1st Try with Scarey Sharp

I started with set of "new" Blue Marples gouges, that have been used until dull.
I sprayed an adequate amount (probably more than necessary) of 3m Super 77 adhesive onto my 9"x12" granite block, and I basically attached about a 2" wide strip of each of 220, 400, 600 and 800 grit silicon carbide wet and dry around the perimeter using a j-roller. I have finer grits, but I was told "up to 800" would do the job, and a 9"x12"x2" granite block isn't all that big (it's darn heavy though!) I observed that the paper really needs to be on the perimeter of the block, to adequately sand the backs, so options are limited.
Starting with the 1/4" gouge, I did the *back* on all 4 grits using a circular motion. I "wisked" the sandpaper with a brush in between grits at least (to keep it "clean").
Then starting back with the 220 grit, I carefully ground the bevel side. I used a couple fingers over the bevel to apply uniform force as I ground/pulled it. Then I did the back on the 220. Next I proceded to the 400 and did both of these steps again--ditto on the 600 and 800. And for good measure, I ran both sides across my honing strop (both sides).
The 1/4" gouge was sharp--cuts hair, and cuts end-grain. That was my "benchmark" test. I tried my gouges on end grain before and after being sharpened.
Then I repeated the same operations to my 3/8" gouge, also getting pretty good results.
I was concerned my paper may have been worn out at that point (I compared it to nice fresh sandpaper), but I gave it a "bath" and it seemed to recover a little, maybe. It definitely had some smoothe spots.
I sharpened my 1/2" gouge the same as the other too. I don't think I ground all of the major scratches out of the bevel, but it was sharp after I was done. I think my 220 grit was too worn. ------------
Almost 2 hours elapsed since I started. I pulled the paper off of the granite, and the glue was still plenty sticky. Directions online said to use a razor blade next, but glue was too sticky/messy. First I used acetone on a paper towel, and then (upgraded to using it) on a rag, trying to avoid breathing the vapors.
Is it true, that the paper will only last for 2 small gouges? On my next try I was thinking of trying water instead of glue, and beginning with 120 grit.
I can see that my other larger gouges, which I haven't used yet are "rough" (at least I know the difference now!) I will work on them next, before I move on to some planes.
Please feel free to validate or criticise my approach--that's why I posted it! I have more sharpening ahead of me.
Cheers, Bill
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On Sunday, May 12, 2013 2:55:15 AM UTC-5, Bill wrote:

urs elapsed since I started.
I'm sure there are slight differences in each our techniques. As long as y our blades become sharp, then not much can be said. The larger/wider the b lade, the more time is needed to straighten, sharpen and/or hone an edge at each stage. Sometimes, I'm impatient and assume/expect to get sharp resul ts of the larger/wider blades after spending the same time as with a smalle r blade, usually when I'm in a rush, if I need the tool at the moment.
Having a few jigs not only assists with sharpening, but helps speed the pro cess, in my case, specifically the jigs I've made for the jointer and plane r blades.
Often, on rainy or lazy days, I'll gather the tools that need sharpening an d work on them for half a day or more. Dedicating time for that maintenan ce is random, for me, unlike some other more (somewhat) regularly scheduled maintenance tasks.
Sonny
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On Sun, 12 May 2013 03:55:15 -0400, Bill wrote:

I use water to stick down the paper and water as a cutting fluid on the surface of the paper as I sharpen, the paper will last longer than using it dry, this is messy while sharpening but cleanup is nothing more than wiping up with a rag.
Due to their small size, I can see carving gouges being harder on the abrasives.
I use marble floor tiles for the surface, one for each grit, as long as the tool is wiped between grits there is no danger of contaminating the finer finer grits. Granite is better, marble is never absolutely flat where it has veining and if heavily veined will fall apart if kept wet for extended periods, it was just what I had on hand and never bothered to use anything else.
None of this is critical of your way, just the way I do it.
basilisk
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On 5/12/2013 3:55 AM, Bill wrote:

Preparing new chisels/gouges will wear paper faster than a chisel that just needs a new edge.
I love the smell of acetone... try mineral spirits for 3M 77 next time, that is the proper solvent.
once your chisels/gouges are prepared water will hold the paper down fine. For keeping the paper clean try a drop of detergent in the water sprayer. It breaks surface tension and lets the slurry wash away more easily w/o clogging... but if it gets under the paper the paper will move...
I think you can go higher than 800, I would think a strop for you gouges would help you get higher, and yes you will notice a difference.
just create a small micro bevel (even on gouges) very slight so you have meat behind the edge to support it.
--
Jeff

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woodchucker wrote:

Thank you for all of the suggestions folks! I've written down 4 or 5 which will surely help me improve my technique (and if I don't have to open the Acetone can again, that will be fine with me!)
At least my first efforts were mostly satisfying. I can't say that about my experience trying to sharpen a drill bit back in the 8th grade...it just kept getting shorter and shorter! That experience must be the source of my sharpening nightmares... ; )
Bill
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