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Thread: A Friend From Work

  1. #1
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    A Friend From Work

    A friend from work came by yesterday, he had a, best guess, 1960's Stanley #5 and a few Home Depot Stanley chisels with him. He wanted to learn how to set up the plane and sharpen iron.

    The plane was in good shape other than just a little surface rust and frog screws put in by Conan. The cutter? First it was without any camber and someone had kinda sharpened it using the "ruler trick" on the back. Nothing really wrong with using the ruler trick but if you want a flat back it takes grinding the bevel back to get rid of it. I did grind the bevel but only enough to give a proper "Jack" plane camber. After a little sharpening and showing Matt how to set the plane up he made a few passes with it and afterwards had a big smile.

    The chisels were better than I expected, the backs were flat with a slight hollow in the middle and they had a nice flat bevel with very little hollow. After showing Matt how to hold the chisel's back and bevel on the stones and what to feel and look for, he did a good job sharpening. I've not a clue how good the chisels are but they might be a good starter set.

    Last was advice on buying a couple of stones to get started, which were a medium India and a hard Arkansas with a strop. If money is a factor a two grit course and fine India with a strop will do a good job as well. I'm a sharpening junky but the truth is, while nice and fun to use, all the polishing stones and JNats are not needed to have a good working edge.

    Forgot to add I also advised him to buy a 400 grit diamond when he could, to flatten backs and occasionally freshen his stones.

    ken

  2. #2
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    I thinking have a back up set of chisels for situations where you don't want to risk a good chisel is a fine idea. I still have my big box store set of inexpensive chisels, they were my only chisels for a little while.

  3. #3
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    Sounds like you gave good advice to someone who may become a woodworking buddy for life.

    Stanley's variety of hardware store chisels may not be Veritas or Lie-Nielsen's, but they do have decent steel. Their vintage chisels carry too high an entry fee for my liking.

    Here is an old post of mine about a $3 set purchased > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?238778

    They are not my favored chisels for my bench work. If something is needed out in the field or greenhouse, they may be the ones to get the call.

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

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Sounds like you gave good advice to someone who may become a woodworking buddy for life.

    Stanley's variety of hardware store chisels may not be Veritas or Lie-Nielsen's, but they do have decent steel. Their vintage chisels carry too high an entry fee for my liking.

    Here is an old post of mine about a $3 set purchased > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?238778

    They are not my favored chisels for my bench work. If something is needed out in the field or greenhouse, they may be the ones to get the call.

    jtk
    Thanks Jim,

    Everyone has to start someplace. I wish however many years ago I'd had someone show me how to sharpen instead of grouping around in the dark. Hell back then I'm not sure I knew I needed to sharpen.

    ken.

  5. #5
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    My Home Depot Buck chisels have performed quite well when I've used them.
    As stated above, I like them for things I don't want to use my AI's for.

    They just have god awful hand feel.

  6. #6
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    Ken, it sounds like you gave him a great start. Good job!

    +1 on what you said about wishing someone had shown you how to sharpen years ago. Me too. It has been a bit of a road, but at least I think I am getting reasonably proficient, not great, but at least acceptably proficient.

    I am sure he is miles ahead of where he would have been had he not dropped by your shop for some basic instruction.

    I am slowly restoring a mixed breed collection of socket chisels, but am also working on a number of Stanley 60s that I have had for a long time. The #60s, and friends, are my carpentry chisels. The socket chisels stay at home if I am helping kids families with some sort of carpentry task. I also have a half dozen or so "beater" stanley #60, homeowner, and other brand chisels for rough, "you might hit a nail" work.

    Stew
    Last edited by Stew Denton; 02-16-2020 at 4:10 PM.

  7. #7
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    Good going Ken. Iíve been helping a new neighbor some. Young man with a young family. Heís always working around his first house. Seems to be a hard worker. Gave him some tips. He was struggling a bit with fence repairs. Helped him out by giving him a combo square, an old Stanley marking gauge and a sliding bevel. A few lessons in their use for what he was attempting. He got through it okay. We have had a couple of snows since and I canít shovel anymore. The first storm I heard someone shoveling and went to look. He was shoveling and did it all. He just said he knows how to shovel snow well and was glad to do it because he knew I couldnít. Makes you think the world is still good. Then he did the next storm too.

  8. #8
    James, thanks for a well expressed bit of good news and friendship.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Pallas View Post
    Good going Ken. I’ve been helping a new neighbor some. Young man with a young family. He’s always working around his first house. Seems to be a hard worker. Gave him some tips. He was struggling a bit with fence repairs. Helped him out by giving him a combo square, an old Stanley marking gauge and a sliding bevel. A few lessons in their use for what he was attempting. He got through it okay. We have had a couple of snows since and I can’t shovel anymore. The first storm I heard someone shoveling and went to look. He was shoveling and did it all. He just said he knows how to shovel snow well and was glad to do it because he knew I couldn’t. Makes you think the world is still good. Then he did the next storm too.
    James,

    I agree with Mel, wonderful story. It is good to have and be a good neighbor.

    ken

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post
    Ken, it sounds like you gave him a great start. Good job!

    +1 on what you said about wishing someone had shown you how to sharpen years ago. Me too. It has been a bit of a road, but at least I think I am getting reasonably proficient, not great, but at least acceptably proficient.

    I am sure he is miles ahead of where he would have been had he not dropped by your shop for some basic instruction.

    I am slowly restoring a mixed breed collection of socket chisels, but am also working on a number of Stanley 60s that I have had for a long time. The #60s, and friends, are my carpentry chisels. The socket chisels stay at home if I am helping kids families with some sort of carpentry task. I also have a half dozen or so "beater" stanley #60, homeowner, and other brand chisels for rough, "you might hit a nail" work.

    Stew

    Stew,

    As you know back in the day there was almost nothing to guide, few mags, no internet or even stores with helpful clerks. If your daddy didn't or couldn't teach it was a long process. I lived for each new issue of Fine Woodworking and the Garrett Wade catalog.

    ken

  11. #11
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    The friendís smile makes it all worth it. Nice of you to do that. As you said, before the internet and places like SMC it was all just guesses and trial and error. I inherited my Dadís no name #3 plane, and it was obvious he had little mentoring when it came to sharpening. I think the best the iron saw was free hand on a fairly coarse grinder. Donít recall ever having seen him use it, but I bet he wasnít smiling!

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