Page 1 of 3 12 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 82

Thread: Whetstone Set - recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    106

    Default Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Still prepping for a new boat build. I'm trying to take your advice so do not think your answers are in vain. I ordered a Porter-Cable 3.5" saw which arrived a few days ago. (My wife is giving it to me for Christmas - LOL). As recommended, I have added a Japanese saw to my Christmas list.

    Now to the question at hand. I have 4 planes as pictured. The largest is stamped "Great Neck". The smaller ones are a Stanley and a Craftsman. I have virtually no experience with planes. I do know that they should be kept sharp. In watching some videos I see the various grit whetstones. I'm looking for recommendations on an inexpensive set. Sorry if the thought of "inexpensive" offends anyone, but I'm building this on a shoestring budget.

    I see many sets on Amazon. Here are two that caught my eye: https://www.amazon.com/Razorri-Solid...s%2C170&sr=1-4

    and https://www.amazon.com/Whetstone-Sha...%2C170&sr=1-12

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    planes.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    New Orleans, LA, USA
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Check out the "Scary Sharp" method. It uses sandpaper and a small pane of glass. And some spray adhesive, I think. And probably a jig to keep the angle correct. I'm behind your level, but this method has good reviews on a woodworking site.

    Youtube video titled "Scary Sharp--The cheapest way to get a perfect, razor-sharp edge":
    https://youtu.be/eom0qu5YO94

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    29,637

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    You are going to want something coarser than those to start, I would also buy the other combination stone on that Amazon page.
    (these look like water stones and if so will require soaking for an hour or two before use. I keep mine constantly in water)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Viroqua, Wisconsin
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    +1 on the waterstones for edged tools.

    Here's a couple of suggestions that're very reasonably priced. Get you off to a good start keeping things square as well as at the proper angles:

    https://www.woodcraft.com/products/n...-220-1000-grit

    https://www.woodcraft.com/products/honing-guide

    I have a pair of Japanese waterstones I've used for nearly 40 years, wet since the day they arrived. The 'pond' I linked to there provides a piece of plate glass and a piece of fairly coarse wet/dry sandpaper for storage and flattening them as needed. (DON'T keep the metal stone rests in with the water though as the brass setscrews will react with the aluminum rails over time... don't ask me how I learned this.) You don't need one of these things but having one sure makes keeping your stones happy & ready to do their best.

    You can spend a LOT more but I doubt you will find decent stones for much less, and the guide's something you really need to do a consistent job with whatever stones you eventually choose.
    Last edited by sp_clark; 11-25-2020 at 08:34 PM. Reason: corrected typo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    70,238

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    The 'ScarySharp' system is absolutely the cheapest way to get into serious sharpening.

    Not in the long run... because eventually - not soon but eventually - you ongoing sandpaper costs will catch up with the big initial cost of good stones.

    But S'Sharp is also - regardless of the cost - an excellent system overall.
    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)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by chollapete View Post
    Check out the "Scary Sharp" method. It uses sandpaper and a small pane of glass. And some spray adhesive, I think. And probably a jig to keep the angle correct. I'm behind your level, but this method has good reviews on a woodworking site.

    Youtube video titled "Scary Sharp--The cheapest way to get a perfect, razor-sharp edge":
    https://youtu.be/eom0qu5YO94
    I watched this guy do another sharpening video using stones. Also saw a guy named Rex Krueger demostrate the sandpaper method. Looked impressive. Thanks for the reply.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by sp_clark View Post
    +1 on the waterstones for edged tools.

    Here's a couple of suggestions that're very reasonably priced. Get you off to a good start keeping things square as well as at the proper angles:

    https://www.woodcraft.com/products/n...-220-1000-grit

    https://www.woodcraft.com/products/honing-guide

    I have a pair of Japanese waterstones I've used for nearly 40 years, wet since the day they arrived. The 'pond' I linked to there provides a piece of plate glass and a piece of fairly coarse wet/dry sandpaper for storage and flattening them as needed. (DON'T keep the metal stone rests in with the water though as the brass setscrews will react with the aluminum rails over time... don't ask me how I learned this.) You don't need one of these things but having one sure makes keeping your stones happy & ready to do their best.

