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How sharp is sharp and how flat is flat?

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Forum topic by David Craig posted 490 days ago 889 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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David Craig

2130 posts in 1608 days


490 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening flattening chisel plane humor

You are a new woodworker or a new handtool user. You are just learning how to sharpen chisels and plane irons. As you work the metal for the first time, you ask yourself “Alright, just how sharp is sharp?” and as you flatten, you are sure you are pretty close, you ask yourself “How flat is flat?” You feel satisfied with the product, you lay it down. A year later, you have a use for that specific chisel or plane. You look at the bottom and you say “Holy Crap! Look at the machine marks! Was I freaking blind when I worked on this thing?” You then spend the next 15 minutes getting the metal up to snuff and ready to use.

Congratulations!

You now know how sharp sharp is and how flat flat is :)

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.


34 replies so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1614 days


#1 posted 490 days ago

LOL
and it tells you ,that you have grown tremendesly in skills

merry Chrismas David

Dennis

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1608 days


#2 posted 490 days ago

Thank you Dennis. Happy Holidays to you as well my friend :)

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3185 posts in 2459 days


#3 posted 490 days ago

I’m not gonna tell you that when I began WWing, I thought new tools were sharp, all boards were straight, and finishes were something ya put on straight from the can.
I’m not gonna tell ya ‘cause when I was that age, I knew EVERYTHING.
Note to self:
Boy, were you stupid.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Don W's profile

Don W

13923 posts in 1066 days


#4 posted 490 days ago

Same here Bill!

Congratulations!

You now know how sharp sharp is and how flat flat is :)

Until next year anyhow!!

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - http://timetestedtools.wordpress.com (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

10766 posts in 837 days


#5 posted 490 days ago

1. It’s never sharp enough
2. Never trust a lumber yard
3. Don’t assume anything is square
4. Never think you know it all

Pretty simple. Just wish I would remember it most of the time. :-)

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1608 days


#6 posted 490 days ago

I think we all have gotten caught on the expectation that a chisel we first purchased was “sharp.” Kind of goes against logic that it isn’t. Kind of like buying a tape measure only to be told that we have to insert the tape. :)

Said it right Don “until next year…” or next month or next week…

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9109 posts in 1117 days


#7 posted 490 days ago

Very true, David. Very true!

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

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

819 posts in 1189 days


#8 posted 490 days ago

Unlike in music, with chisels sharp and flat are good!

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

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SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 1979 days


#9 posted 490 days ago

How true that is. I agree with Monte too !!

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Roger's profile

Roger

13059 posts in 1303 days


#10 posted 489 days ago

That’s funny David, and, oh so true… lol

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6676 posts in 1413 days


#11 posted 489 days ago

It’s funny that no one has mentioned the number of BandAids purchased over that same time frame… ;-)

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

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1657 days


#12 posted 489 days ago

I judge sharpness by the quality of my lacerations. The sharper the chisel is, the less it hurts.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

414 posts in 1336 days


#13 posted 489 days ago

Love all the comments about our common learning curve… quite the journey for me… memorable to say the least. But sharp is good. Very true Jay. I loaned my carving knives to a Boy Scout and told his dad they were scary sharp. A month later my knives were returned and the dad told me the Scout had cut himself and didn’t even know it.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13335 posts in 2172 days


#14 posted 489 days ago

Cant say how sharp is sharp, since I been away from woodworking for three years.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2466 posts in 1275 days


#15 posted 489 days ago

I was raised with tools and keeping them sharp – problem was that most of what I was taught was wrong. Took a few years of relearning everything.

How right you are.

-- David in Damascus, MD

showing 1 through 15 of 34 replies

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