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View JCamp's profile

How sharp do you sharpen your handplanes?

by JCamp
posted 01-31-2017 02:57 AM


28 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2529 posts in 2336 days


#1 posted 01-31-2017 03:10 AM

I think you can get more out of your planes if you use finer grit.I can build without any need for sandpaper and use shapton stones.But they are not cheap.
I haven’t bought sandpaper for years.
I’m not trying to brag just letting ya know it can be done,and I’m nothing special.

Aj

-- Aj

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10859 posts in 2025 days


#2 posted 01-31-2017 03:17 AM

Unless I absolutely have to sand something I will. But usually no.

I think you could probably make a 1000g stone work if you stropped it after.

I pretty much go to the strop after 8000. Kinda just part of the process really.

2000g sandpaper works well if you need something now.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8785 posts in 3115 days


#3 posted 01-31-2017 03:21 AM

http://lumberjocks.com/OSU55/blog/39391

http://lumberjocks.com/OSU55/blog/39391

DMT diamond stones, 8000 water stone, and then strop with a leather or flat hardwood block.
The back of the blade needs to be flat as well.

The sharper the better.

Have fun now.

View Andre's profile

Andre

2829 posts in 2345 days


#4 posted 01-31-2017 03:35 AM

I go to 8000 Waterstone and only strop/hone to touch up an edge. A xfine Arkansas stone and a little strop after will pretty well give you the same polish as a 8000 Waterstone with a lot less mess? Check out Lee Valley site under sharpening they is a lot of good info!
There is a huge difference between a sanded surface and a Planned one, especially if you do not stain your wood.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5555 posts in 2890 days


#5 posted 01-31-2017 03:37 AM

When my planes get dull I start with 1200 grit and work up to 6000 grit to get them sharp. I use water stones.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

23966 posts in 3222 days


#6 posted 01-31-2017 05:09 AM

Paul Sellers does have a couple nice videos on this subject…..might look them up?

I sharpen up to 2500 grit, then a strop. And that is about it,

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4228 posts in 1121 days


#7 posted 01-31-2017 11:51 AM

Rob Cosman did a video where he compared 1000 and 16000 grit for finishing plane blades. Might be worth a watch. I sharpen to 12000 and if I’m doing my job correctly with the plane (still not guaranteed – I’m a noob) I can finish from that point without sandpaper. Also, if there are fine marks left after planing, rubbing the work down with a handful of shavings can take off fine marks. No sandpaper needed.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2441 posts in 2528 days


#8 posted 01-31-2017 12:46 PM

For final finish smoothing, the sharper the better. Also depends on the wood. Straight grained cherry doesn’t need to as sharp an edge as walnut burl to prevent tear out. I go down to 0.3 um. It depends on the abrasive type what grit that compares to – north of 15,000 waterstones, ~3,000 grit sandpaper. Research lapping or polishing film. With psa backing, it can be easily placed on glass or granite, and doesn’t require flattening. Great way to have high grits without spending $100’s. I use DMT Duosharp’s to start. You might be interested in this.

View cicerojoe's profile

cicerojoe

64 posts in 3984 days


#9 posted 01-31-2017 01:14 PM

You are almost there. You just need to keep going. Here is the cheap, easy way to do it for now.

After you are done with your stones, go to 1500 and 2000 wet/dry automotive sand paper. Then final hone with just a little bit of a high quality automotive metal polish on flat surface.

The wetdry sandpaper is equal to about a 6000 and 8000 grit wet stones. Metal polish will get you to mirror finish (instead of strop).

Once you get it super sharp, you can skip the stones when you resharpen.

-- John from the Cherry Valley Studio in NY http://www.cvalleystudio.com

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

11393 posts in 1677 days


#10 posted 01-31-2017 01:32 PM

My finest diamond plate is ~1200 grit. I generally go straight from there to a leather strop with green compound to remove the wire edge for planes. Exception is smoothing plane which goes to a black Arkansas stone before the strop. I’ll occasionally follow the arkansas stone with some wet/dry paper if I’m working something that really requires a super-fine edge.

I think generally speaking, for general-use hand planes, you’ll probably find the stones you have are sufficient. Wouldn’t hurt to add a strop and some wet/dry paper to your collection though.

I rarely sand but more often than not, I end up scraping after planing to get to my final finish.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8785 posts in 3115 days


#11 posted 01-31-2017 01:46 PM

Good Stuff:
http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?c=&p=32984&cat=1,43072

This honing compound, which took over two years to develop, is the most effective on the market.
It is a blend of both chromium and aluminum oxide to give the best combination of cutting speed and fine finish. The bonding is formulated for ease of charging. It will adhere equally well to felt, leather or wood.

