in that tools will only get so sharp. How sharp they get depends on the nature
of the steel it is made of. if you want really sharp japanese tools will get you
there. Just because a tool is really shiny does not mean it is any sharper.
Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
Well, I haven't done any scientific experiments but, the last time I
ran my fingertips over 1200 grit sandpaper it felt a lot rougher than
my 8000 grit waterstone. Even 2000 grit sandpaper felt rougher. But I
don't know it could be just me. :-)
The abrasive particles in an 8000 Japanese waterstone are typically 1.2
microns, about the same as those in a 2000 grit silicon carbide
sandpaper, but particle size doesn't tell the whole story.
The particles on the paper sit proud of their backing. Sandpaper is
called a "coated abrasive" not because the abrasive is coated, but
because the substrate is coated with the abrasive. Imagine a bunch of
rocks stuck to a piece of flypaper. Virtually the whole of each particle
OTOH, the abrasive particles in a fine waterstone are embedded within a
soft binder, which limits the height that the abrasive edges project
above the mean surface. This case is more like a miniature version of the
sharp rocks (I.e., the aggregate, not the sand) in concrete. Less of each
abrasive particle is exposed.
The shapes of the abrasive grains are different, too.
Also, the particles on (in?) waterstones abrade exposing fresh (sharp)
abrasives, where as the sandpaper just gets duller. I think this
dulling of the abrasive combined with the swarf of metal particles
begin to polish the edge long before it is really sharp. This gives
the false impression to those new to sharpening hand tools and who've
never used other types of sharpening methods that the edge is sharp
enough. Yes, it is sharp, very sharp but, to get that final smooth
finish on the faces and edges of boards you need to take the thinnest
shavings possible and only the sharpest edge can do that. That's why
whenever this subject comes up regarding Scary Sharp I always advise
people to go up to the highest grit sandpaper possible 1200 or 2000
and then strop with a fine honing compound (chromium oxide); go up to
a hard Arkansas and strop; go up to at least a 6000 or 7000 grit
These guys probably make the best honing compound.
And these guys probably have the best honing leather.
Usual disclaimers apply.
I finally found the table comparing grit sizes of different mediums.
To me microbevels only make sense in that they reduce honing time by a
smidge, not "hours". The hours pertain to having to reestablish the
primary bevel after the microbevel wears away after repeated honing.
Once, while reestablishing the primary bevel I decided *not* to create
a micro bevel again. I found my plane taking even thinner
shavings...shavings so thin they came out incredibly wavy rather than
curly. I was amazed as this was with a vintage 60s or 70s Stanley #6
with a stock iron. Now, no more microbevels for me.
On 10 Sep 2003 08:17:03 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (George
Experiment! :-) That's half the fun of WWing. I'd say though that 25
to 30 degrees would be a good place to start. Remember though that
WWing is not rocket science with regard to bevel angles. Plus or minus
a degree or two isn't a big deal. It's more important to have a
properly sharp edge. I'd recommend a set of waterstones up to 7000 or
8000 grit. A good set of waterstones are relatively inexpensive (about
$100), and will last a long long time. The only chore is keeping them
flat, but that's easy to do with sandpaper on plate glass or granite.
Thanks for the reply
I have been using a 45 degree (scary sharp method) which has given me
quite good results on softwoods like pine (paper thin shavings)On
hardwoods (Teak & Spruce) results were not so good. I will try an 25
Degree angle + - on the hard woods. At this stage I will have to keep
to the scary sharp method as I am still saving for a Steve Knight
plane. Unfortunately items purchased in US $ is quite expensive in
South Africa due the exchange rate of the SA Rand vs the US $
I have two handplanes inherited from my father (Stanley no 4 1/2 age
50 years plus and a Stanley no 9.) I am also busy restoring a Stanley
no 2 which I recieved as a gift from a friend.
I like the part about WW not being rocket science. I expect that is
why using handplanes gives one so much satisfaction in this highly
technical world we are living in.
Regards George SA
(Layne) wrote in message (George
If you mean included angle (bevel angle + blade angle), then you got it
about right and ignore all below.
When you say 45 degrees, do you mean just the blade? That's a bit strong
for a plane blade. You can certainly get it sharp, but you may not be
strong enough to push that wedge through the wood. On the #9, that's going
to give a total angle of 65 degrees, and is going to make it a cast iron
beech to use. On a 4 1/2, well that just boggles my mind. The bevel would
be parallel with the sole of the plane! I don't even think it would work.
Sharp is just two sides meeting at a point, so you can have sharp at even
obtuse angles (eg 135 degrees), but that would not be very useful in a wood
plane. Most manufacturer's grind their blades to 25 degrees. That's a good
starting point. You might use a little more or less, but for plane blades,
I can't imagine getting more than 10 degrees difference in either direction,
and you would probably be trying something very specific to even get nearly
that far, at which point you are probably the expert and don't need our
On 11 Sep 2003 07:46:05 -0700, email@example.com (George
As Steve and Eric said 45 degrees is a bit steep for your plane iron,
If you lower the bevel angle you'll see it cutting much better.
The Scary Sharp method is inexpensive when starting up, but it is more
expensive in the long run when compared to waterstones. A set of
waterstones will last a long time. I have 220, 1000, 4000, and 8000
grit stones. If you stick with SS go up to at least 2000 grit
sandpaper and then strop with honing compound, or use the ultra fine
(and ultra expensive) 3M abrasive papers. If you only go up to 600 or
2000 grit like so many people do because that's the highest grade
sandpaper they can find you're not getting your irons and chisels as
sharp as they can be.
That #2 is a keeper! My plane collection is small (for now) and
include a late model Stanley #4 smoother, a 60s vintage #6 fore, and
an old Lakeside 9 1/2 block. I too am saving up for a Knight infill
plane, probably the Japanese infill...when he finds a new machinist.
They're also much quieter than a stationary planer and jointer. You
won't get a better finish than with a properly tuned and sharpened
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