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Thread: Tapered chisels & honing guide

  1. #31
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    If you will place the chisel on the hone sideways in front of you, then left hand hold the chisel, place right forefinger on back of chisel,
    stroke from left to right, coordinating hips and elbows. You can learn to freehand chisels. Take an old beater chisel, grind a hollow face
    on it rocking your body left to right. You can learn to freehand sharping in about 30 minutes. You have to lock your body and make side ways
    movement locking your elbows and arms, moving laterally feet flat on the ground. Do not allow any rocking of the chisel.
    It does not matter that a chisel is tapered if you use this technique. All movement has to come from the legs and hips sideways.
    You have to lock your whole body and all movement comes from your lower body.

    Quit saying you can't do it and learn to free hand sharpen. If I can do it, anyone can. I as clumsy as a left handed beaver.
    Last edited by lowell holmes; 05-25-2018 at 2:49 PM.

  2. #32
    So for those of us not engaged in historical reenactment of 18th c. cabinetmaking, the more common condition would seem to be parallel sides...or at least far enough back such that a side-clamping jig can be fitted. I think LN may have scoped out their market and determined that those craftspersons kitted out with those cool square buckles on their shoes and three-cornered hats would be unlikely to drop $125 on a honing guide, anyway...although I have to wonder if there are times that the Hay shop staff thinks 'screw this noise' and nips down to the well-equipped shop in their secret basement to use the 12" jointer after the tourists are safely stuffing their faces at Christina Campbell's.
    Last edited by Todd Stock; 05-25-2018 at 7:13 PM.

  3. #33
    LOL..choir here...been there, done that, have the t-shirt, mug, beer cozy, and the magnetic sticker on the truck. With all the other stuff that I have to teach new builders beyond just the woodworking and finishing piece, it's just faster and easier to make the sharpening process a utility and leave it to the student to explore that space after they finish the course.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Stock View Post
    So for those of us not engaged in historical reenactment of 18th c. cabinetmaking, the more common condition would seem to be parallel sides...or at least far enough back such that a side-clamping jig can be fitted. I think LN may have scoped out their market and determined that those craftspersons kitted out with those cool square buckles on their shoes and three-cornered hats would be unlikely to drop $125 on a honing guide, anyway...although I have to wonder if there are times that the Hay shop staff thinks 'screw this noise' and nips down to the well-equipped shop in their secret basement to use the 12" jointer after the tourists are safely stuffing their faces at Christina Campbell's.
    Todd,

    The OP asked a question that deserved an answer. The correct answer is not all chisels can use a side clamping jig with out some major adjustments for each chisel. For those chisels sharpening with out using a jig is usually the best option. In addition top clamping jigs have holding problems that are well known. I just dug out my Eclipse jig and a dozen or so very good turn of the century chisels including a couple of Witherby, a Greenlee, Dunlap, Union Hardware, Pexio and several different firmer chisels. All the bevel edge chisels clamped with a slight slant and the firmer chisels all needed going Conan on the clamping screw just to kinda hold them in the jig. As I posted earlier it is good if the jigs work for your chisels but they do not work for all chisels.

    ken

  5. #35
    The OP asked about the Lie-Nielsen jig, Ken - not the Eclipse - and I provided a data-driven answer. I agree that the Eclipse-style jig can be finicky, and can require quite a bit of torque to create the distortion that is required to lock in some blades, but that was not the question.

    Absent some inherent ability for the jig to sense tool age or brand of chisel, the ability of the standard jaws to accommodate a tool is determined by the difference in height of the side grind, grind angle, and width of the blade.

    Side Grind Height: The largest difference in height of the side grind I was able to test was 0.043 in/in, or about 2.5 degrees taper on the Marples 1" firmer, which required about 20 in-lb of torque to lock the blade in place (15-20 in-lb of torque is the usual range for 'finger tight' in aerospace applications) - this would be more comfortably done with a crutch-style screwdriver, although LN will sell you a purpose-built tool for what is a fairly absurd price. At some point, the side grind becomes so wide that the back of the chisel will not engage enough of the jaw's securing ledges to lock the tool in place - for the standard jaws, with 0.015" engagement, this occurs at side grind width of about 0.23"...forcing the user to mount the mortise jaws, which will accommodate up to 0.550" side grind height, and function independent of any side height differences due to the square faces beneath the ledge.

    Bevel Grind Angle: The standard jaws are ground at 60 degees (relative to the plane of the back of the chisel). The steepest bevel grind I was able to easily find was about 35 degrees on the Pfeil. At very steep bevel grind angles (75 degrees or more) and large side grind heights (0.2"), I would expect the the user might have to use the mortise jaws to fit the tool.

    Minimum and Maximum Blade Width: max blade width accommodated is about 2-7/8" with 0.050" ledge engagement per side. The minimum width of the tool accommodated with the standard jaw set is determined by a combination of bevel grind angle, blade thickness at the jig, and side height grind. Practically speaking, that means the standard jaw set will take down to about 6mm blade width for bevel-edged tools (with grind angles between 15 and 35 degrees and blade thicknesses to about 3/8") and 1/8" (with blade thickness to about 0.23") for non-bevel-edged blades.