Cuts quickly but leaves a mirror finish with a light wax film. The average size of scratch pattern it leaves behind is 0.5 microns or .00002 inches. Ideal for carving tools and firmer gouges, it can be used for final honing of almost any tool. Used with a felt wheel or leather belt for power honing or with a leather strop for hand honing.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7802 posts in 3453 days


#12 posted 01-31-2017 02:00 PM

I used to only use the scary sharp methodology using SP and ending with a hard Arkansas stone. Very time consuming.

When I picked up the lathe hobby, I knew I needed a better, faster way of sharpening. I solved this with building my own belt sharpening system. It works great for lathe tools AND hand-plane cutters. I use 180grit to get the edge and finish on the buffing wheel with 10,000 polish. I can get a mirror finish (usually requires me to completely shave the back of my arms “testing” the sharpness…) ;-)

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/3179#

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

View Robert's profile

Robert

3555 posts in 2019 days


#13 posted 01-31-2017 02:55 PM

A properly sharpened plane should produce a mirror-like finish that needs no sanding. This depends somewhat on the type of wood, for example walnut can be quite reflective, while maple not so.

If you prefer the type of hand planed look on the finished surface stop there. I generally follow with a scraper. Personally, I avoid sandpaper if possible.

You need to take it up to 6-8000. Don’t know what size stones you have but you need at least a 3×8 stone for sharpening plane irons.

For resharpening or touch up I start on a 1200 diamond plate (800 if I’ve been to lazy to sharpen when it needed) then usually straight to a 8000 water stone followed by a few strokes on a leather strop.

For plane blades I usually do a slight back bevel to finish (see “ruler trick” or “Charlesworth method”). Of course, you never do this on a chisel.

THE most important thing about honing is never to the next grit till you have a burr. When restoring, be sure the back of the chisel or plane iron is flat before proceeding on the bevel.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8785 posts in 3115 days


#14 posted 01-31-2017 04:09 PM

“THE most important thing about honing is never to the next grit till you have a burr”

I never did get that burr until I used diamond plates. After which I use the 8000 stone.

BTW it’s recommended that you use a Nagura stone to create a slurry on water stones
8000 and higher. Not sure of the newer glass ceramics etc…

Nagura stone:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c-tjcj4Ra4

View Lazyman's profile (online now)

Lazyman

4088 posts in 1926 days


#15 posted 01-31-2017 04:27 PM

No one mentioned rounding the corners of the plane iron. Does that help get a smoother finish?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8785 posts in 3115 days


#16 posted 01-31-2017 04:29 PM

Just ordered a couple of Atoma diamond plates from Lee Valley:
http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,43072&p=70346

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5801 posts in 3032 days


#17 posted 01-31-2017 06:27 PM



No one mentioned rounding the corners of the plane iron. Does that help get a smoother finish?

- Lazyman


I rounded the corners on all my irons, but not a lot…it only takes a little to not get those occasional lines the corners leave.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View SFP's profile

SFP

36 posts in 1795 days


#18 posted 01-31-2017 08:54 PM



I m only months old in using handplanes. I ve currently fixed up two old ones and put them in use. I ve been just sharpening them using the same stones that I use for my pocket knives. I believe they are 200/600/1000. With that I am able to plane down the saw marks on rough cut boards but I don t get a satisfactory smoothed board lik it seems some of the guys in YouTube videos get. Should I invest in a smoother grit stone? For you folks that hav been at this for a while.. when u use ur handplanes does it make the board smooth and ready for finish or do u still clean it up with sandpaper?

- JCamp


View Andre's profile

Andre

2829 posts in 2345 days


#19 posted 01-31-2017 08:57 PM



When my planes get dull I start with 1200 grit and work up to 6000 grit to get them sharp. I use water stones.

- bondogaposis

Forgot to mention all my blades, planes or Chisels are hollow ground so I can usually put a new edge on many times with either a strop or a few passes on the 8000 stone before needing to sharpen.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View SFP's profile

SFP

36 posts in 1795 days


#20 posted 01-31-2017 08:58 PM

Once you have sharpened, grab a piece of paper (I have a ready stack of stick-its on hand) and PUSH, not slice, the tool into the paper. If it readily cuts with no sign of raggedness on the sides of the cut, then it is “sharp”!

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

674 posts in 1287 days


#21 posted 02-01-2017 03:36 AM

I use stick-em notes for edge testing also.

Normally, unless the chisel or plane blade is really dull, I’ll use a 1200 grit diamond plate, then a short visit to the Hard Black Arkansas stone, and then the leather strop (with jeweler’s rouge). If I need to regrind an edge, I’ll start with a medium grit diamond plate. I can refresh a chisel edge rather quickly, but a plane blade takes a bit more time.

