Hand Tools Archive

Re: Understanding the method....

David Weaver
If you buff the back of the blade long enough to keep it sharp, you're going to round the back over more. Even if this is just a unicorn-ish stripe, it greatly increases the planing resistance.

Everything else is correct. The washita will remove steel a little bit faster than 1 micron diamonds, even on V11. its characteristics are different than aluminum oxide so it's hard to say "it's equivalent" to anything specific. Even the washitas vary - this one is on the finer side. As to how much it will remove, not a lot but enough is the idea. The very tip of the iron is being rounded over a tiny amount by the tangent buffing but most of the rest of the back isn't changing much in geometry, only having the scratches buffed out. When the washita is used to refresh the back (flat) and the bevel is rehoned, prior work is gone. This confirmation is important to me because it means I will not be creating more work for myself, neither will anyone else, and in clean wood, this will also improve edge longevity.

So, no ruler tricks here, no heavy rounding of anything, just a little bias to round the bevel side some, and the flat side as little as possible. It works well, lasts as long, is as sharp feeling (picks up the first shaving at the start of the cut on a board really easily), and is somewhat more protective of the edge than sharpening to a crisp "two-planes" edge.

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