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Thread: Where are you with the unicorn sharpening method?

  1. #61
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    It's not like there is any complexity to it. At $300 (less without fence, more with) it seems very reasonable.

    Although the Large Veritas with all the trimmings is the same money...
    Last edited by Dave Zellers; 07-08-2021 at 8:06 PM.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zellers View Post
    It's not like there is any complexity to it. At $300 (less without fence, more with) it seems very reasonable.

    Although the Large Veritas with all the trimmings is the same money...
    The Preston pattern makes so much sense to me. Seems the perfect size.

  3. #63
    I understand that, I was really referring the finding the edge.
    If I use mine bevel down, I know the point is at the end of the bevel which I can reference on the work surface. With secondary and tertiary bevels, the cutting edge is not ant the end of the primary bevel and the handle must be lifted for it to engage in the work piece.

    As I said, I sharpen mine differently so I was curious as to the pro's and cons

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    I understand that, I was really referring the finding the edge.
    If I use mine bevel down, I know the point is at the end of the bevel which I can reference on the work surface. With secondary and tertiary bevels, the cutting edge is not ant the end of the primary bevel and the handle must be lifted for it to engage in the work piece.

    As I said, I sharpen mine differently so I was curious as to the pro's and cons
    There's potential for it to become a bit of a muddle I guess.

    Forgetting all the details momentarily, I'm still mildly perplexed/confused/entertained by those who have or had buffers or buffing wheels on grinders in their shop and it never occurred to them to polish up a plane iron or chisel's cutting edge. For what purpose was the buffer there in the first place? Mind-boggling really to read responses from people that seemed to have had buffers all along but in essence are saying "wow, I never thought about using one on a cutting edge."

    Some people either have an unfathomable lack of curiosity, or I hate to say it are not particularly bright, though it's often hard to separate the two.

    The guy who hung the name on the process at least should get credit for being curious enough to try it out. "Wow, these machines put a pretty nice shine on things, let's see what she'll do for this chisel."
    Last edited by Charles Guest; 07-13-2021 at 10:34 AM.

  5. #65
    Well, that's one way to look at it

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    Well, that's one way to look at it
    Seems like most people put a buffer in play for carving chisels and/or turning tools. Hard to imagine not extending processes and procedures to include bench chisels and plane irons. If you're deft enough to use them on carving and turning tools, everything else should be cake.

  7. #67
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    When I brought up the use of the buffer wheel as part of a sharpening routine the reaction I got from a professional woodworker was that that was the wrong thing to do, that it would round and blunt the edge. Well, he was obviously wrong, but he was probably expressing the collective "wisdom" in regards to the proper use of the buffer. I have to admit that originally my buffer was installed to polish metal, not to sharpen tools. I also was not curious enough to try and experiment with it. Once pointed out, it seems obvious, but 20-20 hindsight is the easiest thing to do.

  8. #68
    I have a buffer in my shop, always have. I use it for everything to polishing metal to buffing wax onto wood (bealle buffing system) and everything in between.
    I do however wax most all of my cutting tools with Renaissance wax. This keeps them in good condition as well as maintaining a slick surface that nothing sticks to. I do use the buffing wheel to polish the wax on chisels, etc., NOT to create a cutting edge.

  9. #69
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    Some people either have an unfathomable lack of curiosity, or I hate to say it are not particularly bright, though it's often hard to separate the two.

    The guy who hung the name on the process at least should get credit for being curious enough to try it out.
    Isn't it curiosity that leads to learning which leads to the curios person to be thought of as "particularly bright?"

    My understanding is the person who called it the unicorn process did so because he didn't want it to have his name.

    Using a buffing wheel on an edge has been around for a long time. It has mostly been used on carving tools. In one discussion on it here one of my posts contained an image from a Fine Woodworking magazine from ~40 years ago discussing the process. It isn't much different than a power strop.

    It can compare to a micro bevel. eventually a micro bevel grows larger and larger. Then either the blade has to be reground or the micro bevel grows to a full fledged flat bevel.

    My question is why use a 30 micro bevel instead of starting with a 30 flat bevel?

