Hand Tools

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Sgian Dubh
" ... and you decide it is time to sharpen can you see wear on the plane blade tip?"

I was taught to look for the 'line o' light'. If you can see that at the cutting edge the blade's definitely dull! As to Brian's point about correcting the wear so that you can remove the burr, I think what he's suggesting is taken care of by what I do. When I sharpen I routinely start by working the flat side of the blade on the bench stone, the 'face' I think is what engineers would call it. Work that a bit, then flip over and work the honing angle, then back to removing the burr with the flat face held down on the stone. After that I do a bit of flipping on the palm of the hand - a 40 year old habit I learnt when I was first instructed in plane iron and standard chisel sharpening. Whether the flipping thing really contributes to a fine edge I suppose is debatable, but it's an ingrained habit so I guess I'll continue with it.

I tend to sharpen only to the level I need. That means that nine times out of ten I start and finish with my medium grit stone, which I think is probably about 800 or 1000 grit: I really don't know its grit size because when I bought it it was simply labelled 'medium'. If I'm doing something needing a more refined edge I'll go from my medium stone to a 'superfine' stone, where again I have no idea what 'superfine' really means, except that the abraded metal is definitely shinier than what I get off the 'medium' stone.

That's about it for my sharpening routine. It's pretty simple, takes very little time, and I suppose all mostly taken care of by muscle memory, instinct and signs in a tool's use that it's about time to sharpen, primarily a point in increased effort required to push the tool, the quality of the surface produced, and a squint at the cutting edge with the iron in place to look for that 'line o' light' thing and knicks, which are also revealed by raised lines or small ridges in the planed wood. Sometimes fingertips are better than eyes for assessing how good a surface a plane is creating in a piece of planed wood. I like the KISS principle, and not thinking too much about sharpening is part of that - I suppose I mostly describe myself as a 'sharp'n'go' type, ha, ha. Slainte.

Messages In This Thread

Criteria for deciding when to sharpen
Re: Criteria for deciding when to sharpen
Re: Criteria for deciding when to sharpen
Re: Criteria for deciding when to sharpen
Re: Criteria for deciding when to sharpen
Re: Criteria for deciding when to sharpen
Re: Criteria for deciding when to sharpen
Re: Criteria for deciding when to sharpen
Hey, I'm good!
Re: Hey, I'm good!
Re: Criteria for deciding when to sharpen
Simple experiment
Agree, except....
Re: Agree, except....
Re: Agree, except....
Question
Re: Question
Amen to that statement
Re: Question
What's the downside of oversharpening?
Re: What's the downside of oversharpening?
I find it curious.....
Re: I find it curious.....
disassemble?
Re: disassemble?
Re: I find it curious.....
Re: I find it curious.....
Re: I find it curious.....
Some provocative thoughts there
Re: Some provocative thoughts there
an experiment
Re: an experiment
Re: Some provocative thoughts there
Re: I find it curious.....
Re: I find it curious.....
Testing the edge
Agree. I look instead of test
Re: Agree. I look instead of test
microscope examination *PIC*
Re: microscope examination
Not to the level of Bill's picture..
Re: Not to the level of Bill's picture..
Re: it might be a case... *PIC*
Re: it might be a case...
Pictures from the $12 scope
Re: Pictures from the $12 scope
Re: Pictures from the $12 scope *PIC*
lighting is everything *PIC*
Robt. Sorby..
Re: Robt. Sorby..
Re: Robt. Sorby..
Re: Pictures from the $12 scope
Re: Pictures from the $12 scope
Re: Agree. I look instead of test
Re: The instructors of beginners...
Maybe they lack curiosity *NM*
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