Sharpening Vids

Recommended Posts

This sounds a lot like the discussion on dust collectors in another thread.  If you read the magazine articles, you end up thinking that a bagger is absolutely no good, and the average weekend woodworkers should spend 1500 dollars on a cyclone rather than less than half that on something which, in reality, will do the job for you just as well as shown through practical experience by pros many times over.


If you need a new computer to read emails, use a word processor, and normal everyday usage, and you read a computer magazine, you will think that you need the latest, greatest, fastest, most expensive computer, when in reality a 250 buck laptop would serve you just fine.


Of course there would be something to learn from using an electron microscope examining edges to see which works better.  As for being practical for the average hobbyist, or even pro, woodworker, there are any number of ways to get to a good enough edge to pare endgrain on the knarliest  wood you will work.  Anything other than oilstones are relatively new in woodworking in the Western world.  I didn't know anyone until the 1980s that ever used anything else. The vast majority of woodwork finished in the history of the Western world has been accomplished with edges honed on an oilstone.


I have all the different surfaces to hone a woodworking edge on that there are.  I use different ones depending on the situation.  Any will give you a sharp enough edge to do what you need the cutting edge to do.  Of course, some are faster getting to the sharp edge than others, but all will get you there.  Even with my oilstones, which if you follow the results of the electron microscope, should be no good at all, will get the edge sharp enough to shave with on the Soft stone, then progressively sharper on the Hard stone, and progressively sharper still on the Black Hard stone. 


My first choice to whet in the middle of a job is a waterstone simply because it's so fast.  Any minute differences between the edge finished on the waterstone, as opposed to one finished on an oilstone don't matter when it comes time to cut wood in the shop or jobsite.  Maybe for some industrial usage it matters, but not for us.

Link to post
Share on other sites
...The reason oil produces an inferior edge is because on a microscopic scale, oil keeps both the bits of abrasive and the steel dust in suspension and the effect on the edge is like dragging a plow through dirt. If only one side was abraded the plow would never get dill but because dirt abrades both sides, it is rounded and the longer it is pulled through the dirt the more it is dulled. 


The same happens to the blade on the microscopic level, both sides are abraded so you are fighting this the whole time. 


At one time everyone KNEW the world was flat that didn't mean they were right. There is a better way to sharpen edges. However please continue to do what you know and what works for you. :-) :-) :-) ...


I'd be hesitant to rely on dry honing for the reason you suggest. Dry or wet, the same amount of swarf from abraded steel, fractured abrasive, or scale will be generated. These particles when dry offer more resistance to moving than the same particles suspended in oil. The dry particles would be more prone to abrading the surface not in contact with the stone. Since we're using soil as an example, look at hilly areas like in Southern California. The soil on the hills resist movement and is stable when dry, add liquid through heavy rains and the soil starts moving downhill causing mud slides.


Traditional trade practices evolved over centuries. I have confidence the author of your book is a bright guy but is he smarter than generations of professional woodworkers who developed dependable and repeatable techniques and sequences to accomplish frequently repeated tasks?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anytime something is said that goes against conventional wisdom of traditions, it will generate ... conversation.

He starts out the book saying that there are a lot of wives tales around sharpening, some true others not so much.

PLEASE if you are happy, continue what you are doing, I have no issue with whatever anyone wants to do, please continue!

I have been  following his method for a few decades now and as long as I get the stones out and do the work (it will not happen by its self!) I always have a razor sharp cutting tool. Some more than others due to edge geometry that may be need for a particular job, a razor for shaving your face while wickedly sharp, won't cut wood for long and an auger that goes through ice like a hot knife, will never shave you, it depends on the task at hand.


A stone that has had oil on it will clog if you do not continue to use oil, so to even try to sharpen without oil, you will need to buy new stones.


Woodworking tradition plays no part in his methods, he is a professional edge sharpener, be the item needing to be cut is made of  wood, meat, film (back when film was about the only way to take pictures) or whatever, his business is sharpening.


Give it a try or not, it isn't a thing to me, I am not selling books and I have no interest in him other than I know from personal use, that it works.


I was only trying to put information on the table that was valuable to me. YMMV!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.