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Sharpening

Great link on how to sharpen and get a "scary" edge, tried it up to 150 grit and it was pretty scary. I don't want to imagine a few thousand.

spoiler: sticky sided sandpaper on glass (for a flat surface)

Article by Taunton Press via FineWoodworking
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00003.asp
Some feedback from someone who has used the scary sharp method for a few years:

1. I do not use glue, spray adhesive or adhesive backed paper: The glue will pick up trash which translates through the surface of the paper. I just spray the glass (I first used glass but now use a granite block) with a spritz of water from a windex bottle, lay the paper on it and then spritz the top. Easy to rinse off any grit, etc. and simple to change the grades of paper up to final honing. I rinse and reuse the paper until it gets shredded. The more you use it,, the finer it gets.

2. A honing guide makes it much easier to repeat bevels, especially for just honing the edge, and to get a square end. I have used several types, but have found the Lee Valley Veritas Mark II best for plane irons and wide chisels, and the Veritas 05M0201 for narrower chisels. The 05M0201 does not have the square alignment guide for a square edge, but is better for narrow chisels and especially for those that have top and bottom surfaces that are not parallel. That said, I used a home-made guide of wood for a few years, and still use a carriage bolt with a couple wing nuts for my scrub plane as it is easier to radius the iron.

3. Scratches in the edge lead to premature failure by chipping, etc. I would recommend going to at least 600 grit (I go to 2000). Up to 2000 wet-dry paper is found at most automotive repair stores in the US (i.e carquest, autozone, discount auto) in the finishing or paint repair section. To be honest, 600 will most likely work fine except for the finishing planes or paring chisels. On those, going to a finer grit will result in longer edge life. However, going the next higher grits only costs me a couple minutes time.

Disclaimer: I use my hand tools primarily on white and red oak, black walnut, maple, pine, and gum. I do not have any experience with exotic woods like padauk, cocobola, etc, or the highly figures woods like tiger maple, birdseye, etc, so others that work with these will have better insight. Also, my chisels are not top quality. Better quality steel will probably benefit more from the finer honing than the cheaper quality I now use.

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Sharpening

Great link on how to sharpen and get a "scary" edge, tried it up to 150 grit and it was pretty scary. I don't want to imagine a few thousand.

spoiler: sticky sided sandpaper on glass (for a flat surface)

Article by Taunton Press via FineWoodworking
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00003.asp
Nice article. I am still wading through sharpening myself.

Sand paper is good and cheap, but can easily dub an edge if not used with care. I find that gluing it down minimizes this tendency to lift and dub. I use granite surface plate for my backer and 3M super77 adhesive. I usually work tools up to 220g wet/dry and then switch over to stones. On occasion I will go up to 600g and use from there for things like chisels.

Waterstones are nice, but I find that the stones I have keep me chasing flatness as much as sharpening tools. This is a love-hate relationship. I keep that granite plate with the 220g close by and flatten the stones as I go. Lighter pressure and use of the whole stone minimize erosion and give more time between flattening stones. I have yet to find a way to eliminate the problem.

Oilstones are new to me. I have been toying with the low end stones for a few months. I just purchased a nice set of Novaculite (Arkansas) stones. My initial impression is very high. Much less erosion. In fact after sharpening a couple of blades I notice no change in the stones. In contrast my waterstones would have needed a couple of flattening sessions in the same time period. Oil is much less likely to develop stiction, so I am finding it easier to free-hand hone my tools. It also makes much more sense to me to work steel with oil with respect to rust and blade care. Only downer is that oil is a bit harder to clean up and you do risk contamination to workpiece if you don't wash your hands.

Power sharpening. I dabble here, but overall the potential for error and inaccuracy outweigh any time savings. Don't get me wrong, there will always be grinders in my shop. I just find that it is better to use them for rough work and then transition to stones for the honing. My low speed wetstone grinder is nice from time to time, but like waterstones the media erodes. Without close attention to media and setup results will be poor.

Diamonds? Not much in my shop. No bench stones at least. I am intrigued at the coarse grits, but have yet to try them out,

Loose lapidary grits? Another method that has my attention for coarse removal. Haven't tried it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sharp Enough

So 1/2" thick glass is like 30$, and the 1/8" glass they sell at home depot and lowes cracks real easily (personal experience), but MDF with laminate on all sides is 6$.

