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Thread: Sharpening plane irons & chisels - here's what I've got...where to start?

  1. #16
    A couple things that have helped me a great deal in my sharpening are the LN honing guide and my Dadís old microscope. Occasionally Throwing a blade on the plate of that scope tells me a lot. I had a mystery stone that I used and when viewed under the glass I found that it was more coarse than I thought. The honing guide has just made me more consistent and I found that my certainty in my freehand skills were...wrong again!
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  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    Blog Entries
    A honing guide will help to get consistent results.

    Once a person is good at freehand sharpening a honing guide will still be handy when removing a lot of metal on a coarse abrasive.

    Magnification can help reveal what is being missed when sharpening.

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

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Dickinson, Texas
    You can also finish the sharpening on wet or dry sandpaper on a glass pane. I finish it dry.

  4. #19
    Forget comparing grit numbers of stones from different manufacturers and made of different media - it is comforting to have a number but its about like comparing apples & hand grenades.

    Those Spyderco stones will sharpen any steel you've got and are about as low maintenance as you'll find.

  5. #20
    Hope this doesn't come off glib:

    Why did you buy all that stuff if you didn't have an idea whether you'd use it?

    You are in the enviable position of being able to experiment and figure out what works for you. As long as you have a good way to flatten and have a range of grits, you should be able to get sharp a variety of ways.

    These sharpening threads tend to end up giving the casual reader that they have to buy even more stuff, when in reality, getting a workable edge is all about practicing to mastery a given technique with a given set of tools.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Greeley, CO
    After putting a deep gouge in my 220 grit green stone and blowing through $10 worth of sandpaper fixing a nicked plane blade I decided to get a Veritas grinding stand to go with a slow speed grinder. It'll be here today. The time and expense involved in regrinding a 2 3/8" bevel by hand justifies the cost of a low speed grinder and Veritas grinding stand (in my opinion). Plus the grinder is useful for lathe tools (and I already had a Rikon 1/2hp). There are other options to regrind a bevel but this one has the lowest overall cost. After the initial $200 cost it'll grind hundreds of bevels before the wheels need replacing.

    I use the Veritas Mark II honing guide system all the time without any shame.
    I have a 220, 1000 and 8000 water stones.
    I can sharpen A2, O1 and vintage steel with this setup.
    10x magnifier is always on my sharpening bench).

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    South Coastal Massachusetts
    Be cautious with the lower grit stone.

    I deeply gouged my lowest grit Shapton stone with a narrow chisel. The Spyderco stones will make short work of honing, with a light touch.

    Bear down as hard as you like on the diamond plate.
    Those are indestructible.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Dickinson, Texas
    For really fine, I place wet or dry sandpaper wet on a piece of glass.
    I use as fine as 300 and my edges are razor sharp.
    There are many options for sharpening. Wet or dry sand paper wet on glass is one of them.
    Don't trash it until you try it.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2004
    N Illinois
    You have plenty of options to get started....I wouldn't buy anything else till you've tested/tried what you have.
    If you ask 100 WWers the best way here, you'd likely get 100 different answers...G'Luck.

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