Welcome! / Forums / General Woodworking Discussions / Sharpening
- This topic has 78 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 5 months ago by bloqbeta.
FYI, it is possible to buy a NEW hand crank grinder for approximately the same sum as a fully functioning vintage one. They are “marketed” toward the lapidary field for dressing and grinding of gem stones. But with a little fettling, they can be used with 5″ and 6″ grind stones. You may need to grind down the stone a bit on a powered wheel using a dressing tool as I found that one model that claimed to be able to accommodate a 6″ wheel, couldn’t. It could however handle a 5.75″ wheel. Easy fix. And I had to make my own mandrill to re-size the wheel to fit. The wheel size and mandrill issue is also common with the vintage grinders so nothing new there. I simply used a $10 coarse stone from the hardware store and so far, this has been a very nice grinder to use and takes up very little space and just stores under the bench when not needed.
As to the diamond plates, I have one DMT and two from EZLap that I’m evaluating. So far, I like both brands and I think they will be quite suitable for use in the KCWG shop. The biggest hurdle will just be getting people to use them! So many of our members have only ever used power tools and just don’t have a feel for what a sharp chisel or plane or spokeshave or scraper can do. Slowly, myself and a handful of other members are dragging them along and showing what can be done and how easy it really is to build the basic hand skills. It is progress but it is slow progress. Ever forward.Anonymous12 November 2012 at 5:48 pm #3136
Good luck with educating your society members of the finer things surrounding hand tool usage Rob. 😉 My son is apprenticing as a cabinetmaker at present and floats between both power and hand tool camps, although his first year was spent being given a thorough grounding in hand tool use and maintenance. He loved it and still does. 🙂Anonymous12 November 2012 at 11:59 pm #3145
Just to add I still own the hand crank grinder, but seldom use it since investing in an electric bench grinder during the mid 70’s. The stones I have and the mechanism are still sound, but I opted for a powered bench grinder as soon as I could afford one because I felt my energies and time were better spent crafting than cranking the wheel after a long shift involving physical work (As a professional cabinetmaker). The self same reasons were deciding factors when I opted to predominantly use diamond plates in place of my oil stones and especially so when time is money and very little/no allowance is made by employers in terms of the need to sharpen tools. We used to be paid 25p tool allowance per week when I was a kid and it didn’t even cover the cost of oil for our sharpening stones, nevermind new/replacement tools it was supposedly intended for. 😀
With almost 40 years in the trade I retired back in 2004 after the rapid onset of rheumatoid arthritis and ensuing joint damage made it impossible for me to continue my work as a cabinetmaker. My tools were oiled/greased up and packed away with little likelihood of my re-entering my specialist field due to my then condition. The long road to finding a medical counter-balance to the disease finally began slowing it’s advance and – although the joint damage to my hands, wrists and elbows is pretty severe – I can thankfully potter around with various projects when my health allows and I make hay while the sun shines. 😀15 November 2012 at 3:46 am #3213
I don’t know if this is a concern or not, but I just recieved my EZE Lap plates today, I ordered them from Amazon. They averaged $18 less than other retailers, for a total savings of over $50 over the three. After just a bit of wear in (the Super Fine had a “bump” where what almost looked like a small piece of welding splatter protruded up from the plate through the diamond coating, hard to describe but it left a heck of a scratch on the back of the blade until I got it knocked off) they seem to work great.
Washington State, USA
My own humble blog:
http://toolsofourfathers.wordpress.com/Anonymous15 November 2012 at 8:06 am #3215
Has the “bump” disappeared?
The diamond plates take some initial conditioning, don’t put your best and finest blade on it before the dullest junker has taken initial roughness off. The manufacturer recommends that too. Manufacturing process leaves plates with spots where grit is much coarser that nominal value tells, these chip off and plate becomes what the box says.
That said, my experience with DMT has been that on Fine plate I see wavy undulations on stone (visible when metal shaving colored the plate) but seems flat. Extra Fine is nice and works as advertised. Extra coarse is coarse and just don’t appear to eat metal that much after initial scratching. The XC plate is bald in one spot with few visible diamond particles embedded. I’m not quite sure what to think of it.
However the full Pauls sharpening process (XC -> F -> XF -> leather + autoglym polishing compound) gives me a workable edge that eats wood nicely. I’m new to woodworking and sharpening so it might be I’m doing something wrong with XC.
