Author Topic: food for thought  (Read 1301 times)

Offline Ken S

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food for thought
« on: December 09, 2020, 03:08:16 am »
Advice from an experienced handtool worker:

https://youtu.be/UbAo4RpM7oM

Ken

Offline Ukfraser

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Re: food for thought
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2020, 01:03:39 pm »
Im old school and despite seeing someone far more experienced than me, im still not tempted to put my planes down on the bench that way! (But im guessing thats not what you are referring to!)

 ;)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 02:25:30 pm by Ukfraser »

Offline Ken S

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Re: food for thought
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2020, 03:44:45 pm »
Excellent point, Ukfraser! Although not much debated much these days, the issue of placing bench planes on their soles or sides has been one of the great debates in hand woodworking.....

Ken

Offline WimSpi

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Re: food for thought
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2021, 11:02:52 am »
Im old school and despite seeing someone far more experienced than me, im still not tempted to put my planes down on the bench that way! (But im guessing thats not what you are referring to!)

With me, the same is true.

51 years ago I was learning to be a carpenter and one of the first things you learned was: put the plane away on the side.  And after each planing stroke, lift the back and then pull the plane back.

But I also agree with content of the video.
We sharpened on a large spinning sandstone and then the chisel was honed on a Belgian whetstone (about 6000 grid). It was done that way here in the Netherlands for hundreds of years.

Planing by hand, has three phases:
1) the quick removal of a lot of wood
2) planing the wood straight, square and to size
3) after the piece is finished: smoothing it with the smoothingplane

For phase 1, you don't need a finely sharpened chisel. The wood is also dirty and any chisel is also soon blunted. The chisel is often slightly round.

For phase 2, you do need a well-sharpened chisel (e.g., 1000-2000 grid). More important in this phase is that the chisel is and stays straight and sharp! Sharpness is important, because you will encounter counter-rotating wood at knots, for example.  Only a sharp chisel, can handle this well. Not all wood is as nice and straight as Peter Sellers shows in his video!

For phase 3, the chisel must be purely straight and very sharp. The wood surface only needs to be smooth now. Only then is 3000 to 6000 grid important.

But phase 3 is now done with sandpaper. In the old days there was no sandpaper and that's why in the old days people actually needed a 6000 grid more than they do now. 15,000 is really excessive. I completely agree with Peter Sellers on that one.
Much more important than the fine grain of the whetstone is, regular honing.


Offline Ken S

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Re: food for thought
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2021, 09:56:19 pm »
Most of the posts about sharpening plane blades and chisels that I have seen are, in my opinion, overly obsessed with grinding the edge square. I am not saying that grinding to square edges is not important, only that there is more to sharpening plane blades and chisels.

Wim's recent post opens the discussion door to cambering of plane blades. I would like to build on Wim's post.
"But I also agree with content of the video.
We sharpened on a large spinning sandstone and then the chisel was honed on a Belgian whetstone (about 6000 grid). It was done that way here in the Netherlands for hundreds of years.

Planing by hand, has three phases:
1) the quick removal of a lot of wood
2) planing the wood straight, square and to size
3) after the piece is finished: smoothing it with the smoothing plane

For phase 1, you don't need a finely sharpened chisel. The wood is also dirty and any chisel is also soon blunted. The chisel is often slightly round.

For phase 2, you do need a well-sharpened chisel (e.g., 1000-2000 grid). More important in this phase is that the chisel is and stays straight and sharp! Sharpness is important, because you will encounter counter-rotating wood at knots, for example.  Only a sharp chisel, can handle this well. Not all wood is as nice and straight as Peter Sellers shows in his video!

For phase 3, the chisel must be purely straight and very sharp. The wood surface only needs to be smooth now. Only then is 3000 to 6000 grid important.

But phase 3 is now done with sandpaper. In the old days there was no sandpaper and that's why in the old days people actually needed a 6000 grid more than they do now. 15,000 is really excessive. I completely agree with Peter Sellers on that one.
Much more important than the fine grain of the whetstone is, regular honing."

These three steps also apply with planes. Each phase requires a different amount of cambering. Cambering puts a radius on the blade. It allows the curvature of the blade to taper off at the two edges.

Phase one (roughing) works best with a heavily cambered blade (maximum cambering). The arc from the sole of the plane to the middle (high spot) determines the depth of the cut. This allows heavily stock removal. The two edges of the blade tapering off to nothing lessens the labor of the process.

Phase two flattens the planed surfaces. The amount of camber is set to provide a blade protrusion of about .005”. This is a much thinner shaving than phase one, but thicker than phase three.

Phase three is smoothing, with very little camber (about .001”) for the finest shavings.

Learning how creatively use camber with hand planes is a sophisticated technique requiring a learning curve. The average walk up customer at the local farmers market probably won't be aware of it or appreciate it. A well trained Tormek sharpener should be aware of it.

Before closing, I would like to state that Wim and I use different techniques for chisel sharpening. I finish with the leather honing wheel. Wim uses Belgian water stones. Although we have different ideas, as a very experienced carpenter, I respect him and his methods.
There is room in sharpening for many methods.

Ken

Offline WimSpi

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Re: food for thought
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2021, 07:41:47 pm »
Thanks for this valuable addition Ken! Especially the addition about how far you should continue with honing. And there is definitely room for multiple techniques of sharpening planing chisels.
 
For a Tormek sharpener, it is important to ask what phase the planer is being used for. If that is unclear, then phase 2 is a good middle ground.
Phase 3 is nowadays - as Ken wrote - taken over by sanding.

I don't know if it's the same in the US, but here in the Netherlands the chisels for phase 1 don't have a chipbreaker?

Offline Ken S

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Re: food for thought
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2021, 10:39:09 pm »
Wim,

Unfortunately, I believe phase phase three is largely influenced by the popularity of power tools. In the US, the very popular weekly woodworking show, "The New Yankee Workshop", hosted by Norm Abram, led the charge. Ernie Conover, my woodworking teacher, is one of a group who still uses a finely set, very sharp smoothing plane for the final stage. Planing leaves a finish like burnishing. Planing offers some other advantages. Unlike sandpaper, there is no need to use several paper grits.

I agree with you; there are many ways to get the job done. I believe the well trained craftsman will know several ways and choose whichever fits the individual project.

This is an interesting topic!

Ken