Hand Tools

Re: Contamination - stones vs. strops..
Response To:
Re: Contamination ()

David Weaver
steve is talking about the tendency of india stones to pin with particles that come off. For example, if grinding with carborundum, and then honing with an india stone, some of the stuff that sloughs off of the edge can get pinned on the stone surface and really ding the edge.

I don't want to suggest you watch any of my videos, but in the one that I just posted unicorning plane irons, I reached for a block of wax that I pulled off of the floor. It had a small brass particle on the edge. That wax is very soft (Despite being hard for a wax) and you can drag it backwards over the edge of a plane with no issue. But the single small flat filing of brass notched the edge, and the next shaving was split.

The pinning on an india stone can be a lot. What I've found with leather strops is that eventually, something will get in the strop that spiderwebs a polished area. It will sometimes also spoil edges. On a chopping chisel, this is an annoyance (especially given the size of edge failures we've seen).

Steve is paring show surfaces. It's intolerable on those, even if the notch is a thousandth.

For finish planing, the same is true. The notches are usually big enough to split a thin shaving, but a thicker shaving will stay together (giving an indication of the size without having to go to a scope to see them).

Bill is a good calibrator for zeroing in on this part - where I'm getting annoyed by things that wouldn't bother most people.

The top side of a scraper, by the way, is good for scraping slough off of a leather strop (won't hurt the strop, even if there's a burr - it'll just cake over the edge) in the event that the offending particles can't be found. But even then, sometimes said stuff is left behind in the leather only to annoy again, and more scraping is needed.

The buffer becomes the missing link in that there's little question of effort, there's absolutely no real chance of precision to get lost in - who could possibly grasp what's actually going on where the buff is? It's immensely complex and varying and not worth worrying about. It just does the job quickly and gently at the same time.

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