Hand Tools Archive

light camber, yes

David Weaver
I use light camber. One of the things about unicorning is getting the feel for how much is enough on a plane iron and then that's it.

I like a 1/2" wide wheel because if it gets wider, then it's hard to keep account of what's going on and how evenly. Sort of like trying to grind a small area of a blade when using a wide CBN wheel.

After that, a matter of even feeding, and at least to me, the easiest way to manage that is to split the buffing over several passes rather than a lot of back and forth. If one of the passes gets a small catch, and it's not perfect, no big deal, it'll be evened out on the next passes. I guess this is part of the nuance of nailing the plane iron sharpening, which I put up a very boring video about on youtube (just to suggest, complete success is right around the corner from puzzling small problems).

I'm using a very strong abrasive, but not loaded too heavily into the wheel - just a buzz on the wheel once in a while.

As to the shavings, yes, different behavior with different woods. This shaving feature is probably another one of the reasons that the double iron planes so quickly eliminated single iron planes. In middle work, there is no clogging unless the wood is absolute junk, because even discontinuous shavings will have some strength and blast the chippy mess up out of the plane whereas a single iron plane may not have enough shaving continuity to do it. The common wisdom from someone who shall remain unnamed was that all of the points inside the double iron planes were catch points whereas a single iron plane may clog but could build enough pressure to push the clog out. ick.

We become area experts in what we work a lot. I can tell the quality of the wood by how it flows out. Hard maple is uncanny at the far end of woods for the shaving keeping together - it could be woven into a strong rope (I like a leaf blower to vacuum and crush shavings, but literally burned one out in short order on maple. This pine has shaving behavior like weak maple - i'll find out later today if it binds the impeller on the blower, but will be smart enough to turn the thing off right away this time if it does.

Interesting all of the little things one notices. When Rob Cosman does his whiz bang thin shaving demos, he never uses figured bubinga. He uses something like maple or some abnormally straight piece of white-ish wood that comes off in a thin neat sail-like sheet rather than something that comes off in a lattice or worse (broken up easily, or dusty). "wood show" shavings. maple is great at it.

Cherry, sometimes. yellow pine, sometimes, but the thicker shavings on a quartered edge can come off in a whole bunch of irregular pieces (fracturing of the chip instead of a neat flow).

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