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Forum topic by 7Footer posted 06-19-2014 09:18 PM 2042 views 5 times favorited 107 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


06-19-2014 09:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening honing hone sharp blade iron steel plane iron plane blade bluing chisel sharpening chisel bevel microbevel strop stropping jigs compound grinding filing file grind

I’d like to start this forum topic for LJ’s to share their sharpening methods and pose questions. I searched and found several forum topics but all geared towards something more specific, so I was hoping that this thread could serve as a general sharpening forum for questions, techniques, pro-tips, etc.

My current sharpening method is a 60 grit Norton white wheel on my grinder to establish a bevel, then to a set of DMT diamond stones, followed by a hard Arkansas stone and finally a quick stropping. Sometimes I use a guide and sometimes not. I’m still definitely a newb and I know several others out there are in the same boat.

So please feel free to share your knowledge, pose questions, post pics of your setup, etc. I know so many of you LJ’s are experts and I would love to learn what has worked and what hasn’t, and tips you’ve been taught or learned along the way.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -


107 replies so far

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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


#1 posted 06-19-2014 09:21 PM

I hope I categorized this right, should it have been in hand tools?

First question: those of you who put microbevels on your planes and chisels, what angle do you use for the microbevel?
I’ve heard many say that the microbevel requires more frequent sharpening, is that the case?

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

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TerryDowning

1004 posts in 772 days


#2 posted 06-19-2014 11:13 PM

Best book I have read on sharpening so far
The Perfect Edge by Ron Hock

I tend not to use Micro bevels as I do use a honing guide.
My process is similiar to your

Establish the bevel (Coarse sand paper 80-120 gris, strip sander w/100 grit belt, grinding wheel)
I use EZE Lap diamond plates Coarse, Fine and Super Fine
Then shop made 2 sided strop. Side 1 is leather, side 2 is MDF

Assuming the back is already flattened and polished
I work each abrasive until the burr forms then remove the burr on the super fine diamond plate. and move to the next finer grit.

If I don’t wait too ling between sharpening sessions, I typically only use the fine, super fine and the strop for resharpens. If the fine is not raising a burr I go back down to the coarse. (This can happen if you wait too long and the edge is badly fractured.

I learned sharpening on oil stones as a kid and the process is essentially the same except you don’t have to flatten diamond plates.

Just how I do it.

-- - Terry

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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


#3 posted 06-19-2014 11:25 PM

I’ve got that book on my Amazon wish list Terry! Heard a few people say its a great one.

A couple weeks ago I told a friend I’ve been practicing sharpening and so he left a couple chisels that need sharpening, one was a beater and the other a pretty nice dewalt, but both were chewed up enough to need to be totally reground. I’ve been using that cheap $10 guide from Woodcraft, but I feel like it’s really crappy for chisels, I need to do what this guy in the LN video does, the one edge on the inside is too rounded and the chisel isn’t perfectly straight, so by the time I got the bevel established I looked and the freaking thing wasn’t square…. Anyway I have another cheap Stanley guide that I got in a kit, put it in there and after about 10 minutes I had it evened up. I do use a scary sharp type method for flattening the backs though.
But I really need to do this:

Also been thinking about getting the MKII

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


#4 posted 06-19-2014 11:35 PM

This is the other Stanley guide I was referring to, the problem is the little plastic wheels on it, it’s pretty much a POS, but it holds the chisel blade better than the other one…

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

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ColonelTravis

571 posts in 548 days


#5 posted 06-19-2014 11:55 PM

The Veritas honing guide is great. Some people think it’s for lazy dumb people (like me), and I’m sure I could do just fine freehand at some point in my life. I freehand kitchen knives and they are sharp enough but I’m always moving the blade up or down just barely-you-couldn’t-even-notice-without-a-magnifying-glass enough to not do it as efficiently as I could. The guide is brainless and consistent. Yes, it takes slightly longer to set it up vs. going straight to the stone with no guide, but the difference to me is marginal.

