Susan Newton Boyett

Hand Plane micro bevel???

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I do Robs micro bevel with the 1000 grit diamond stone, then add the additional tertiary bevel on top of that with my 12000 grit shapton. Works well for me, my irons and chisels are way sharper than I ever got them with my previous sharpening systems. 

What are you using for stones? Are they good and flat? How much of Robs system are you using when you sharpen?

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I use a micro bevel on the bevel side of the iron. I much prefer a micro bevel on the bevel side to the ruler trick as it allows me to remove that micro bevel should I choose.

Sharpening is something that takes some practice to become good at. Once you figure it out it gets easier and your results get much better. Something that goes a long way in helping go over that last edge is stropping. I know this is as highly debated as is the ruler trick but plain and simple i get great results from it. A leather strop and some compound will take a sharp blade and make it razor sharp.

Following someone's method is a good start but don't be afraid to find your own method that works for you after all everyone is different and what works for you may not work for me.

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8 minutes ago, woodbutcher said:

I do Robs micro bevel with the 1000 grit diamond stone, then add the additional tertiary bevel on top of that with my 12000 grit shapton. Works well for me, my irons and chisels are way sharper than I ever got them with my previous sharpening systems. 

What are you using for stones? Are they good and flat? How much of Robs system are you using when you sharpen?

Currently I use water stones (200, 1000, 4000, 8000) (veritas guide) and then strop.  My chiesels (using this method seem really sharp and I feel like it is because I micro beveled the blade.  I just wasn't sure if I should do this with plane blades. I guess the micro bevel is OK on planes?

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The ruler trick works fine, but I stopped using it when I started sharpening free hand. I do put a secondary bevel on the bevel side, like Nut said, and works fine too. Only a few passes on my finest stone though (about 8000 grit).

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I only use micro-bevels if sharpening with oil stones, simply because they cut so slowly.  I only use the oilstones if we are somewhere without water.  The vast majority of the time, I use waterstones.  I don't use micro-bevels with waterstones, and never use the "ruler trick" on anything.  My edges are probably as sharp as possible.

There is nothing wrong with using micro-bevels.  I just don't like to grind any more than I have to, and by not changing the bevel angle, no edge visits a grinder unless it's damaged.

I think it was actually David Charlesworth that invented the ruler trick.  

1st picture is an old Marples chisel rolling up shavings on a Heart Pine tenon offcut.  2nd picture is of the micrometer on the larger shaving in the first picture.

3rd Picture was already stored here, and is of a shaving taken by an A2 iron that a member here was having trouble sharpening.  We didn't know what type of steel it was to start with.  It was sharpened quickly with no micro-bevel. The shaving was taken by putting that iron in one of my old Stanley no.4's, and was too thin, and fragile to measure with a micrometer.  No micro-bevels, or ruler tricked edges, and all sharpened very quickly, but I do have a dedicated sink for sharpening when I use water stones.

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3 hours ago, Tom King said:

I think it was actually David Charlesworth that invented the ruler trick.  

Agreed.

4 hours ago, Susan Newton Boyett said:

Should you still put a micro bevel on the bevel side?

Yes, the reason being is you can sharpen faster with one than without one because you are sharpening less of the blade.

David Charlesworth goes into great detail in his DVD on sharpening. VERY dry content, so brew some coffee... But you only need to watch it once to get it. :) 

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10 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Don't let the edge dull so much that coarse grinding is necessary

+1  This is a very very important thing!

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My best advice is to pick a process and stick with it. A close second is what @wtnhighlander posted don't let the edge get to dull before you re hone or sharpen

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To explain my method a little more, I don't care if the whole bevel is honed, or not.  As an example, if I want a 25 degree edge, the iron, or chisel is ground a degree, or two sharper to start with, but only visits the grinder if the edge gets damaged.  That way, the honing only is done on the cutting edge.  It gradually might take over the whole bevel with each sharpening.  It doesn't seem to take any more time regardless of how much of the bevel it takes over.  With a progression of waterstones, it still only takes 5 or 6 strokes per stone.

If I'm in the middle of a planing session, typically the starting stone is the 6k.

I might hand plane all the siding on a house, and typically any exposed surface in the old houses I work on.  We also use Really sharp chisels for a lot of things other than regular woodworking-anything from trimming caulking, to reshaping a molding plane profile.

I came up with this system because my helpers (at the time I had two, now down to one) were hopeless at sharpening anything by hand.  These allow any jig to exactly repeat a given edge angle.   Anyone can get a sharp edge with my method.  It turned out so well, that it's rare I use any other method, unless I'm out of the shop.

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My sharpening took a giant leap forward when I realized that, at each stone in you sequence up to about 4000,  should create a very slight burr on the back side of the plane iron or chisel.  That how you know that you the top and back sides are meeting at a sharp edge.  Then remove the burr from the back side and hone with you 8000 or higher and then strop. 

On 10/21/2019 at 6:20 PM, Llama said:

Yes, the reason being is you can sharpen faster with one than without one because you are sharpening less of the blade.

+1 and hone (strop) often.  don't let it get dull.

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Who is Rob C? Does he claim to have invented the Ruler Trick? :)

Tom,  I hate to say this, but your honing set up is a repeat of the one Veritas came up with many years ago ..