    You can spend a LOT more but I doubt you will find decent stones for much less, and the guide's something you really need to do a consistent job with whatever stones you eventually choose.
    I like that Woodcraft site! Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Viroqua, Wisconsin
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    This makes for good reading - https://paulsellers.com/2013/10/debu...sharp-methods/

    I've never tried the Scary Sharp system 'cause I'd had those waterstones all along.

    Learned to do a keen edge in middle school using then-traditional oil stones; appreciation for the finest edge was the most important lesson.

    Given how enthusiastic the support is for SS I just might try it soon.

    For the OP I suggest looking to acquire one of the various sharpening gauges as a first step. It's important doing consistent angles on cutting tools, learning how first to do the main bevel then fine-tuning the cutting edge with a minute honed edge using a finer grit. A gauge is of immense value here.

    With the choices among the various sandpapers now available, whatever means is chosen to do the actual material removal of sharpening is a personal one based upon however many factors each craftsperson takes into account.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Viroqua, Wisconsin
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by dalekidd View Post
    I like that Woodcraft site! Thanks
    My pleasure! You're welcome!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
    Posts
    2,558

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    I have one of the Norton 1000/8000 stones I've been using for years. I started out with the ScarySharp glass/wet/dry sandpaper, but found I went through paper pretty fast (I have to admit I was sharpening all the tools for our archery/bowyery group...so it was a lot of sharpening). The one thing that really improved my sharpening was a good (but cheap) pocket microscope like: https://www.sciplus.com/30x-handheld...xoC_YwQAvD_BwE . There are a million of 'em out there and they really let you see what you're doing to your edges. I also used followed Louis Sawzed's directions for setting up my electric planer and they worked slick: http://www.totalboat.com/2018/10/05/...ectric-planer/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    13,492

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sp_clark View Post
    This makes for good reading - https://paulsellers.com/2013/10/debu...sharp-methods/

    I've never tried the Scary Sharp system 'cause I'd had those waterstones all along.

    Learned to do a keen edge in middle school using then-traditional oil stones; appreciation for the finest edge was the most important lesson.

    Given how enthusiastic the support is for SS I just might try it soon.
    There is a paper, written by one of the guys in the Rochester Woodworkers (https://www.rochesterwoodworkers.org), which Iseem to have lost in the transition from one 'puter to another over the years.

    For the Rochester Woodworkers, figger a bunch of Kodak engineers who do woodworking.

    Their paper went into some detail about sharpening with sandpaper on glass.

    The original "Scary-Sharp" article was written by Seattle's Steve Lamantia and posted to USENET's rec.woodworking back in 1995. It was off the cuff and used the sandpaper he had in his shop. It is a riot amd well worth reading:

    https://groups.google.com/g/rec.wood.../c/rGAGAPR-6ks

    The guys (engineers) in Rochester actually spent some time talking to guys who do metal finishing and looking at stuff in a microscope.

    It works out that it's all about grit progression and "surface inches". Steve Lamantia's original post was way off on this, because it was what he had on hand.

    If you pick the right grit progression, and the right abrasive for each grit in the sequence, it works out to be about 10 or 15 strokes on each grit.

    I can't remember what they worked out was the optimal grit progression, but IIRC it was something like a 25% reduction in grit size in microns at each step (you want to use metric "FEPA" abrasives (P240, P320, etc.) here, because they're actually measured in microns. American sandpaper w/o the "P" isn't. It's based on a screen size.

    https://www.fine-tools.com/G10019.html

    Actual stock removal is done with the coarsest grit or two. After that, all you're doing is refining the edge, and removing the scratches left by the previous grit.

    As Steve Lamantia put it in his original "wreck the woodworking" post,

    "Of course, shine is not the ultimate goal. But sharpness *is*.
    Still, they equate. The more shiny, the more uniform the surface
    is microscopically, and the closer to the geometric ideal of a
    *line* is the edge, and hence the sharper it is. Cool. I mean
    *COOL*!!! I was trembling in my Mickey Mouse boots in anticipation."

    So, pick the right grit progression, and the right abrasive for the grit at hand, and all you need is 10 or 20 strokes on each grit.

    The first time you go at a blade, you'll need to spend time on the coarser grit or two, to initially flatten the back of the blade, to remove nicks in the edge and to establish the bevel (pro tip: if you've put a serious nick in the blade, think about using a low speed bench grinder with a friable ruby (pink) wheel to cut back and eliminate the nick) before starting work with the sandpaper.