Stupid is like stupid does, even here in rural Finland.Anonymous15 November 2012 at 8:01 pm #3270
This sequence = Medium -> Fine -> Extra Fine -> Strop loaded with “Honing Paste” (The type I use comes in the form of a pale blue waxy block) should leave an immaculately sharp finish on your edges.
I honestly think AutoGlym is perhaps too fine a stropping medium and the difference between extra fine grit and the particle size suspended within AutoGlym is perhaps too large. The same could be said regarding the difference when moving directly from Extra Coarse to Fine grits, as you’ll have to work much harder using a Fine stone/plate to try and eliminate the residual scratch marks made in the edge by the Extra Coarse grit.15 November 2012 at 10:36 pm #3280
I’ve never used a strop to finish off the sharpening process. I’ve seen the video of Paul stropping and using a green compound in what looks like a bar/block. Does anyone know what it is and where I could buy some from?
Yorkshireman currently living in Hampshire15 November 2012 at 10:45 pm #3282
I’ve been having a rough time with my sharpening routine. I started out with two 6×2″ diamond stones (medium and fine), thinking I needed to save some cash and I wouldn’t miss the extra space provides by the 8×3″ ones. Boy have I struggled with them! There’s just not enough room to sharpen a plane iron comfortably. I then got an 8×3″ Norton combination stone, 1000 and 8000 grit. It cuts much quicker than the diamond stones but I think the 4000 is needed as it takes ages to get the 1000 grit scratches out on the 8000. Flattening the faces is easy and quick but the whole affair is so messy. I stropped after using the finest diamond or water stone and always got a good edge but it took me ages and I didn’t enjoy either process so put off sharpening and got frustrated when my dull tools gave crappy results.
After all that, I have had enough. I’ve just got married so have less things to save for and think I’m just going to pony up the cash for three 8×2″ eze lap diamond stones. Medium, fine and extra fine. I’ve got an electric grinder if I need to regrind bevels.
Fingers crossed sharpening will be less of a chore with them!
"To know and not do is to not know"15 November 2012 at 10:48 pm #3283
@jonkilleen It’s a chromium oxide compound but I couldn’t find a supplier so ended up using Flexcut Gold and have had good results. I think green rouge is close to what Paul uses but I could be wrong.
"To know and not do is to not know"Anonymous16 November 2012 at 8:06 am #3292
The honing paste I use is by a company called “Starkie & Starkie” and it works extremely well. I couldn’t honestly say which grade of rouge it is, but it’s very inexpensive and lasts an age. I originally bought three blocks, but think I’ve been using the same block for around five yrs now and it’s not even half used up.
A simple stropping paddle is readily fashioned in the same manner as the one Paul uses in his video. I use Chamois leather and simply replace it when it’s looking a little worse for wear, but usually get a few years from each piece, although your mileage may vary.
Rather than opt for 8″x2″ plates, I’d definitely recommend you invest in the 8″x3″ and you’ll definitely benefit from the increase in size. More especially if you find yourself honing/whetting large hand plane blades (No’s. 4.5, 5.5, 6. 7 & 8) ranging between 2-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ in width.16 November 2012 at 9:09 am #3295
@gazpal Sorry… I meant 8×3″, not 8×2″ – late night typo! The 6×2″ ones I have at the moment make sharpening anything much wider than a 1″ chisel very difficult! As you mention, the extra space is worth it.
"To know and not do is to not know"16 November 2012 at 9:26 am #3296
Thanks guys. I’ll check out your recommendations.
Saw an interesting comment on an Amazon.co.uk review the other day. I was looking at a Trend strop/paste combo that they sell, and the reviewer was complaining that the strop was poor quality and waaaaay overpriced for what it was. He suggested buying a welder’s apron and cutting it up. I checked them out on Amazon and it strikes me that you get a lot of what looks like pretty good leather for about £10 inc postage. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mechanical-Engineering-Welding-Welders-reinforced/dp/B006DUVDZM/ref=sr_1_2?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1353057878&sr=1-2
Having said that, I do feel a bit reticent to cut up a brand new item!!
Yorkshireman currently living in HampshireAnonymous16 November 2012 at 9:33 am #3297
Never a problem Jon 🙂
Almost any clean leather will do, although I totally understand you not wanting to cut into a new leather apron, at least your wives and girlfriends won’t need to guard their leather handbags/purses lol
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