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Metod's picture

Rounded bevels (post #151311)

Check this ode

http://www.owdman.co.uk/howto/howto.htm

to free-hand sharpening.

Metod

derekcohen's picture

I've discussed this with (post #151311, reply #1 of 36)

I've discussed this with Jacob for what seems years. He is doing what I believe was a dominant sharpening method in the 18th C. However please do not encourage him to discuss it as he gets a little excited about this topic! :)

Essentially what you have is something akin to a series of micro bevels. As long as you keep within an angle range, then all is fine ... and I do think that this is an easy method of sharpening. However, like everything sharpening, there are compromises.

This method would be suitable for bevel down planes, where the bevel angle is not critical, and mortice chisels, which I suspect were all honed this way when you consider the rounded backs of vintage OBMC. I would not consider it for bevel up planes, where you want a specific angle, and I would not sharpen my bench chisels like this as I could not ride the bevel if I needed to pare bevel down.

There is a discussion here on the UK forum: http://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/experimenting-with-the-grimsdale-method-t41258.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

lwilliams's picture

"...He is doing what I (post #151311, reply #3 of 36)

"...He is doing what I believe was a dominant sharpening method in the 18th C...."

What would make you think that? I don't know of a single old source that suggests this.

derekcohen's picture

"...He is doing what I (post #151311, reply #4 of 36)

"...He is doing what I believe was a dominant sharpening method in the 18th C...."

What would make you think that? I don't know of a single old source that suggests this.

Larry, this is not exactly a new topic. I do not have historical evidence since I never searched it out. However there are others who have and whose opinion I value.  In fact there is an ongoing discussion on WN about secondary bevel on mortice chisels. This has reached the point where discussion has turned to the shape of a bevel. The most recent participants are Adam Cherubini, who has this to say ..

http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=4858575&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&vc=1

... and Warren Mickley, who notes ...

http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=4858819&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&vc=1

What can you contribute to this discussion?

Regards from Perth

Derek

lwilliams's picture

Did you read Warren Mickley's (post #151311, reply #5 of 36)

Did you read Warren Mickley's post? While many contemporary or relatively recent writers suggest abnormal sharpening for mortise chisels, which is what that thread is about, I don't know of any that suggest a rounded bevel. I don't know of any period texts that would lead one to the conclusion that a rounded bevel was "a dominant sharpening method in the 18th C."

derekcohen's picture

So tell us more - what are (post #151311, reply #6 of 36)

Larry,

Warren reported his observations about mortising chisels, and notes that 18C chisels, in his experience, were not sharpened with multiple bevels (i.e. a secondary bevel). He went on to acknowledge that a rounded bevel (and rounded heel) were possible methods of sharpening at that time. He does believe that their mortiicing chisel and plane blades were sharpened differently.

Adam believed that the woodworkers of the 18C went further than this: "I've never seen an old mortise chisel that didn't have a rounded bevel. Often the heel is rounded as well to make one smoothly curved bevel.

I think the reason guys did this is that they didn't have good coarse abrasives. So they ground low and honed high so that touchups only had to deal with the short secondary bevel. The secondary bevels aren't apparent on old chisels because they rounded the bevel as I said.

I think Bob's right that they did this with plane irons too."

Let me add another possible piece of the puzzle. Stephen Shepherd reports on Moxon that joiners would not permit their workers to (hollow) grind their blades. http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/?p=998  So then how did they sharpen - honing a full bevel is ineffecient. So either their used microbevels or a continous rounded bevel. Is this a reasonable extrapolation of mine?

But tell us more Larry - what are your opinions about rounded bevels, what do you consider to be the dominant sharpening method(s) for chisels and plane blades in the 18C ... ? What can you add that is helpful to this thread?

Regards from Perth

Derek

lwilliams's picture

Let me get this straight (post #151311, reply #8 of 36)

Let me get this straight Derek. You want me to wade in with an opinion on something that's already muddled to obscurity by the fantasy land crowd? I'm not too impressed with your sources.