    But once you get the blade dialed in, back flattened and the initial edge established, sharpening it is a piece of cake. Figure out where you need to start on the grit progression, and 10 or 20 strokes on each one and you have an edge that is "Scary-Sharp".

    I had a glass shop cut me a bunch of plate glass slabs, 3 inch by 12 inch or so. So I have each grit on a separate piece of glass. When I set it up, I had decided to use Klingspor abrasives. Good quality, and cheaper than 3M or Norton.

    They had everything I wanted as sticky-back rolls in the width/grit/abrasive combo I wanted... except for couple of grits. So I called Klingspor USA up at HQ in Hickory, North Carolina and told them what I was looking for. And that I was a hobbyist woodworker.

    Less than an hour later, I get a phone call from the local sales rep, who had apparently pulled over on the side of I-5 somewhere between Portland and Seattle to ring me up. Asked me a few questions. He allowed as those weren't standard, so he would have to have them slit special. I allowed as how I wasn't going to be a big customer, what with being a hobbyist and all. He said it didn't matter, glad to help, no problem at all.

    Got a box with everything I wanted in the mail less than a week later. Think it came with some freebies, too. Baseball hat, tee shirt, etc.

    Unsolicited slug for a great company with great products and great customer service: that is Nordstrom-grade customer service!
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by dalekidd View Post
    Still prepping for a new boat build. I'm trying to take your advice so do not think your answers are in vain. I ordered a Porter-Cable 3.5" saw which arrived a few days ago. (My wife is giving it to me for Christmas - LOL). As recommended, I have added a Japanese saw to my Christmas list.

    Now to the question at hand. I have 4 planes as pictured. The largest is stamped "Great Neck". The smaller ones are a Stanley and a Craftsman. I have virtually no experience with planes. I do know that they should be kept sharp. In watching some videos I see the various grit whetstones. I'm looking for recommendations on an inexpensive set. Sorry if the thought of "inexpensive" offends anyone, but I'm building this on a shoestring budget.

    I see many sets on Amazon. Here are two that caught my eye: https://www.amazon.com/Razorri-Solid...s%2C170&sr=1-4

    and https://www.amazon.com/Whetstone-Sha...%2C170&sr=1-12

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    planes.jpg
    You'd have had a clip round the earhole from my woodwork teacher, you never... never leave your planes on their face even if you've wound the blade in..
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    That's a school thing. Most craftsman put them blade down if you're using a wood bench.

    I use a set of waterstones. You can truely get a very good result. They are however very soft, and within a few sharpenings they will no longer be flat but gouged and hollowed. This then affects subsequent sharpenings and so you really need to also have a means to flatten properly your waterstones.

    If you buy cheap planes on ebay with blades in poor shape, you will need a very coarse stone to get the bevel back in shape before the medium and fine finishing stones. It goes to a mirror finsh when you're done. The coarse stone saves alot of time with a medium grade otherwise.

    I use a Veritas gauge holder thing and that's well worth the investment. As you learn more you can use shallower bevels for your paring chisels, higher bevels for mortise work, a small back bevel to get york pitch for figured hardwoods on an additional No4, and different angles if you start using big bevel up planes, as well as micro bevels.

    I now sharpen the blades with the Veritas gauge and all, in the sink, with the waterstone holder submerged and the waterstones submerged. You don't get stone build up on the roller and the stones stay wet. As I prefer buying the really good steel tools made in Sheffield that we can find on ebay uk here, from makers like Record, Ward, Marples etc, I've spent alot of time getting them all shipshape in the last few years. Spent last night sharpening a No.7 blade from a vintage USA Stanley (they're lighter castings) back to perfect. I had a plane off with a big Mathieson wood jointer plane 22" with a big ass cast laminated tool steel blade in it, and the woody still won! It just worked, sole was dead flat, and it moved with less resistance. Well f..k me, those old craftsman were right as I closed the garage door at midnight.

