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Two questions: sharpening and rag in can

Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Tools and Tool Maintenance/Restoration Two questions: sharpening and rag in can

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  • #381864
    Dave C
    Participant

    1. With Paul’s sharpening method, when he talks about dropping his hand to get a curved bevel, I’ve never been sure about something:

    Is this a very deliberate motion (i.e. I should focus on dropping my hand every time I push the blade away from me), or does it just happen naturally when pushing a blade away from you (i.e. should I just try and keep the blade at 30 degrees and let it happen as the blade moves away from me)?

    2. For the rag in a can, could camellia oil be used instead of 3 in 1? I’ve been using this so far so have a bottle of it handy.

    #382520
    Alan
    Participant

    Paul mentions finding the bevel, keeping body, hands, and fingers still, and as your arms push away, the leading edge will naturally lift – creating his camber.
    Unlike Paul, I don’t sharpen four times per day, every day, year after year, so I won’t use his method. I need a square cuting edge, and repeatable results. So I use an Eclpse Honing Guide.

    #382530
    Alan
    Participant

    Does Camellia Oil evaporate quickly? Is it expensive? I’d put 3-in-1 in the can-oiler, and keep the good stuff on one side.

    #383000
    Ed
    Participant

    Camelia oil is fine. That’s what I used. I bought a bottle of it a few years ago and have never used it all.

    As for the dropping your hand, don’t even think about it. It will just happen. The only time it is deliberate, is when I deliberately want to take material off of the heel. Sometimes, maybe even frequently, after I’ve done the required work on a given stone, I will deliberately drop the handle and grind a bunch off of the heel as an investment in the future. I’ll particularly do this on the coarse stone. The heel is where all the material is, so when the day comes (all too often) when I decide the edge has grown too thick, I will have a lot of grinding already completed that is required to thin out the edge.

    #383934
    Alan
    Participant

    You’re not the first to struggle with this David. Seth too. And many others.
    What does freehand give you that a honing-guide doesn’t? Saving 20secs fitting it?
    The aim is a square, sharp, lasting edge.
    Why re-invent the wheel?

    #384454
    Ed
    Participant

    What does freehand give you that a honing-guide doesn’t?

    It trains you in recognizing what it feels and sounds like when grinding and honing reaches a cutting edge and teaches you the dexterity required for sharpening. This then carries over into sharpening items that cannot be done in a guide such as knives, various kinds of small and oddly shaped cutters, gouges, etc. Using a guide is fine, but you asked what might be missed…

    #384467
    Alan
    Participant

    I see. I never understood why the struggle with a Learning Curve, when the solution’s in the Eclipse box. Lol.
    Thanks very much for that Ed!

    #384573
    Zeppos
    Participant

    I don’t do a lot of things with the same frequency as Paul, but still want to build the same way with hand tools. I do not need to be highly productive in woodworking, I.e it’s not about producing as much as possible, it’s about the process and connecting mind with body to create something. Whatever process that allows me to learn best to connect my mind with physical execution is what I choose. Hand sharpening is one of them. It brings me peace and satisfaction.

    #384605
    Alan
    Participant

    I get the ‘mind & body’ spiritual thing, that’s why I’d never use a battery-operated Screwdriver.

    #385137
    mictau
    Participant

    Hey Dave, regarding developing the camber, I agree with Ed but for me it is very deliberate and it took a little time to get the right feel. When first starting with hand sharpening it would feel like I was on the stone forever and still didn’t have a burr. This inevitably led to me raising my hand and inadvertently changing the bevel angle. To remedy this I started focusing more attention on taking down the heel early and then naturally rolling it until I get the burr. At first I started with very exaggerated strokes where I’d roll from toe to heel on the push and reverse on the pull. Once I brought the heel down I’d focus on getting the burr. Now it is a lot more natural and subtle but very much deliberate.

    It didn’t take long and now I can sharpen a razor edge in no time. I find a lot of satisfaction when I can remove an iron, sharpen it up, and get the plane re-tuned in just a couple minutes. To me it is a skill I take pride in instead of feeling like a chore.

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