Author Topic: Tormek SE-77 Square Edge Jig Flattening Back Of Plane Iron  (Read 923 times)

Offline ZeusMC

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Tormek SE-77 Square Edge Jig Flattening Back Of Plane Iron
« on: April 25, 2019, 12:00:18 pm »
On page 5 of the jigs manual it briefly covers the flattening of a plane iron. I assume the side of the wheel is coarse and would be difficult to use the stone grader to set the stone to a finer grit? Could anyone please explain the procedure for flattening the back of a plane iron in a bit more detail?
Thank you.

Offline Ken S

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Re: Tormek SE-77 Square Edge Jig Flattening Back Of Plane Iron
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2019, 08:04:57 pm »
Welcome to the forum, Zeus.

As much as I like the Tormek, I think it is a clumsy tool for flattening and polishing the backs of plane irons. Do a google search for “David Charlesworth Ruler Trick”. The back of a plane iron really needs to be flat and polished from the edge to where it contacts the chip breaker. Flattening and polishing the entire back is a waste of time.

Ken

Offline Boski51

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Re: Tormek SE-77 Square Edge Jig Flattening Back Of Plane Iron
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 11:21:09 pm »
To add a voice to what Ken said-I am not sure the tormek is the best option for polishing the back of your plane blades.  I have tried to use the original stone to flatten a blade back and it worked fine.  I have one of the extra fine Tormek diamond stones that I use for that process now and it works great-for grinding but not for polishing. To get the polish follow Ken's suggestion and look into the "ruler trick".  It works and saves time.

Offline MikeK

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Re: Tormek SE-77 Square Edge Jig Flattening Back Of Plane Iron
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 11:48:03 pm »
Welcome to the forum, Zeus.

As much as I like the Tormek, I think it is a clumsy tool for flattening and polishing the backs of plane irons. Do a google search for “David Charlesworth Ruler Trick”. The back of a plane iron really needs to be flat and polished from the edge to where it contacts the chip breaker. Flattening and polishing the entire back is a waste of time.

Ken

I realize this is an old thread, but I am finally coming to terms with using the Tormek with my precious woodworking tools.  I just completed the week-long tool tuning course at David Charlesworth's shop in Devon, and the Tormek is a great tool for setting the primary angle of nearly every cutting edge.  However, it is only one part of the process and there is much work to be done using flat stones and a honing jig.

My new chisels, plane blades, and chip breakers needed attention to ensure an accurate cutting experience.  All of my planes and bevel chisels are Lie Nielsen, and my dovetail chisels are Blue Spruce.  Without exception, every edge needed more work to make it usable, and none of them had secondary bevels.  The chip breakers needed less work, but all needed some honing at the edge to ensure uniform contact with the plane blade.

I started by polishing the back of each blade and chisel on flat water stones to remove all manufacturer's tool marks and ensure I had a flat and polished surface.  I used an 800-grit water stone for most of the work, then moved to a 1200, 8000, and 10,000 grit stone for the rest of the work.  Once I had the backs to a mirror finish, or at least as good as A2 steel will allow, I moved on to the Tormek for the primary bevel shaping.

I put a 25-degree primary bevel on all of my Lie-Nielsen edges using the diamond wheel and the SE-77 jig.  From my limited experience, the SE-77 is the only jig to use since the diamond wheel can't be dressed to match the USB and any minor changes can be made for each blade.  I prepared over a dozen bevel chisels, and each required a different adjustment to square the grinding.  The Blue Spruce chisels were already at 25 degrees, so I didn't touch them until it was time for the secondary bevel.

Using a black Sharpie (or other permanent marker) on the bevel edge helps identify the grinding process and make rotation corrections to ensure the edge is square.  I stopped the grinding about 0.5mm from the edge of the blade.  This is all the Tormek can do, and it's back to the flat water stones for the rest.

The next step was to put a 33-degree secondary bevel using the 800-grit stone and honing guide.  A few firm passes will easily remove the remaining black mark from the sharpie and produce a nice wire edge.  Then set the projection in the honing guide for a 35-degree hone with the 10,000 grit stone.  Two or three gentle passes will usually make the wire edge fall away.  For chisels, the sharpening is finished...never put a back bevel on a bench chisel.  For plane blades, the last step is the ruler trick on the 10,000 grit stone to put a very small back bevel on the plane blade.  David estimates the back bevel is less than one degree and does not interfere with the chip breaker.

The Tormek hollow grind on the blades allows me to sharpen six or seven times before the secondary bevel becomes too wide.  This is a great improvement from my previous sharpening using only flat stones for each bevel.

Offline Ken S

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Re: Tormek SE-77 Square Edge Jig Flattening Back Of Plane Iron
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 04:04:15 pm »
Mike,

You have an excellent technique for sharpening your precision woodworking tools. By precision woodworking tools, I mean your final smoothing plane(s) and chisels used for fine paring and things like dovetails.

I regard David Charlesworth quite highly, as I do Lie-Nielsen and Blue Spruce tools. I also think that such a high level of sharpening is overkill for a lot of woodworking, including much furniture making. I do not feel such a fine edge serves any practical purpose with a fore or jack plane used to remove a lot of wood quickly, or even a jointer plane, if followed up with a smooth plane. By all means, use whatever technique you wish for fine edges where they count. I just don't see where the extra time and effort is justified for everyday work. I think the traditional Tormek technique with the SG and leather honing wheel is quite adequate for everyday work.

Ken

Offline MikeK

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Re: Tormek SE-77 Square Edge Jig Flattening Back Of Plane Iron
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 05:48:36 pm »
Ken,

The amount of initial effort on the back of the chisels and plane blades might have been overkill, but it was a one-time task and I doubt I will ever touch the backs again.  However, now I know each chisel and blade is as flat as possible, but more importantly, there are no bellies in the surface (a hollow would be desirable).

With the 25-degree hollow grind on the bevel edge, my subsequent sharpening of the chisels is about one minute, with most of that setting the projection in the honing guide for both bevels.  One or two passes on the 800-grit water stone to raise a wire edge, and then two passes on the 10,000 grit stone to hone and remove the wire edge.  Sharpening the plane blade takes more time due to the tasks to remove, install, and set the blade, but the sharpening portion is the same as the bench chisels.

My secondary intent was to establish a repeatable process that was quick and would not adversely affect work flow.  As you stated, I do not go to this effort on my fore and scrub planes.  As long as they remove lots of wood with each pass, I am happy.  However, my low angle jack planes and Number 7 jointer get the full treatment.

Offline Ken S

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Re: Tormek SE-77 Square Edge Jig Flattening Back Of Plane Iron
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2019, 10:10:22 pm »
Mike,

Your plan of action is well thought through and practical. Well done!

Ken

PS I would suggest you have at least one Irwin Blue Chip 3/4” chisel. That would let you experiment without having to wear down a Blue Spruce chisel....
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 10:13:21 pm by Ken S »