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sharpening jointer and planer knives

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Forum topic by MNWOODWORKER posted 03-10-2009 12:36 AM 22917 views 4 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MNWOODWORKER

105 posts in 3052 days


03-10-2009 12:36 AM

The place I have my knives sharpened just uped the cost and I am looking at getting a system to sharpen my knives for my planer and jointer. I was given a link to sharpen them in a shop made jig. I am going to give it a try. http://www.superwoodworks.com/Projects/JKnifeJig.htm What do any of you suggest for this task. I would like to stay out of the Tormek area due to the cost of the machine and added $160 for the knife jig. The Jet is a bit cheaper, but would like to hear what you suggest.
Thanks,
Nate


25 replies so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3352 days


#1 posted 03-10-2009 01:17 AM

Thanks for the post!! I have some blades that need touching up so I’m looking for advice.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View jeh412's profile

jeh412

129 posts in 2842 days


#2 posted 03-10-2009 01:47 AM

The jig in your link is a great idea. That should be an easy, cheap and fairly fast method of sharpening. I have a sharpener built on the Jet pattern that works well for chisels but isn’t the greatest for jointer knives.

-- John, co-owner Sawdust 'n Stitches

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8iowa

1546 posts in 3228 days


#3 posted 03-10-2009 02:01 AM

If you have a friend near-by who has a Shopsmith, you can make a simple jig to clamp the knife into and sharpen it on the conical disk sander. (Shopsmith has a jig, but it may or may not work for your knives.) You can accurately set the table to the proper angle and use the fence to run the blade held jig past the sanding surface. I use a 150 grit Aluminum Oxide disk and then lightly, by hand, final hone the edge on a 8000 grit wet stone.

This is a fast and accurate way to sharpen knives. Frankly, the conical disk is so handy I dont know why it is not widely available. Regardless, do not try to use the flat disk. This would be dangerous.

If you were in my area, I would invite you over, and I could have your knives sharpened faster than you could drink two cups of coffee.

I found a picture that probably describes the proceedure much better than I did above;

Photobucket

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View cmaeda's profile

cmaeda

205 posts in 3021 days


#4 posted 03-10-2009 06:42 AM

This is what I use:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=2419&filter=knife%20sharpener
It does work really well but it won’t take out nicks and gouges. Every 5th or 6th sharpening, I still take it to a pro to get it sharpened. I guess I don’t have to but it makes me feel better to do it that way.

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8iowa

1546 posts in 3228 days


#5 posted 03-14-2009 10:31 PM

Nate:

I just received a new set of knives for my Shopsmith Pro-Planer. They measure .750” wide. A old spare set, that had been sharpened just one time by a professional sharpening service, measures only .728”. I’ve learned a lesson here. Sharpening services can unnecessarily grind away years and years of life away from your blades. You can bet your life that from now on I’ll use the conical sanding disk and the jig to sharpen my planer and jointer knives – only taking away a few thousands at a time.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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dusty2

321 posts in 2896 days


#6 posted 03-14-2009 11:52 PM

I use the same system as does 8iowa. I sharpen probably more frequently than would be absolutely necessary but it is so simple to do as so effective. As 8iowa has reported, each pass takes only a couple thousands off the blades.

The two sets of each (planer and jointer) that I have should last as long as I’ll be using my Shopsmith Mark V 520 and the supporting jointer and planer.

I use this same fixture to sharpened jointer blades. All three blades can be set into the jig simultaneously making for a perferctly matched set of jointer blades./

The planer blades require just a bit more care when setting up.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

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dusty2

321 posts in 2896 days


#7 posted 03-14-2009 11:54 PM

I use the same system as does 8iowa. I sharpen probably more frequently than would be absolutely necessary but it is so simple to do as so effective. As 8iowa has reported, each pass takes only a couple thousands off the blades.

The two sets of each (planer and jointer) that I have should last as long as I’ll be using my Shopsmith Mark V 520 and the supporting jointer and planer.

I use this same fixture to sharpened jointer blades. All three blades can be set into the jig simultaneously making for a perfectly matched set of jointer blades./

The planer blades require just a bit more care when setting up.

