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Thread: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

  1. #1
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    Default Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    I've posted this before but it's been some time. The blades on my ancient thicknesser are very thick at 1/2'' but this technique works equally well and faster with the normal lighter blades.

    The basic requirement is a bench grinder and a stone dresser. As can be seen in the photos I run the blade on a "sled" across the back of the grinder at an angle, about 30 degrees I'd say. The grinding wheel is dressed to match this angle and because I'm using the back of the machine the grind stone the cut is upwards.

    grinder.jpg

    I move the blade back and forward at a regular pace making sure it doesn't get too hot.

    grinder 2.jpg

    Keep going until sharp . The result is a hollow grind of pleasing accuracy that is very easy to finish with an oil stone.

    grinder 3.jpg

    grinder 5.jpg
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  2. #2
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    UK. Cornwall, Suffolk.
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    Nice Peter. I used to sharpen wood chipper blades in a similar way, but not hollow ground.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    1/2" thick blades!

    Can we get a pic of the beast in question?

    I'm not happy with my thicknesser, i've rebuilt/restored a table saw, two bandsaws, a jointer, shop stove a bunch of hand planes and chisels and some other stuff. The planer is the only thing that I can not get satisfactory results from. Its to the point where I'm almost to the point of ordering a brand new replacement with spiral cutter head and all - though it pains me to do such.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    I built a sliding sharpener jig for planer and jointer blades that works like this with some differences. I use the forward edge of my 8" 1750 RPM grinder and run higher on the wheel. The carriage is adjustable to take off light amounts with each pass since there is no cooling system yet. Of course, it would not take huge blades like yours but is designed for the typical 1/8" blades.

    Results are very good and at least equal to work from a professional shop. Compared to results seen on home built you tube demonstrations, the results are accurately controlled and better.
    Tom L

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    how does the hollow grind affect the performance and durability of the planer blades?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    Paul, Do you use a dial indicator to set and check the knife heights as you install them?

  7. #7
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    I have a jig that holds both blades at the correct angle for honing . You simply have to run a diamond plate over the two blades.
    DSC03360.jpg
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    Paul, Do you use a dial indicator to set and check the knife heights as you install them?
    that's not the issue i'm having

    i have snipe and divots at the ends of boards especially
    the dust collection sucks big time and in softwoods i often get chips and saw dust embedded in the finished board
    the drive system doesn't work well and has at times just stopped feeding due to excessive slippage
    this is a big heavy castiron 20" 3 HP unit but its very old
    it also has an annoying very slow machine oil drip that i have chased and chased to know avail

    its a lot like a fifties era british roadster, two hours of tuning for one hour of use and the first thirty minutes of that use is glorious. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    Many commercial grade planers offer a stock attachment to do that same thing. The few times I've used them... I like 'em. If I didn't have good commercial sharpening outfits so close, and my time weren't being charged to the client, I'd consider such a rig. One thing about 'em is they encourage keeping the sharpness fresh, instead of doing 'just one last production run' before swapping out for fresh blades.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Many commercial grade planers offer a stock attachment to do that same thing. The few times I've used them... I like 'em. If I didn't have good commercial sharpening outfits so close, and my time weren't being charged to the client, I'd consider such a rig. One thing about 'em is they encourage keeping the sharpness fresh, instead of doing 'just one last production run' before swapping out for fresh blades.
    We had two sharpening services nearby 30 years ago but one quit and the other died so now saw blades and planer blades have to be mailed off. A good home sharpener rig is more for convenience. Its nice always having a spare sharp set on hand or the ability to sharpen blades when needed without having to wait on someone else. Doesn't everyone push a dull set of blades too far? I would use this jig even if a sharpening service was nearby. I do planer/jointer blades for friends for good will.
    Tom L

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    how does the hollow grind affect the performance and durability of the planer blades?
    The small amount of hollow just makes dressing them with an oil stone much faster Paul, as there isn't as much material to remove.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  12. #12
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    Jan 2004
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    Norwich,United Kingdom
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    that's not the issue i'm having

    i have snipe and divots at the ends of boards especially
    the dust collection sucks big time and in softwoods i often get chips and saw dust embedded in the finished board
    the drive system doesn't work well and has at times just stopped feeding due to excessive slippage
    this is a big heavy castiron 20" 3 HP unit but its very old
    it also has an annoying very slow machine oil drip that i have chased and chased to know avail

    its a lot like a fifties era british roadster, two hours of tuning for one hour of use and the first thirty minutes of that use is glorious. . .
    Snipe may be due to weak pressure bar springs or insufficient support of the board as it nears the end of the cut.Are there adjustments that can be made to hold the board firmly in place?John Welsford may be able to offer useful advice if he happens along.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post



    its a lot like a fifties era british roadster, two hours of tuning for one hour of use and the first thirty minutes of that use is glorious. . .
    Ahh,..... that pretty much wraps it up I guess.

  14. #14
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    Apr 2014
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    Anchorage, Alaska
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    272

    Default Re: Home thicknesser blade sharpening.

    I once was hand sharpening my planer blades on a stone with honing oil when I had an "aha" moment - epoxy does not play nice with oil. No more honing oil in my shop.

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