Hand Tools Archive

works better when used properly
Response To:
Re: a better idea ()

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
The person or people that coined the name for a technique that had been used for decades didn't know much about abrasives. Anyone following their recommendations was using the wrong mineral and inadequate progression of particle size.

A consultation with an abrasive company would have revealed that silicon carbide has poor life in the larger particle sizes. It crushes when grinding hard steel. Aluminum oxide or zirconia is the recommended choice. Second, for rapid surface refinement it would have been recommended to skip no more than one mesh size in a progression.

A 12 x 12 plate is a good format for this technique. 4- 3" strips of abrasive can be laid down on each side, providing a progression of mesh size to enable rapid surface refinement- 120,180,240,320,400,600,1000,1500,2000, or some such. That is a lot of steps but one only does a few strokes on each and it may not be essential to start at 120. Paper lasts a long time when used in this way.

It may not be practical to use this technique without jigging the blade. To take advantage of the progression of particle size the blade angle for each step must be exactly the same.

Done correctly it is fast and effective. Unless buying wholesale, buying the correct sticky back paper from Klingspor is not inexpensive. At one time we bought bulk rolls and sold it by the foot to WW club members. This way provided a cheap effective entry point for new woodworkers to sharpen. As noted many went on to other techniques.

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