RE:Old guys were right

I've read and considered the Scary Sharp concept and it occurs to me that my tools are for wood working not shaving! I've wondered with a razor sharp edge, just how well they would hold up. So I too stick with the tried and tested method, several different grit stones.
Don Dando
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On Tue, 06 Feb 2007 03:21:47 GMT, "Don Dando"

The "tried and tested method" with the additional step of stropping on your shoe or belt should be giving you a razor sharp edge.
How long the edge holds up depends on the steel, the heat treat, and the angle, not on the sharpness. But the sharper it starts off, the longer it takes to dull to a point where you feel the need to sharpen it.

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wrote:

My first sharpening attempts were with oil stones -- almost made me swear off woodworking because I honed and honed and honed and never got anywhere. Maybe I just didn't have the right grits (it is a two-grit artificial Arkansas stone), but I sure wasn't impressed. The waterstones work a whole lot faster.
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It is truly Arkansas? I have a two-grit Carborundum stone, and it's grey. Arkansas stones are usually white or black.
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On Tue, 6 Feb 2007 12:00:12 +0000 (UTC), Bruce Barnett

"Arkansas" in terms of the fact that it is composite arkansas stone (ie. reconstitited from dust, I believe). It was a two-stone combination, one side is black, the other white. I think carborundum would have cut faster and probably better -- or I didn't use the right technique; I just know it took a very long time to get very mediocre results.
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Despite what has often been said about arkansas stones, they are finishing stones only. For initial sharpening, something else is needed. I use diamond.

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You're right- I keep just saying Arkansas stones, but the set I got only has two Arkansas stones, and a course grey one that does the initial sharpening that is very different. There was no particular label on that one.
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On Tue, 06 Feb 2007 20:47:08 -0700, Mark & Juanita

Not sure if that counts, but I'm no expert on stone naming conventions. My Arkansaw stones are quarried, not composite- and that may make a difference.
Could be my course stone is carborundum, I have no idea with that one- it's similar to my wakisha stone, though.
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If you've got the three on the cedar triangle setup they sold, the coarse is carborundum, but at least my other two others show signs of being natural stone with the proper markings rather than "reconstituted."
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That sounds like the same thing.
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"Prometheus" wrote in message

"Arkansas Stone" is novaculite, and is quarried primarily in Hot Springs and Garland county Arkansas where the Ouachita-Orgenic Belt, a very deep geologic formation until it gets to AR, that runs from Mexico though Texas, then outcrops in Arkansas.
(I once spearheaded a big Oil & Gas leasing operation along this formation, from Mexico through most of Texas, for a consortium of oil companies acting on the advice of one of the best "big picture" and plate tectonic geologist that ever lived, and a fine gentlemen and one of those folks who was a privilege to know and one you'll never forget, Hunter Yarborough ... RIP, Hunter!)
Dan's Whetstone, in Pearcy, AR has a good description of novaculite, and also happens to sell some of the best "Arkansas stones" for those interested.
http://www.danswhetstone.com/novaculite_101.htm
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scratches in proportion to its size. Razor sharp doesn't necessarily follow from shiny. It just means there are smaller scratches that you eye can discern along the edge, assuming you hone across the bevel. Durability depends on the task, the material, the bevel angle, and your knowledge of when to slice and when to press. Ball bearings are very shiny.
I said I was going to get some waterstones when the others got dished out or gummed up. Perhaps twenty years ago. Guess the kids will inherit Arkansas and Ceramic, because they last and last. Make a good edge, too. Though the best way to keep it is still to hone before it gets too dull, not to wait and start afresh. No real need to screw around with jigs on a tool you'll be hand-holding anyway, so save it for the plane irons and hone the chisel before each use.
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I agree with your conclusions, if not your reasoning. You probably don't want as small an angle on a blade for most wood working as you would on a razor, but that has nothing to do with the sharpening medium. And how refined an edge should be will depend on the task--a file will provide a perfectly acceptable edge for an axe, but if you want to take .001" shavings with a smoothing plane, you better use a stone or other sharpening medium that allows you to get a razor-sharp (if higher angle) edge.
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I never understood the whole scary sharp business in practical use. It is a wonderful way to kill an afternoon on 3-4 chisels, but I would rather be woodworking.
I have some small carving tools that need the best edge I can get on them, so they are run through the grits and polished on an old piece of a heavy leather belt.
I cannot even describe how pissed off I was years ago when I scary sharpened a couple of chisels and went out to hang a red oak door. The chisels didn't make the first mortise (of four) before they were really dull. In about three or four good whacks with a hammer the edge had become a wire bead.
Yes, they were good chisels. The Marples grade that was just under their wood handled "classics", not the blue handled crap they sell now that wouldn't make a good screwdriver. I spent more time keeping that edge up than I did working on my contract work.
I knew then I needed to work, not sharpen. I keep one chisel in the truck that isn't used for anything but fine, light work, and the others I keep as sharp as possible for practical use.
And of course, there isn't anything quite like hitting an embedded knot or occlusion you couldn't see with that super fine edge. It makes your chisel face look like Alfred E. Neuman's.
Robert
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I'll shave with a blunt stick and the arse end of a badger, but I'm fussy about how well my chisels work.
People look at my woodwork, no-one looks at my ugly mug.
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wrote:

If you've been shaving with a blunt stick and the arse end of a badger I'd expect your beard to be getting tangled in the work by now.
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Ha! The old guys may have been right about the proper way to sharpen a chisel, but a smart young woodworker only uses chisels when they can't find their slotted screwdriver to hack out some waste.
The smart young woodworker uses a router or other power tools. A good power tool will ably substitute for a great deal of skill, training and practice ;) Kinda like the 4th Gen programming languages.
D'ohBoy
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Mind my asking where you found a router bit that can cut a square (inside) corner?
IMHO there really IS no room for tool snobbery on either side of the Neanderthal / Omega Man divide.
This from a guy who has two routers rated for more than 3 hp, two lathes, 0-6" .0001 micrometers, an 18" x 24" two-ledge granite surface plate (Starret, of course) -- and a drawer full of sharp chisels.
Bill
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wrote:

With a 1/16" bit you can come pretty close.

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