Hand Tools Archive

Sharpness by touch, reflection, effort, and sound *LINK*

Bruce Mack

I have too much time on my hands. I'm making a deep relief model of pine, ~16x32x5", and using my L-N #62 with O1 irons to size and finish the wood. The model will be painted to simulate sandstone, so a great surface off the plane is not necessary. I want to have the sharpest edge just for the fun of it. I use 2 grits of diamond paste on cast iron plates followed by 15-20 passes on a strop charged with chromium oxide for the final refinement, as advocated by Paul Sellers (it works). Off the plates I have found that I must eliminate the slightest burr on both the bevel and back side of the iron, using tactile feedback from my thumb. I can feel what I cannot see. Then after stropping I must check for wire edge, which I define as the slightest "wrinkle" of light at the apex. I cannot feel it; I must see it to eliminate it. These criteria satisfied, I use a piece of 110-pound weight cardstock to test the edge, which must make an almost effortless slice, with only a whisper of sound, not a rip. I am sure then that I have gotten the best out of the blade before resetting it in the plane.
My OCD deserves dismissal from some with many things to do. Others may want to discuss their methodology for getting the perfect edge. David?

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Sharpness by touch, reflection, effort, and sound *LINK*
some of these are familiar!!
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