Okay, let's start with Shepherd's blog on this. First, he wasn't talking about Moxon. The book he's talking about is The Joiner and Cabinetmaker and we don't know who the author is but it was published in 1839. Moxon's Mechanick Exercises or the Doctine of Handy-works was published in serial beginning in 1678. What I have in front of me is from Moxon's 1703 edition and is The Art of Joinery. Moxon does indeed discuss grinding but on the large sand stone grinding wheel commonly used at the time. Rather than quote the whole section I'll just do this small part, "...But if it be true set on the stone and steadily kept to that position, your bevel will be hollow: the smaller your grindstone is the hollower it will be. You may know when it is well ground by the evenness and entireness of the edge all the way...." In other words, no rounded bevel or even facits. Moxon also describes the "flat grind stone" which is likely of the same sand stone but doesn't turn. That's what was described as in use in The Joiner and Cabinetmaker.

One has to be careful Derek, and try to understand the authors and context of sources. Moxon wasn't a joiner, he was a printer and it's only a matter of speculation as to why he used images of French tools to illustrate his stuff on joinery. Or one has to understand that many today are more into the romance of period stuff than into actual historical facts. Shepherd may rail about grinding away tools with modern grinders but I can only hope you have gained enough experience grinding to know one doesn't grind all the way to the edge when grinding. If you're "grinding away" your tools it's because you don't know what you're doing.
All I can take from Shepherd's blog is that he never learned to grind. I can understand that because there's been a steady perpetuation of the fear of grinding based mostly on lack of basic ginding knowledge.

When I see you misinterpret questionable sources and not even get that information right or understand the sources they're using then come up with a statement like, "...He is doing what I believe was a dominant sharpening method in the 18th C...."
 it makes me wonder about the value of a PhD today.

derekcohen's picture

That's not an attempt (post #151311, reply #9 of 36)

That's not an attempt at discussion Larry - that's just your usual diatribe. So far you have managed to insult five people.

How about just offering up some information about sharpening in the 18C?  This is a forum dedicated to sharing information and opinions, it is not a court of law. Actually, it would be good hearing from the OP and others as well.

Regards from Perth

Derek

lwilliams's picture

Derek, I pointed out a (post #151311, reply #10 of 36)

Derek,

I pointed out a misinformed statement you made that runs counter to all the period sources. Your responses make it clear you don't have any of these sources yourself and don't even know the differences between them. In short your research is worse than just sloppy.

Why don't we turn the table a little. What have you contributed to this thread? Is there anything other than misinformation and personal attacks you have to offer?

derekcohen's picture

Larry I am about to put you (post #151311, reply #13 of 36)

Larry

I am about to put you on ignore. It appears impossible to hold a discussion with you as you go for the person rather than just say, "I disagree. This is how I see it ...", and then offer either information or a logical argument to back up your statements.

If I am incorrect in either my understanding of a historical event(s) or in the practical application of woodworking, then I am really quite happy to accept this, since it affords an opportunity to learn something new. I cannot say that I have learned here what actually is, only what is not.

Regards from Perth

Derek

lwilliams's picture

Why does it all have to be (post #151311, reply #16 of 36)

Why does it all have to be some big mystery, Derek? When I read any of the old sources from Moxon to the Audels books of the 1950's it's all amazingly familiar. It's all the same steps. Sharpening is always simple and straight-forward until all the gimmicks were added. I'm sorry but honing guides, ruler tricks, magic metals and all the other nonsense only make sharpening an exercise in failure.

I don't really care how Jacob, Metod or anyone else sharpens. If Jacob wants to lose control of his bevel geometry through some sweeping motion, I don't care. If Metod's first experience with a cutting edge that's actually been honed on both faces comes from trying something radical that gets rid of the mess left by the ruler trick or Brent Beach's nonsense, I may be amused but I don't really care. 

I do care about traditional trade practices, a series of steps and techniques that evolved so that the average person can make incredible things with the careful and deliberate application of their tools. Good sharpening is at the very core of traditional trade practice. I like to see people experience success with their woodworking rather than failure. That's why misstatements like the one you made in your first post irritate me.

When someone sets themselves up as some kind of expert, I think they have some obligation to make some effort to get things right. Your pal Cherubini is a good example here. If one listens to him they'll believe earlier woodworkers didn't worry about flat stones, flat backs and proper sharpening. Why? Well, because he says so--there's never any attribution to any period source. That's why it's a good idea to actually know what's in the period sources. While the different sources may cover a lot of the same material they often give small glimpses into actual practice. For instance, reading The Joiner and Cabinetmaker one will learn that an employee in a shop was subject to a fine if they left the stones out of flat. I've never had an employer threaten to dock my pay for something no one cared about.

