Reply To: What 2 hand planes to start with.


“I also found that Japanese joinery sometimes works with different wood than what I use in North America. ” I believe this to be critical, too, and am surprised how often it goes unrecognized. As you, I think that the tool steel, wood, and workbench all work together. Japanese work I think is often in softwoods. The super sharp edge needed for pine end grain isn’t needed in oak, yet may fracture in oak end grain. At least, that’s my fear / theory and it is interesting to hear you echo similar thoughts.

I have the Veritas jig. It will hold anything…and it is fussy and fiddly as you suggest. When I use a jig, I’m more likely to reach for an old Eclipse. I’ve never tried the L-N.

My sharpening in recent months is basically Paul’s, but with influences from Richard Maguire and my chip carving teacher, Wayne Barton. I use a 120 grit DMT plate to hog off the heel and to flatten my Norton oil stone, which isn’t needed very often. I find the Norton seems to have more cutting speed than my DMT or EZE lap diamond plates. Since I use old steel, not A2, it cuts the steel quickly and I can go directly to the strop from it. Nevertheless, I often jump over to a little “polishing stone” from Wayne that is meant to mimic old hard Arkansas oil stones. I cannot do Paul’s trick of a “quick pull” to push the bur over. I don’t know why. I have to work the back and often go back and forth a couple of times to get the bur off. I use Wayne’s stone for that and, for chisels and sometimes even plane blades, will go directly to Wayne’s stone (even though it is a bit too small) to touch up an edge a couple of times. If you look at one of my tools, you will see horrible 120 grit scratches at the heel transitioning to a polish at the edge. The heel is down around 15 degrees and the edge is 25 to 35 depending upon what I am doing. It is one continuous curve using Paul’s method. My Clifton’s are slower to sharpen because the blade, while O1, is thick. Feh. But, if I keep the heel down it isn’t too bad. A couple special tools, like small plow, are A2 because I had no choice. My unfortunate purchase of A2 chisels from L-N stay in the drawer. I don’t like them and should sell them.

Regarding camber side-to-side, I suggest, John, that you not worry about it right now. There are many ways to do that and it is easy to get hung up, slowed down, and spend a lot of time putting on and taking off camber. I suggest you just convince yourself you can get the edge sharp, as delivered and let the iron make tracks in the wood. Doesn’t matter, you are just convincing yourself you can get a bur and get good shavings and deal with figure. You won’t be able to use the camber to true and edge, but that’s okay, you can use pressure like Paul does instead of the camber like David Charlesworth, or you can use the multiple pass trick. Get the straight edge sharp, play with it, read about the zillion opinions on side-to-side camber, then come back to it. I suggest that, whatever you do for the #4, make it subtle. It took me a long time to realize I had to much camber so all my shavings were little ribbons instead of wide, so all the work took much, much longer to do.

  • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Ed.