Another sharpening thread with a twist
#21
  Re: RE: Another sharpening thread with a twist by 5thumbs (My Grandfather, who ...)
(05-05-2021, 01:41 PM)5thumbs Wrote: My Grandfather, who served in WW1, spent his entire life as a finish carpenter. He worked in some of the finest houses on the main line in Philadelphia.  When he passed, he had a coarse and a fine stone in a can in his workshop. Both were rounded but he could put an edge on a chisel or plane that would shave hair. (He used to do this to me when I visited him.)

He once told me that the shape of the stone didn't matter, it was the angle of the steel to the stone. The old man didn't spend any more time than necessary sharpening his chisels, he counted that time as wasted, so he evolved an efficient method of sharpening that worked for him.

By the way, he mostly worked with oak, birch, and cherry.  I think he would have laughed at modern sharpening methods.
........................
The old timers definitely knew what sharp was and what was good enough... Winkgrin

My usual criteria for what is "good enough" when it comes to carving knives is stabbing a paper towel and "PUSH" cutting {not a shearing or slicing cut} the towel CLEANLY two inches in two directions...That's not easy to achieve, so getting close is sometimes "good enough"...... Crazy Big Grin
"If you don't read newspapers you're uninformed...If you do read newspapers, you're misinformed.....Mark Twain

Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korea, the Forgotten War 51/52
Get off my lawn ! Upset





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#22
  Re: RE: Another sharpening thread with a twist by Peter Tremblay ([quote='clovishound'...)
(05-04-2021, 01:15 PM)Peter Trembla Wrote: the tools that lasted long enough to be found by us today were the misused and hardly used tools.  That's why they seem to have been so poorly sharpened.

Just my $0.02

Exactly. And agree, you can make things sharp without jigs, ceramic, diamonds, etc.  I use stones that I have no idea what their grit is, other than they make steel sharp.
Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere
Non impediti ratione cogitationis
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#23
  Re: RE: Another sharpening thread with a twist by Admiral ([quote='Peter Trembl...)
(05-05-2021, 05:29 PM)Admiral Wrote: Exactly. And agree, you can make things sharp without jigs, ceramic, diamonds, etc.  I use stones that I have no idea what their grit is, other than they make steel sharp.

I don't even remember who made the video (maybe Joel at Tools for Working Wood) but I watched a DVD on how to sharpen a tool by hand without jigs years ago.

I was shocked how easy it was.  I was impressed how quickly I was able to figure it out.  I also remember laughing to myself over how mysterious and fussy sharpening with jigs was before this epiphany.

Ever since then I've been (probably arrogantly) stymied by the hand tool woodworking community's codependency on sharpening jigs.

What gives?!?

I don't get it.  It's like asking a profession cyclist to use a better set of training wheels.

Additionally, Jack was a wonderful influence on me years ago.  I started "power stropping" on a hand cranked grinder and I've not wet my waterstones since.  

If my power strop won't put an edge on the tool then I give it a light touch up on the 36 grit bench grinder.  Then back to the power strop.  I literally go from 36 grit to .5 micron diamond past power stropping when a tool needs more than a honing.  I keep a strop on the bench and take a few honing strokes when a blade needs it.

I hate sharpening tools so I found the quickest way to get a sharp edge and maintain it. 

For the life of me I thought the new Lee Valley sharpening jig was a joke when I saw it.  I just can't fathom why anyone is still using jigs to sharpen tools.

Sorry for the rant. Laugh
Peter

My "day job"
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#24
  Re: RE: Another sharpening thread with a twist by Peter Tremblay ([quote='Admiral' pid...)
(05-05-2021, 09:44 PM)Peter Tremblay Wrote: I just can't fathom why anyone is still using jigs to sharpen tools.

Peter, some folks use jigs because they have physical disabilities that prevent them from holding the tool steady when sharpening, or it causes them pain.  Others just don't have the muscle memory to get a consistent edge freehand.  Finally, unless you do it frequently, it's hard to maintain the skills necessary to get a good edge freehand.  I know a tool can get sharp with freestyle sharpening, but over time the angle of the bevel changes.  So it's useful to use a jig to reestablish a bevel every once in a while.  Freehand sharpening tends to increase the bevel angle over time, unless you periodically check the angle.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#25
  Re: RE: Another sharpening thread with a twist by AHill ([quote='Peter Trembl...)
(05-06-2021, 07:37 AM)AHill Wrote: Peter, some folks use jigs because they have physical disabilities that prevent them from holding the tool steady when sharpening, or it causes them pain.  Others just don't have the muscle memory to get a consistent edge freehand.  Finally, unless you do it frequently, it's hard to maintain the skills necessary to get a good edge freehand.  I know a tool can get sharp with freestyle sharpening, but over time the angle of the bevel changes.  So it's useful to use a jig to reestablish a bevel every once in a while.  Freehand sharpening tends to increase the bevel angle over time, unless you periodically check the angle.
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Freehand sharpening tends to increase the bevel angle over time,

Absolutely!!
"If you don't read newspapers you're uninformed...If you do read newspapers, you're misinformed.....Mark Twain

Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korea, the Forgotten War 51/52
Get off my lawn ! Upset





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#26
  Re: Another sharpening thread with a twist by clovishound (I've been thinking, ...)
From what I know sharpening stones have been around for millennia.

