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A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - Printable Version

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RE: A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - Handplanesandmore - 06-01-2021

(06-01-2021, 08:27 AM)Timberwolf Wrote: ............................
Technically speaking, DC's method produces a slightly "rounded" edge, while Cosman's method does not..DC moves his blade fore and aft while Cosman moves his side to side, or parallel to the length of the stone..But I doubt it makes a nickel's worth of difference...Altho Karl Holtey sharpens his blades in a parallel motion, and he knows a thing or two about sharpening. Big Grin

Based on my sharpening exp. of using no ruler tricks and using DC's method and its variants (RB's, and non-RB's), parallel, non-parallel, etc., my conclusion is that consistency is what matters rather than the finer details. That was why I wondered why you people brought up the aspect of same distancing, adding even more constraints to the equation. At the end of the day, sharpening is just a lot simpler than what all kinds of sharpening gurus, steel experts, stone specialists, vendors and of course forum discussions have made it to be. I feel sorry for beginners who go out to spend their money on jigs, stones, etc. because they think sharpening is the hardest thing in (and the goal of?) hand tool woodworking.

Rob Cosman even sells a "ruler" just for the ruler trick!!! Unbelievable. Smirk


RE: A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - Timberwolf - 06-01-2021

(06-01-2021, 11:57 AM)Handplanesandmore Wrote: Based on my sharpening exp. of using no ruler tricks and using DC's method and its variants (RB's, and non-RB's), parallel, non-parallel, etc., my conclusion is that consistency is what matters rather than the finer details. That was why I wondered why you people brought up the aspect of same distancing, adding even more constraints to the equation. At the end of the day, sharpening is just a lot simpler than what all kinds of sharpening gurus, steel experts, stone specialists, vendors and of course forum discussions have made it to be. I feel sorry for beginners who go out to spend their money on jigs, stones, etc. because they think sharpening is the hardest thing in (and the goal of?) hand tool woodworking.

Rob Cosman even sells a "ruler" just for the ruler trick!!! Unbelievable. Smirk
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Rob Cosman even sells a "ruler" just for the ruler trick!!! Unbelievable

I didn't know that but I guess the old adages "follow the money trail" and "anything for a buck", holds true. Big Grin

Until DC brought up the Ruler "Trick", I just held my blades flat on the hone and got excellent results...I still don't bother with a ruler..and if I really want to get "fancy" I hold it flat on a Veritas MKII with a diamond lap at about 2,000 grit, then to a leather strop on a belt grinder.....By hand, of all things!!!!!!!! Crazy Big Grin

Sharpening is one of the most controversial subjects discussed on this forum...and has been for many years..and I guess since we have no "real" way to compare how sharp we have our tools, we will never be finished discussing it. We will continue to use "shaving hair on our arms" and slicing printer paper, as a measurement of just "how" sharp we can get cutting tools.. Crazy


RE: A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - Handplanesandmore - 06-01-2021

(06-01-2021, 12:28 PM)Timberwolf Wrote: and I guess since we have no "real" way to compare how sharp we have our tools, we will never be finished discussing it. We will continue to use "shaving hair on our arms" and slicing printer paper, as a measurement of just "how" sharp we can get cutting tools.. Crazy

I didn't know it either until yesterday when I looked up the ruler trick to be reminded of how DC does it.

Cosman's ruler is $9.95 plus shipping. Shall we call it a snake ruler? Winkgrin

To me, the best way to assess sharpness is to see the end result, not the edge itself. I find my handwork meeting all of my expectations in terms of speed, quality and consistency. That's why I don't bother to find out if my tools can be sharper or can stay sharp longer. Not too long ago, someone mentioned here or in another forum about a new sharpening trick using some compound and buffing wheel. Some of those who are less confident of themselves will no doubt follow or copy a trend or fad, whatever it's.

The current regime works so well for me that I'd rather this old dog spend his time in more projects than trying some new fancy jig or sharpening technique. I don't need to be the guy with the sharpest tools. What is the point of having the world's sharpest chisel that sits behind a glass door?

Simon


RE: A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - Timberwolf - 06-01-2021

(06-01-2021, 02:57 PM)Handplanesandmore Wrote: I didn't know it either until yesterday when I looked up the ruler trick to be reminded of how DC does it.

Cosman's ruler is $9.95 plus shipping. Shall we call it a snake ruler? Winkgrin

To me, the best way to assess sharpness is to see the end result, not the edge itself. I find my handwork meeting all of my expectations in terms of speed, quality and consistency. That's why I don't bother to find out if my tools can be sharper or can stay sharp longer. Not too long ago, someone mentioned here or in another forum about a new sharpening trick using some compound and buffing wheel. Some of those who are less confident of themselves will no doubt follow or copy a trend or fad, whatever it's.

The current regime works so well for me that I'd rather this old dog spend his time in more projects than trying some new fancy jig or sharpening technique. I don't need to be the guy with the sharpest tools. What is the point of having the world's sharpest chisel that sits behind a glass door?

Simon

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I agree that the most important thing is finding out what works best for each individual..but I do believe a person has to have an open mind regarding different techniques..There always seems to be a better way to "skin a cat"...and I am not above stealing an idea wherever I find it..The sharpest edge in the world is only going to stay that sharp for a few strokes...they start getting blunt after that and get progressively worse as they are used...I have never found a type of steel that will hold the razor edge as long as I would like it to, but the search must go on !!!!!.. It's out there somewhere!!!!! Crazy Big Grin

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RE: A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - Handplanesandmore - 06-01-2021

(06-01-2021, 03:42 PM)Timberwolf Wrote: , but the search must  go on !!!!!.. It's out there somewhere!!!!! Crazy  Big Grin

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hahaha...you're about to fall into the trap that merchants have laid out there...searching for a better sharpening medium, jig, etc. Our woodworking life is so short (unless those lucky ones who start as early before 10) that the search is really a futile exercise. Learning new techniques of course is necessary, else one doesn't expand one's skills. But once a technique is learned and proven, the next step is to master it, and not to keep on searching. At least that's my philosophy. As far as I know, whether it's Alan Peters or Jim Kingshott or Tage Frid, they went in with all they got once they found the methods or techniques that worked for them, and they became a master of those skills. This observation applies to machines too.

Jigs are fine, but there's no need to get jigs that do the same thing from all different vendors. Just master the one already in possession! (The best jig is actually your hands.)  

The tools in your picture have very nice handles. Wink


RE: A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - AHill - 06-01-2021

It's not Cosman's ruler trick. David Charlesworth was touting that trick long before Cosman, Schwarz, or Lie-Nielsen began showing how to do it. In this video, Charlesworth explains why he does it and what its purpose is. It's not necessary if the back is already flat. And it's not effective if you have a narrow blade, where it's easy to put uneven pressure across the edge - in which case you're doing more bad than good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nykVPKbUGTo


RE: A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - AHill - 06-01-2021

(05-31-2021, 09:27 PM)Handplanesandmore Wrote: The way D.C. does it doesn't require the edge of the tool to be kept at the same distance from anything, except that the angle is raised while the edge of the tool goes back and forth over the edge of the stone and from side to side. Are you using a variant way of doing his trick?

Simon

Yes and no - see my video posted above.  DC makes a point in the video to say that you really don't want the sharpening motion to be more than a few mm from the edge of the stone, which limits the variability of the angle you're putting on the polished back bevel.

A General Tools flexible pocket ruler is just $2.99 from Amazon and would serve the purpose of the "ruler" just fine. I can't see paying more than $3 for a jig that does the same thing.


RE: A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - Handplanesandmore - 06-01-2021

(06-01-2021, 06:29 PM)AHill Wrote: Yes and no - see my video posted above.  DC makes a point in the video to say that you really don't want the sharpening motion to be more than a few mm from the edge of the stone, which limits the variability of the angle you're putting on the polished back bevel.

A General Tools flexible pocket ruler is just $2.99 from Amazon and would serve the purpose of the "ruler" just fine.  I can't see paying more than $3 for a jig that does the same thing.
That's the same video I watched when I wanted to remind myself of how he does the trick. As the video shows, the "same distance" thing doesn't exist in the way he does it. The distance can vary slightly as the blade is stroked in and out on the edge.

Simon


RE: A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - Handplanesandmore - 06-01-2021

(06-01-2021, 06:14 PM)AHill Wrote: .  It's not necessary if the back is already flat.  And it's not effective if you have a narrow blade, where it's easy to put uneven pressure across the edge - in which case you're doing more bad than good.

While it's true that the ruler trick works best for backs that may not be dead flat, there's a good (lazy) reason to do so with a new blade at least for the first time the new blade is sharpened: The ruler trick will hone the back (edge) to the same finest grit as the bevel edge. Of course, some don't see it necessary to hone the back to the same finest grit as the bevel.

Simon


RE: A jig better than the "ruler trick"?? - Timberwolf - 06-01-2021

(06-01-2021, 05:43 PM)Handplanesandmore Wrote: hahaha...you're about to fall into the trap that merchants have laid out there...searching for a better sharpening medium, jig, etc. Our woodworking life is so short (unless those lucky ones who start as early before 10) that the search is really a futile exercise. Learning new techniques of course is necessary, else one doesn't expand one's skills. But once a technique is learned and proven, the next step is to master it, and not to keep on searching. At least that's my philosophy. As far as I know, whether it's Alan Peters or Jim Kingshott or Tage Frid, they went in with all they got once they found the methods or techniques that worked for them, and they became a master of those skills. This observation applies to machines too.

Jigs are fine, but there's no need to get jigs that do the same thing from all different vendors. Just master the one already in possession! (The best jig is actually your hands.)  

The tools in your picture have very nice handles. Wink
........................
I have been making knives and woodcarving for more than 40yrs using all types of steel and lots of exotic woods..and have another drawer like that with knives I have made and half a dozen cigar boxes of them also...as well as lots of carving chisels and gouges..I have been called a dilettante because I have had so many hobbies in my 88yrs..I stay with something until I get tired of it or become more interested in something else. I am well equipped with machines also, including 8 belt grinders, two slo-speed belt grinders , one of which I made myself...Here's a shot of a small brass plane I made a few years ago and have a few others also..I love machine work... Big Grin

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