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Thread: Journeyman sharpening questions

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    The slurry cushions the steel a bit and adds polish at the same time. I do not use a leather strop on my blades as it has a tendancy to round over the edge and make it less effective.

    Less expensive than natural stones, manufactured stones can be kept in a bucket of water, which saves time waiting for a dry stone to soak up moisture. Natural stones should be stored dry as they can begin to delaminate if soaked all the way through.

    Rather than waiting for a tool to get really dull, I usually sharpen in the morning using the last two stones to restore the edge prior to starting my work day. Incidently there are normally six stones in a Japanese woodworker's kit. If you want beyond scary sharp there is a number seven stone that the sword polishers use. I don't have one as they are ultra expensive! Stones should be checked with a strait edge to check for flatness more often if they are natural stones. I do use a diamond plate to flatten the non natural stones I use as it is faster than way. Slower but less exspensive is wet and dry paper on a piece of plate glass which is a safer way to work natural stones flat.
    Jay

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    In our wood shop we’ve been using a Baldor low speed grinder with two wheels, I only use the coarsest of the two, I think it is 60 or 80 grit. The lower the grit, the less heat. I keep a cup of water at hand and keep the steel cool. We have two Japanese stones, 1200 and 8000 grit, plus a set of small slip stones. The Japanese stones work so well that I wouldn’t consider changing. The 1200 grit was 3” thick when new and it is still 2.5” thick. Regular flattening with sheet sandpaper on a tool top is a must. We do a lot of handplaning and chisel work so the station gets use, this is a professional shop. I keep the stones in Tupperware containers full of water. They are incredibly fast cutting and economical.

    I like a hollow grind, and am not interested in Japanese steel. I like English pattern tools. If you’re ever in Trenton, Maine there is a tool barn that sells antique tools. You can get socket chisels with no handle for a song, then find out if the steel has been annealed when you get home. Still a bargain. My favorite is a 1-1/4 James Swan paring chisel about 8” long that I got for $12 because it had no handle that I would have immediately thrown away anyway.

    Unless I have a chipped edge, or my hollow grind has been honed away, I don’t need to grind and I spend less than a minute sharpening. The 1200 grit does all the sharpening, the 8000 is just for polishing. I have never used a sharpening guide, just a square and a bevel gauge a couple times I think.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    1,119

    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    A very durable and safe surface to have in the shop rather than glass is a cutoff piece of "Absolute Black" granite countertop.
    I can't guarantee that it is as flat as a granite machinist surface plate, but it is as flat as anything else that can be obtained.

  4. #74
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    Norwalk CT
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    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    A very durable and safe surface to have in the shop rather than glass is a cutoff piece of "Absolute Black" granite countertop.
    I can't guarantee that it is as flat as a granite machinist surface plate, but it is as flat as anything else that can be obtained.
    I'd lean more towards a nice Bleu Savoie or maybe Opera Fantastico....

  5. #75
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    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    Anything fine grained, however the darker colors are normally less brittle than lighter colors. A piece of manmade quartzite is good as well. If you can find labradorite go for it.
    Last edited by navydog; 04-05-2018 at 07:34 AM.

  6. #76
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    Central Coast, Ca
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    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    You can buy a B grade granite surface plate these days for very little money, and they are a good addition to any shop for a variety of reasons.
    ebay, free shipping, $50

    edit to add; B" Granite Plate has a bilateral accuracy of plus or minus .00015" total

  7. #77
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    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    When I first started out in wood work, I thought that a hollow grind was necessary for clean cutting. But i soon found that a straight bevel, rather than a hollow grind, creates a smoother and thinner chip allowing the tool to work with less resistance. I must confess that only when a blade is damaged do I resort to using a wheel. Following that, I work he bevel flat on a series of water stones. More so than with a plane blade,
    a chisle will tell you which kind of bevel is easier and more accurate to work with, just by the feel of the cut.
    Jay

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Springfield, Missouri
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    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    I have tried various sharpening methods and get medium results. A couple of outstanding outcomes which give me hope. For these questions, l am only referring to sharpening with stones. Manually, no machines.