    A decent sharpening system is crucial to good results. It matters more than the planes you buy. After a few years a using waterstones though, I now think I'd prefer a high quality set of diamond plates. I havn't used diamonds yet though. There's no water and mess sloshing around on the bench, you can keep them very close at hand, you don't have to be constrantly reflattening them. You can get cheap ones, but generally with these things you probably get what you pay for. So yes waterstones work, but I'd go with diamond plates now, have them set into a block that fits on the bench or vice, and pay the extra, but you might not want that much investment at this time.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 11-26-2020 at 06:23 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Rockland Maine USA and Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
    Posts
    516

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    I have used simple oilstones to sharpen all my woodworking tools – planes, chisels, gouges, adze, draw knife etc etc for the best part of 60 years! I have two – a coarse and a fine – both in wooden boxes with lids; and an oil can of thin oil (oil and kerosene mix). I have always simply sharpened by hand – no gauges or anything – as I was taught when I started at the family boatyard (back in 1962!). We were building traditional carvel yachts in the 20' - 50' range so there was a big variety of tools to keep sharp. Having a "sharpen up" from time to time was just a normal part of the working week. And the useful thing about oilstones is that you can take them into the boat with you, especially if you are working remotely (like afloat) because they have no special needs (apart from a bit of rag to wipe the oil off your hands and the blade).

    I'm not knocking other more sophisticated methods, or sharpening gauges or anything – just saying that you can get sufficiently good results both for heavy boatbuilding and finer carpentry with a bit of practice on simple oilstones. I don't mind a bit of hollow developing on the stones actually - a slight round across the blade is usually desirable.

    And I have to say that I never lay my planes face down, even on a wooden bench! And that's nothing to do with school. As an apprentice in the boatyard I would have been thoroughly ticked off for doing so and the habit has stayed with me all my life.

    Cheers -- George
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

    A C Grayling

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Paul Sellers reckons the cheap thin chinese £10 diamond plates work OK on some thick birch ply to support them for the average woodworker at home who isn't ready for the full investment or mightnot need the useage of the dearer ones.

    edge-sharpening-under-10


    I havn't tried oilstones. I'm of an age where waterstones were the thing. The advantages of a drier system crawling in or out of boats certainly would have it's advantagesas George says.

    The plane on it's side thing seem to happen around 1950. As I say it wasn't so back in the day, even in schools it wasn't so. Check out these urchins with their razees in the bench apron. Just a funny habit that came in post war. The carpenters that remeber the carpenters pre war in the hay dey, say they didn't do it either.



    Plane blade down on a wood bench in the apron to hand. These kids weren't messing about, they've got their front hands correctly over the front of the wood plane body.



    Blade down...



    Blade down!





    White House cabinet maker...1927....blade down.

    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 11-26-2020 at 08:32 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Viroqua, Wisconsin
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Good stuff all, thanks!

    And happy ‘stuffing’ yourselves, families & friends today too, both faces & tummies!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    20,697

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    I love those old photos. Another option is a set of three credit card sized diamond hones, handy and inexpensive. Several brands make them. They work on carbide router bits, too.

    This set is $35 for 325, 600 and 1300 grit “stones” : https://www.homedepot.com/p/Sharpal-...116N/306214812

    Larger stones are nicer but these are a good inexpensive entry set that can produce good results.

    Edit: That first set in the OP looks like an amazing deal.
    Last edited by StevenBauer; 11-26-2020 at 08:20 AM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Making a holder for thicker diamond plates...hand routers are glorious.



    Just looked at my waterstone grits. They are Ice Bear King’s. The coarse is 220, Medium is 800 and super fine polish is 6000. For touching up the medium and fine does the job, but I need that course 220 to get an old plane off ebay to the correct clean angle accross the blade without spending hours with the 800. I use a nagura stone to give a slurry on the polisher and to clean it. Polish them after with autosol but some like a stropping session instead with honing compound on leather. Doesn’t do much for me though but the 8000 gets it to a mirror finish.

    Be aware with some of the older planes they have laminated blades. A harder shinier rust resistant tool steel with a fine grain welded onto a softer metal backing thats is more grey. You’ll see a demarcation line as you sharpen the edge. The tool steel with be more reflective. When first resharpening a blade from an ebay plane keep going until you can feel/ see a small burr on the flat face then you know you’ve taken it back to a sharp planar flat edge accross the blade then work it up with finer grits after taking off the burr. Once you’re confident, taking the edges off to slightly camber the blade can reduce lines when using your no 4 as a smoother. Some of the older planes here in the UK have solid tool steel blades which take more effort than usual and really gouge stones. WS from Birmingham England are like that, but are superb in use. When your stones get out of flat use a strip of dry wall abrasive on a flat surface to reflat them.

