Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 34

Thread: Completely Confused About Grinding Plane Sharpening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Davidson, NC
    Posts
    5

    Completely Confused About Grinding Plane Sharpening

    I am trying to pick up some hand tool skills, and I understand that sharpening correctly is very important for getting the best performance out of the tools. I have been reading -- arguably too much -- about how to sharpen plane blades, and I am now totally confused about the grinding part of the sharpening process. Some discussions of sharpening start with someone taking the iron to a grinding wheel, while other discussions start the process with oil or water stones. Can a plane blade be properly sharpened without using a grinder?

    If a grinder is required, how often do you need to regrind the primary bevel?

    I have a Stanley 5 that I purchased off of Craigslist that I am trying to learn on. I do not have a bench grinder, and given my limited space, I would really prefer to not have to use one. So far I have been trying to get by using a cheapo two sided sharpening stone from Amazon. Results have been meh. I just ordered this set of oil stones (https://www.bestsharpeningstones.com...&product_id=77) and got a strop. I have also been using a honing guide.


    Apologies if this should be obvious. Sometimes there is too much information on the internet.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    193
    To grind your plane iron or chisel means to remove a significant amount of metal. You can achieve that with a bench grinder or very coarse sand paper.

    Your blade may need grinding if it's chipped or grossly out of square.

    You can also grind with a sharpening stone rated as coarse, but be prepared to spend some time achieving your desired shape.
    Last edited by Rafael Herrera; 10-19-2020 at 11:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael Herrera View Post
    To grind your plane iron or chisel means to remove a significant amount of metal. You can achieve that with a bench grinder or very coarse sand paper.
    Or a course stone.

    The first stage of sharpening is grinding where you shape the bevel with course grit. The second is honing were you use a finer grit to remove the scratches from the grinding stage and last is polishing where you polish the bevel with very fine grit.

    There are many ways to do any of the three stages. A powered grinder is not required.

    ken

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    20,812
    Sharpening is certainly one area where there are many, many right answers. The use of a grinding wheel creates a concave geometry on the face of a cutter. This leaves a smaller surface area to be sharpened and honed. This is not right or wrong, simply a strategy that some folks use.

    SharpeningTricks3.jpg

    You will be unable to find someone or some source to give you the end-all sharpening advice. I recommend you choose one method to start with, invest as little money as you can to try it out and then take the next step. Some of us use diamond stones, some oil stones, ceramics, Worksharp 3000, Tormek, scary sharp, wet stones and combinations of any and all of these. To find your way you will have to begin. Copying the way I do it may not be good for you, maybe it is? Copying a You Tuber may not be good for you, maybe it is? You will find your way but, you must pick one to start with and begin. Have fun.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    bloomington il
    Posts
    178
    No a grinder is not needed. A grinder is used to do a hard reset or what is called a hollow grind witch is helpful if you sharpen freehand.
    If you need to start with some thing coarser than the stones you can use sand paper on a peace of glass or granite tile. I have a belt sander I will use some times.

    With sharpening there are a lot of ways to get there just pick one and stick with it. With time you will get better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    442
    I only got a grinder this year, and specifically for wood turning tool sharpening (which is now my latest new hobby).
    I've never used it for planes or chisels. Though I am planning to use it to create a cambered Jack plane blade (lots of material to remove)

    So, you definitely don't need one. Stones work just fine, just take longer. You will only do your first rough sharpening on a grinder, all the subsequent steps will be stones (or sandpaper or abrasive pastes/etc.)
    I've never changed the bevel angle on my stuff. My 600 grit waterstone has always worked for me for course sharpening.

    Also, one can get into trouble on a grinder if you overheat your tool steel.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Davidson, NC
    Posts
    5
    Thanks everyone so much everyone for the clarification. This really helps a lot.

    It looks like the coarse stone in the set that I just ordered is 600 grit oil stone. Would you say this is coarse enough to handle grinding?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    442
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mayock View Post

    It looks like the coarse stone in the set that I just ordered is 600 grit oil stone. Would you say this is coarse enough to handle grinding?
    I've never used oil stones, but my 600 waterstone has always worked fine for me. I only use it if I'm fixing a nick in the blade, otherwise the 1,000 stone is what I start with when a tool gets dull.
    From what others have said, the type of steel on your tools will matter with your sharpening system. Many threads here on sharpening, the rabbit hole runs deep.

    Disclaimer: I don't have the time under my belt sharpening that many here have. I have yet to wear out a stone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    7,664
    A grinder reduces the amount of steel to sharpen. This is pretty relevant with modern thick blades. However, with the thin blades used by Stanley (and others), it is quite possible to create a primary bevel freehand/guided on coarse stones. A diamond stone would be good here.

    It is all about efficiency in creating a honed cutting edge.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    193
    Your set is made up of Arkansas stones. I don't have experience with the soft ones (the soft label is just relative to the others, it's still a hard stone), but I use a stone that is related to the softs called a Washita. It is a coarse stone, but one can finish with it. I normally go to the strop after it. Washita stones are another rabbit hole.

