Paul's Sharpening Method

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  • #9762
    Brian Loran
    Participant

    I finally tried sharpening the way PS teaches it. The results were great and I find this method quicker and easier on my hands! I used to sharpen by putting the bevel flat on the stone and squeezing as many fingers onto the bottom of the blade to push it down and hold it flat as I could. Then I would push and pull the blade side to side. Even after using this method for years, my hands tire quickly and also like to slip down onto the stone scratching my fingers up. I can hold the blade more comfortably Paul’s way so my hands do not tire and they don’t slip down and get polished. Thanks again Paul for yet another  wonderful technique.

    #10038
    woodworker435
    Participant

    Brian,

    I had the same revelation.  Following other’s teachings, my hands would cramp.  I also needed to prepare for sharpening 30 minutes before I wanted to sharpen.  Soak the water stones, make sure they’re flat, get everything wet and messy while sharpening, when done,  flatten the stones so they’re ready for the next time, etc, etc, etc.

    I was so impressed with Paul’s teaching, I bought a few DMT diamond plates and made a holder similar to his, with a separate strop.  Now, in less time than it takes to fill the soaking pan with water, I have a mirror finish and am back to work.

    I know we all have a tendancy to be a bit bias towards Paul, but I think he has such a down to earth approach to everything.  No fancy gizmo’s, no need to be validated, just a simple approach that works, and a great teaching style.

    Cleveland, Ohio U.S.A.

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    #10132
    Michael Petre
    Participant

    Brian,

    I had a similar revelation yesterday.

    While waiting one hour for the glue to set on the sliding tray I’m building for my tool chest, I sharpened a few antique chisels and a box of antique wooden planes. I have just added an extra step to preserve my sanity, I do use a hand cranked grinding wheel to re-establish the initial bevel before hitting the DMT stones otherwise I would still be grinding the initial bevel on one of those blades.

    #10413
    Mark Armstrong
    Participant

    I have a Tormek T7 great for primary bevel Also Trend diamond plates and if I want ultra fine I use scary shapening

    Dagenham, Essex, England

    #10555
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    To be honest I have not tried Paul’s method of sharpening yet.  Till now I have used a WorkSharp on my older tools.  Has anyone used Paul’s method on the newer steels offered by LV and LN?  I understand they are much harder to put an edge on, and very sensitive to heat.   Thank you for the replys.

    #10557
    Dave
    Participant

    Boyce, I have a couple plane blades with Lee Valley new metal, its no different than my O1 plane blades.  Hones up razor sharp.

    -Canada

    #10562
    Michael Petre
    Participant

    Boyce, I have yet to generate any significant heat on blades when sharpening with Paul’s approach.

    #10642
    kelly
    Participant

    I too have switched over to the free hand method Paul teaches.

    At first I was “a-scared” of it.  So, I practiced on spare a chisel I bought from one of the big box stores.  It turned out pretty good.  I was surprised at how easy it was to do.  And fast too.

    So like David Knight, I bought some DMT diamond stones, a strop and some green polishing compound from Harbor Freight (per Paul’s recommendation).

    I still have my combination water stones but, I don’t see myself using them.  I don’t know what to do with ’em.  And I still have my $15.00 sharpening jig (guide) too.  I guess that may be useful someday.

    However … I’ve only used the free hand method on blades from 2″ down to 1/4″.  The 1/4″ took some concentration because it seems like it would be real easy to tilt it too much to one side or the other and end up with a deformed edge.

    But, when I met Paul at the Woodworking show in Ft Worth, he showed me that even *his* chisels have a *little bit* of a skew on the edges (or at least a couple of them did).  So I guess that ain’t really anything to be worried about.  …too much.

    kelly

     

    Texas, USA

    #10721
    keithbaxby
    Participant

    I have watched Paul’s sharpening method once and want to try it  but now cannot find it in the 18 videos I have downloaded or by the Search facility on the site. Can someone give the link please? Sorry for a useless contribution. It certainly sounds a lot less trouble than the method taught on a well-known tool prep course- especially the 3 bevel version.