    Of the two you suggest the first one has a coarse abrasive that you’ll probably need for now and future ebay tool rejuvenation. Its unusual but delightfull to get a plane with a sharp blade and fully fettled but now and again you get a real craftsman offloading his tools.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 11-26-2020 at 12:09 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Rockland Maine USA and Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
    Posts
    516

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Actually oilstones aren't that cheap to buy. They just last a long time .... My fine stone was my father's in a box he made – about 1926, so getting on for 100 years old. He didn't make that good a job of it actually, so one end is held together with a copper nail clenched over a rove! The coarse stone is of later date in a box I made. Some of the early tasks that an apprentice at the boatyard would undertake before being allowed to tackle real things, were making a toolbox (I still have mine, and my father's, all hand dovetails), making a sawing stool (the challenge being to get all four legs to stand even) and making the boxes (with lids) for your oilstones. No routers in those days ... all brace & bit and chisel work.

    And despite all the photo evidence to the contrary – placing a plane face down on the bench is surely more likely to land on something, than laying on its side, which is really not a huge discipline? After all if you get in the habit of setting it face down, then you are likely to do the same on other surfaces. A boatyard is rather different from a school or even a carpenters' shop – there are likely to be a variety of trades using the benches. Anyway it's not really a big deal – if you set your plane face down and blunt the blade, you simply have to re-sharpen it! But I'll stick with laying mine down on their sides ....

    Cheers -- George
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

    A C Grayling

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
    Posts
    2,558

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Love those old photos Mr. Pearson! The one of the girls with one wearing "cuffs" reminded me of my early drafting days! Used to have to wear cuffs to keep ink or graphite off my sleeves.

    The guy(s) who taught me to sharpen always pointed out that there are two factors to an edge: BEVEL ANGLE; the angle of intersection between two planes, and KEENNESS; the perfection of flatness on each of those two planes. Your different grits are the tools you're using to achieve those ends. What you use; sandpaper/glass, oilstones, waterstones or diamonds really doesn't much matter. When I teach folks now I take a collection of all for them to try and let them try each out to see what works for them.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    I forgot to mention when sharpening an ebay plane up the first time, you’ll also need to look at the chip breaker front edge. It needs to sit flat and even with zero gap (look at it with a light behind). Newer general builders planes aren’t so perfect and while your sharpening system is out you should make sure that it fits perfect so shavings dont slide abd dtick between them. You also need to make sure the frog is glat to seat the blade on, you can run a stone up each side of the lateral adjuster if you need to and also check the frog is seating nicely on the plane sole, you might need to sand off and stray paint or burrs so it sits without any rocking etc. Its interesting that its only the new Stanley Sweetheart No 4 smoother that has a solid one piece cast sole and frog, and instead a moving mouth. With the thick blade and veritas style bigger handles it must feel rock solid. Like to try one of those. Could be a future classic. I havn’t mentioned flattening the base, thats another job...Get the sole flat, edge sharp to a mirror, sort the frog and sole connection, chip breaker and clean oil, polish it, refinish the handles or buy some new Sapeli ones and you’ve got a fettled tool as good as a £350 plane and you know it inside out.

    Hey George, i still put my planes down side on...i’m trying to remember not to though. With the blade down the blades protected and the plane wont move as easy!

    Harland and Wolff Belfast cabinet shop 1899. Those craftsman were about to fit out the Titanic. They would have been working heavily figured tropical hardwoods and at the top of their game. Every plane blade down including that ultra heavy metal infill smoother probably owned by the chief in the foreground. It can’t damage the blade.

    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 11-26-2020 at 02:31 PM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    18,781

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    I think I own one small handplane,don't even know where it is.
    But I DO use power planers a lot.
    I believe that wee Bosch uses the disposable blades only.
    My experience in boat building and boat repair I've NEVER switched to the other side of those blades...they always break. We hit new and old fastenings..and when they break, they disintegrate and shoot carbide schrapnel all over the shop.
    I vastly prefer the heavier blades...just somethiong to check for when you buy a power plane, that it CAN accept heavier "real" blades/knives.
    bruce

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    I've been looking at what oil stones are...it turns out we're all using the same thing: aluminium oxide. The scary sharp it's stuck to paper, waterstones it's a block with a soft binder with a oil 'medium' India stone it's a stuck with a hard binder.