    The measurement of interest here are not the age of the tool, but rather blade taper in thickness, blade total thickness in the mounting area for the jig, side grind height/height difference across the width of the jaws, and side bevel grind angle. If the sides of the blade are reasonably parallel, the bevel grind angle does not exceed 60 degrees, the side grind taper does not exceed about 2.5 degrees, the tool thickness at the jig location is not over 0.23" for non-bevel-edged tools and not over 3/8" for bevel-edged blade, the LN standard jaw set works. Outside those limitations, the mortise jaws handle blade thicknesses of up to 0.550"...or about to the 3/8" width on pigstickers and closer to 1/2" on lighter duty tools.

    Worth measuring your tools to see if any exceed the taper, side grind height, etc. limitations before dropping $175 on the jig and the extra jaws.
    Last edited by Todd Stock; 05-26-2018 at 8:34 AM. Reason: Go Caps!

  6. #36
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    There are so many chisels difficult to jig that it is well worth it to learn how to maintain a flat bevel freehand.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    There are so many chisels difficult to jig that it is well worth it to learn how to maintain a flat bevel freehand.
    Ain’t that the truth��.

    ken

  8. #38
    I had an aunt that found great meaning in polishing her floor. Wonderful woman.

  9. #39
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    One might consider learning to sharpen feehand as a basic skill for anyone learning to use hand tools. Certainly there is some skill involved. The question being whether or not that skill set is worth obtaining.

    To me the skill set is akin to learning to saw a straight line. One learns to hold the saw with a loose grip so one can feel what the saw is doing vs holding it in a “death grip”. There are many tricks one can employe to make it easier to “freehand sharpen”, such as hollow grinding, edge sharpening......These tricks just give a new sharpener a larger/steadier surface while they learn.

    It seems to me that there is a fair amount of “touch” involved in learning to use hand tools. One might argue that “freehand” sharpening is one more way to develop that “touch”.

  10. #40
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    If you place the hone in front of you at waist level while standing, you stroke laterally. Hold the handle in left hand, place the beveled edge flat by placing
    your right forefinger on the back side of the bevel.

    Lock your elbows and stoke left to right by rocking your whole body left to right, you can hone the beveled edge. You put a micro bevel on by lifting

    your left hand slightly and giving it 3 or 4 stokes. That's how I do it and as uncoordinated as I am, anyone can do it.

  11. #41
    Certainly some value there, Mike, but it begs the question of whether using the tool or sharpening the tool more useful. It may be that time with tool in hand is time with the tool.

    There's also the issue of enjoyment. For a business, sharpening is overhead that - while necessary - is a task that is to be done as quickly as possible and only as often as necessary. For a hobbyist, it seems like every moment engaged in craft or related activities should generate pleasure, so the concept of 'spending' time as a resource only comes into play when we impose some notion of deadline or schedule on our hobby activities.

  12. #42
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    Iím in business and feel it was worth it to learn how to sharpen freehand so I can avoid needing to figure out how to jig my tools.

    There are times when I sharpen 10-15 chisels in the evening. Iím there to make them sharp so I can use them again the next day,

    Same with plane irons.

    Not to say I donít enjoy the process, but itís a regular thing rather than a special occasion.
    Last edited by Brian Holcombe; 05-28-2018 at 9:19 AM.

  13. #43
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    I'm with Brian here. It is well worth it to free hand. I have guides and use them to change bevel angles for the most part. Once you figure it out its is like riding a bike. Your bevels may not look like magazine pictures all the time. They will work even if a little ugly. I side ways sharpen and I wouldn't do the Sellers thing. I can do it it just seems more difficult to me. If you do any carving now or in the future you will have to free hand anyway. The only gouges I have with parallel sides are some firmers that are huge. If you must use a guide than maybe you can learn to put up with a few degrees out of square and let your eye make the correction.
    Jim

  14. #44
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    Didn't see the Veritas MK-II mentioned. I have a few guides and the MK-II is for the situation you describe. I added a strip of sandpaper to one of the jaws to improve grip on angled (tapered?) blades.
    Buy a man a plane ticket and heíll fly for a day.
    Push a man out of a plane
    and heíll fly for the rest of his life.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Didn't see the Veritas MK-II mentioned. I have a few guides and the MK-II is for the situation you describe. I added a strip of sandpaper to one of the jaws to improve grip on angled (tapered?) blades.
    I have a Veritas MK-II and I have to say that I have never had a problem with it holding chisels or plane irons. I have to admit that I don't use it a lot. I usually use it to change bevel angles or take out a bad chip. I have to say that I believe that if the chisel or iron is moving that too much pressure is being used. I think if it like sandpaper if I use it. If you need more pressure to get it to work you need a course grit stone. To me just like a sanding block. If you have to press hard on the block to get it to work go to a course grit and work up.
    Jim

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