Man I think I’ve fallen way down the rabbit hole.
I needed to square off some corners in a rabbet I routed
a few weeks so went off the semi-local Woodcrafters and
purchased a Stanley chisel. I asked if it was usable out
of the box and the sales agent spotted a sucker and said,
“No you need a sharpening stone.” Turned around to look
at the stones behind me and had no idea what to buy.
He said I could get away with a King 4000 stone and the cheapo
So I walked out with a $36 chisel, and $50 or so in honing
Came home, cut the corners, worked pretty well, but
decided after reading about chisels and sharpening that I
needed to flatten the back and that 4000 stone wasn’t
going to cut it. Bought a King 1000 stone off Amazon.
Flattened the back. Working ok. Fast forward a few weeks
and I have hand plane lust and am convinced I need one
to do some minor leveling and smoothing on a slab drawer
front I have glued up.
I look at LN’s website and when I’ve finished scraping myself
off the floor, go to Amazon where they have the Stanley Sweetheart #4
for $119. Click the buy button. Wait two days. Damn that
Arrives and I figure I”ll test it out out of the box. For the
last two days I’ve been viewing YouTube videos which show
people making these absolutely wonderful shavings with so
little effort. I adjust the blade so it’s slightly protruding, put
it against some 4/4 poplar and I might as well be pushing against a wall.
Will. Not. Move.
Back out the blade a bit and repeat, same thing. I continued this
until I was actually able to take a shave and the shave was
way thin. Any further backed out and I was just rubbing the
sole over the poplar. These shaves while thin, and maybe
desirable or correct for certain circumstances, weren’t the
nice curly shaves I’d seen people doing on the YouTubes.
Damn those YouTubes!
So I break out my stones. But wait, I can’t touch this metal
to the stone as it hasn’t been flattened since purchased, so
off to buy some glass and 220 wet/dry. Flatten stones and
put the 1000 stone to work.
The back seems pretty flat after a few passes over the 1000,
so I pull out the 4000, and attempt to hone the bevel. Spend
way too much time with a watery mess, reassemble the entire
thing, and repeat the shavings test, and I can detect no
discernible difference in performance.
Do I spend good money after bad on an 8000 stone? Do I
go back out and spend more time with the 4000 stone? Do
I buy one of the more expensive honing guides? Or do I
just call up Amazon, say this thing doesn’t work. It won’t
take shavings and return it as defective?
Note besides all of the above, I’m really disappointed with the
Stanley instructional booklet that comes with the plane. There’s
nothing in it (about 5 pages of text) that would help hand plane
newbs overcome any problems such as this.