Hand Tools

Re: The experience factor
Response To:
The experience factor ()

Steve Voigt
If one needs to clean the saw marks off the top of a drawer side and the plane reliably does the task (today's agenda making drawer parts) it is difficult for me to see how the result could be made better through more experienced sharpening.

Not a criticism here, just an observation.

A lot of the testing and discussion with sharpening has focused on two situations: chopping, in a way that mimics dovetailing, and planing with a smooth or try plane (Dave's tests). But there are so many other situations to think about. For example, if I'm cross-grain chiseling the four end chamfers on a plane, I want maximum sharpness, and also minimum resistance, because that means more control which is important when freehanding critical surfaces. Durability is not a concern because I'm going to resharpen every 4 chamfers whether I need to or not, because there's no point in taking chances with an almost-complete object that going to cost four or five hundred bucks.

The point is, everyone reading this forum has there own ways of working, and priorities. Ultimate sharpness is not needed in some situations, but in others it is. Highly customized sharpening angles for different situations may be necessary for some and not for others. The virtue of the mass of sharpening pics Dave posted (and the unicorn pics that Winston and Dave posted) is that we can all usr them as a reservoir, and take what we need. There's not a one size fits all solution.

One thing I'll agree with you on, Bill, is that "experience" by itself is not the key. I've been sharpening for twenty five years, and sheer repetition beyond a certain point doesn't matter. What matters is experimentation, with both techniques and materials. And there again the pics can help by suggesting a hypothesis that serves as a starting point.

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