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Can't make a burr on Veritas plane irons

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  • Can't make a burr on Veritas plane irons

    Hey all!

    Well after many, many months of thinking I'd never be able to sharpen a plane iron, I've made a discovery: I can sharpen _some_ irons! Just not any of my Veritas.

    I've been struggling to get my Veritas blades sharp enough (both my A2 and a PM-V11) with my 3 DMT diamond stones (fine, extra, extra extra). I've read here that the extra extra fine is the equivalent of roughly a 4000 grit, so hence not enough, but over the weekened I sharpened up an old Stanley iron and was able to get it pretty decently sharp using Rob Cosman's method (freehand).

    Trouble with the Veritas blades is they just don't seem to produce a burr. Anyone else find this? Or am I just not sharpening for long enough? The Stanley iron only needs 10-20 seconds as Rob's videos suggest before I get a nice noticible burr right along the back.

    I can't speak to the difference between the A2 blade and the PM-V11 so I'll try and run out to the shop today and sharpen both and see if I notice any difference. Off-hand, I think I can get the PM-V11 a little sharper – though still definitely can't detect any burr from either.

    Anyone experience the same?

    Thanks!
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  • #2

    Re: Can't make a burr on Veritas plane irons

    A2 and PM-V11 are known to take longer to sharpen than O1 and I can only guess the old Stanley is none of those - likely a High Carbon steel. That's very easy to sharpen, very sharp but dulls the fastest of the steels listed here.

    In all honesty, it's going to take much longer to sharpen the A2/PM-V11 than the old stanley you have. I don't know much longer. Also, 4000 grit is more than sufficient to get a good cutting edge on these steels. I also had a problem with the burr on these steels though I never really used the burr to check for progression to finer grits; I'm not sure how that would work. The burr is an indication of . I check the scratch pattern for progressing through the grits. I can say that I found the burr is less pronounced on the PMV11 than what I get on HCS or O1.

    You're probably not going long enough, though that's not too helpful if you don't know how to check if you are ready for the next stage.

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    • #3

      Re: Can't make a burr on Veritas plane irons

      I have read and heard of a burr forming on blades as one is sharpening. Never happens for me, no matter high carbon steel or A2. Perhaps my sharpening technique is different. I switch back and forth between the bevel and back of the blade a couple of times while sharpening and perhaps the supposed burr doesn't have a chance to form. I also believe that for a burr to form, one is sharpening way pass the point of where the sharp edge is, if that makes sense. I also look closely at the edge and try to catch the light reflecting off the dull or worn edge. You can see it if it's not sharp. With experience you will be able to know when a blade is sharp and more importantly when it's time to sharpen.
      Measure twice, cut once ... and if that doesn't work try again

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      • #4

        Re: Can't make a burr on Veritas plane irons

        It would help to know what your actual sharpening regimen is. Do you put only one bevel on your blades? No secondary or micro bevel? Do yo sharpen the primary bevel every time you sharpen? It's not easy to grind a primary bevel by hand. The blade always rocks a little, so the primary angle will end up being lost or imprecise (rounded), making subsequent steps way more difficult. Most people use some kind of mechanically assisted technique to regrind the primary bevel, either a sharpening guide if done by hand or some sort of grinder with a tool rest. Secondary and tertiary bevels (I end up with three bevels on plane blades) are easily done by hand.

        In any case, if there's no burr, it's almost certain that you aren't grinding enough of the bevel off. You should be aware of the steel you're taking off, and one way to see this is to mark the bevel with an indelible marker (sharpie). You'll see black where you haven't touched with a stone.

        You don't have to grind all the way to the bevel, but you do have to know that you've taken off steel to within .64 or .128" of the bevel. The very little band of steel left along the cutting edge will disappear with a new secondary or micro bevel. If you only have one bevel on your blades, then you need to grind all the way to the bevel (and feel a burr). The advantage of not grinding to the edge is that the geometry of your cutting edge is preserved, so you don'T have to worry about it. The disadvantage to leaving a little bit of steel unground is that you risk not having a sharp edge if you don't reach the cutting edge in subsequent steps. Another potential problem is with bevel-up blades. Since the angle is lower, the wear bevel (rounding off of the cutting edge on the bottom of the plane) is more pronounced. This means that to get rid of all the rounding you have to take off more steel, or else the edge won't cut well for long. On my bevel-up planes I always grind until I feel a burr.

        BTW' the burr simply means that you've taken off steel until the cutting edge. Technically you have to grind this far to sharpen. Even though the most important thing about sharpening is to find a system that works for you, it's not recommended sharpening the back of the blade more than once to flatten it. After that, you only grind the bevel, then polish the bevel and back to finish off (to get rid of burrs). Resharpening the back is a waste of time because to sharpen planes or chisels you only need to take steel off of one edge. The easiest way to do this is to take it off of the bevel and not have to re-polish the back from a coarser grit each time (which can be very time consuming).
        Last edited by Frank D.; 07-10-2017, 12:47 PM.
        Frank
        SPCHT

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        • #5

          Re: Can't make a burr on Veritas plane irons

          Thanks for the tips all!

          Frank — I do fine / extra fine / extra extra fine on DMT diamond stones.

          I use Rob Cosman's method here: https://youtu.be/-8RbSwnKvsI?t=8m17s

          This method in a nutshell is: by hand, lift blade up 4-5deg off the primary bevel for about 10-20s, then come up 5-6deg and do a secondary bevel on the extra extra fine. Finish with the ruler trick.

          I suspect I'm just not sharpening enough. I can do a quite decent job on the Stanleys, so I have to try the Veritas steel again tonight. Thanks!

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          • #6

            Re: Can't make a burr on Veritas plane irons

            Maybe get the Veritas sharpening guide so youre sure you are focusing all your effort on either the primary or secondary? I usually freehand, but for a while I found the guide quite helpful for keeping everything just right when sharpening, and will still dig it out when I eventually screw up the angles on my cutting tools. All my tools are just regular old carbon and HSS and those new "super steels" are considerably harder to sharpen from what I understand.

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            • #7

              Re: Can't make a burr on Veritas plane irons

              Update!

              Got a new iron in the mail today. A 25deg — nice big bevel on there to find. I ground it for probably 2x as long as I normally do and viola! There's my burr. I could actually see it! I've never gotten a blade as sharp as this before so that was pretty exciting.

              So I go back and pick up the other blade, a 38deg and try and find the bevel on that freehand on the stone. It's a smaller bevel of course than the 25 so a little harder to find. But I still had trouble really finding where it was. So I have a good close look, and sure enough I've got it rounded over. So I sharpened and sharpened and no way would it get sharp at the tip.

              So there's my issue — I need to reground the primary on that blade and get it back to good.

              Hooray! At least I have some faith in the process!

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              • #8

                Re: Can't make a burr on Veritas plane irons

                It is a learning process and you are getting there. Persevere. I thing a honing guide will help you tremendously, Even this one will help. Been using this for 30 years. They don't have to cost a lot or be fancy. it is just a helper.
                Chris
                I only excel at fixing my my goof ups

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                • #9

                  Re: Can't make a burr on Veritas plane irons

                  Glad you've worked it out! Once you get clean primary bevel on, it's fairly easy to keep an eye on wear so you know when to regrind.
                  Frank
                  SPCHT

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