 

jacob1066's picture

Sharpening is always simple (post #151311, reply #23 of 36)

Sharpening is always simple and straight-forward until all the gimmicks were added. I'm sorry but honing guides, ruler tricks, magic metals and all the other nonsense only make sharpening an exercise in failure.

That's what I'm saying more or less

I don't really care how Jacob, Metod or anyone else sharpens. If Jacob wants to lose control of his bevel geometry through some sweeping motion, I don't care.

I'm glad you don't care! I don't lose control of my bevel geometry though - the edges stay at 30º or near enough, and that's all that counts.

My reason for believing that this is how they did it (before crazy sharpening kicked in) is that it is fast, easy, effective and requires least kit; priorities of craftsmen through the ages!

DavidWeaver's picture

The only thing that I've seen (post #151311, reply #24 of 36)

The only thing that I've seen in reference to sharpening was that it was done by apprentices and could take 20 minutes per iron.

Am I missing something?

The amount of time that it takes to use a hollow grind or a jig (presuming one isn't farting around with a ruler trying to measure projection, and has made a device to fit the iron to the jig in one push) is minimal, and the fact that you get exact results every time makes it more than worthwhile for chisels and smoothers.

Is there any written literature to suggest how much faster sharpening was, say 200 years ago, for a smoother? I think it probably takes me 3 minutes to use a jig to resharpen a double-iron smoother, probably about the same for the planes that have hollow ground irons, and a lot of that time is in taking the plane apart. Being able to relieve the corners exactingly in either case makes it worth the trouble.  Only planes with more camber have a sort of disregard for the bevel.

lwilliams's picture

"...My reason for believing (post #151311, reply #25 of 36)

"...My reason for believing that this is how they did it (before crazy sharpening kicked in) is that it is fast, easy, effective and requires least kit; priorities of craftsmen through the ages!"

Jacob,

Your unique insight may be of some value but I'd like to see some evidence. All the period sources I know of indicate grinding, flat stones, uniform bevels and such were part of the sharpening technique. One of the best descriptions was in Peter Nicholson's 1845 Mechanic's Companion but the information from Moxon and The Joiner and Cabinet Maker are similar and consistent. You can read Nicholson's book on line at http://tinyurl.com/39fbpnq and the description of sharpening is on page 93.

I spent a little time reading you stuff on "sharpening." I couldn't get past your note on flat stones. Just as every story has two sides, so does every sharp cutting edge. Your methods focus completely on the bevel and ignore the flat face. In that regard you might as well be using a honing guide because they also get people to focus only on the bevel.

My experience is that almost all sharpening problems people have involve the flat face of the tool, not the bevel. Most of those come from inconsistent honing right at the edge. Plane irons are especially prone to wear on the flat face. This flat face wear has to be addressed each time you sharpen. It has to be removed. While that wear is slight, it grows to be a big problem when not addressed every time you sharpen. If you intend to remove it by working only on the bevel, you'll have to hone away a lot of steel every time you sharpen. I agree that it probably wouldn't matter much if one's stones weren't flat as long as they all had exactly the same uniform curve. If they don't have the exact same curve, you'll spend most of your honing time making the whole flat face of the tool conform to stones with different faces. I don't know a way to keep uniform and identical curves on stones but it's pretty easy to keep them uniformly flat. That's why one wants flat--it's easy and repeatable.

The difficult part of sharpening is keeping your stones and flat faces uniformly flat. It's pretty easy to do and if you make the effort you'll soon realize that each time you sharpen you are also doing all the prep work for your next sharpening. I find a lot of value in the old techniques and I think you've missed most of it.

jacob1066's picture

"...My reason for believing (post #151311, reply #28 of 36)

"...My reason for believing that this is how they did it (before crazy sharpening kicked in) is that it is fast, easy, effective and requires least kit; priorities of craftsmen through the ages!"

Your unique insight may be of some value but I'd like to see some evidence. All the period sources I know of indicate grinding, flat stones, uniform bevels and such were part of the sharpening technique. One of the best descriptions was in Peter Nicholson's 1845 Mechanic's Companion but the information from Moxon and The Joiner and Cabinet Maker are similar and consistent. You can read Nicholson's book on line at http://tinyurl.com/39fbpnq and the description of sharpening is on page 93.