05M0210-veritas-sharpening-system-f-10.j

Your adaptation is a good idea as it is pretty universal for different guides.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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My setting jigs don't require changing anything, and I didn't have to wait to get anything delivered the morning I decided to make them.  I built them that morning, thinking that if they worked okay, I'd build a permanent set out of Corian.  That was maybe seven years ago, and we're still using the trial set.

Plus, mine cost nothing more than 10 minutes of time.

SInce burrs came up, I never bother to either feel for one, or make sure there is one.  Feel on the stone tells me when that stone has done what it can do.  That's why I don't like diamond stones-no feel.  This is with 45 years of experience though.

The backs don't get hit on anything coarser than the 10,000 stone, after the initial preparation stage (which should never need to be redone after that).

The reason I prefer not to use micro-bevels is- what do you do the 3rd or 12th time you need to sharpen?  My cutting edges can be sharpened an unlimited number of times, directly to the stones, unless an edge gets damaged.  I prefer not to include a grinder in the process unless it's really needed.

As long as you can have a sharp edge to work with, any method will be fine. There is no one "right" method.  My method has evolved over a long time, and it couldn't work better for me, and my helpers.

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I've never understood the net benefit of doing the ruler trick. Get a new plane iron, flatten & polish it, and your done with the back for the life of the iron. The most time I've spent flattening the back was with a ultra cheap Record block plane iron, and that probably was no more than 30 minutes.

Like @Tom King , I never use anything coarser than my finest Sigma stone on the back, and that's just a couple of strokes each time I sharpen.

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I draw a distinction between a micro bevel, which is a small bevel, and a secondary bevel, which is a bevel at a higher angle to the primary bevel. A honing guide will create a secondary bevel, while honing directly on a hollow grind will create a micro bevel. What some do, when freehand sharpening is to lift the blade and create a micro secondary bevel.

I am not a fan of secondar bevel, with the exception of BU planes, where they are a necessity to create a high cutting angle. Otherwise, a micro bevel on a hollow grind is what I use for all BD plane blades and chisels. The hollow grind is needed as the steel used is typically PM-V11, or something similarly abrasion-resistant. Attempting to hone full faces on these steels makes for a great deal of unnecessary extra work.

The other issue I have with a secondary micro bevel, such as with a plane blade, is that it is difficult to do a quick strop to refresh the edge when working. It may be useful for a one off, but not for ongoing usage.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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It doesn't make any difference in speed, regardless of how much of the bevel you're honing.  You just have to increase pressure, but still can require the same number of strokes.  It can still take the same few strokes.  That's much like the difference of sharpening a 2-1/2" timber framing chisel, relative to a 1/2" bench chisel.  You just vary the pressure.  That feel thing again.

You might think that more pressure will increase the danger of digging into the soft waterstones, but it really doesn't.  It does rely on feeling the stone working though, and requires a pretty good amount of pressure for a larger surface.

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16 hours ago, drzaius said:

I've never understood the net benefit of doing the ruler trick.

This is just what i remember from stumbling across the ruler trick from time to time. It's used to create a clean cutting edge in the event that the back of the plane or chisel is damaged and you have nicks or scratches on the back of the iron. The other application is in the event that the back of the iron isn't flat and the cutting edge is curved slightly down or up depending on your point of view. The ruler trick helps overcome these issues without having to buy a new iron.

My opinion is that plane irons are cheap and go buy a new better one.

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I use the ruler trick, and find it to be a huge time saver. I have a few older planes with thin blades. They arent very flat and before I started using the ruler trick, I spent what seemed like forever flattening them. I got to a point where i said screw it, close enough. Now that Ive started the ruler trick, I was able to have the cutting edge flat within a few minutes of work.

I recently bought a couple new handplanes, a 4 1/2 WoodRiver, and a Veritas spokeshave. I had the backs flattened and polished in less than 5 minutes per blade using the ruler trick. 

I certainly understand peoples hesitation towards the ruler trick, I was pretty hesitant too. But now that I have used it for a while, Ill never go back.

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Oh, I've tried the ruler trick, and in the long run didn't save any time at all. Quite the opposite. Once the back of the iron is flat you don't have to be bothered with getting the ruler & putting it on the stone, hoping it stays in place & doesn't slip, every time the iron is sharpened.

If an iron is so out of flat that it takes forever to sharpen, then it should be returned to the seller for one that isn't defective. Or just buy a decent iron.

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A new iron should always be flat. If it's not flat it should go back.

The big trouble with the ruler trick is removing the bur. With a flat back i flip the iron over and 1 swipe takes care of it.  Also i use a strop so the ruler trick would make stropping a pain.

That said I'm fully in support of people using the method that works. If the ruler trick works for you and you are getting results in a fast enough manner than go to town. I just advise against it because it removes the benefits of having a flat back on a chisel and hand plane iron.

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On 10/23/2019 at 10:35 AM, derekcohen said:

Who is Rob C? Does he claim to have invented the Ruler Trick? :)

Rob Cosman. And he gives Charlesworth full credit for it almost every time he mentions it.

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Thanks for the clarification. Rob always gives credit to David Charlesworth. The original message made it sound like there was a new player in this game.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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