    A couple of questions for the more skilled.

    When using a 2000/8000 Japanese wet stone, I have read that the slurry produced is a needed part of the process. Is the same true for using Arkansas stones?

    Along these lines, the buck knife sharpening kit (Arkansas) indicated generous use of oil. I recall reading somewhere that the oil was needed to carry away the fines.

    These two ideas seem contradictory. Unless there is something fundamentally different about the two types of stones.

    I have never gotten fall through paper sharp with Arkansas stones. Occasionally I get there with the Japanese stone. I suspect I am not spending enough time with the courser grits. Should hard Arkansas get me where I need to be? I recently saw an Asian video where the guy went to 30,000. Seemed silly. Maybe not?

    And finally, what grit is green polish? And should I be using that alone on leather or do I need black and red?

    I am thinking of getting a jeweler loupe so I can see what is going on at the edge.

    Any thought appreciated.

    Tom
    I just skimmed through the 77 replies, so maybe I missed it, but I didn't see the answers to your questions (although some replies came close).

    The 'fines' from the Arkansas stones are mostly bits of steel, and do not contribute to the grinding of the edge. The slurry from the Japanese water stones includes abrasive particles and it does contribute to sharpening.

    The hard Arkansas can produce a very sharp edge, but only if the bevel is first made sharp with coarser grits. According to <this page> "hard Arkansas" stones can be equivalent to 800 grit - or finer than 1200 grit, so there is a lot of variation on how Arkansas stones get labeled.

    From a practical woodworker's perspective, it is my opinion that buying, maintaining and using waterstones finer than about 6000 is a waste of time and money, and really, 2000-4000 is plenty good enough for most purposes.

    The "green polish" can be whatever grit the manufacturer wants it to be. It's hard to get a number, and if you find a specification, it's hard to know what it means. For example, Woodcraft sells a "Micro Fine Honing Compound" which they advertise as ".5 micron particle size" But is that a maximum size - or an average, and if it's an average how big are the biggest particles? Also, comparing "grit" sizes can get tricky because of different standards are used in different countries at different times. See <this comparison chart> And <this page> gives more information about stropping compounds and methods.

    A jeweler's loupe can be helpful - get at least a 10x, but if you get one too strong, they can be frustrating to use due to close focusing distance and very shallow depth of field. For example, under close examination with the magnifier I discovered that my stropping compound (on leather) was adding back scratches that were not there after using my finest stone.

    The two biggest mistakes I made while learning how to sharpen were: Trying to start with an abrasive that is too fine, and Moving to the next finer grit too soon. Most of the work should be done by the first stone and unless you can feel the wire edge, there is no point in moving to the next stone. In my experience, no Arkansas stone is aggressive enough to be your first stone unless the edge is already almost sharp.
    Last edited by runswithsizzers; 04-09-2018 at 09:54 PM.

  9. #79
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    Nov 2004
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    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    I use Arkansaws stones on some of my finer carving gouges as the shapes often are so narrow as to damage water stone slips. Here for veining gouges and other narrow tools the Soft white and hard black Arkansaws Stones will handle the job. I use them with water and slurry rather than oil. Carving gouges are an entire other field of sharpening as some tools have a belly on the back and others do not. A bellied gouge will leave a polished cut and a flat will cut cleaner but leaves no polish. Here is one of my carvings that required a variety of tools to produce it out of Maple which allowed the fine detail to be cut. Here tools had a medium belly on their backs as the maple does not compress much under the pressure of the tool during the cut.
    Jay

  10. #80
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    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    I want to be Jay Greer when I grow up.....

  11. #81
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    Default Re: Journeyman sharpening questions

    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post
    I want to be Jay Greer when I grow up.....
    Unfortunately... probably none of us will get to be Jay when we grow up. But I can absolutely understand your sentiment.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "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)

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