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Thread: Spruce

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Baker 2 View Post
    I have a guide, but graduated from that to free hand sharpening. But I do recommend one if you are new to sharpening tools. You can go cheap or expensive. Up to you.
    The suggestion of a loupe is a good one as well, and you can get a good lighted one that will work well for around $8-$10, probably less.
    Just bought a honing guide off amazon so hopefully with that and the "scary sharp" method of sharpening I should be making real shavings in a week. As for the loupe, I have no idea what one of those is or what they do so I dont feel comfortable going out and buying one.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Foster View Post
    Just bought a honing guide off amazon so hopefully with that and the "scary sharp" method of sharpening I should be making real shavings in a week. As for the loupe, I have no idea what one of those is or what they do so I dont feel comfortable going out and buying one.
    He's talking about magnification. A loupe is like a magnifying glass that you hold close to your eye. You'll be looking for some things that are hard to see like facets in your edge and monitoring the 'feather' as you sharpen. When you get that guide, I'm sure folks will be able to talk you through it eventually but it took me a long time to get super sharp edges so don't expect perfection right away.
    Dojo Kun, 1: Be humble and polite.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kory Cassel View Post
    He's talking about magnification. A loupe is like a magnifying glass that you hold close to your eye. You'll be looking for some things that are hard to see like facets in your edge and monitoring the 'feather' as you sharpen. When you get that guide, I'm sure folks will be able to talk you through it eventually but it took me a long time to get super sharp edges so don't expect perfection right away.
    Why is it called a loupe? It is a magnifying glass. I have one of them hanging around somewhere. I guess I'll dig around tonight to find that.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Foster View Post
    Why is it called a loupe? It is a magnifying glass. I have one of them hanging around somewhere. I guess I'll dig around tonight to find that.
    A loupe is a lot more powerful. It is often called a jeweler’s loupe, because jewelers use them to look for defects in gemstones, etc. I think typical magnifying glasses are 2x or 4x power. A loupe is usually 10x or thereabouts.

    You do not really need one, but some folks use them to better see what is going on with the edge as they sharpen it.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lawrence View Post
    A loupe is a lot more powerful. It is often called a jeweler’s loupe, because jewelers use them to look for defects in gemstones, etc. I think typical magnifying glasses are 2x or 4x power. A loupe is usually 10x or thereabouts.

    You do not really need one, but some folks use them to better see what is going on with the edge as they sharpen it.
    I dont remember the magnification power it had, but it was used for wood identification. Ie looking for how much tyloses and viewing the ray flecks in hardwoods.

  6. #51
    On the topic of magnification, another option to look at for shop use would be a geologist's hand lense. Small form factor like a jewellers loupe, similar magnification, but in my experience more robustly built and cheaper. Made to dangle from a lanyard while I'm clambering over an outcrop vs. sitting on a jewellers bench.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean contenti View Post
    On the topic of magnification, another option to look at for shop use would be a geologist's hand lense. Small form factor like a jewellers loupe, similar magnification, but in my experience more robustly built and cheaper. Made to dangle from a lanyard while I'm clambering over an outcrop vs. sitting on a jewellers bench.
    That is exactly the style that I have. The one that hangs on a lanyard that is. So when I sharpen my blades, I should periodically check the bevel to see how it is doing? Kory Cassel mentioned monitoring the "feather" as I sharpen. If I use a jig to sharpen, then how is there a feather in there? Wouldn't it just be a flat grind?

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Foster View Post
    That is exactly the style that I have. The one that hangs on a lanyard that is. So when I sharpen my blades, I should periodically check the bevel to see how it is doing? Kory Cassel mentioned monitoring the "feather" as I sharpen. If I use a jig to sharpen, then how is there a feather in there? Wouldn't it just be a flat grind?
    As you hone the bevel a “wire edge” forms on the back side. I think that is what the reference to a “feather” is talking about.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Foster View Post
    That is exactly the style that I have. The one that hangs on a lanyard that is. So when I sharpen my blades, I should periodically check the bevel to see how it is doing? Kory Cassel mentioned monitoring the "feather" as I sharpen. If I use a jig to sharpen, then how is there a feather in there? Wouldn't it just be a flat grind?
    Yeah Kyle,

    Feather, wire edge, burr. It's the part right at the tip of a blade that gets pushed away from the stone instead of abrading away. On the coarser grits, the wire edge can be quite large and clearly visible to the naked eye. When you get to the finer grits, it's very small.

    Some free-hand sharpening methods teach establishing and then removing the wire edge every time you progress through the grits. Getting that wire edge is a sign that you have sharpened all the way to the tip of the blade with each grit level.

    If you're using a honing guide, you don't actually need to do that because the blade will continue to tip forward slightly as you go so you don't have to establish a new wire edge each time to know that you have in fact gotten all the way to the tip.

    IMO the magnification would be more helpful to you if you were intent on learning to sharpen free-hand. You will probably want to develop that skill at some point, but it takes a whole bunch of practice to get really consistent results.
    Dojo Kun, 1: Be humble and polite.