Certainly not unique and I'm not particularly claiming any historical accuracy. But if it works and is easy then others would have found it so and followed the same reasoning. There must have been many sharpening scenarios without access to grindwheels, after all it has been going on since the stone age, before the wheel was invented!

I do sometimes doubt written records - if a craftsman is asked to describe a 'correct' technique he may well feel obliged to pass on some ideal notion which he doesn't necessarily practice himself. Telling apprentices to flatten stones does not mean you  do it yourself.

My experience is that almost all sharpening problems people have involve the flat face of the tool, not the bevel. Most of those come from inconsistent honing right at the edge. Plane irons are especially prone to wear on the flat face. This flat face wear has to be addressed each time you sharpen. It has to be removed. While that wear is slight, it grows to be a big problem when not addressed every time you sharpen. If you intend to remove it by working only on the bevel, you'll have to hone away a lot of steel every time you sharpen.

Another function of the wonderful cap iron is to protect the face and confine wear to close the bevel. Plane irons aren't like knives with 2 bevels. They could be with a bit of clever re-design, and I suppose a bevel down without a cap iron has to be treated as such. But capped, or bevel up, then just the one bevel counts, with a bit more attention to remove the burr and keep the face flat.

As for flat stones - I keep them flattish by spreading the burden, but they all seem to end up dished end to end and sometimes slightly convex across the width. Either way it doesn't matter - you keep an eye on the progress of the bevel you are forming on the steel and ignore the stone completely.

roc's picture

? Alllllll right (?) (post #151311, reply #29 of 36)

 >Another function of the wonderful cap iron is to protect the face and confine wear to close the bevel  < 

Ha, ha, ha, aaahhhh, Ha, ha, ha, ha

Nah dude, nah

The only function of the cap iron is to get a hold of the blade so the mechanism can advance and retract it and it does that poorly.  Mostly the bloody thing  is just in the way and slows down getting the blade in and out to sharpen it. " Wonderful" is a term I could not possibly imagine applying to the cap iron.

 

   

roc

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

Lataxe's picture

Roc, Sharpening ideology (post #151311, reply #31 of 36)

Roc,

Sharpening ideology wars and the hysterical-historical disputes of the Woodworking Schoolmen and Pedants!  Wunnerful entertainment but imagine how one new to sharpening must feel about the above wedge of woffle weighing on one's conceptualiser organ.  I prefer your cut through their dark stuff.

Sharpening:

Obtain or grind a suitable bevel and a flat back at the edge-end (quality blades always come with both, these days).  If making one's own bevel, grinders, belt sanders, waterwheels or even kerbstones can all be used.  Take yer choice.

Use the Brent Beach guide, or Charlesworth ruler-trick, if the back of the blade is too lumpy/wonky to make flat all over in less than a few minutes.  Or put the time in for more bladeback flat.  (Best to buy a modern blade with the back already flat).

Use a modern jig to put on a suitable microbevel and a camber if wanted, using any of the available sharpening materials via a succesion of medium, fine, superfine grits (diamond, waterstones, ceramic, microgrit paper even oilstones - they all work).

Keep the edge sharp via hand honing on a bit of rouge/oil-impregnated leather until the inevitable dubbing requires a remaking of the microbevel. Modern blade steels keep their edges a long time so honing takes a few minutes per hours of planing or chiselling; remaking bevels then takes even less time per cutting hours.

Carvers need a couple of additional procedures/skills as well as the associated shaped stones (diamond, ceramic, waterstones and Arkansas all work) to achieve edges on their various shapes.

All the rest is just angels dancing on that pin. 

No one needs to know what auld fellahs did 150 years ago, even if it might be interesting historically.  And there's the rub.  History is often ideology dressed up in selected and interpreted bits of "fact".  Sharpening wars seem to use history akin to that of Large Religious Institutions or the Official Version propagated by The Party.  In other words, not-history.

Lataxe, probably too modern and also bound for woodworkers hell.

DavidWeaver's picture

I would echo this exactly.. (post #151311, reply #32 of 36)

There is no reason for the average person to freehand a blade (other than maybe scrubs and jacks where it's the easiest thing to do), ex hollow ground, when there are better methods now. The only exception to that being japanese irons, and even then I can't argue that there isn't a case for speeding things up by using microbevels (one who has properly sharpened a kanna on natural stones won't argue that it can take quite a while if the iron is to go back to a medium stone because of significant wear - in theory it is fast to fix freehand, but in practice, it takes longer than using a honing guide).

