touch-up a micro-bevel freehand. Perhaps I need to re-think my initial sharpening strategy and use a larger secondary bevel instead of a tiny one?

So how do you guys “touch-up” quickly in the middle of a planing session? Free-hand or with a guide?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.


40 replies so far

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MJCD

452 posts in 1023 days


#1 posted 11-14-2012 11:14 PM

With a guide (Veritas) and 2000-grit wet sandpaper; as my sharpening skills are in their infancy – I’ve been told by several LJ members do it freehand.

MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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bobasaurus

1252 posts in 1836 days


#2 posted 11-14-2012 11:16 PM

I’m trying to change most of my sharpening technique to freehand for speed and easy setup. It makes for slightly convex bevels, but they still cut just as well. I touch-up freehand the same way I do a full sharpening, but starting at either the finest stone or medium then finest. I haven’t used a strop yet, but I plan on making one soon.

-- Allen, Colorado

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live4ever

983 posts in 1662 days


#3 posted 11-14-2012 11:17 PM

MJCD, do you use a microbevel? They sure are easy to create with the Veritas guide (love that thing…I’d be lost without it).

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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live4ever

983 posts in 1662 days


#4 posted 11-14-2012 11:19 PM

bobasauras – at least you’re on the freehand track…those of us dependent on guides get screwed when it comes to touch-up!

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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HorizontalMike

6938 posts in 1566 days


#5 posted 11-14-2012 11:19 PM

I am finding more and more that I will use the “contractor’s paper” I have taped down on my workbench, to burnish my chisels and other blades while I am busy. Not perfect, but it surely does a good job, IMO.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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live4ever

983 posts in 1662 days


#6 posted 11-14-2012 11:58 PM

Mike – contractor’s paper – is that like kraft paper?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9888 posts in 1270 days


#7 posted 11-15-2012 12:02 AM

Strop with green compound works very well, ala Paul Sellers’ 30 strokes.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1452 days


#8 posted 11-15-2012 12:08 AM

I use a Worksharp 3000 with MDF discs covered with polishing compounds. To touch up the blade on a chisel I just stick it in the slot the machine has built in. I keep it set to the microbevel angle, so is needs no adjustments for a quick touch up. No jig required. For hand planes I usually put off honing until I absolutely have to. Then I use a jig on the top of the WS (I built a platform on an episode of BCWW). Since I am going to the trouble to take it out of the plane and all, putting it in a jig is not that much more work.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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TechRedneck

738 posts in 1509 days


#9 posted 11-15-2012 12:10 AM

It took a little effort at first, but I watched Paul Sellers videos on hand sharpening.

Touch ups for me now consist of 15 seconds on an 8000 grit waterstone (kept wet in a tub) then 30 strokes on a strop with green compound. Whole process from iron removal to replacement is 5 min tops. Chisels are quicker.

Once the backs are flat and polished, I never touch them again except one swipe on the strop to remove the micro burr.

I also made a dedicated sharpening station that keeps things organized. I refuse to use tools that are not sharp.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1452 days


#10 posted 11-15-2012 12:35 AM

TechRedneck- I heard that leaving your waterstones in the tub is bad for them. I don’t use waterstones, but I wondered about that…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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live4ever

983 posts in 1662 days


#11 posted 11-15-2012 01:16 AM

TechRedneck – that’s exactly what I’m going for on touch-ups. Only my problem is that I’m terrible at freehanding microbevels. It does more harm than good to touch them up. Are you using microbevels/freehanding them?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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TechRedneck

738 posts in 1509 days


#12 posted 11-15-2012 01:21 AM

Stumps

No issues so far, I rinse the stone and change its bath water every month or so but thats it. It is a stone that needs to be wet. Now my shop is heated, if it were not and prone to freezing, that’s another issue.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

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paratrooper34

760 posts in 1603 days


#13 posted 11-15-2012 01:45 AM

I use a leather disc on a WS 3000. Quick and easy to get a dulling blade freshened up. Since I use waterstones as my sharpening system, the WS 3000 has a primary function for the touch-ups.

I second keeping waterstones in water all the time. Been doing it for a few years now with no effect whatsoever. I keep a little bleach in there to keep the water from getting funky and they do just fine.

-- Mike

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thebigvise

190 posts in 1552 days


#14 posted 11-15-2012 01:46 AM

I admire my freehand colleagues, but I love the precision of my Veritas Mk II guide. Yes, it definitely takes longer…

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

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MJCD

452 posts in 1023 days


#15 posted 11-15-2012 01:48 AM

I do use the micro-bevel; and I don’t touch the backs – probably once every two months I’ll polish the backs, just to ensure no gummy build-up. And I do keep a wet-sandpaper handy during all project builds – One of TechRednecks many sage practices.

Since I use a consistent angle (probably not the best practice), I don’t need to use the Veritas reference jig – I just pop the blade into the honing guide, preset for micro-bevel; quick stokes on the wet paper, and I’m ready to go.

I’m not as finicky as most others on the amount of time spent touching-up during a project build – I’ve had what most would call a stressful career; I’m not going to ruin any years I have remaining worried about how much time I spend sharpening tools. If the blade needs a quick honing then hone the blade!

By the way, there are Optimists, Pessimists, and Realists; and depending on the circumstances the Realist is always one of the other two.

MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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