Hand Tools Archive

The wire when sharpening

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Something that has fascinated me is that some write of removing a wire edge that is large and easy to see. In a recent video that Paul Sellers posted, he removed a wire edge from a plane blade that looked like this ...

Now I am not concerned about the edges I get when sharpening. They are certainly sharp enough. But I never see - never mind remove - a wire edge like that in my sharpening efforts.

Sharpening starts with creating a wire edge, and there is no point in moving along to the next higher grit unless it is created. This is my guide. I suspect that I never raise a large wire. I tend to stop when can just feel it with a finger tip. Is there any point in raising a large wire? All one needs to be sure of is that you hone across the bevel, from front to rear. The wire gets smaller with each succeeding finer stone. It should disappear at the end, and be little to nothing to remove after the final polishing stone.

The only reason I can see for such a large wire, or there being a wire that is that the steel is soft and a too-large wire is created at the start, that too much time is spent sharpening, or the steel is tenacious at letting go, that is, pushing the wire from one side to the other (A2 is like that).

Any thoughts?

Regards from Perth


© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.