I got to thinking yesterday, after some time in my shop with the neader tools working on my bench, that the one binding element between woodworkers of any type whether they be users of machines, spinny guys, flatwork guys or carvers or any other category of woodworking even scroll sawing.....
There is one element that we all need to master and I mean really be aware of and master is the aspect of sharp. Whether it be the cutting edge on jointer blades, the knife used to carve or the bowl gouge used by the turner.
I know we have discussed and continue to discuss this topic but i dont believe we can discuss this enough for every time we do i walk away with another revelation even if its the tinyiest few words of a sentence said by a to b and retold on the forum. It drives home the point same as safety and to me its the single defining thing that will help every person improve their level of satisfaction in their woodworking.
I cut the chop for my leg vice yesterday. Wanted a curve in the leg. Then came the issue of how to take out the roughness left by the bandsaw.(yeah i dont think i used the right blade but i was not going to slow down to change it.
So I mounted the chop in my new woodworking vice and got out my LV spokeshave. Started out trying to smooth it with difficulty. Then i remembered (and this is what i am pointing to in this post) reading Stu's post last week of Garrets visit and how what hit him was that sharp had a new meaning to him. So i went over to my sharpening setup and all i did was hone the blade on my leather strop which is saturated in Herbs Yellowstone. Lapped the back of the blade and mounted it.
What a difference. Once again i had the "sharp" element enhanced for me. The difference was day and night and my enjoyment went up 1000%.
Before edge and after edge once the blade was sharp of course
Attachment 40216Attachment 40217
Now had that comment not been made last week and the week before and before, I would not have had it in my conciousness and as a novice newby probably would have said to myself "Keeble you using the wrong tool this is obviously not right so get the sander and smooth it with the sander." Then i would never evolve as a woodworker. Yeah I would be a machine operator but then i still need to know that ya needs clean and sharp sandpaper so you never really get away from sharp.
I dont think i can emphasize enough just how much the comments people make here can impact the quality of enjoyment one gets from your hobby and of all the topics that get discussed i dont think we can say enough about sharp and the sharpening process.
I read the LV book by Mr. Lee. I have bought stones, a grinder, balanced my grinding wheel (what a difference that made by the way) learnt the scary sharp method and then thought i had sharp. Then Don said hey i go to 2000 grit or something of the kind and i said to myself !!!. Better do some hunting for finer paper and what a difference.
This did get me thinking though about the spinny guys. I saw the difference it made to my turning when i gained awareness as to the need to sharpen a turning tool on the grinder. But here is a question for those of you who read neader posts. If the plane blade needs to be scary sharp to be a pleasure to use and achieve great cuts, why dont you guys hone and refine your tools the same way. I dont see much talk of this aspect in turning.
So I thought i would ask ya all to throw your 5 cents worth into the ring on sharpening and your little extra tidbit of knowledge that made you go over the edge. Sorta like create the ultimate reference post for sharpening in the hope that we all benefit and take our abilities to that next level.
Also add the trade offs, i mean time to stop, costs, like sandpaper is great but after some time its gotta cost and takes up more space. When i see Stus toolbox of stones or Bills new stone bath setup I am on the edge of changing over. At least the paper got me to understand what an edge means. What say you that have the Worksharp, is it any good? substitute for a grinder or a general purpose sharpener. Is it the one stop shop with minimum space?
So guys with the seasonal spirit of goodwill i ask you to share you experience and knowledge of the one element that binds all woodworkers together. Sharpening......
Tips, tricks, experience ideas etc welcome. Also any disagreement or there is no debate.
One other point that i think is essential, brought out in Toni's post of his dovetail cutting learning excercise.
Practice, Pratice, Practice....