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

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael Herrera View Post
    When I brought up the use of the buffer wheel as part of a sharpening routine the reaction I got from a professional woodworker was that that was the wrong thing to do, that it would round and blunt the edge. Well, he was obviously wrong, but he was probably expressing the collective "wisdom" in regards to the proper use of the buffer. I have to admit that originally my buffer was installed to polish metal, not to sharpen tools. I also was not curious enough to try and experiment with it. Once pointed out, it seems obvious, but 20-20 hindsight is the easiest thing to do.
    Carving is a large part of my business and I know many quality carvers. We do not use buffers for our tools. We want a precision edge because we ride the tools on the bevels and on the backs. When someone talks about buffing a carving tool, they're probably not much of a carver.

    Sculptors are somewhat different. They are not so precision oriented and many do work from a buffed edge.

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Mickley View Post
    We do not use buffers for our tools. We want a precision edge because we ride the tools on the bevels and on the backs.
    I tried to touch on this earlier.
    Micro-bevels make sense in a tool with a housing like a plane, where the sole is the reference surface for the cutting edge and the cutting edge in unsupported. In this situation the micro bevel does not change the cutting angle and creates mass behind the edge for strength/durability of the edge.
    With chisels and gouges, a micro-bevel creates a higher angle (less sharp) at the cutting edge It also moves the cutting edge from the large primary bevel to the much smaller secondary or micro-bevel. This makes referencing or supporting the cut from the primary bevel no longer possible. I believe that the cutting edge should be at the end of the primary bevel to better utilize the chisel from both the back and the front (primary bevel). A micro-bevel is not a reference surface you can reliably register a cut from. If you never use your chisel bevel down, I guess it's not an issue.

  12. #72
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    Thanks for this tidbit. I'd never though about this or heard anyone mention it as a downside of secondary bevels.

    I'm going to o post a topic on hand sharpening quality chisels or wheel sharpening cheaper chisels. I'd love your thoughts on this.

  13. #73
    For those interested, this article came out a few weeks ago and fits in with the thread.
    https://www.popularwoodworking.com/t...ening-meathod/

  14. #74
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    Edward,

    Thanks for posting the link to the pop wood article. Good to see them provide a summary of their findings and get some credit that's due.

    Best,
    Chris
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  15. #75
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    If one is so inclined:

    Koch Sharpening System. Not sure about its current availability.

    https://www.woodcraft.com/products/k...arpener-ht2000

    From the late Nora Hall's website:

    The Koch Sharpening System includes: 2 wheels and 1 paste. The two wheels or disks are manufactured using selected natural fibre and a specially developed process developed for the wheels. This has been patented. One wheel will be used for flat tools, and the second wheel for curved tools. For very wide tools, mount two wheels side-by-side.

    During the sharpening action, both disks turn in a direction away from the body. The prescribed rotating direction is marked on each disk with an arrow. Experience shows that the best rotating speed is around 2000 rpm. The Sears Craftsman 6 Grinder (item # 21154) is recommended. Higher speeds lead to a reduction in quality of the cutting edge and are not recommended. There is almost no chance of burning the tool. With new or very worn tools, it is sometimes necessary to pre-grind on a grinding wheel or belt.

    First, apply the sharpening paste by pressing it on to the running sharpening disk. The film of paste should be thin but evenly spread on the disk surface. For new disks, it is recommended that you apply sharpening paste more heavily until the surface is impregnated and ready for normal use. Generally, one application of sharpening paste is sufficient for each sharpening cycle.

    "...So how does a 'thermal reactive' sharpener work? The Koch folks tell me the secret lies in the natural-fiber wheels and sharpening paste. Apply the paste to the wheel, then the tool to the wheel, and the wheel quickly heats to 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115 degrees Celsius). At this temperature the paste liquifies. A few seconds later, the tool is sharp and surprisingly cool. While I don't understand all the physics behind the process, I do know that it works.
    "...With the Koch sharpener, I found I could get a mirror-like, razor-sharp edge in just seconds. And I noticed that I never had to remove burrs from the backs of my carving tools, the burrs were automatically removed when sharpening the bevel. This saved me a tremendous amount of time, especially when sharpening small veiners."


    Tested by Harley Refsal,
    WOOD magazine carving consultant

    Last edited by Charles Guest; 12-29-2021 at 10:46 AM.

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