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Thread: Sharpening set up and gadgets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Sharpening set up and gadgets

    Well its not anything special but Mr. Ambassador asked me to show my sharpening setup. You all know i acquired a granite slab but here is how i use it all.

    First up I have an 8 inch Delta variable speed grinder. It does not as yet have a fixed abode.
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    I changes the waste of time wheel that came with it and put on an 80 grit norton. And purchased the one way wheel balancing system. If you dont have one of these I highly recommend it. After having grown up with a Dad who considered a B&D 6 inch grinder great and would not hear from a young whiper snapper that the bearings and wheel were all shot, let just say grinders are something i am finicky about. At least when i grind on this unit I dont have chips of the stone flying at me or the shakes for a week after. No wonder my Dad had to bolt his down. I still have fun teasing him today about it.

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    Here is a link for the one way balancing system if you want to read more about it.

    Then as you can see some of in the first picture i have a LV tool rest that i have removeable from the front of the grinder to be able to slide in the wolverine turning tool fixtures.

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    I am not that in love with this tool rest but it does the job. You set it up with this plastic jig with the angle markings. Its a bit of a pain in my mind but more accurate than nothing.

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    I then use the honing guide i have the original version and for those that dont know it has a rotateable cam axel that allows a full degree of tilt from one position to the other.

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    I am a self confessed idiot in regards to this tool because it took me a while to knucke down and read the instruction and learn about the notch in the side of the brass knob. Have a good laugh on me because when i first got it you can imagine what i was doing as i rotated it round and round duing the sharpening process.

    Ok i need to do another post to get the pictures in. so move on to part 2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Part 2

    Given that i dont have a dedicated sharpening station yet! I thought i would share what i use to protect my work surfaces when making a mess like grinding and sharpening and glue ups.

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Name:	Sheathing carboard paper used for workbench protection.jpg 
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ID:	52977This is a cardboard type sheathing paper you can buy in rolls at the HD. Its cheap enough and thick enough for my liking and i lay it out on my bench before putting everything down.

    Next up to prepare the wheel i have this mass produced piece of Chinese junk for a wheel dresser. I aske you guys about what you all use a while back because i tried the diamond tip rod from LV but its so fragile the tip chiped out when it got bumbed around in the draw. The pictures here i tried to take close up so you can see this thing is definitely not even and i find it quiet a battle to get the grinding wheel nice and flat and true.

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    My most difficult part that illudes me and costs me tons of time sharpening is getting the ground bevel edge square across its face with its sides. Despite all this kit its still a battle to set up. Fortunately i have a way of getting rid of my errors in honing but it costs me uneccessary time so if any neanders out there have any tips i would greatly appreciate them.

    Then on to the granite slab and my stages.

    So first up i grind my bevel angle to suite whatever it is i am sharpening.

    Then i mount it in the honing guide and set it up for the same angle so the bevel meets the granite flat. I use 400 600 and then 800 grit to get the bevel cleaned up. Now this is not entirely neccessary with a hollow grind which is what you should have on a 8 inch wheel. But this is how i compensate for my angle of the plane blade sharp edge being out of square with the side edge. I have a small engineers square that i use to make sure when i mount the plane blade in the honing guide that its square.

    This is the resultant edge

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Name:	first round of sharpening on wet paper grits 400 600 800 picture also shows  Stanley laminated s.jpg 
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    I also lap the rear of he blade at least the bottom 1 inch and if there are scratches in the metal make sure to lap until that bottom cutting edge is clear of scratches. In this example you can see i have some work on my hands in the future at the blade gets shorter.

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    Ok so now i get the granite and mount my superfine sanpaper in three strips. This stuff is made by 3M and is 15 micron 5 micron and 3 micron and i use it to hone a micro bevel.

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Name:	Granite slab with 3 super fine grits for honing microbevel.jpg 
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    This paper is available from two places i know of in a kit of sheets follow these links if you want to see them.
    Lee Valley and Tools for working woods.

    I only grind my microbevel about 1/16 wide at the very edge of the bevel. I do this by cranking the notch to the max and taking the basic bevel up one degree.

    During the honing proces i use this handy little tool which you can get from LV in a pack of 3 for a few bucks. They only plastic loupes this is a 10X and i use it to examine the status of the microbevel at each stage through the grits. Its absolutely amazing to see what happens and how the scratches disapear.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Loupe 10X used to view edge of blade during sharpening.jpg 
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    So this is what the micro bevel looks like, sorry i aint the best photographer especially for this particular edge.

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Name:	micro bevel with honing guide at top notch after 15, 5 and 3 um paper..jpg 
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    Oh and the last thing i want to share with you is that his paper is PSA type so you can cut pieces and roll them around dowels or custom shaped pieces of wood to use to hone anything you wish if say you are a carver with a special shaped chisel. I have also used my double sided tape to take normal 800 paper and do the same to sharpen and hone a round gouge i have. Yeah i should have taken a pic of that too.

    Ok so thats all my sharpening kit. As i said in another post i also have a felt wheel and strop with herbs yellowstone and the green chrome oxide bar that lv sells for the felt wheel but i found i was getting a nice shinny finish but not sharp. Due to I suspect pressure and technique i was rounding over the lapped edge or the front bevel edge in honing and well you know what that means.

    This method i find the best for me so far. I also have a stone but again you have to keep them flat and lap them too. I dont have that issue anymore and the sandpaper goes quet far.

    If i could sort out the wheel tool rest alignment issue and the wheel dresser I would be a real happy camper with this set up.

    Please any advice or tips you have fire away I am all ears and the purpose of posting this is to get feedback and share my way,
    Last edited by Rob Keeble; 01-08-2011 at 05:29 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Wow, pretty sophisticated Rob. Very nice
    Thanks for posting this. One of my shop goals is to get my sharpening skills stepped up a notch or two.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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