This post and larry are dead on. Success the first time is the key to sharpening an iron or chisel, and quality and uniformity of the job is important.

Sharpening tools is not a chase for history, it is to have a consistent properly sharp tool when you're done without unneeded hassle, and without the need to check or to redo the job because you've stuck a freshly sharpened smoother to a piece of wood and noticed that you are not getting a uniformly shiny surface.

If it takes someone that much effort to flatten their stones, or that much effort to use a honing guide or hollow grind, somewhere they missed the boat or maybe they're seriously lacking somewhere. I've flattened mine at least once every session i'm in the shop since I've taken up this hobby. With a diamond hone, it takes about 30 seconds.

The average beginner would be very poorly served by trying to put a freehand bevel on a dulled final smoother or paring chisel, and it's likely that most users would be, too. it isn't the 1800s, and there's no reason to pretend it is.

roc's picture

Japanese blades are a different world (post #151311, reply #36 of 36)

David I am not arguing with you I am agreeing but the Japanese blades are great to hone free hand because the bevels are so large and the softer steel (iron) that makes up most of the blade has a significant "drag" and so it is easy to tell when one is up on the cutting edge part of the blade which feels hard and slick ( much less drag) .

 

I am writing this not so much to you or for you but to the beginners reading this so they know how cool the Japanese blades are and why they may just catch me sharpening them free hand after all my table pounding about how a jig is the best way to go ( for Western style blades that are not bimetal blades.

I would sharpen or at least hone free hand more if the majority of my blades where laminated bimetal blades because then I could go by feel.

Nothing is black and white across the board.

98% of the time I am a jig man though.  No argument there.

roc

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

roc's picture

no reason to type it all out (post #151311, reply #35 of 36)

Thanks Lataxe  I was beginin' to wonder if I was talking to my self.  In that case there is no reason to type it all out.  I can just babble away on the couch to all my imaginary friends.

:   )

None of them are woodworkers though.  They kind of just give me the confused dog look when I start arguing sharpening techniques with them.

roc

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

DavidWeaver's picture

>>All I can take from (post #151311, reply #20 of 36)

>>All I can take from Shepherd's blog is that he never learned to grind. I can understand that because there's been a steady perpetuation of the fear of grinding based mostly on lack of basic ginding knowledge<<

Larry, not getting into the back and forth at all about what's right, aside from to see this comment regarding that blog post (which I didn't see until today) - glad to see it.

I would like to see someone wear a chisel down to nothing honing a dry hollow grind with medium and fine stones - it'll never happen, and if someone managed to ever do it from actual use and honing dull edges, good for them for actually doing that much work - most chisels, antique or not, will never be in danger of that much use.

I don't know who (and excluding carpenters who might be dry grinding dime store rc52 hardness chisels) other than turners really wastes away a measurable part of a tool when they grind or hone any hand tool edge. Their tools are all new.

That blog post made no sense to me. I have over 100 "edges" (chisels, planes, gouges) that I bought used, and never have I once seen any evidence of someone grinding away tools (at least not something that looks to have been done in the hobbyist woodworer era - maybe by a carpenter on a 175 year-old fore plane, but you can hardly hold that against the people who are using a hollow grind now). I never ground to the edge with a dry grinder unless I blunted an edge on an old chisel to remove nicks, nor have I seen a used tool that was ground to the edge on a dry grinder. I have countless tools that were several years old when I got them, that had been sharpened several times, but still had their original factory grind on them, and countless more where *not enough* sharpening was done to keep an edge in decent shape.

The idea of possibly holding off on honing, or skimping on it, to be really cheap with the material in a tool makes no sense at all. It's like only heating coffee to lukewarm for the fear that you'll wear out fire.

I would like someone to show me all of the modern tools that have been honed away given that there seems to be more talk of sharpening online than there is sharpening occurring in workshops. No clue why there seemed to be a whole long string of "hooray..great post" after it, either. Is there really that much fear that all of the antique edge tools are going to disappear in a pile of dust at the hands of a hobbyist woodworker? 

joinerswork's picture

David, I used to be one of (post #151311, reply #21 of 36)

David,

I used to be one of those profligate grinders, grinding right up to the edge every time a hollow grind needed to be renewed.  Being a product of the modern (nonexistant) guild apprentice system, which is to say I learnt the trade on the job, in three different shops, the advantages of the holow grind were impressed upon me, but alas, the advantages of moderation in grinding were not.  I had to learn that on my own--and I'm a slow learner.