By the way, way too many people use way too many steps in sharpening. I didn’t think you could get more minimalist than Paul Sellers until I stumbled on Brian Burns, who uses two stones, which is all I use and will never use more.

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BigRedKnothead

4983 posts in 637 days


#6 posted 06-20-2014 01:46 AM

Good forum idea 7. I’ll ramble about my methods when I have some time.

Basically I’m an oil stoner and stropper. Happy to help anyone trying this method.
My setup:

DMT extra coarse
Norton Med India stone
Norton Translucent Arkansas
Strop loaded with flexcut gold

I still used the veritas guide for smoothers. I freehand everything else.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


#7 posted 06-20-2014 02:41 AM

Thanks BRK. I’d love to hear your rambling, I’m truly inspired by the work you put out.

If I could do one thing over, I’d have ordered wider stones, this set of DMT’s are far too narrow and for a newb and it’s really hard to get good results free-handing. I’m finally getting there but there has been much practice and trial and error. I can freehand plane irons okay, but chisels I can’t seem to get a consistent even edge so I need a guide.

I have an oil stone I bought from Don Yoda, but I haven’t flattened it yet and it’s bowed in the middle, so as soon as I’m done with the DMT’s I have to release the guide and freehand the Arkansas stone, and as I mentioned I am just now getting to the point where I can get good consistent results, shaving arm hair with relative ease… It feels good…. (that also happens to be what she said).

Speaking of what she said… I just got home from accompanying my wife’s friend from her English competency skills test… It’s funny, I thought it would take 3 hours and I had to cover for the wife so she can go out and celebrate with her fellow recent nursing graduates, and my phone was almost dead, so I took a little bit of a road soda if you will (college is only 5 minutes from my house), well she got done way early (starts on level 1), anyway we’re walking out and she says she’s thirsty, points at my nalgene bottle, “e agua?” .... yes, sure is, lol. It’s not. Rum & Soda. She loved it. lawl. Now we’re home, safe and sound and having some adult pops. Cheers brah!

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


#8 posted 06-20-2014 03:01 AM

P.S. – I just made this for my buddy (A la Mafe) who I sharpened the chisels for, he’s a contractor, but has no sharpening experience whatsoever, I think this will open his eyes and hopefully get him into the sharpening process. He’s one of the few friends that i have whom I can BS about woodworking with.
And P.P.S. – Thank you for the idea Mafe!

This is my first attempt and it literally took me maybe a total of 15 minutes.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

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upchuck

219 posts in 319 days


#9 posted 06-20-2014 05:02 AM

Good idea. Good topic. I have a sharpening stone problem. I have a very hard time passing up stones at yard sales or flea markets in the $1-3 price range. I’m sure I’ve given away a half of a dozen combo bench stones. For a buck I really don’t care how dished or dirty the stone is.
I flatten and clean these dregs/dogs with a quart of water and a fairly flat section of driveway or side walk. If there is an oil spill on the driveway I’ll start there. I sit down next to the spill, squirt a 12” circle of water on the spill and then draw figure 8s with the stone. The oil comes off the driveway a little, the stone becomes flatter. I’ll switch the stone in my hand to even out any bias. I’ll switch hands for the same reason when one hand becomes tired.
Add water as needed to keep the surface wet. The dirty stone helps to distinguish the flattened area (fresh and clean) from the hollow (usually dead center and dirty). When the piece of concrete gets smoother move over 18” and start again.
This work is totally free of any romance, glamor, or sex appeal. but it can be started and stopped over a period of hours, days, weeks, months, or years depending on ambition and stone dish. I’ll move off the oil spill for the last little bit to make a fresh uncontaminated face on the stone. Then I’ll wash the stone with fresh water. I’ll dry the stone in the AZ sun for a day or so then oil it up and use it.
All of this avoids wearing out a diamond stone/plate. Those things are expensive. Diamond plates can be used for the final flattening after the bulk has been removed on the driveway.
The traditional way to flatten stones and to check for “flat” is to take three stones and rub side A to side B until they mate. Then side A to side C until they mate. Then side B to C. If you keep repeating this cycle all three sides will end up flat.

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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


#10 posted 06-20-2014 05:31 AM

^Honestly – Either I’m high, or what I just read almost made me pop rod…..

”I have a very hard time passing up stones at yard sales or flea markets in the $1-3 price range. I m sure I ve given away a half of a dozen combo bench stones. For a buck I really don t care how dished or dirty the stone is.
I flatten and clean these dregs/dogs with a quart of water and a fairly flat section of driveway or side walk. If there is an oil spill on the driveway I ll start there. I sit down next to the spill, squirt a 12” circle of water on the spill and then draw figure 8s with the stone. The oil comes off the driveway a little, the stone becomes flatter. I ll switch the stone in my hand to even out any bias. I ll switch hands for the same reason when one hand becomes tired.
Add water as needed to keep the surface wet. The dirty stone helps to distinguish the flattened area (fresh and clean) from the hollow (usually dead center and dirty). When the piece of concrete gets smoother move over 18” and start again.
This work is totally free of any romance, glamor, or sex appeal. but it can be started and stopped over a period of hours, days, weeks, months, or years depending on ambition and stone dish. I ll move off the oil spill for the last little bit to make a fresh uncontaminated face on the stone. Then I ll wash the stone with fresh water. I ll dry the stone in the AZ sun for a day or so then oil it up and use it.
All of this avoids wearing out a diamond stone/plate. Those things are expensive. Diamond plates can be used for the final flattening after the bulk has been removed on the driveway.
The traditional way to flatten stones and to check for “flat” is to take three stones and rub side A to side B until they mate. Then side A to side C until they mate. Then side B to C. If you keep repeating this cycle all three sides will end up flat. – upchuck”

Seriously tho, if that is original material, it’s an incredibly amazing sharpening depiction. Thank you Chuck, that for real is an epic statement.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

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BigRedKnothead

4983 posts in 637 days


#11 posted 06-20-2014 11:16 AM

Ya, the primary reason I have norton stones is because they’re the most reasonable 3” wide stones I could find.

I hadn’t seen that particular blog by Mafe. Good stuff. I have made quite a few strops in my day and I often refer people to another of Mafe’s blogs:
http://lumberjocks.com/mafe/blog/26468

Also, this is the best video I’ve found about grinding a plane iron. You can skip to about 7:30 in the vid.

Basically grinding a flat on the edge, straight or curved, prevents burning. This helped me a lot.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


#12 posted 06-20-2014 03:45 PM

^Thats good stuff, why didn’t I think of that. Grinding the real chewed up areas at flat 90 degree angle is a great idea. He also makes a good argument for not dressing your wheel. I want a slow speed grinder, I have just a standard grinder now and even with the white wheel I have to take it easy or the steel heats up pretty fast. Those hand grinders really intrigue me though, if I ever come across one for cheap I’ll snatch it up quick.

Been thinking about either getting some of those 3” norton stones or the DMT duo-sharp.

I also have that Mafe blog you mentioned favorited, I’ve got a little bit of a man-crush on Mafe, his pictorials and write ups are fantastic.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

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MrRon

2834 posts in 1898 days


#13 posted 06-20-2014 05:18 PM

I have never had success sharpening anything freehand using a stone. There are only three sharpening methods I use. Diamond for kitchen knives, “scary sharp” for planes and chisels and diamond grinding wheel for carbide saw blades.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14188 posts in 992 days


#14 posted 06-20-2014 06:01 PM

I know nothing about this, but I need to learn a lot about this. Good topic.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View widdle's profile

widdle

1425 posts in 1653 days


#15 posted 06-20-2014 06:04 PM

If you only have a high speed grinder..You can turn it off and on to control the speed ..

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