Repeating 8iows’s caution, do not attempt what you see in the photo here using a flat disk. The conical disk is a necessity.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View MNWOODWORKER's profile

MNWOODWORKER

105 posts in 3052 days


#8 posted 03-15-2009 12:27 AM

Thanks for the warning, to me it looks alot like a fixture I could make using a very fine abrasive disk on the faceplate for my lathe and a homemade jig for bed. I was told that it will only work on a conical disk sander, what is the difference??? I know nothing or have ever seen a shopsmith in person so I am confused and very curious. Could someone share some info? I am still going to try the method shown on the http://www.superwoodworks.com/Projects/JKnifeJig.htm site first with a few variations that I have thought would make it somewhat better.
Thanks so much for your time.
Nate

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 3455 days


#9 posted 03-15-2009 12:33 AM

I have the Tormek and unlike 3fingerpat I had great success with it. I did the blades for my 6” jointer.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View 8iowa's profile

8iowa

1546 posts in 3228 days


#10 posted 03-15-2009 01:18 AM

Nate:

The flat disk should only be used on the downward side so that your stock is pressed down on the table. Once you get to the far side, the disk wants to lift your work, perhaps allowing it to fly out of control. With sharp knives in the jig this would be dangerous.

The conical disk, while even at a glance it appears to be the same as a flat disk, operated quite differently. Here, the only contact with the stock is on a straight line from the center of rotation vertically. Not only can the conical disk sharpen jointer and planer knives, but it can “joint” the edges of some types of wood that you can’t joint in the jointer ( ie: plywood and swirling burl / highly figured wood.

As I have said before, I don’t understand why the conical disk is not offered by more manufacturers.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Garry's profile

Garry

64 posts in 3718 days


#11 posted 05-27-2009 04:39 PM

Hello Nate,


I am still going to try the method shown on the http://www.superwoodworks.com/Projects/JKnifeJig.htm site first with a few variations that I have thought would make it somewhat better.


I am the one that made the jig in the link you have provided, It is fool proof and works well but I would be interested in seeing your improvements. Please keep me informed.

Garry

-- Garry, Engadine, Michigan (Upper Peninsula)

View MarktheWoodButcher's profile

MarktheWoodButcher

109 posts in 2766 days


#12 posted 05-28-2009 02:17 AM

I am not an expert on jointer care. In fact I am just learning on my first jointer. The manual for my 1950’s vintage jointer shows a method for routine blade sharpening. It’s on the bottom left of page #7. I don’t know if blade technology has changed so much that this method might not work on newer machines.

http://owwm.com/pubs/1141/490.pdf

-- Knowledge Is Responsibility

View thelt's profile

thelt

661 posts in 2846 days


#13 posted 05-28-2009 03:40 PM

WoodButcher, that method sounds logical. But, I’m pretty sure I don’t want my fingers that close to the cutters while they are turning at speed. It looks to be a whole lot dangerous.

-- When asked what I did to make life worthwhile in my lifetime....I can respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served a career in the United States Navy."

View laflaone's profile

laflaone

59 posts in 3147 days


#14 posted 05-30-2009 02:17 AM

I sharpen my jointer knives in a homemade jig very similar to the Veritas jig sold at LV. Made my own, since I just couldn’t justify $63.00 plus shipping. I use the scary sharp method. Just like a chisel or hand plane blade, it is important to first flatten the back. I use a piece of oak, flattened first, then use double sided carpet tape to affix all three blades at one time, and flatten the backs. Only need to do it once.

As far as my planer knives, I just buy new ones for $20 from Lowes. My Delta planer indexes the blades, so I cannot adjust for variations in width which would result in sharpening.

-- "non illegitimis carborundum"

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FEDSAWDAVE

293 posts in 2899 days


#15 posted 05-30-2009 05:08 AM

I think at this point I shall take my $75,000.00 sharpener for planer & jointer knives and put it on e-bay. Either that, or charge double for straightening knives that others have attempted (which we already do come to think of it)

-- David, Tools4solidsurface.com

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