    The old grey beards with an already sharp plane can rehone it quick enough with a slow acting oil stone as they aren't grinding back a primary bevel, for the young 'uns with a blunt $30 ebay plane it takes too long to get an new bevel with an oil stone...tell grandpa "this ain't workin" and get a soft bound wetstone that uncoveres new aluminium oxide immediately it's being used and works real quick but then find it gouging furrows as it's automatic drawback, while the paper backed aluminium oxide scary sheets I guess stay flat on the glass top but you burn through 'em.

    I guess the diamonds have taken off because they stay flat like the paper & glass 'scary sharp' system, don't furrow like a wetstone and stay cleaner and are as portable as an oil stone system. Reading about diamonds they don't reckon they're so good for hard abrasion - particle size gets too big. Seems using a wet grinder for the quick primary bevel, the diamonds for the medium levels, then a superfine fine 8000 Japanese waterstone get's the job done quickest and bestest from a very blunt damaged blade start using the natural advantages of each.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 11-27-2020 at 06:12 AM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Rockland Maine USA and Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
    Posts
    516

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    It's true we had a big old wet grinding stone (about 24" x 6", turning slowly – originally by hand) for re-grinding a primary bevel. But mostly that got used for grinding out bad nicks in the blade, or re-squaring the blade if necessary.

    Not all sharpening stones are aluminium oxide manufactured stone however. Arkansas Stones are silica/quartz. And very coarse stones are usually silicone carbide. India stones are usually aluminium oxide. Oil stones come in all those grades, just like waterstones. The only thing with stones that remove a lot of material quickly is of course that they wear down your blade more quickly, which isn't too much of a problem with a plane, but is more relevant with tools like spokeshaves. In my working life (58 years and hopefully more) I have had quite recently to renew one spokeshave blade and one smoothing plane blade – both on the tools I use most frequently.

    Even if you buy a plane off eBay and the blade needs work to get it in condition, you mostly have to do it just the one time – then you're just like us old greybeards and you are mostly re-honing! Till you hit a nail or something that is ....

    However – Edward has totally proved his point about laying planes down on their sides – it must be a 1950's+ thing. Hard to change old habits though.

    Unlike Bruce, I have an electric plane that sits on a shelf gathering dust, and lots of hand planes. It's probably just lack of skill, but I've never been able really to get along with the beast. I still get out my old wooden planes from time to time if I want to clean off a lot of material fairly roughly – like recently cleaning off a carvel hull with new planking – nothing beats a wooden plane for the early stages of that.

    I think, returning to the original subject – it doesn't matter what you use to sharpen your tools – everyone develops a system that suits them. The 100% important thing is to keep the blades sharp. Which does require practice – and a sharpening gauge can obviously help achieve that, even if you discard it later on.

    Personally I would buy two oilstones – one coarse and one fine. I would make a box for each, so that about half the stone protrudes, with a lid to keep them clean and free of dust etc. In the underside of the box, at one end, drive a pair of brass or steel pins cut off so they stick out about 1mm. This will keep the box still on the bench when you are sharpening (just remember however that they will damage other surfaces). And a oilcan or oil pot with thin oil (or 50% oil/kerosene). You are then set to sharpen all your tools – not just plane blades – wherever you are working.

    Cheers -- George
    Last edited by debenriver; 11-27-2020 at 07:00 AM.
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

    A C Grayling

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    2,605

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    For those of you who use oil stones... be sure to wash off all traces of the oil from your tools and your hands before picking up that next piece of wood. I know of no glue nor finish that is enhanced by the addition of oil.

    By the way, my beard is as grey as anyone's and I've been using water stones since the early 80's.

    Jeff

  26. #26
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    444

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    I've switched to the "Paul Sellars" diamond plate sharpening method. Works well for me - should have done this from the start.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    I use waterstones and keep them flat with 220 wet/dry on a granite plate I got from Woodcraft many years ago. A little trick I learned about flattening stones is to draw criss-cross pencil lines over the face of the water stone, work it over the wet 220, when the pencil lines are gone the stone is flat.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Eagan, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    11,166

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Scary Sharp to start with.

