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Sharpening Stones / Tools
Author
Post
TedB

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 1
Hi all!
Gathering my tools to start my kit as so many have before me. After doing a search on this topic (sharpening), I can't scrape together the info I'm looking for from the multiple posts, so I'm trying to centralize.

I know I need to have my tools be as shrp as possible, but I'm not sure what to use...
I see sharpening sets that have coarse, medium and fine stones from Grizzly that go about 360 grit.

Diamond infused slabs from Harbor freight also C, M, F, but no grit rating.

Other stones that go up to 8000 grit.

Advice to use an aluminum oxide laced leather strop, but no idea where to get one.

How fine of a grit and how many steps of stones are reasonable for our tools...chisels, planes, cabinet scrapers?

Water vs. Oil?

Favorite source? Grizzly seems cheaper than my local Woodcraft store...

Thanks
Ted Biggs

Jul 15, 07 | 7:00 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hi Ted -- Welcome ! I'm sure there are some sharpening experts here .. I'm not one though.

When I first got into this, I walked into the Woodcraft store and announced to one guy that I was confused and sort of a dummy about a lot of it, and he and his peers are now extremely helpful when I have a question. You won't get that at Grizzly, or Rockler, or anywhere but a real store. I'd consider going to Woodcraft and paying higher prices to get some good information.

Glad you've joined us!

Bill

Jul 16, 07 | 4:30 am
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
Do yourself a favor and google "scary sharp". It is a very simple, cheap, and effective method of sharpening your chisels and plane irons using a flat surface (I use glass) and sandpaper. Believe me, it works great. I keep my chisels so they shave the hair off of my arm and hone them so they are like a mirror. Once you get your chisels initally sharpened and honed, all you will need to do after that is touch up honing to keep the razors edge on them.

Ain't nothing better than the feel of a sharp chisel going through wood!

My Blog

Jul 16, 07 | 4:52 pm
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
Oops, where are my manners..... Welcome!

Jul 16, 07 | 4:52 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Welcome, Ted. I agree with David, I use a similar system. I suck at sharpening, and could do far better with this system if I actually took the time, and I still can shave with my tools. Now, If I only knew how to use them.

Jul 16, 07 | 11:21 pm
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
Ted--

Welcome! This is a great place and a very helpful forum. I use a version of the 'scary sharp' system also. It is detailed in the June 2006 issue of Fine Woodworking magazine. I do use a jig (Veritas Mk II) to hold the chisels and plane blades. Sharpening tools is an artform that I hope to master in ten or fifteen years :). There are a lot of good methods and probably the best thing to do is to pick one and do it enough to learn it.

--Jim

Jul 17, 07 | 2:53 pm
TedB

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 1
Thanks for the warm welcome and information guys.

I do appreciate the help I get at my local Woodcraft, and have supported them with my dollars, but I like knowing the whole picture and will be googling scary sharp tonight.

I like the idea of sandpaper on glass, but I will also likely be using a jig until I get the touch (that means forever)

Ted

Jul 18, 07 | 9:34 am
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
Does anyone have experience with this?

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=95526

Dec 04, 07 | 10:12 am
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
I can't say I have but knowing the quality of some of the harbor freight tools, I would be suspicious if it actually worked well. I guess for $5.00 you can't go wrong giving it a try with a cheap chisel. I would be concerned that the stone is probably a fairly course grit which won't give a nice honed edge. My chisels don't get that mirror hone until I hit the 1500 grit paper, although I jump from 800 to 1500 so it would probably get a shine somewhere in between those grits. Personally I like the scary sharp system. It is cheap and it works extremely well.

My Blog

Dec 04, 07 | 11:11 am
damian

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 19
For what it's worth:

http://www3.telus.net/BrentBeach/Sharpen/index.html

He doesn't sell anything and he does good testing, so I believe what he has to say ahead of a lot of other opinions. If nothing else the experiment would be cheap for you or I to reproduce.

I found some plane irons with a HSS front and plain steel back for $75, cheaper than the all HSS ones.

As I've mentioned before I'm not a woodworker, but I am a metalworker by trade and mech eng by profession. I see no obvious flaws with his reasoning.

Dec 04, 07 | 1:43 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
000, I wouldn't trust it either. The stone is not big enough to cover the whole edge of the larger chisels, and I would be concerned with overheating the edge and making it brittle with the drill. I also can't see that assembly being sturdy or able to give a good straight edge. And I love browsing at HF, Ijust can't see that system beign any help. I agree, a sheet of glass or marble tile and some sandpaper is as cheap and frighteningly effective as it gets.

Dec 05, 07 | 12:26 pm
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
After reading about the "scarry sharp" system, I think I'll keep my 5 bucks. The only thing that I will have to read about more is the jigs and angles and such. Looks straight forward thought.

Dec 05, 07 | 3:36 pm
JLT

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 10
My main rough-grinding wheel is an old Wen "Wet Wheel" grinder. They don't make 'em anymore but still have parts for them, and I see them from time to time on eBay for around $30.00. Sears also makes a wet wheel, but I haven't tried it. The wheel gives a slight hollow grind to the chisel or plane iron or whatever, and the water bath absolutely eliminates the possibility of cooking the blade.

I then go to diamond stones using a Veritas angle jig ...through the grades from coarse to fine, finishing up on a ceramic stone and then stropping (using a stropping wheel I made from an ice grinder I found in a thrift shop ... one of the many Rube Goldberg contraptions I've made over the years).

Forget about conventional oil-lubed whetstones, waterstones, etc. They have their devotees, but the fuss factor is higher and the benefit/grief ratio is lower, IMHO.

I can also recommend the "scary sharp" system, but it won't work for any curved stuff like gouges.

There are lots of good books on sharpening. "Sharpening Basics" by Patrick Spielman is a pretty good book, and costs $11.00. I've seen more expensive books, but they just give you more pictures, not more information.

Dec 05, 07 | 9:42 pm



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