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Sharpening for a Veritas Hand Plane

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Forum topic by jta posted 05-02-2019 03:04 PM 713 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jta

41 posts in 390 days


05-02-2019 03:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

As someone hoping to work towards a hybrid I’ve found myself in need of a low-angle jack for cleanup work and some live edge/figured stuff that the power-tools can’t do well, and after considerable evaluation of the material out there decided that my preference for a quality tool that I don’t need to screw around with leads me to go for a Number 5 Low Angle Jack with PM-V11 steel. Looked at the LN and I just don’t like how setup looks and the fiddliness (big clumsy hands), so instead decided that a Veritas was a better choice. As I like my figured wood I’m planning on picking up the 50 degree to go with the original blade.

So now to the complex, and controversial part – If I am going to lash out for a nice No 5, I probably should also invest in a sharpening system otherwise the tool is a waste (and I’d rather not have to pay for shipping twice). Clearly, I’m not big into excessive amounts of sharpening, but what are peoples recommendations for equipment for sharpening a nice tool like this, with the proviso that I have not sharpened or owned a plane before, but am patient enough to spend the time learning. An idea of what the minimum system would be to the all out version would be useful.

Edit: I also do not own a current sharpening setup.


15 replies so far

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Delete

439 posts in 877 days


#1 posted 05-02-2019 03:28 PM

The Veritas sharpening systems by Lee Valley Tools is hard to beat. You can start out with a basic system for $50 or go with there pro system for as much as $164. Veritas quality is tops, but if you are getting their plane you probably know that.

http://www.leevalley.com/us/home/Search.aspx?action=n

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therealSteveN

3850 posts in 1079 days


#2 posted 05-02-2019 03:35 PM



So now to the complex, and controversial part – If I am going to lash out for a nice No 5, I probably should also invest in a sharpening system otherwise the tool is a waste

- jta

Reading the literature LV puts out about the PM-V11 steel, especially about sharpening might lead you to believe that it requires some super expensive method to do so. Not true.

Just think if it as steel, if you must to deceive yourself, think of it as a very old Stanley plane blade. What would you use to sharpen it then?

I love PM-V11 steel, and have very successfully sharpened it on sandpaper, “Scary Sharp’, with my WS 3000, quickie sharp, and with water stones, slow and steady sharp.

Just sharpen it, don’t buy anything new.

If you don't believe me, let the Schwarz tell ya

-- Think safe, be safe

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jta

41 posts in 390 days


#3 posted 05-02-2019 03:58 PM

Oh, I don’t believe any of that bunk ;). Marketing gimmicks don’t really work well for someone who constantly has to have the BS meter on at work. Definitely agree – its just steel (nice steel, but really just a fancy alloy thats a little easier to work with than A2).

More thinking that as I don’t have anything to sharpen my tools at this stage – I should probably choose something appropriate that can sharpen this or anything else I want to sharpen (chisels etc). Hence, given I have nothing else, I’m looking for a recommendation with where to start out.

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Aj2

2477 posts in 2302 days


#4 posted 05-02-2019 04:12 PM

My suggestion is you buy a low speed grinder with a Norton white wheel. Hollow grind the blades and finish with a Norton 8000 grit water stone or something equivalent.
It’s very easy to balance the edge with a hollow grind. But instead of pushing back and forth go sideways.
Lots of info on side sharpening.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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SMP

1387 posts in 410 days


#5 posted 05-02-2019 04:16 PM

Well it kind of depends on budget. And if you think you will like this(invest). Sandpaper is cheap to start, but can add up over time. Oil stones are dirt cheap, and you can even get double sided for an inexpensive first stone. Water stones are mid price but dish quickly. Diamond stones are most expensive but stay flat. If you give a budget we could make better recommendations. One advice I will say when buying stones is buy the 8”x3” stones, 2” stones will work for 2” irons but the 3” gives you room and works for bigger planes and other tools.

Here are a couple good blogs(this one actually talks about your #62 but different steel, similar process though)
https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/how-to-sharpen-thick-o1-irons-on-oil-stones/

Cheap setup:
https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/best-sharpening-stones/

Diamond setup(Paul uses Eze-lap coarse, fine and superfine(he also says DMT will work)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gE4yVgdVW7s

https://commonwoodworking.com/buying-diamond-stones/

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jta

41 posts in 390 days


#6 posted 05-02-2019 04:27 PM

Ok – so I’d be comfortable in the $150-200 or lower range – unless there is something that would make it desirable to go a touch higher.

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Derek Cohen

470 posts in 4473 days


#7 posted 05-02-2019 05:10 PM



As someone hoping to work towards a hybrid I ve found myself in need of a low-angle jack for cleanup work and some live edge/figured stuff that the power-tools can t do well, and after considerable evaluation of the material out there decided that my preference for a quality tool that I don t need to screw around with leads me to go for a Number 5 Low Angle Jack with PM-V11 steel. Looked at the LN and I just don t like how setup looks and the fiddliness (big clumsy hands), so instead decided that a Veritas was a better choice. As I like my figured wood I m planning on picking up the 50 degree to go with the original blade.