    #10723
    Ken
    Participant
    #10724
    Ken
    Participant
    #10750
    Scott
    Participant

    Linkmaster Ken, to the rescue! 😉

    To be honest I have not tried Paul’s method of sharpening yet. Till now I have used a WorkSharp on my older tools. Has anyone used Paul’s method on the newer steels offered by LV and LN? I understand they are much harder to put an edge on, and very sensitive to heat. Thank you for the replys.

    Boyce-  I used a WorkSharp 3000 for a stretch, which is good with bevels once you have the port set up square, but I experienced a few problems. I did not spend a lot of time with the device before moving on, so my inexperience with the device may have been my worst enemy.

    I then tried waterstones and liked the “feel”, but dishing (especially with the courser stones) and stiction (while polishing or de-burring backs on the finest stone) can become a nuisance. I still keep a 3000 and 8000 Naniwa Superstone on my sharpening bench for when I really need those finer grits, but gouging a waterstone while free-hand sharpening is super easy so I have to sharpen on the pull stroke only or use a jig.

    Now I pretty much use diamond plates in COURSE (250), MEDIUM (600) and SUPER FINE (1200) grits for chisels and irons, and leather&compound for stropping. I wish I discovered this method first!  I love how the plates do not have to be flattened (or abrasive wheels swapped out), but I do wipe or rinse them from time to time to keep the ground metal particles from drying on or clogging the plate.

    I mostly have O1 or vintage steel so I have no meaningful experience in sharpening the new steels. With that said, I have read that diamonds are one of the fastest abrasives for harder steels.

    Paul’s method is very fast, but also makes me very conscious of what is happening at the edge of the tool. Without the use of jigs I feel as though I pay closer attention to the development of the burr and the subsequent wire edge falling away. I keep an illuminated magnifying glass at the bench to closely check the results of my sharpening.

     

     

     

     

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #10752
    Scott
    Participant

    I’ve only used the free hand method on blades from 2″ down to 1/4″. The 1/4″ took some concentration because it seems like it would be real easy to tilt it too much to one side or the other and end up with a deformed edge. But, when I met Paul at the Woodworking show in Ft Worth, he showed me that even *his* chisels have a *little bit* of a skew on the edges (or at least a couple of them did). So I guess that ain’t really anything to be worried about. …too much. kelly –

    Kelly-  Fortunately, narrow edges are quicker to correct than wide ones. I wonder if a simple clothes-pin style jig, clamped to the sides of a narrow chisel, pointing straight up, could be a useful, visual indication of the angle that narrow tools are held. I’ll have to try something out…

    EDIT: On second thought, I do not even own a chisel narrower than 1/4″, so Kelly – send me your nicest 1/8″ chisel so I can do a test. 😉

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #10754
    nwertman
    Participant

    Paul’s method is very fast, but also makes me very conscious of what is happening at the edge of the tool. Without the use of jigs I feel as though I pay closer attention to the development of the burr and the subsequent wire edge falling away. I keep an illuminated magnifying glass at the bench to closely check the results of my sharpening.

    Here, here!  I was fortunate enough to find Paul’s technique first.  I had been doing a lot of reading about sharpening and I felt like I was being sold snake oil.  ‘How hard can it be, it is just a matter of making the narrowest edge possible!’…  Folks obsess about sharpness to the point of a religion.

    The first technique I tried was the one that professed to letting me get back to working wood the most quickly!

    Nathan Wertman (Grand Junction, CO, USA, 81507)

    “But ‘it will do’ is a very bad maxim, especially for a person learning a business; the right principle is to ask oneself, ‘is it as good as it can be made?’ or, at least, ‘is it as good as I can make it?’” - The Joiner and Cabinet Maker

    #10772
    Dave
    Participant

    If you are finding your narrow chisels are becoming skewed then I would suggest you lighten up on the pressure.  I’ve honed my straight razors for years and frequently find people just learning to hone apply way too much pressure.  I’m thinking the same thing applies to narrow chisels,  there is not alot of metal and the less pressure should lead to more control of the chisel over the stone.

    -Canada

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