    After that, there are many options. I like Lansky, and DMT diamond, "shones on a rod" systems. For a while I was going to get a set of four 10"x4" DMT diamond plates ... I may still do that. G'Luck!
    Await dreams, loves, life; | There is always tomorrow. | Until there is not.

    Grieving love unsaid. | Tomorrow will fail someday. | Tell them today, OK?

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Schleswig Holstein Germany
    Posts
    796

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    I´became a big fan of diamond stones.
    Got me a coarse DTM diamond stone 5 years ago.
    Fine and extrafine followed quickly.
    My japanese Wetstones gather dust ever since.
    Who sais diamond ar girls best friend? One could be so wrong...

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Deepest Darkest Wales
    Posts
    23,061

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    My current setup uses a dual grit (400/1000) diamond plate - 70mm by 200 - about £30 from amazon and dual grit waterstone (3000/8000) 60mm by 180.
    And a cheap steel ruler used as a shim.

    Followed by a homebrew leather strop loaded with polishing compound

    Sharpening.jpg

    Method - more or less as Rob Cossman demonstrates on his youtube channel

    The 400 grit side of the plate is used for fixing bad mistakes and flattening the waterstone.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okLIEoz00v0
    Last edited by P.I. Stazzer-Newt; 11-28-2020 at 07:23 AM.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    N.E. Connecticut.
    Posts
    6,911

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    I like the “sideways, or blade down” discussion, fun stuff. (Though I have to admit, I wouldn’t be happy if someone put one of my planes ‘blade down’.
    I’m going to suggest that no ‘sharpening system’ can put a good edge on,..... well,... less than good steel. I hate to say it, but I think the little low angle block plane is the only one I would bother with. The others,...
    I find that much better planes can be found second hand (and I will admit, probably even eBay) at much less than the cost of new ones. Though one does need to understand them, learn about them a bit and know when a nice plane is in front of them. It isn’t about the name on the box or the ‘newness’, it is about the quality of the tool, and setting it up properly as much as how to sharpen it.
    Me, I have a number of ancient old oil stones that I have refaced over the years, sort of three different grits among them. That’s it. Sharp is when a stroke along the back of the wrist leaves no hair, and running the tip of your fingernail carefully along the edge feels nothing.
    A few of what I have to keep in shape (there was soft fabric on the table top.)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Viroqua, Wisconsin
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    Sharp is when a stroke along the back of the wrist leaves no hair, and running the tip of your fingernail carefully along the edge feels nothing.
    Yep, what I was taught back in middle school shop class, 1960.

    Shop still taught anyplace? They let kids handle edged tools like that still?

    Nice collection you have there nedL. And your comment on steel quality affecting what can be achieved in the sharpening is spot on.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Rockland Maine USA and Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
    Posts
    516

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    The one thing about all those great photos of workshops with the blades down is that they are all pretty well organized, tidy and dedicated to carpentry. My small workshop has to deal with welding, metal work, grinding, painting, etc. as well as woodwork. So I have to move stuff around a lot. And the bench gets used for multiple purposes.

    And – as in the picture below from where I have been working these last few weeks – working 30 miles away from home on a makeshift bench.

    IMG_1831.jpg

    By the way - that's not a workshop I'm in – it's a small 1820's barn attached to the house, used as an office (when I'm not creating chaos there!). I have re-shingled part of it, replaced two badly done doors with windows, installed a wood stove etc.

    And I lay my planes on their sides kind of automatically ..... not that it matters in the slightest, but as nedL says, it's a fun discussion!

    Cheers -- George
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

    A C Grayling

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    2,605

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by debenriver View Post

    I'm a long way from being a neat-freak. But hope-to-shout George, you gotta clean that up a bit!

    Jeff

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    29,637

    Default Re: Whetstone Set - recommendations

    The girls have it right!
    (Taught the same way I was at about 10 years old, in a small shop with a stern but patient taskmaster!)
    I want one of those benches...
    *note the adjustable lighting and the chamfer work on the column

    FF458885-EADD-4CD5-B653-9A708CCE6981.jpg

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •