Reply by Derek Cohen

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Posted on Handplane sharpness

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Derek Cohen

517 posts in 5248 days

#1 posted 09-03-2015 05:56 AM


I think a better term for sharpening is “smoothing”. Essentially what you do as you work on higher and higher grits is to refine the edge by making the steel smoother and smoother. Smooth steel has less resistance to coarse steel.

The 1000 grit is coarse. A 5000/6000 is a Medium stone. 8000/10000/12000 is a Fine (or polishing) stone. It is often too much work to go from Coarse to Fine, so one adds in a Medium stone.

There is still a law of demising returns. Going to 50000 grit is not necessary going to make for a productively sharp edge. 6000 may be enough for many. It depends on what you are cutting. Cutting end grain pine requires a ver smooth edge.

Regards from Perth


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