I was just using my Veritas LA smoother on some walnut this afternoon, and it was sharp, tuned, and a joy to use.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10859 posts in 2025 days


#22 posted 02-01-2017 03:48 AM

I relieve the edges on all my bench plane irons.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

1008 posts in 1089 days


#23 posted 02-02-2017 02:53 AM

Guys I appreciate all the replies.
I hav watched Paul sellers and many more YouTube videos but I never knew if those guys were really just anal about how shaper they go or if they were trying to sell sharpening big stones.
From the sound of things I should try to get at least a one more finer stone and a storp
There’s this stone on Amazon that’s pretty cheap.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001DT1X9O/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1486003740&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=sharpening+stone&dpPl=1&dpID=31Qk1WY1gnL&ref=plSrch
It’s a 6000grit. There’s another that’s a 4000. Could I go from a 1000 grit to a 6000 or should I get the 4000?
Also is there anything special about a strop or is it just a piece of leather and the compound that’s important? Asking cause I actually hav an old belt that would probably work

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10859 posts in 2025 days


#24 posted 02-02-2017 03:25 AM

Either 4 or 6 would probably work. Belt with compound will work too.

Sharpening is a can of worms. You just have to open it up and discover what you like.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2722 days


#25 posted 02-02-2017 03:54 AM

What Fridge said. There’s about 5,000 different methods that all basically get you to the same place. Choose the one you like best.

This is what works for me. I do the initial bevels on a WorkSharp 3000 with diamond plates from 120 up to 400 grit, then higher grit wet/dry sandpaper on glass discs. I use a Paul Sellers-style freehand convex bevel after establishing the initial bevel. I feel it helps keep the edge from fracturing, but others like hollow grinds, and that’s fine too. After 2000 grit, I strop with green compound on a leather wheel.

To touch up, I freehand the convex bevel on a granite tile with 1000 and 2000 grit wet/dry paper if necessary, then strop.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Andre's profile

Andre

2829 posts in 2345 days


#26 posted 02-02-2017 06:19 AM



Guys I appreciate all the replies.
I hav watched Paul sellers and many more YouTube videos but I never knew if those guys were really just anal about how shaper they go or if they were trying to sell sharpening big stones.
From the sound of things I should try to get at least a one more finer stone and a storp
There s this stone on Amazon that s pretty cheap.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001DT1X9O/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1486003740&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=sharpening+stone&dpPl=1&dpID=31Qk1WY1gnL&ref=plSrch
It s a 6000grit. There s another that s a 4000. Could I go from a 1000 grit to a 6000 or should I get the 4000?
Also is there anything special about a strop or is it just a piece of leather and the compound that s important? Asking cause I actually hav an old belt that would probably work

- JCamp

I started with a 1000/8000 Norton from Lee valley, good value and still have it, about half gone! Any water stone will need to be flattened on an regular bases. After watching a Demo the other day ay Lee Valley I am seriously looking at some Arkansa stones, guy freehand bevel ground, honed and stropped a #5 L.A. jack iron in under 5 min. And No Water Pond! Just a rag for oil clean up.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View BobBlarney's profile

BobBlarney

76 posts in 1674 days


#27 posted 02-02-2017 09:15 PM

Paul Sellers, a very experienced woodworker, did a video where he shows the effect of sharpening to only 250 grit as he did for years, and then also for much finer grits. It appears that 250 will do for many jobs. He keeps several planes always ready, set up with different blade configurations. One thing that really eases planing, is oiling or waxing the sole of the planes.

https://youtu.be/UbAo4RpM7oM

He also posted several other videos about restoring, using, and sharpening handplanes. He’s worth watching.

As for me, I use a 8”x2-5/8” (?) medium/fine doublesided DMT Duosharp diamond stone on the DMT base. And if I need higher or lower grits, I spritz the DMT stone with Windex, lay down a strip of silicon carbide paper on it, and spritiz the paper too. The paper will stick nicely to the DMT stone using only the Windex. By the way, the DMT never needs flattening. It works for me!

-- Curator, Museum of Unfinished Projects

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

4044 posts in 1278 days


#28 posted 02-03-2017 12:16 AM

Sharpening…wow what a can of worms. I studied, learned, tried water stones but didn’t like the mess. Went with the Paul Seller’s method and haven’t turned back. Less than a minute and back to work. Really you will only sharpen enough, when it’s convenient enough. Sellers is definitely not a sharpening snob. His method is far less sharp than many many others. It’s the easiest to get me sharp and back to work without a lot of mess or trouble so that’s what I do.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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