Paul Sellers sharpening system, which diamond stones?
Ok, let me try to do with this with my buttery fingers...........

Totally agree with Derek re: a 300 stone is where you go to rehabilitate an edge otherwise the tool is WAY overdue.

A concave bevel is whack, to put it bluntly. Well, unless you really like the wedge effect and driving your chisel backward?

Whatever he does obviously works, but I think he's relying on the 30-40 vigorous strop strokes to achieve an edge. But, who's going to argue with someone who's been doing it what, is it, 150 years? No, 50 years. LOL.

I attended a conference for my profession many years ago and this young guy was up to speak and made this comment:

"I see a lot of grey hair and missing hair, I'm guessing there is 1000 years of experience in this room. My message today is you can have a lot of experience doing something the wrong way."

So true, we can do something inefficiently or even wrong, and through experience all we've done is add things to correct the errors, instead of doing it right from the start.

IMO that's what Mr. Sellers 30-50 strokes on a strop is doing.
(05-03-2022, 06:48 PM)Derek Cohen Wrote: I am happy to be corrected, but the question pondered is why then recommend starting with 300 grit each time?

Regards from Perth


I'm also curious about that.  I assume it has something to do with the bevel not being hollow ground.  With hollow grind you go back
to the course grit when the honing surface gets too large.
(05-25-2022, 01:29 PM)maswindell Wrote: I think you should contact DMT about diamond plates wearing out, they just don't wear like waterstones. My plates coarse, fine, extra fine are over 20 years old and are still dead flat and sharpen my knives, chisels just fine thank you. I'm glad I bought the diamond plates so long ago as everything has increased in price dramatically. I think I paid $40 each.

I pulled the trigger on buying that 3 plate system. Best Sharpening Stones website has 8 x 3 Ultra Sharp brand 3 Stone Kit for 117 bucks.
It got lots of good reviews from users on YT. 
So far, to be honest,  I'm getting inconsistent results from using the Paul Sellers method.  The stones are great, it's my skill level that needs work/practice.
I get great results using a honing guide that's how I know it's not the stones.  

I don't regret buying them, they'll get plenty of use, and I'm determined to master sharpening by hand just because. 
Once I do then I'll find a quicker, mechanical way of doing this.   
On a side note I removed this motor from wife's old treadmill yesterday which we were trashing.  

[Image: 52101010703_6bda7b53e7_w.jpg]
(05-03-2022, 02:28 PM)wmickley Wrote: It is not in the oval office. I think it is in the cabinet room. George W Bush owns a ranch near Waco Texas where Paul used to work. So the commission was probably giving the local boys some work. Frank Strazza was also working in Waco at that time and also claims to have worked on that furnitureas well. Frank seems to be good at veneer and inlay work. They had previously made kitchen cabinets for George Bush's "ranch".

I don't care if Paul Sellers uses power tools for stock preparation either. But when he says "I have been planing on the bench all day, every day, for over fifty years", I think he is deceiving people. 

I was taught to use the two stone method of flattening stones by a colleague in 1967. I was taught freehand sharpening in 1962 and was taught to avoid dishing a stone in the first place. I have a sandstone grinding wheel and a sandstone flat stone. My guess is you have never used these. They were not used for a polished edge. Read some historic documents.

There's a picture floating around on the internet of the people who worked on the commission(s) for Bush.  Strazza and Sellers are in the photo.

Here's a Strazza piece with a lot of inlay and marquetry:

Roses Hall Table (
I use a combination of Diamond Stones and Water Stones. I have a DMT Coarse Diamond stone and 1000, 3000, and 8000 Shapton water stones. The water stones are my regular sharpening stones. I use the diamond stone for a variety of things from grinding primary bevels to flatting backs of irons and chisels. It works for me.
It's actually kind of comical to hear a bunch of amateurs critique Sellers' method of sharpening as wrong. Yes, a couple of you are professionals and a few I know are extremely talented woodworkers. But at the end of the day, Sellers produces high quality pieces that please both him and his clients. Nothing wrong with asking questions and having different opinions about his methods, but to flat out call them wrong is going too far, IMO. His work methods are different. They are not wrong.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
(05-26-2022, 08:51 AM)rwe2156 Wrote: A concave bevel is whack, to put it bluntly.  Well, unless you really like the wedge effect and driving your chisel backward?

Don't you mean convex bevel?
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
(05-26-2022, 11:04 AM)Ricky Wrote: I'm also curious about that.  I assume it has something to do with the bevel not being hollow ground.  With hollow grind you go back
to the course grit when the honing surface gets too large.

I think you guys are 100% correct. My theory is that hollow grinds are weak. When I spent that year sharpening with 18th c stuff, I realized a hollow grind wasn’t easy to produce (with a 20” grinding wheel). So what I did was grind my bevels low, like 20 or 25 degrees or so, then add a microbevel at 30 or whatever.

If Paul freehands his edges, and hones the entire bevel, I could see why he’d need to start each honing with 300grit. And btw, that takes a lot of skill. Not that easy to hone a flat bevel, especially on a thick tool. What I do is easier and faster for me, since I’m honing and polishing a pretty small hunk of steel.

Regarding my strength comment: freehanding edges isn’t that simple. My natural honing movement produces a slightly rounded surface. So the 2 flats aren’t all that perfectly flat. The result is a nicely curved gradually increasingly cross section, a little thicker than a hollow grind down low close to the edge, then tapering off.

But I’m not trying to sell anybody on how I do it, only to recognize that I think you guys are right that Paul is probably freehand honing a flat bevel at a certain angle and that that’s not easy to do, especially on thick plane irons and chisels.
(06-09-2022, 06:05 AM)AHill Wrote: Don't you mean convex bevel?

I think that’s what he means and he’s right. When you are cutting, you are cutting. But often, the second or third strike of the chisel mallet, really turns your chisel into a wedge. And the wedge forces get reacted at the tip of your chisel and perpendicular to the centerline between the chisels back and bevel. This why you can’t hold a chisel perfectly vertically, mallet it, and expect a vertical cut to result.

On planes, the force exerted by the shavings is pretty minimal, but there is also a wedging force doing the exact same thing. This is what dulls blades.

The shape of the edge just past the tip can effect the amount of wedging. Higher angles are more wedgey, lower angles less so, but they are also less capable of reacted the stress still occurring. So all sharpening is a trade off of cutting angle and tool strength.

Sorry if I just mansplained everybody
(04-26-2022, 03:33 PM)wmickley Wrote: Paul Sellers puts on an act as if he knows how to prepare stock by hand, but when I watch him it is obvious that he is a beginner, going through the motions. 


I feel the same way about Steph Curry, when I watch him it is obvious he's just a beginner level basketball player, going through the motions.

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