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Thread: Spruce

  1. As an alternative to glass or Lexan, consider dumpster diving at your local counter top fabricator. They will be throwing away some granite scraps that should be big enough and plenty flat for your purpose. Plus the price is right so grab a few and there will be no guilt if one does get dropped.

    You will discover that "sharp fixes most problems" is absolutely true for hand tool woodworking. Even if you opt to drill your mortises rather than chop them, you will want sharp chisels to pare your side walls. Good luck with your project.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Foster View Post
    So I'm off to the store tonight to get some wet/dry paper and some glass. What do you guys think of using lexan instead of glass? I'm just afraid of knocking it over and having a mess to clean up.
    If you go through some of the big box stores you can often find pieces of floor tile that are flat enough for the purpose on discount. Most of the time they have cost me about a dollar each. Make sure they are the smooth ones and not the textured kind. You can also check them with a straight edge before putting them in your cart if they are sold individually.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Bassett View Post
    Intuitively lexan seems more flexible than glass, so easier to bow and lose "flat". But with a smooth fairly flat surface, (table, counter, or workbench,) I don't see why it wouldn't work just fine.
    So I am at the junk store looking over all the mirrors and glass that people think they can make a buck on when I remember I wife complaining to me about how the digital scale doesnt work anymore. So being the great husband I am, I went and got her a new digital scale and commandeered her old one for my sharpening station. It is nice thick glass with non slip pads on the bottom.

  4. #34
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    That should work, used a 3/8" thick glass top from a side table for years.

    It's worth some effort to rig something to fix your flat surface solidly. The more stable you can make it, the easier it will be to control the whole sharpening process.

    If that scale doesn't move when you give it a good hard rub on the glass, you're probably all right. If it jiggles or wobbles about, I'd do something about it because it will prove irritating to sharpen on.
    Dojo Kun, 1: Be humble and polite.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kory Cassel View Post
    That should work, used a 3/8" thick glass top from a side table for years.

    It's worth some effort to rig something to fix your flat surface solidly. The more stable you can make it, the easier it will be to control the whole sharpening process.

    If that scale doesn't move when you give it a good hard rub on the glass, you're probably all right. If it jiggles or wobbles about, I'd do something about it because it will prove irritating to sharpen on.
    Spent about an hour on that with sandpaper flattening the backs of 4 chisels from harbor freight. The 1 inch one was the worst. In the top corner was a spot that was ground quite a bit lower than the rest.

    Lesson i learned: harbor freight chisels suck. Buy them if you want to learn how to flatten the back of a chisel.

  6. #36
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    Flattening better quality chisel backs will be less hassle. I have some Ashley Isles Mk II chisels and they come ever so slightly hollow on the backs. Very easy to flatten chisels, started with a 4000 grit water stone and it took about 3 min per chisel. I recommend them only for fine work however. Paul Sellers said in his blog that he snapped one chopping mortises with it.
    Dojo Kun, 1: Be humble and polite.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kory Cassel View Post
    Flattening better quality chisel backs will be less hassle. I have some Ashley Isles Mk II chisels and they come ever so slightly hollow on the backs. Very easy to flatten chisels, started with a 4000 grit water stone and it took about 3 min per chisel. I recommend them only for fine work however. Paul Sellers said in his blog that he snapped one chopping mortises with it.
    A 4000 grit stone? That is crazy. I was using 120 grit sandpaper to flatten these backs and it was taking forever!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Foster View Post
    A 4000 grit stone? That is crazy. I was using 120 grit sandpaper to flatten these backs and it was taking forever!
    At least you know the steel they're made from is tough! LOL.
    Dojo Kun, 1: Be humble and polite.

  9. #39
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    After last night, I have a weird feeling that I will be moving onto a different method of sharpening. The scary sharp method is great until you realize how much sand paper you go through. I went through 3 sheets last night in an hour and that was on 4 chisels. I probably could have sped up the amount of time I was sharpening if I were to have used a 4th or even a 5th sheet but I like to get my money out of what I buy so I used it until it was totally dead. Today I am going to try my hand at polishing the backs of the chisels and maybe give the bevel a go.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Foster View Post
    After last night, I have a weird feeling that I will be moving onto a different method of sharpening. The scary sharp method is great until you realize how much sand paper you go through. I went through 3 sheets last night in an hour and that was on 4 chisels. I probably could have sped up the amount of time I was sharpening if I were to have used a 4th or even a 5th sheet but I like to get my money out of what I buy so I used it until it was totally dead. Today I am going to try my hand at polishing the backs of the chisels and maybe give the bevel a go.
    Patience Grasshopper... (Sorry, you're probably too young.)

    Setup is the most media intensive and, hopefully, only needed once per tool. Also the coarse grits, used more for setup & repair than sharpening, are where sandpaper is most competitive over time. (That's because coarse stones tend to wear faster, dish more, and in general last for less time than the medium & fine stones used for sharpening edges. Hence the endless quest for the perfect grinder, diamond stone, ... whatever. Crystolon synthetic oil stones might be the biggest, only?, exception to the dishing problem in coarse stones.)