Nevertheless, over the past 30-some-odd years of grinding, I have worn out a few blades.  And Charles Hummel in the book Hammer in Hand, quotes a mid 19th century apprentice "have finished my fore-plane iron and flung it aside, and Lyons is to get me a new one."

If you use the things, and keep them sharp, eventually, they are used up.  Most tools are not used daily, and fewer are kept sharp.  Demonstrating at a craft fair years ago, a spectator watching me work.  He says to me, "Two things I thought I'd never see, and I just saw one of them."  "What's that?"  I asked.  "A full roll of electical tape, and a sharp wood chisel."

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DavidWeaver's picture

I wonder how many of the (post #151311, reply #22 of 36)

I wonder how many of the older tools are in a shop that is as prolific as yours in terms of output.

You're definitely the exception to the rule, actually using your tools a lot and keeping them sharp (as you note, few used daily and fewer actually kept sharp).

The only planes I have that have really had worn irons are 1 #7 ohio, and a couple of wood planes that have been cast off once their irons were fully done. The way the iron was sharpened on both suggests they haven't been used in a very long time.

I hope that in 30 years, I have some worn out tools to show, but what I'll probably have is a lot of tools with some wear and a lot of life left.

I hope I am not the only person who isn't really worried about whether or not my tools wear out, regardless of the sharpening or use method. I don't see a lot of virtue in using a chipped iron or notched chisel solely to avoid "wearing it out" on a grinder.

JeffHeath's picture

Nothing's changed (post #151311, reply #11 of 36)

So, I've been absent for 4 months, and the first thread I read is another Williams vs. Derek  Battle Royale.

Truly, nothing ever changes.

Regards from Crystal lake,

 

Jeff

A distinguished graduate of the School of Hard Knocks
derekcohen's picture

Hi Jeff Yes, I agree. I (post #151311, reply #14 of 36)

Hi Jeff

Yes, I agree.

I visit daily but there is not a lot of posting and even less discussion. The new format is rather cold I feel. Plus, the inability to inbed pictures means that it is not possible to post articles here, or at the least, post pictorial examples in replies (I have mentioned this to Gina). I'd love to see the spirited discussions of before, even with all the piss and vinegar. It's still my job to keep an eye on the Hand Tools forum, making sure that everyone gets a reply, but it is getting increasingly difficult to find something to reply to.

Regards from Perth

Derek

jacob1066's picture

I see 'rounded bevels' as not (post #151311, reply #7 of 36)

I see 'rounded bevels' as not so much a method, more the absence of one. If you are honing in a hurry with as much energy as you can muster, you will probably end up with a rounded bevel. But this is perfectly OK as long as it is rounded under and the edge angle isn't compromised.

So you might as well adopt it as a method because it is effective, quick and easy.

As for sources - there is absolutely no mention of primary and secondary bevels (and all the modern sharpening obsessions) in any older books that I have seen. I think sharpening was taken for granted and has only recently gone crazy.

RalphBarker's picture

reflecting on bevels (post #151311, reply #2 of 36)

I don't care for rounded or convex bevels. The reflection makes me look too fat.  ;-)


The concept may stem from the idea that if one micro-bevel is good, the infinite number of micro-bevels composing the curve must be even better. Or, it might come from sloppy sharpening. I'm not sure.  ;-)

Metod's picture

Ralph, Slight correction (post #151311, reply #12 of 36)

Ralph,

Slight correction <g>:

Concave (reflective) surfaces, bevels included, will make you look fatter. However, if you have some extra (unwanted?) weight to throw around, 'convex' is the way to go. If you are spindly, then 'concave' will give you preview of how you might look after 22 (as in Catch-22) years of body building.

