Hand Tools Archive

Re: confused
Response To:
confused ()

David Weaver
imagine you're rounding the entire bevel instead of just the tip. This is what sellers does.

In my experience, people do two things more often than they do something that ends up similar to the unicorn:
1) they do a lot of hand work and the finish stone gets used over a large part of the bevel but doesn't remove all of the damage at an edge, even if it looks OK.
2) they go to a different method because every time you have to refresh an edge, you do a large rotating motion on the entire edge.

I believe PS's contention is that it's a more natural motion (or some adherents say that), and he finishes with fairly aerobic seeming work on a strop.

It's kind of like a mini unicorn, but without taking advantage of the fact that using a bunch of stones on the bevel is a bit of a waste of time.

He does it well. Students do it OK, some don't.

We've had this discussion very recently, but if the whole bevel is seen as one thing and stones get used all over it, most people don't finish the edge. Separating setting up the tool so that just the face and tip can be sharpened usually leads to more success because the finish work is only done at the tip.

sellers advocates using a progression of 3 diamond hones (admittedly, I saw this about however long ago sellers' blog became the next big thing because he was a "real" woodworker and was advocating sparing spending and "lifestyle woodworking") and then a big piece of loaded leather.

It's seen easily if you have bandwidth for video, but harder to communicate something simple without it.

Without a buffer, the strop uni dominates his method because the stropping part is still there (strenuous stropping) if the edge rounding isn't done, but you can just blast the bevel away with whatever you want and people will not start walking away from the stones before the work at the tip is finished.

Some folks here have been to his classes and said that he does mention avoiding chasing the edge steeper to take a shortcut.

This rounding sweep over all or most of the bevel has been described by the names of different people, but there are folks on the UK board who learned it just as part of their apprenticeship (over 50 years ago), so it's neither person's method - it's something they were taught because it's workable on site.

I gather than sellers' training was as a joiner (vs. cabinetmaker) and site sharpening would've been important.

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