Too sharp or fack sharp (waterstones)

For years I'v been sharpening with Arkansas stones, carving gouges, chisels, planes... I have a soft, hard and translucnet (all 3"x12") and a couple of diamond stones. I rough them with the diamond then usually go to the hard followed by the translucent then strop. For grins a bought a set of watter stones and started farting around, thought the 1000 was cool cause it cut fast and thought the 8000 was cool cause it produced a mirror finish. Before I knew it I have gone through a dozen of my Lie Neilson planes and was amazed cause the seemed as sharp and looked even sharper than my oil stones. The other day I was working on a hard maple project with my son and pulled out the No. 8 but soon noticed it was leaving ridges like a nicked blade, so I grabbed the No. 6 and continued. Before long it wasn't working verry well either.Later I moved to the 5-1/2 to smooth some joined boards and it wasn't long before it was working like crap and tearing out badly. Now I sharpened these when I bought them (with the Arkansas) and think only once since over the last year. The watter stones looked nice but the edge sure didn't hold up. Wonder if this is why people complain about sharpending all the time. I always wondered why, now I think i see.
Any ideas?
m
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Too sharp can dull more quickly. The only thing that I can think of is that you may not be adding that extra 3 or 4 passes at a steeper angle when you are finished polishing to create the micro bevel. This bevel helps strengthen the edge and make it last longer. You may simply be sharpening too sharp.
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On Sun, 19 Nov 2006 23:10:23 -0800, MrM wrote:

Did you strop after sharpening with the Japanese stones? This is an important step as it removes the wire edge.
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MrM wrote:

Something you said threw me. You sharpened the planes when new and only once over the last year? I'm not sure how much you use them, but that seems to be an extremely infrequent sharpening schedule. The water stones give a great edge, but as Leon said, you might be getting a sharper edge than you're used to and the sharper edge degrades faster.
Water stones require a lighter touch than oil stones. It's also important to flatten the water stones against one of those diamond stones periodically. Generally I take a few swipes on the finest stones a couple of times a week at the least. That's very quick and prevents you from having to go through the complete sharpening process so often.
R
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Come to think of it I didn't do the secondary bevel but did strop, never did secondary bevles before. Come to think of it maybe the angle doesn't really matter as long as it's less than that of the frog (on bevel down that is). I finish by alternating front and back for a few swipes on the finest stone then strop. One other difference is on the water stones I only pull the blades where on the Arkansas i go back and forth, on the water stones it felt like it was digging in going forward. And yes, I flaten the damn things all the time. I use them quite a bit and was really impressed at how long they stayed sharp, attributed it to quality planes and blades. I always hated planes cause ones I tried before worked like crap. I got these and find myself using them for everything.
Thanks for the input all, m
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Correct. Just increase the angle a couple of degrees and pass the edge over the stone 3 or 4 more times.
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