I gave it a quick test run for lapping the soles of my #5, #4 stanley planes last night and it worked wonders. I think I have to pick up a different kind of spray adhesive though, the one I'm using leaves me sticky but not the paper… it is just normal sandpaper, the wet or dry is expensive and only comes in higher grits (400+) around me. Plus I hit up a garage sale and got a box of sand paper and a fire extinguisher for 7$ (The extinguisher is for practice… or fun)

I read the #77, and #80 are good choices so I'll swing by staples or office max on the way home.

I placed the long half strips on the mdf with a 1/2" gap (I read it somewhere) and it worked real well. The best advice I read was that the roughest sandpaper you use will be the only one that removes blemishes, after that the finer sand papers remove the blemish lines that you have created.

For me this meant sticking with 60grit until the sole shined.

Because I plan on using them both for shooting (the #5 has more weight, but the #4 is my favorite) I want to lap the sides too. My thought on how to do this and keep the beast level is to setup another piece of mdf perpendicular to the first. The exact angle doesn't matter really so long as the sand paper is pushed up against the perpendicular piece.

Last quick note just in case this is the only resource you use before lapping/restoring: when you lap, keep the blade in the plane (in tension) just retract it. It will not only add weight to your plane, but it adds it where it should be!

-Enjoy
 

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Sharp Enough

So 1/2" thick glass is like 30$, and the 1/8" glass they sell at home depot and lowes cracks real easily (personal experience), but MDF with laminate on all sides is 6$.

I gave it a quick test run for lapping the soles of my #5, #4 stanley planes last night and it worked wonders. I think I have to pick up a different kind of spray adhesive though, the one I'm using leaves me sticky but not the paper… it is just normal sandpaper, the wet or dry is expensive and only comes in higher grits (400+) around me. Plus I hit up a garage sale and got a box of sand paper and a fire extinguisher for 7$ (The extinguisher is for practice… or fun)

I read the #77, and #80 are good choices so I'll swing by staples or office max on the way home.

I placed the long half strips on the mdf with a 1/2" gap (I read it somewhere) and it worked real well. The best advice I read was that the roughest sandpaper you use will be the only one that removes blemishes, after that the finer sand papers remove the blemish lines that you have created.

For me this meant sticking with 60grit until the sole shined.

Because I plan on using them both for shooting (the #5 has more weight, but the #4 is my favorite) I want to lap the sides too. My thought on how to do this and keep the beast level is to setup another piece of mdf perpendicular to the first. The exact angle doesn't matter really so long as the sand paper is pushed up against the perpendicular piece.

Last quick note just in case this is the only resource you use before lapping/restoring: when you lap, keep the blade in the plane (in tension) just retract it. It will not only add weight to your plane, but it adds it where it should be!

-Enjoy
Hi Knoxy,
Good idea with the laminate. Another that I use that is cheap is I went through the flooring tiles and picked up a 12×12 smooth glazed one. I just wet it and put the wet/dry paper on it. Stays just fine for lapping and honing.
 

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Sharp Enough

So 1/2" thick glass is like 30$, and the 1/8" glass they sell at home depot and lowes cracks real easily (personal experience), but MDF with laminate on all sides is 6$.

I gave it a quick test run for lapping the soles of my #5, #4 stanley planes last night and it worked wonders. I think I have to pick up a different kind of spray adhesive though, the one I'm using leaves me sticky but not the paper… it is just normal sandpaper, the wet or dry is expensive and only comes in higher grits (400+) around me. Plus I hit up a garage sale and got a box of sand paper and a fire extinguisher for 7$ (The extinguisher is for practice… or fun)

I read the #77, and #80 are good choices so I'll swing by staples or office max on the way home.

I placed the long half strips on the mdf with a 1/2" gap (I read it somewhere) and it worked real well. The best advice I read was that the roughest sandpaper you use will be the only one that removes blemishes, after that the finer sand papers remove the blemish lines that you have created.

For me this meant sticking with 60grit until the sole shined.

