Planes going blunt very quickly.
Welcome! / Forums / General Woodworking Discussions / Tools and Tool Maintenance/Restoration / Planes going blunt very quickly.
Tagged: planes, sharpening
- This topic has 8 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by dovetails.
Yet another sharpening thread, I know. 🙂
I’m working some old floorboards to dimension. I have quite a lot of material to take off, 8-9mm or more, to get rid of the ridged backs of the boards. In theory this doesn’t take too long with cross-grain cuts with an aggressively set No. 5, but it’s taking me forever because the plane loses its edge and starts skitting very often, I mean every 10-20 strokes.
I’m pretty new to all this so am not sure if this is normal. They’re Australian hardwood floorboards so I expect the wood to be very hard and that could simply be the explanation. But I wonder if there’s something wrong with my sharpening technique that’s making them lose their edge so quickly. I’m doing it freehand, the way Paul shows in his videos, with 600, 1200 + strop. They’re certainly very sharp coming off the stones, but I wonder if maybe I’m creating too fine-angled or high-angled a bevel, or not creating “enough” of a bevel somehow. Any suggestions?
I suppose I could just get some sawing practice and rip them along their narrow width… but I’m sure I’d end up with very skewiff boards. Probably worth a try I suppose (most things are!).
Have you checked the vebevl angle? 30 degree is the best compromise between sharpness and durability. If the angle becomes too steep ( say 20 or less) you have a very sharp adge but it will last only few minutes of work.
Do you grind your Irons using an electic grinder or previus owner did it? If you do this frequently withouth put the iron in a glass of water to cool it down , probably the steel loses its hardness and the result a short lasting edge.
These are two possible causes of this problem
but probably there are many more20 February 2017 at 7:21 pm #309386
Lots of variables , is your iron short? Is there dirt in your boards ? If you have a sharp plane to start ,you are sure, and your bevel is right, right?then look at your surface you are planeing
Sounds like you are processing some gnarley stuff
Short iron ,may be worn past the tempered area of the blade, depending,20 February 2017 at 8:02 pm #309387
It is all mentioned that I could think of. The bevel should be around 30° rather than 25°, to have more meat behind the edge. Also get rid of all striations and ridges near the edge, because it makes the surface vulnerable. You can wash the boards prior planing. Use plain water, or a little bit of soap, then use a brush to remove all the dirt from the pores. Dirt is a very good abrasive and might be the main cause for your blade to dull so soon.
Dieter21 February 2017 at 11:10 am #309394
Yeah, I agree with the above posts; try using a 30 degree bevel and clean as much of the dirt off the surface as you can. I have a pile of old Tas Oak floor boards here that I salvaged from a house demolition – old, seasoned, dry, Tas Oak boards – like trying to plane steel. You spend as much time sharpening as you do planing; but, as Paul would say – good exercise :-).
I would also move to 30 degree bevel. I was rolling the iron edges on spruce knots with a 25 degree micro bevel. A 30 degree bevel without a micro bevel resolved the issue.
A 30 degree bevel will be harder to push through the grain. You might want to camber the blade and cut cross the grain like a fore/scrub plane. You can pick up a plane blade at a big box store, Buck Brothers planes are not that good, but they sell a plane blade separately that is good steel and fits a number 4 for about $10 USD.
A variations on others suggestion is to use Paul’s cambered bevel. It is strong and holds an edge. Another though maybe to initial hit the boards with some rough (60-80 grit) sandpaper to tray and knock of the top layer of embedded grit. Last thought is a good scrub blade may be your best answer for that much material.
Lung T'an Hu Huesh Kung-fu Woodshop
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.