  10. #55
    Kyle,
    A loupe is nothing like a magnifying glass. This is what a loupe is:

    loupe.jpeg

    Yes, jewelers use then but so do photographers. I would suggest an 8x for you but a 10x would do very well also. You don't need a super expensive high grade one. We're talking about an item that will be $5-$10 on Amazon.
    I think it is very useful, maybe indispensable when sharpening to see the edge magnified to really know what's going on. It's a whole different world under magnification.

    If you're feeling posh, Peak is a very good brand.

    Good luck,
    Edwin

  11. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Foster View Post
    That is exactly the style that I have. The one that hangs on a lanyard that is. So when I sharpen my blades, I should periodically check the bevel to see how it is doing? Kory Cassel mentioned monitoring the "feather" as I sharpen. If I use a jig to sharpen, then how is there a feather in there? Wouldn't it just be a flat grind?
    I don't know. I'm the wrong guy to tell you how to use it for sharpening - I've never actually used mine for that. I mentioned it only after reading the discussion about loupes. Mine lives with my field gear and I really only use it to look at rocks. Unfortunately, it'll be pretty dusty now, haven't been on an outcrop on company time in a few years... Budget cuts...

    Might have to pull it out and take a look at a chisel here... It hadn't occurred to me to check edges like that.
    Last edited by sean contenti; Yesterday at 12:00 AM.

  12. #57
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    I don’t use mine to sharpen either. So if it sounds like a dumb idea to you, just don’t do it.

    Mine mostly gets used to look at the kids fingers, toes, etc., to see if I got the splinter out.

  13. #58
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    Kyle, I also have never used any kind of magnification, but I can definitely see some benefits. Mostly as I said when learning free-hand. It's kind of hit or miss at the start like you screw up the edge somehow 1/2 the time and don't know why it ends up dull as a butter knife. The magnification could be a good teaching aide, but as others have pointed out uncounted woodworkers over who knows how many years have gotten sharp woodworking edges without any such thing as a loupe.

    Lots
    of different approaches will work, you just have to get comfortable with something that produces a consistently sharp edge to start with.

    I'll be looking for some kind of magnification for saw sharpening soon. Probably an Optivisor. My eyes aren't what they used to be and some of the teeth on my backsaws are rather small. That's another sort of free-hand type thing that I want to be able to monitor as opposed to letting a guide get me to where I need to be.
    Dojo Kun, 1: Be humble and polite.

  14. #59
    I think there might be some misconceptions here. A magnifying loupe is absolutely not essential for sharpening. However it's not a dumb idea either.

    When I learned sharpening, the guy who taught me basically summarized sharpening as the creation of a true edge at a given angle, and then the process of making that edge progressively keener by utilizing progressively finer abrasives.
    Each abrasive is removing a scratch pattern left by the prior abrasive, but leaving its own in the process. To demonstrate this he pulled out a loupe and used it to show me in detail what these progressive scratch patterns look like magnified. It was quite revealing.
    His instruction was for us to pay attention to when the scratch pattern is an even pattern of the same type (coarseness) of scratches, not a mix. If you have a mix, keep working and only when it's even should you move on to the next stone.

    So especially for someone who is learning, the loupe will allow you familiarization with this progression of scratch patterns in a way that is simply impossible with the human eye alone, even if you were a marksman sharpshooter with 20/20 vision.

    If I am sharpening in mid project, in a hurry to get back to work, no, I will not touch the loupe.
    But if I am sharpening at the end of the day and treating it like therapy, chasing excellence, then yes, I will use a loupe and look at what's going on in my pursuit of the ultimate edge.
    Like others said, you should use what's comfortable for you, but I thought it might be useful to explain that there is in fact some method to this particular madness.
    Edwin

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    I think there might be some misconceptions here. A magnifying loupe is absolutely not essential for sharpening. However it's not a dumb idea either.

    When I learned sharpening, the guy who taught me basically summarized sharpening as the creation of a true edge at a given angle, and then the process of making that edge progressively keener by utilizing progressively finer abrasives.
    Each abrasive is removing a scratch pattern left by the prior abrasive, but leaving its own in the process. To demonstrate this he pulled out a loupe and used it to show me in detail what these progressive scratch patterns look like magnified. It was quite revealing.
    His instruction was for us to pay attention to when the scratch pattern is an even pattern of the same type (coarseness) of scratches, not a mix. If you have a mix, keep working and only when it's even should you move on to the next stone.

    So especially for someone who is learning, the loupe will allow you familiarization with this progression of scratch patterns in a way that is simply impossible with the human eye alone, even if you were a marksman sharpshooter with 20/20 vision.

    If I am sharpening in mid project, in a hurry to get back to work, no, I will not touch the loupe.
    But if I am sharpening at the end of the day and treating it like therapy, chasing excellence, then yes, I will use a loupe and look at what's going on in my pursuit of the ultimate edge.
    Like others said, you should use what's comfortable for you, but I thought it might be useful to explain that there is in fact some method to this particular madness.
    Edwin
    Edwin,

    Your explanation clarifies quite a bit for me. Almost as much as looking at the edge of a blade through a loupe does. I am still I'm the process of learning and figuring out what is best for me which is the tough part.

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