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  • Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

    - Lee Valley surface plate
    - 3M microabrasive sheets - 5 micron, 3 micron, 0.5 micron, also from LV
    - A2 steel blade (in Veritas plane)
    - Veritas honing guide
    - just add water

    IMG_0012.jpg

    It makes the blade pretty sharp. It's great on softwoods, so-so on oak, but doesn't cut it on hard maple. I'm wondering if the abrasive sheets could be worn out already. Used them less than 10 minutes.

    Any recommendations?

    Many thanks...

  • #2

    Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

    Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

    Going up to .5 micron is pretty fine. You should be able to shave hair on your arm with this when its sharpened. Going that fine you would need to spend a fair bit of time on each grit when done for the first time. Make sure there is no burr on the edge.

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    • #3

      Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

      Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

      On Tuesday go back to Lee Valley and buy the three little plastic magnifying loupes they sell for less than $10. Use the 10X loupe to look at the back edge of the blade. Are the scratches even and continue all the way to the edge?

      90% of my problems come from not getting the back edge flat and evenly sharpened. If you flatten the back successfully, you should be able to get a great micro bevel on the bevel edge very quickly.

      When using sand paper, almost all your work should be on the coarse grit. Once all the scratches are even on it, they will be erased very quickly on the subsequent grits. When you are flattening the back you can move the blade in different directions to create different scratch patterns (i.e. start diagonally to the left, then on the next grit move diagonally to the right and on the final grit move straight back and forth).

      You will wear out much more of your coarsest sand paper than any of the finer grits. Again, look through the loupe to make sure you have removed the coarse scratches. You may need to use more grits than you currently have. Have you looked at the online information on sand paper sharpening that is usually available if you google "Scary Sharp"?

      Good luck!

      Rick in Oakville

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      • #4

        Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

        Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

        hi Doug,

        Some pictures of the shavings you are getting from the three woods would be helpful, along with more detailed information than "great on softwoods, so-so on oak, but doesn't cut it on hard maple". (Are you trying flatten or smooth finish plane, is the wood relatively straight grained or curly, is the blade digging in, are you get tear-out, etc.)

        Leaving aside the issue of sharpening, the issue may simply be higher density wood takes more effort and a bit different set up of the (bevel down) handplane. Barring unusual grain differences between the oak and hard maple, I'm guessing that at least part of the issue - hard maple is denser than oak and I'm assuming that the softwood is less than either of these woods.

        Planing higher density wood is just more difficult..... when we want to "effortlessly" plane a long, continuous ultra thin shaving, we'll reach for some lower density, straight grained wood (smiley).

        Check that you are not planing against the wood grain if you are getting tearout. Try planing in the other direction.

        Apart from final smooth finishing strokes, try skewing the angle the plane to the wood by around 25-30 degree; instead of the cutting edge of the blade being perpendicular to the direction of motion of plane, when you rotate the plane a bit and still push it in the same direction, you are reducing the effective cutting angle and reducing the resistance to making the cut.

        With higher density woods I set up the hand plane to take a thinner shaving - the plane won't dig in. This involves less projection of the blade beyond the sole of the plane. Start with "too little" plane projection and increase to what you need for what you are doing (flattening/finish planing) and to reduce digging in, tear out and effort.

        Additionally you can move chipbreaker closer to the edge of blade ... I posted on this handtools page a thread titled "chipbreaker location and shape to reduce hand plane tear out" for link to discussion some re-discovered radical adjustments to reduce tearout.

        A further adjustment (and admitted hassle) is to close up the throat more, which involves loosening and moving forward the frog of plane.

        good luck and tell us what works,

        michael

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

          Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

          Originally posted by Doug in Windsor, ON View Post
          - Lee Valley surface plate
          - 3M microabrasive sheets - 5 micron, 3 micron, 0.5 micron, also from LV
          - A2 steel blade (in Veritas plane)
          - Veritas honing guide
          - just add water

          [ATTACH=CONFIG]50731[/ATTACH]

          It makes the blade pretty sharp. It's great on softwoods, so-so on oak, but doesn't cut it on hard maple. I'm wondering if the abrasive sheets could be worn out already. Used them less than 10 minutes.

          Any recommendations?

          Many thanks...
          Trust me Doug, your sheets are very far from worn out. I'm still on a set that is some months old.

          The problem lies with your sharpening method. Full stop. The question is "what is wrong?".

          Are you really starting with a 5 micron mesh? Or is this 15 microns? If the former, it is probably not enough to create a clean secondary bevel. Can you feel a wire edge? Probably not. And that is where your problem likely lies. All you end up doing is polishing a rounded edge, and that is not sharp.

          Regards from Perth

          Derek

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

            Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

            I used two pieces of playing card sized sandpaper to sharpen all my tools for several years. It started out as a block I took to seminars, then I started using it in the winter when it was cold, then I took it to the cottage. The tools were all sharp to start with though.

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            • #7

              Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

              Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

              One thing that helped me is a felt marker - run it along the edge, using it as an indicator. When it's gone you'll know if your grit is actually getting the edge. (This was probably the single biggest thing that got my edges shaving sharp.)
              Even an "almost sharp" blade should cut that maple.

              HTH

              Pete

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

                Re: Sharpening. What's wrong with this picture?

                I made this jig, it is very usefull and like Pete said, I used a felt marker to get the proper angle.
                Jacques jig planer knifes.jpg

                Originally posted by dickandjane View Post
                One thing that helped me is a felt marker - run it along the edge, using it as an indicator. When it's gone you'll know if your grit is actually getting the edge. (This was probably the single biggest thing that got my edges shaving sharp.)
                Even an "almost sharp" blade should cut that maple.

                HTH

                Pete

                Comment

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