    Hang in there for a bit.

    ETA: if/when you do decide to move on, there is an endless supply of info on this forum. Searching specific topics is easy by adding "site:sawmillcreek.org" (no quotes) to a Google, and I assume all other, search lines. Which stone(s) / media will suit you depends on the steel used in your tools and your personal space & preferences. E.g. perma-soaked waterstones can be ideal for someone with a dedicated climate controlled sharpening area with running water, but not so much for most of us. "Splash & Go" waterstones are one alternative that still uses water, but much less, and allows the stones to dry between uses.
    Last edited by David Bassett; 12-06-2018 at 2:04 PM.

  11. #41
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    Scary sharp/sandpaper is probably the quickest and as far as initial cost is concerned, cheapest, but in the long run it can get expensive. Personally, with the HF chisels I wouldn't worry about going any higher than 880 (and maybe 440) on the bevels.

    I do like Shapton stones, but two Spyderco stones will work pretty well, too (fine and coarse) and will last the rest of your life. I have one I keep in the kitchen for kitchen knives.

    If you're just starting out sharpening, you really need some kind of guide until you get a feel for the bevels. One of these will work fine and make your sharpening much more consistent:

    https://www.amazon.com/ATLIN-Honing-...sharpening+jig

    You can find them anywhere from about $10 to $20 on line and in your local hardware store. Use a protractor and a piece of cardboard or hardboard and make an angle gauge so you can consistently set the chisels for a 30* bevel. I wouldn't go any lower with the HF chisels.

    I had a set of the Harbor Freight wood handle chisels. They will improve your sharpening skills, I'll tell you that. I gave them away several years ago and mostly use vintage Stanley 720s for paring and light work and a set of Narex bench chisels for heavy work.

  12. #42
    I use 2x4 and yellow pine a lot.You really need sharp tools.
    IMHO, I would buy this https://www.chefknivestogo.com/ckcodipl40.html
    and this https://www.amazon.com/d/Sharpening-...ing+6000+stone

    as soon as I could. Then make a leather strop. You can find instruction for that on Youtube. Paste the strop with green Chromium Oxide paste from Harbor freight.

    This is what I use. It will get your chisels and plane blades crazy sharp, and make it easy to keep them that way.
    The diamond plate does double duty as the beginning of your honing routine, and as a way to lap the waterstone to keep it flat.
    There's a ton more gear you could buy, but that is a basic setup that will work, and I can personally vouche that it works well for the wood you are working.
    Buy them one at a time if you have to. But the diamond plate first if you do.
    If you've never used water stones, use light pressure on the waterstones. They cut quickly, so you don't need to bear down. If you do you will gouge them.
    You can buy the 6k stone by itself in a larger, thicker version for more money. I recommend it if you have the cash, or even the King 8k instead. You will still probably spend under $100 for the entire set up.
    Last edited by Mike Baker 2; 12-09-2018 at 12:11 AM.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Baker 2 View Post
    I use 2x4 and yellow pine a lot.You really need sharp tools.
    IMHO, I would buy this https://www.chefknivestogo.com/ckcodipl40.html
    and this https://www.amazon.com/d/Sharpening-...ing+6000+stone

    as soon as I could. Then make a leather strop. You can find instruction for that on Youtube. Paste the strop with green Chromium Oxide paste from Harbor freight.

    This is what I use. It will get your chisels and plane blades crazy sharp, and make it easy to keep them that way.
    The diamond plate does double duty as the beginning of your honing routine, and as a way to lap the waterstone to keep it flat.
    There's a ton more gear you could buy, but that is a basic setup that will work, and I can personally vouche that it works well for the wood you are working.
    Buy them one at a time if you have to. But the diamond plate first if you do.
    If you've never used water stones, use light pressure on the waterstones. They cut quickly, so you don't need to bear down. If you do you will gouge them.
    You can buy the 6k stone by itself in a larger, thicker version for more money. I recommend it if you have the cash, or even the King 8k instead. You will still probably spend under $100 for the entire set up.
    What about the sharpening guide? Do you happen to use one of those? I dont want to ruin my stones or my blades by doing it wrong.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Foster View Post
    What do I have to do to get set up for sharpening? I wasn't prepared to sharpen yet.
    You're getting plenty of good advice from this thread already, nothing I have to say runs counter. But to me, the most important element to learning to sharpen is hands-on guidance. Learning to sharpen comes with plenty of pitfalls (e.g., inadvertently rocking the chisel when flattening the back) and it's best to have someone checking your progress and helping you recognize when you're experiencing one of those pitfalls. So my advice is to look for a local guild, or woodworking store, or just another Creeker who can help you move more quickly up that learning curve. Also you'll get to use someone else's sharp chisel so you can know what you're aiming for.

    Also, get a jeweler's loupe. You won't need it eventually, but at the beginning it's really helpful to be able to see the bezel up close...you'll see flat spots you can't see with the naked eye. Eventually you'll learn how to feel for these with your fingers, but that'd be hard to learn without understanding what you're feeling for.
    Mark Maleski

  15. #45
    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.

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