Why Don't Manufacturers Flatten the Backs of Edged Tools

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I just spent the better part of two days flattening the backs of a set of Two Cherries bench chisels, as set of #45 cutters and the irons on several planes, one of which being a Hock iron for a #7. Even using the sides of a Tormek wheel to get some of the high spots down and then japanese waterstones to get to the ready to fine hone surfaces, it was, appropriately, a real grind. That leads to my question:
Why don't the manufactures of bench chisels and plane irons FLATTEN and Hone the backs of these tools? If they can grind to 220 grit why not at least go to 600? The time a buyer must spend just getting the bevel to honed and perhaps polished level is considerable, even with the likes of a Tormek. A flat back only needs to be created once - why should the user be expected to shoulder that considerable work?
I can understand why carving chisels require sharpening and honing to the user's preferences. But bench chisels and plane irons?
rant mode off
charlie b The Finger Printless One
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Charlie --
As you've discovered...
1) Time
and to them, that's:
2) Money
Better to have you do it for free than have you buy someone else's Chinese chisels for $10 less.
I agree with you WHOLEHEARTEDLY.... Flatting chisel backs is tedious work, and telling yourself you only have to do it once is little comfort.
You think it couldn't be THAT much extra work for them with automated machinery and all.
John

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On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 05:00:51 GMT, "John Moorhead"

True.
Buy a coarse diamond plate and it'll go in a minute or 2. Of course, I just do the last 1/2-1" or so, then will touch up more as the chisel wears.

You've just been added to the DHS WANTED list, dude.
- - - Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever. --- http://diversify.com Website Application Programming for YOU!
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I have discovered that all my new chisels were slightly crosswise concave when I started the flattening. The appearance was like a very shallow version of Japanese chisels.
I guess that some kind of mild distortion occured after manfacture.
Jeff
--
Jeff Gorman - West Yorkshire - UK
Username for email is amgron
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What kind, brand and model are they? Alex
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charlie b apparently said,on my timestamp of 5/08/2004 2:25 PM:

$$$$$$
Hints: Those diamond stones (DMT?) are precious for this sort of thing: fastest cut I've ever seen. The rough blue one.
I've seen in a book another technique: use a small grinding stone in a Dremel-like tool to take the humps down quickly. Then finish with normal or water stones. If you take too much, it will re-set itself as the edge is used up. Kinda like a hollow-back Japanese chisel, but not as much so you don't need to tap it out.
--
Cheers
Nuno Souto
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On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 20:27:00 +1000, Noons

I second that. The DMT stones don't dish like waterstones, and the XC-C-F-XF progression flattens backs FAST. I also like WD-40 lubed sandpaper on a jointer bed for flattening backs.
My Hirsch bench chisels, that purportedly are the same as Two Cherries, took less than an hour to flatten seven backs.
I like waterstones for sharpening, but prefer the other methods for the initial back flattening. I also only work about the first inch or so of the back.
Barry
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In addition to doing the coarse removal, the DMT Duostones are really nice for flattening the waterstones, too. A med/fine Duostone used in conjunction with a combo 1000/4000 waterstone has been an economical and efficient route for me.
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On 6 Aug 2004 12:45:09 -0700, n snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Nate Perkins) wrote:

Great point! Me too.
The DMT stones are very handy. I also like them for scrapers, as I can't accidentally destroy the surface with the skinny scraper edge.
Barry
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On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 01:31:02 GMT, B a r r y

Anyone here used the Diamond Reference Lapping Plate (DRLP) from Shapton? At $489 it's not cheap, but I've read good things about Shapton here on the wreck. For a mere $1773.89 you could have the full lineup - 120, 220, 320, 1000, 1500, 2000, 5000, 8000, 150000 and 30000 grit Professional series ceramic waterstones PLUS the DRLP.
That might make lapping your chisel backs a little easier!
JP
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wrote:

At that price I think I'd hire someone to do it for me.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Have any of you granite lappers ever considered that you crush the fibers more when using the chisel than the thousandths you're fussing about? Any want to bet you can trim to within thousandths of any line you mark? Lap away the wire edge when sharpening for best edge, and go. You can't work to the tolerances you're talking about in wood.

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the sharper the edge the less "crush". how accurately you can follow the line is a completely separate issue.

how many thousanths? I'll bet you $1000 I can hit a line within .050 every time.

I keep measuring tools that measure to .001 at hand in the shop. when necessary I *do* work to those tolerances. when not necessary I don't.
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Maybe you're right, but I figure the sharper the better! I wasn't really discussing tolerances - just tossing out some expensive dreams about a pretty high-end sharpening system. I've heard that after using the 30000 grit shapton stone you actually have to hold the chisel *up* to prevent it from dropping right through the other side of the mortise and ruining your piece.
JP

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On 8 Aug 2004 22:15:59 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com.au (Noons) wrote:

Indeed. You're not a venture capitalist are you?
JP
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Jay Pique apparently said,on my timestamp of 10/08/2004 9:24 PM:

No, but you need council! :)
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Nuno Souto
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On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 21:30:31 +1000, Noons

Reality sets in when I start bootsrtrapping with exactly sixty-three dollars forty-two cents in the bank.
JP ********************** Anyone got a brick?! One lousy brick?
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Spehar does surface-grind their plane blades after heat-treating. Very quick to lap and get working.
Ed
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