So now to the complex, and controversial part – If I am going to lash out for a nice No 5, I probably should also invest in a sharpening system otherwise the tool is a waste (and I d rather not have to pay for shipping twice). Clearly, I m not big into excessive amounts of sharpening, but what are peoples recommendations for equipment for sharpening a nice tool like this, with the proviso that I have not sharpened or owned a plane before, but am patient enough to spend the time learning. An idea of what the minimum system would be to the all out version would be useful.

Edit: I also do not own a current sharpening setup.

- jta

JTA, please read the following two articles. I apologise for citing them, and I will summarise in a couple of sentences, but you need to know why I recommend that you do NOT purchase a 50 degree blade …

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/TheSecretToCamberinBUPlaneBlades.html

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/UltimateGrindingSharpeningSetUp.html

The first article covers the method I developed a dozen years ago now to camber BU plane blades. Camber is important to avoid plane tracks, and high angle BU blades are near-impossible to camber owing to the amount of steel involved. The simple solution is to camber a 25 degree primary bevel with a high angle secondary bevel.

The second article argues that a hollow grind is the foundation for sharpening, especially modern thick plane blades. This article essentially introduced the woodworking world to CBN wheels.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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gauntlet21

69 posts in 715 days


#8 posted 05-02-2019 05:25 PM

You absolutely need to own a decent sharpening setup and learn how to sharpen. A decent sharpening setup isn’t cheap either. I spent a good 6 months learning to sharpen on shotty chisels and eventually started with a cheap block plane blade before ever buying my L.N bronze No. 4 and No. 6 bench planes.

You are correct in that, no matter what you spend on a plane, after 200-400 passes, you’ll notice a deterioration increase, quality of result, and overall enjoyment. It will continue deteriorating until you have a butter knife mounted in a $300 holder. Eventually, the cutting will stop and your blade will just skip up onto the surface and scrape along it.

So, what is my advice after 2 and a half years of sharpening and 2 years of hand planing?

Spend some decent money on a sharpening setup and commit to learning it first! Even if you buy the Veritas MKII honing guide, you will make aligning mistakes and would you rather do that on a $5 chisel or a $50 plane blade? Start small with a block plane and once you are comfortable, move up to your prized possessions.

What to buy? I’ve been very happy with the Shapton Professional line of stones. I own both Shapton Pro and Glass stones as well as many many others. Shapton Pro offers the best bang for the buck that still gives you a legitimately sharp blade. Invest in a quality lapping plate (flattener). If your stone isn’t flat, your blade won’t be either. I own the Trend 300/1200 diamond stone, the Shapton diamond lapping plate, and the Atoma 140. I do not like the Trend stone as it becomes excessively suctioned to the stone and impeeds the flattening process. The Atoma 140 is best used on stones under 500 and the Shapton is great on 500+ grit. If money is of concern, get an Atoma 140 and an Atoma 1200 for your higher grit stones.

What grit stones? Depending on how bad of shape your tools and blades will be in, you cans start with the Shapton Pro 320 or 220. When I get a brand new blade from Veritas or L.N., I flatten the back starting on my 320 or 500. I work the bevel side starting at 1000 and usually only work the micro-bevel. After a 220, 320, or 500, go with 1000-2000 grit stone. If you get a 220, go with 1000. If you get a 500, you can jump to 2000. Then, go with a 5000 and that will get you cutting. Invest in a strop as well and that can take you to a mirror polish. Add more stones along the way. When you are experienced and you look back st the beginning, you’ll realize your mistakes were likely unavoidable and just part of the journey. You can even get decent results finishing at 1000 if you get consistent sharpening results. The finished product won’t be as smooth as a 16000 grit stone but it will be tolerable in the beginning.

If you can only afford $300 in sharpening supplies, get a holder, lapping plate/sharpener, and 2-3 stones. I’m not a fan of diamond plates for sharpening (only lapping) but that’s my personal preference. I find them too aggressive and “jumpy” especially when you’re working your micro-bevel.

Hope any of that helps.

Dan

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therealSteveN

3850 posts in 1079 days


#9 posted 05-02-2019 08:37 PM

I’ll argue that you don’t need to spend much $$$ at all to get a great edge. Millions of woodworkers use pieces of MDF cut to whatever size you need for your plane/chisel. Cutting several means you don’t have to peel off paper for each grit, just when you need to change paper. Buy a workable assortment of sandpaper, and using a spray adhesive stick the sand paper to the MDF.

