Hand Tools Archive

The other benefit....

David Weaver
accurate planing depends on starting a cut, taking the cut evenly and finishing the cut. The less perfect a surface is to start, the more important this is (if you're planing high spots, you don't want to be fighting the plane to stay in the cut or start it over and over).

Edge refinement leads to a far longer period of time where the plane is easily keeping itself in the cut vs. just keeping itself in the cut tolerably. That leads to forgiveness planing edges, etc. I can tell as the test goes on, even when a plane is staying in the cut, say, 60 percent through the strokes and on from there, you have to pay more attention because the plane doesn't stay in the cut as easily.

For a refined edge like the longer results here, there is a period of planing that the less refined results don't ever experience. For example, the 5 micron diamond edge does not enter the cut easily (it will enter, but the cut resistance is high) and it will leave the cut at the ends of the board more easily.

It's often said that planing a board from end to end results in a board with relieved ends, but when I plane, I experience the opposite. If the plane is working well, the board stays flat. As the plan begins to fail to stay in the cut easily, the ends of a board get proud for me and I plane it hollow. This leads to an acceleration of the problem and you can get a small bump by taking another plane and retruing an edge, but the dulling plane will create the situation again.

after doing all of this, I can't defend not refining an edge, and I'm not surprised that for ease, warren and brian have gone both to high edge refinement and fairly early resharpening.

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