At the carpenters shop in Williamsburg, VA believe I saw a honing wheel.

There were oil stones and strops on the bench.
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#27
  Re: RE: Another sharpening thread with a twist by rwe2156 (From what I know sha...)
Another reason for sharpening jigs is that more people now use bevel up planes where the sharpening angle matters more to the feel and behavior of the plane.  For bevel down planes, as long as the bevel looks about twice as wide as the blade thickness, you are close enough to 30 degrees it should be fine.  You will prevent tearout with the cap iron if needed.  With a bevel up plane, the sharpening angle affects the planing angle, and you don't have the cap iron to bail you out.
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#28
  Re: Another sharpening thread with a twist by clovishound (I've been thinking, ...)
Alan S Wrote:Another reason for sharpening jigs is that more people now use bevel up planes where the sharpening angle matters more to the feel and behavior of the plane. For bevel down planes, as long as the bevel looks about twice as wide as the blade thickness, you are close enough to 30 degrees it should be fine.
I’m thinking it doesn’t even need to be close to 30 degrees...as long as you’ve got a clearance angle below the bevel, a bevel down plane should work fine with with 40 degrees or more of bevel.
Dave Arbuckle was kind enough to create a Sketchup model of my WorkMate benchtop: http://www.arbolloco.com/sketchup/MauleS...nchtop.skp
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#29
  Re: RE: Another sharpening thread with a twist by AHill ([quote='Peter Trembl...)
(05-06-2021, 07:37 AM)AHill Wrote: Peter, some folks use jigs because they have physical disabilities that prevent them from holding the tool steady when sharpening, or it causes them pain.  Others just don't have the muscle memory to get a consistent edge freehand.  Finally, unless you do it frequently, it's hard to maintain the skills necessary to get a good edge freehand.  I know a tool can get sharp with freestyle sharpening, but over time the angle of the bevel changes.  So it's useful to use a jig to reestablish a bevel every once in a while.  Freehand sharpening tends to increase the bevel angle over time, unless you periodically check the angle.

True

I didn't mean any disrespect by this.
Peter

My "day job"
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#30
  Re: Another sharpening thread with a twist by clovishound (I've been thinking, ...)
Spent a year sharpening only with the tools I felt were available to anglo American woodworkers in the 18th c. Wrote a magazine article about it. As I recall, this is what I learned:

1) Good fast cutting coarse grits didn't exist. The grinding wheels needed a lot of surface feet per minute to really cut well. I missed my grinder.

2) Super fine stones were not commonly available. The finest stones were still pretty slow cutting (cutler's green hone, charnely forest, Belgian white hone, etc all paled in comparison to translucent Arkansas)

3) The medium stones, like washita, (washita wasn't available everywhere, but similar stones were available from the Holy land) pretty much kicked butt. I got a lot of work done with these stones alone. You can do good work, but maybe not carving, with washita and a strop.

4) They tended not to have solid steel tools. Laminated blades were faster to hone which kinda made up for their slower cutting stones.

5) Their solid steel tools were typically small tools and were not the wear resistant tool steels we use. So they could have good hardness and still sharpen easily compared to our tools.

6) Their edge shapes were very likely different from ours. IIRC, this is what I focused on in the article. I believe they didn't hollow grind for example. I believe they couldn't. I think hollow ground edges are weak anyway. They rounded their edges and therefore were able to hone a tiny bit of edge quickly. We don't do this because it takes too much muscle memory. We use flat faces to register against our stones to control angles. One way isn't better than the next tho I think the rounded edges are stronger and last longer.

7) I found success honing much more frequently than I had before. Sharpening for me was like cleaning the shop; something I did after a project was finished. With 18th c sharpening tools, I found frequent touch ups on my finest (but slow cutting) stone was the best approach.

I'm doing mostly carpentry at the moment and my 18th c tools are put away. I use Stanley planes and #60 chisels but I've kept the habit of keeping a stone under the bench. I hone my tools pretty much every time I use them and I do my pocket knife at the same time. Of all that I learned that year, many years ago, this is the lesson that has stuck with me the most: If you are making drawers, honing after each corner is cut isn't too much. Frequent honing results in much less grinding.
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