I’ll agree that going side to side when sharpening beats back and forth. But whichever direction you travel, you need to do each pass at the exact same angle, or else you are making it sharp, then roughing it up. going back and forth means 0 progress. Make a jig, buy one, whatever. It will take a LOT of practice to get it good by hand, but it can be done.

If I was going to throw money at sharpening I would buy a very good set of waterstones, and pay attention to what Ron Hock was talking about here.

Probably a good reason there are a lot of different methods to get to the same end :-)

-- Think safe, be safe

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Kirk650

671 posts in 1253 days


#10 posted 05-02-2019 08:56 PM

I’m into sharpening fast and easy. I use diamond plates (medium grit and 1200), a little work on a hard black Arkansas stone, then a leather strop with a polishing rouge. Pretty quick if you don’t wait too long to sharpen. All this is done with a good Veritas guide. When sharpening, Mark the edge with a black Sharpie so you can be sure you are actually working the edge and doing it equally across the edge.

I don’t use the slow speed grinder much unless I have a bad nick in the edge.

I really like my Veritas Low Angle #4. I have a lot of other nicely tuned hand planes, but my go-to is the Veritas. Second favorite is a Record Jack Plane, with the bronze LN in third.

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OSU55

2401 posts in 2494 days


#11 posted 05-02-2019 09:18 PM

Here is how I sharpen thick, thin, O1, A2, PM-V11. For hybrid ww, where the plane is not used for rough dimensioning, a cambered edge is not needed. Rounding the corners a bit will prevent plane tracks. I use several methods for the primary bevel – diamond plate, bench grinder, wet sharpener – depends on the steel and thickness, and amount of material removed, but they all work for the primary bevel.

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Derek Cohen

470 posts in 4473 days


#12 posted 05-02-2019 11:46 PM

For hybrid ww, where the plane is not used for rough dimensioning, a cambered edge is not needed Rounding the corners a bit will prevent plane tracks. .

Cambered edges are especially important for smoothing. rounding the corners of the blade is NOT enough to prevent tracks, especially on BU planes.

When I get a brand new blade from Veritas or L.N., I flatten the back starting on my 320 or 500.

Do NOT do this with Veritas blades! They come flatter than you will ever be able to replicate. Lee Valley spent a fortune on machines to flatten the blades. Anything you do will just degrade them. the only polishing needed on a new blade is around 8000 grit, and this is when you remove the wire edge.

BU blades need to be honed with a guide since the angle of the bevel will influence the cutting angle, and therefore angkes need to be fairly precise. As I mentioned earlier, start with a 25 degree bevel and work on this, adding a secondary bevel. I have blades wth just 2 angle: 25 degrees for end grain, and 50 degrees for edge and face grain.

If you hollow grind the blade, you only need 1000/5000/8000 (or 12000 in place of the 8000) grit waterstones. Forget the idea of grinding these blades with a 320 – 500 grit stone. This would take forever and produce a poor result. Any honing guide will do: Eclipse, LN, Veritas – they must be capable of honing at 50 degrees. Some cannot do this – the new Woodpeckers cannot).

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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goochs

62 posts in 1734 days


#13 posted 05-04-2019 01:23 PM

I’m always in a hurry and dreaded the sharpening process, stones stropping etc. Now I can sharpen my blades and chisels in about 15min each and be scary sharp with a mirror finish. My system consist of 1 double sided diamond stone, and 3 3m lapping films and don’t strop at all ;-)
My diamond is a 300/1200 and the 3m films are 5micron, 3micron and 1 micron or 6000,8000 and 14000 grit
I rarely use the 300 side of the diamond usually start with the 1200 side then finish with the lapping film on glass with about 20 strokes on each. I use the veritas MKII always and NO force on the lapping film and achieve a mirror finish every time. I love sharpening now and do it much more often.

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gtrgeo

53 posts in 935 days


#14 posted 05-04-2019 02:34 PM



I m always in a hurry and dreaded the sharpening process, stones stropping etc. Now I can sharpen my blades and chisels in about 15min each and be scary sharp with a mirror finish. My system consist of 1 double sided diamond stone, and 3 3m lapping films and don t strop at all ;-)
My diamond is a 300/1200 and the 3m films are 5micron, 3micron and 1 micron or 6000,8000 and 14000 grit
I rarely use the 300 side of the diamond usually start with the 1200 side then finish with the lapping film on glass with about 20 strokes on each. I use the veritas MKII always and NO force on the lapping film and achieve a mirror finish every time. I love sharpening now and do it much more often.

- goochs

I am interested due to the simplicity of your method. What do you use as a substrate for the lapping film? MDF?

Thanks, George

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goochs

62 posts in 1734 days


#15 posted 05-05-2019 12:10 AM

I am interested due to the simplicity of your method. What do you use as a substrate for the lapping film? MDF?

Thanks, George

I use float glass for the films
- gtrgeo

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