Because I plan on using them both for shooting (the #5 has more weight, but the #4 is my favorite) I want to lap the sides too. My thought on how to do this and keep the beast level is to setup another piece of mdf perpendicular to the first. The exact angle doesn't matter really so long as the sand paper is pushed up against the perpendicular piece.

Last quick note just in case this is the only resource you use before lapping/restoring: when you lap, keep the blade in the plane (in tension) just retract it. It will not only add weight to your plane, but it adds it where it should be!

-Enjoy
1. a "scrap" "leftover" piece of thick glass, or Granite from a shop that deals with those materials and throws away cutoffs = $0 and it'll be and stay true flat more than laminated MDF, you really want this surface to be true - this is not for visual look of a piece, but to ensure that your blades/planes are being lapped properly flat.

2. wet/dry paper allows you to use lubricant (water/wd40/mineral oil) that will help clear the metal dust that comes off the tools away, and will help unclog the sand paper = faster/easier work for you.

just my $0.02
 

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Sharp Enough

So 1/2" thick glass is like 30$, and the 1/8" glass they sell at home depot and lowes cracks real easily (personal experience), but MDF with laminate on all sides is 6$.

I gave it a quick test run for lapping the soles of my #5, #4 stanley planes last night and it worked wonders. I think I have to pick up a different kind of spray adhesive though, the one I'm using leaves me sticky but not the paper… it is just normal sandpaper, the wet or dry is expensive and only comes in higher grits (400+) around me. Plus I hit up a garage sale and got a box of sand paper and a fire extinguisher for 7$ (The extinguisher is for practice… or fun)

I read the #77, and #80 are good choices so I'll swing by staples or office max on the way home.

I placed the long half strips on the mdf with a 1/2" gap (I read it somewhere) and it worked real well. The best advice I read was that the roughest sandpaper you use will be the only one that removes blemishes, after that the finer sand papers remove the blemish lines that you have created.

For me this meant sticking with 60grit until the sole shined.

Because I plan on using them both for shooting (the #5 has more weight, but the #4 is my favorite) I want to lap the sides too. My thought on how to do this and keep the beast level is to setup another piece of mdf perpendicular to the first. The exact angle doesn't matter really so long as the sand paper is pushed up against the perpendicular piece.

Last quick note just in case this is the only resource you use before lapping/restoring: when you lap, keep the blade in the plane (in tension) just retract it. It will not only add weight to your plane, but it adds it where it should be!

-Enjoy
I got a cast off 12×12 granite floor tile from a Job site…it works great. If there is any construction going on in your area, ask one of the workers. There are always scraps after a job.
 

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Sharp Enough

So 1/2" thick glass is like 30$, and the 1/8" glass they sell at home depot and lowes cracks real easily (personal experience), but MDF with laminate on all sides is 6$.

I gave it a quick test run for lapping the soles of my #5, #4 stanley planes last night and it worked wonders. I think I have to pick up a different kind of spray adhesive though, the one I'm using leaves me sticky but not the paper… it is just normal sandpaper, the wet or dry is expensive and only comes in higher grits (400+) around me. Plus I hit up a garage sale and got a box of sand paper and a fire extinguisher for 7$ (The extinguisher is for practice… or fun)

I read the #77, and #80 are good choices so I'll swing by staples or office max on the way home.

I placed the long half strips on the mdf with a 1/2" gap (I read it somewhere) and it worked real well. The best advice I read was that the roughest sandpaper you use will be the only one that removes blemishes, after that the finer sand papers remove the blemish lines that you have created.

For me this meant sticking with 60grit until the sole shined.

Because I plan on using them both for shooting (the #5 has more weight, but the #4 is my favorite) I want to lap the sides too. My thought on how to do this and keep the beast level is to setup another piece of mdf perpendicular to the first. The exact angle doesn't matter really so long as the sand paper is pushed up against the perpendicular piece.

Last quick note just in case this is the only resource you use before lapping/restoring: when you lap, keep the blade in the plane (in tension) just retract it. It will not only add weight to your plane, but it adds it where it should be!

-Enjoy
I get glass scraps from a local glass shop.
And, they get a hand-crafted item as a thank you.
 
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