tomy josif

beginner sharpening system

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Tomy Welcome!

I currently use Shapton stones and the Lie Nielsen honing guide. Not the cheapest solution but it works well. I would google Paul Sellars and or Rob Cosman on YouTube both have done many videos on the subject. I learned from Rob and pretty much follow his process. Ultimately you need to pick a process and stay with it long enough to get good at it. Having sharp tools is the key!  how you get there or what you use to get there is really secondary.

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There is a bad side to natural or man made stones.  As you sharpen, they wear in places. That means you have to keep a diamond stone or a flattening stone to maintain them.  For a begginer, I'd suggest Diamond stones, the upkeep is much less and they never go out of flat.

Edited by RichardA
For someone just learning. Your stones have to be flat to get a consistant sharp, along the square edge of the blade. Worn stones won't give you that. They'll sharpen in one area more than another.
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Tomy, keep it simple. If I had to buy new I would only buy a soft Arkansas from Dan's Whetstones. An 8 x 2 is perfect for freehand, 8 x 3 if you need to use a honing guide. 

If you need a honing guide go for a cheap side clamping style. They are often called Eclipse style, named after the maker.

Practice with that system, it's more than enough for woodworking.

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I use Norton water stones - 1000, 4000, 8000 grit and a honing guide.  Yes, I had to get a rough diamond stone to flatten the waterstones but I can also use it if I really nick a blade and need to take the nick out.  Keep you water stones flat.

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Sandpaper, fastened to a flat surface like a thick piece of plate glass or a granite tile, will certainly get the job done. Do not be fooled into thinking it is a cheaper way to go, though. In just a handfull of honing sessions, you will spend more on paper than a decent stone.

I have used sandpaper, oil stones, and diamond plates. With the Eclipse-style jig and without. My favorite solution to date is a Sharpal.com (8"x3", item#162, I think) brand, double-sided diamond plate, followed by 'stropping' on a piece of MDF coated with green (aluminum oxide??) abrasive compound from Harbor Freight. This setup provides a small kit that gets and keeps my edges sharp with minimal time and effort. I won't say sharper than some of these other systems, but very sharp, very quick, and relatively low cost. Sharpal is a bit less expensive than Trend Micro or DMT.

Keeping the edge sharp is key. Frequent use of the strop to refresh the edge as you work makes a world of difference.

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I should have warned you @tomy josif, That everyone has their own way to get to the sharpness that they use and need. You'll get a dozen or more ways to sharpen your tools.  What it boils down to, is simple.   Start with one set of stones any brand you want. get a guide and practice, practice and then practice. If after doing all that you're not satisfied, try adding a stone or a different guide.  There is no one way to reach sharp.  There are many.   You can get sharp on a concrete block, but you'll be much older when you get it sharp.  Listen to all the choices posed here then settle on one and work at it.  You'll find what works for you.

And I agree with @wtnhighlander, , a strop is probably the best way once you reach sharp, to add that little touch that takes it over the top., That to takes practice.   Go to Peter Sellers youtube sites and he'll head you in the right direction.  he's a frehander, but you don't have to be, you can use a guide.

Edited by RichardA
Change that Peter to Paul. These biblical folks get me confused.
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I’d suggest  the two sided water stones for someone starting out. A guide is very useful and there are a number of decent options out there. If you get one of the cheap “eclipse” style you might want to search out tips for improving the guide-just some file work. You can flatten your water stones with wet/dry sandpaper on a flat surface 180 or 220 grit is fine.  I did that for years, but I have switched to diamond stones-less mess and I don’t have to flatten.  The advice to pick a system and stay with it for a while is good advice. 

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2 hours ago, RichardA said:

  Go to Peter Sellers youtube sites and he'll head you in the right direction. 

the-pink-blueprint.jpg.ca7605958431ebbbe8a2b54b808bf776.jpg

 I think Rick meant Paul Sellers, not Peter...

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He’ll blame it on spell check but that’s funny! 

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13 hours ago, RichardA said:

You'll get a dozen or more ways to sharpen your tools. 

The only way you'll get a dozen opinions on how to sharpen is if you ask eight woodworkers.

I agree with everyone above.  I'll throw in The Woodwhisperer.  Marc did a video on sharpening with Shapton stones, which is the method I follow.

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King are a good run of the mill brand, not expensive. If you want to do that a 1000/6000 combo stone would work well and cheap. Lot's are listed as knife sharpening stones but as long as they are an 8 x 2 or 8 x 3 (ish) you'll be fine.

 

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Over the years, I have used Arkansas oil stones, King water stones, and diamond plates, high speed grinders, low speed grinders and a Work Sharp 3000, Eclipse jigs, Lee  Valley Veritas jigs, a Stanley jig and the Lie-Nielsen jig. All of them work in some fashion, some better than others. 

Currently, I use DMT DiaSharp diamond plates, a Ohishi 10,000 grit ceramic stone for final polish with the Lie-Nielsen jig. I finish up with a strop for that final edge and for touch-up. A 8" low speed grinder is used to regrind edges when necessary. I used one of the diamond stones to flatten the waterstones and ceramic stone. I have even used the cement curb in front of my house to flatten waterstones. Sometimes I use a buffing wheel for edges that are hard to do a final home on. 

Over the years, I tried all of these, and all worked, but some are faster and easier than others. The trick is to come up with something and stick with it for awhile. I can recommend the diamond plates, but I find that finishing with a waterstone or ceramic stone and a strop give the best edge. I don't do well without a jig, which allows me to sharpen much faster.

The Eclipse jig works pretty well for a first jig. Make sure the one you get has a straight screw shaft and the bearing runs freely. I recommend you modify it as shown in the videos on the Lie-Nielsen website. The Lie-Nielsen jig is a high grade, well machined version of the Eclipse jig. 

Learn about micro bevels, they make sharpening much easier. Above all, don't wait to sharpen. Do it as soon as you feel like your tool isn't working correctly. A quick touch-up will out you back in business without having to rebuild the edge.

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Looks like a good grit for finishing, but you will still need coarser grits for heavy stock removal. I don't know how the Wood River stones hold up, they might wear quickly. At that price, though, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a couple.

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Grab it. $10! The reviews seem decent too. Practice plenty. One reviewer mentioned of a grit range between 3k and 5k. This will be more than adequate.

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Being a new woodworker I've had quite a bit of success with diamond stones like RichardA suggested. Are my chisels as lethally sharp as they could be...absolutely not.  However, my fiance is pretty happy they're not since I may or may not have had to have some stitches in one of my fingers due to a chisel accident :blink:

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