Take care,

Metod

RalphBarker's picture

more reflections (post #151311, reply #15 of 36)

Metod, after reflecting on this, methinks you've been vexed by your cave, so to speak. ;-)

roc's picture

Feel for when the edge begins to grab stone ? Push forward? (post #151311, reply #17 of 36)

re: the Ode

I must say sitting through all that text was some thing I had to really force myself to do.  Feeling that I have already explored those forests and not found my pray.  And yet I keep searching because so many highly experienced masters can't be wrong.  So I keep "listening" but each time it gets more tedious.  Mostly all the "this is this type of stone and this is this type of stone"  I skipped a bit here and there.  So I may have missed the bit I am asking about there.  The number one reason I think I CONTINUE TO struggle through these hand sharpening descriptions is Frank Klausz in his old tools video sharpens by hand and really goes to town.  A marvel to watch as is most of his on cameral work.

But

I kept expecting to run across a bit that said that when using the fine stone to move against the edge as if shaving off some then as soon as that is felt then back off the edge a bit and take off some of the rounded bevel.  I didn't find it.

Isn't that the important bit here ?

I couldn't help agree with him when he said it is difficult to get the edge oriented exactly right when using a jig and that is why it is faster to sharpen by hand.

But

I think he is talking the older jigs.  If he were using the modern Veritas with the domed roller, optional, and the setting bar then it is quite easy to set up for the perfect orientation of the edge to the stone.

All the comments about not being able to get enough downward pressure on the bevel because of the jig's wheel taking some of the load and "needing lots of downward pressure this and lots of downward pressure that"  is completely untrue and unnecessary when using water stones.

I want everyone to realize here that my training in woodworking is limited.

But

Rather than make lots of pieces with questionable tools and techniques I began with what I call playing scales and reading notes.  This means I took a necessary skill , sharpening for instance, and worked at it for days, weeks, hours and hours a day until I got stellar results.  I can sharpen by hand.  I can sharpen badly dulled twist drill bits by hand with nothing more than a diamond hone.

But

God it is so much easier with the proper jigs especially when tired and faced with a pile of tools to sharpen.

All this holding just so with my finger pressing here, holding there, guessing about the rest tends to make my finger joints lock up from over use just thinking about it.  Remembering  back to when I ACTUALLY WAS exerting all that downward pressure and hold and guessing and my finger joints did lock up .

I still sharpen my pocket knives and kitchen knives as he seems to described but you know what ?  It would be soooo much easier with a nice honing jig.

My test of a pocket knife is will it cut through a medium size plastic wire tie without much effort ? And afterward when held at a pealing like angle to the surface and drawn back a bit sink into the skin surface of a tomato or bell pepper with only the weight of the knife?

Neither one of these tests is going to go well with much of a convex bevel  I know this for a fact.

Thanks for letting me get all that out.

SO is he saying to move the edge against the stone until one feels it grabbing, to determine when right down on the very wire edge, and then work the convex bevel to cut it back from the edge or else how do we determine we are right on the edge and not just missing honing it and working only on the convex.  I got the bit about the oil pressing out but that happens to some degree before right down on the edge and is tedious to look for when flailing away like Frank Klausz goes at it.

Serious question.

Still exploring this hand held technique.

roc

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

WillGeorge's picture

roc.. Good ideas in your (post #151311, reply #18 of 36)

roc.. Good ideas in your post....

I know nothing about what 18th century folks did at work so I cannot comment. I did have a thought about how their tools were sharpened. I looked around the net but did not find anything useful...

My thought was.. What were the 'common' sharpening stones used in that Era? I picture, in my mind, a very large in circumference, foot pedal or water driven limestone wheel. Or maybe the top of a 'Flat Mill Stone' for a flat grind?... And then again Japan has used flat water stones for thousands of years.

As to 'not hollow ground'.. With a large diameter wheel, the concave grind can appear very flat unless very closely inspected.

And I found this... http://www.balisongcollector.com/grinds.html

I liked it so much I will do further research on the subject.

I have a set of chisels with an approximate 26 degree 'factory angle'. I put an approximate 30 degree 'hollow grind' on the tip about 1/8 inch wide. Not a Math Major so I am not sure what the true cutting angle is. They will NOT shave hair from my arm. However, they will sure cut end grain and face gain of the hardwoods that I use all day long. I love how I can smooth off end grain with them. I use no back angle on the blades. Just as flat as I could make them.

If anybody cares.. The Chisel set is a set of 8 PINNACLES (yes.. maded in China) 1/4 to 1.5 inches. I only use them as paring chisels and I for one, think, I got a 'good' tools....

 

Have a great day.. Life is wonderful even if you are having a bad day!