    If this soft is a 600 grit equiv, it may be too slow for significant blade repairs. If you want to stick with oilstones, a coarse crystolon has worked well for me when I need to be aggressive.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    492
    Tom, about 12 years ago My sharpening skill advanced from ďhuh?Ē to ďI got thisĒ by following a method that has since become second nature to me. It did take paying careful attention to the steps, so I made it a study of sorts. Now sharpening to an exceptionally high degree is a given in my shop. Plane irons, cambers, chisels, spokeshave blades, even spear-point marking knives come out sharp, fast and reliably.

    I tell you this not to claim thereís anything special about me. I just adopted the method of a master, and avoided all the pitfalls of the learning (and spending) curve. I talk about it all the time here, but I donít believe anyone has ever commented on my posts. (Everyone has a pet method they advocate, each for good reasons Iím sure.) If you are interested in finding out about this method, PM me and Iíll point you in its direction.

    Wow, that sounded like an infomercial! I assure you I have no commercial dog in this race.

    Oh, and I never owned a grinder until 2019, so you wonít need one for a while, as long as you donít buy damaged edge tools.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    springfield,or
    Posts
    433
    Another uniformed opinion here. I have a soft white Arkansas stone, I would never ever want to do any major reshaping on it. Maybe I'm Impatient or lazy but it would take forever. I also have a 320 diamond, I still find that slow, for completely changing a bevel. If I buy some old best up chisels I start with a low grit sand paper (120) or something along those lines. Now that I have a grinder, I freehand grind it close, then course paper then diamonds.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    22,441
    Blog Entries
    1
    If you are interested in finding out about this method, PM me and I’ll point you in its direction.
    Bob. Tom is not a contributor so he may not have Private Message privileges.

    Tom, you are off to a good start. You may need to adhere abrasive sheets to a piece of stone or glass as has been suggested by others if you buy a lot of chisels at yard/estate/garage sales and such.

    My powered sharpening is a flat disk system from Lee Valley> Veritas Mk11 Power Sharpening System < Click it, it's a link.

    This creates a flat bevel. A hollow grind is a bit easier for free hand sharpening.

    My blades are rarely ground on this once the bevel has been established. My blades are not intentionally given a secondary bevel. My opinion is learning to get a sharp edge is an important first step before trying every blade sharpening trick that may be recommended by others. There are as many ways to sharpen as there are people who sharpen tools, maybe even more.

    My preference used to be to use water stones. My first go around with Arkansas stones didn't work too well. It is funny how after my sharpening skills improved the Arkansas stones started working a lot better. Now my water stones mostly get used for sharpening my A2 blades.

    A strop is also helpful. One blade being sharpened today wouldn't slice paper off of the black Arkansas. All it took was two passes on each side on the strop and it sliced paper without a problem. There is often an imperceptible burr at the edge. Some times just pulling it across the sleeve of my jean jacket or the side of my pant leg is enough to take care of it.

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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Posts
    637
    No, your 600 grit stone is not coarse enough for actual "grinding". It's fine for the first phase of sharpening but if you need to restore basic geometry or remove knicks/damage, what you want is 80 grit PSA sandpaper stuck down to something flat like a granite surface block. That will remove metal faster than any stone I've used, and won't go out of flat.

    With a stanley blade, it's thin enough that you can reasonably maintain a full flat bevel using your oil stones. In that case you don't need to worry about a primary bevel, so you'd only use your "grinding" setup if you get knicks or need to reset the edge geometry.

    If you want to create a primary bevel, get a cheap eclipse-style honing guide and set it for about 20 degrees. Use it on the 80 grit sanding block, and work until the 20 degree bevel extends almost all the way to the edge. It's quite a lot of metal to remove- a long sandpaper run is ideal. My surface plate is 4" x 18" which is perfect for this kind of work. Also, change the paper frequently, it cuts fastest when brand new and then the cutting rate slows down considerably after a few minutes of heavy use.

    Now sharpen a secondary bevel at 30-35 degrees. The secondary bevel should be very small at this point, and should sharpen up very quickly. After a few sharpenings, the secondary bevel will grow wider, sharpening will be slower. Then can go back to the sandpaper lap and "grind" at 20 degrees again until the secondary bevel almost disappears. It should go much faster than it took to establish the initial primary bevel.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    5,190
    I used a grinder when first shaping plane irons, but none of my irons have touched a grinder in years. I'm usually working in old, museum houses, and don't want to deal with the mess of a grinder in those, so my system is not the typical one. It can be done though, without taking much time. Some of my planes get used all day long, some days.

    My coarsest stone is a 300. If that won't do it quickly, it does go to a grinder, but they don't get kept in the houses, so rarely get used. The vast majority of the time, 6,000 is my starting stone.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •