yet another sharpening question

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CW is a great place to visit... It is important to note though that you will get out of it what you put into it... if you go as a passive observer it isn't nearly as interesting as if you go as an active participant. There are a tremendous number of experiences to be had there if you seek them out.
RE the blacksmith shop, Peter Ross and Ken Schwartz have done a fine job with the shop. They make some pretty neat stuff there and it's always exciting to watch forge welding. BTW, Roy and his carpenters built the blacksmith shop building.
John
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On Mon, 05 Feb 2007 23:50:41 GMT, "John Grossbohlin"

I'm sure I'll be unable to resist trying to get my hands dirty when I make it there some day. I'll have to talk with the wife about it, and see if we can make some time for that this year.

Forge welding *is* awfully neat- that's on the agenda for my next blacksmithing lesson, and I'm really looking forward to it. Too bad I can't try it out in advance- but the ambient air is just too cold for my propane forge to get hot enough during the winter unless I figure out a way to preheat the air before it hits the blower.
The other thing that is awfully interesting (though it may not sound like it) is making nails. The fella that is teaching me showed me how to do that last time, as practice until my next lesson and it's a pretty neat process. I don't figure I'll be using them for building structures anytime soon, but I might make a rustic-looking box or two with some of my handmade nails.
Hopefully by next winter, I'll have a coal forge for doing that sort of thing when it's this cold- provided I can make that happen without covering the neighbors' houses in soot, that is!
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wrote:

I wonder if a sheet metal hood around the forge might be enough?

I tried my hand at that... I shared an apartment with one of the blacksmiths for a while and he let me try it one day while I was at the blacksmith shop.

I did some forge work while at CW while working at the gunsmith shop... helped forge and weld rifle barrels, and forged small parts like patch box springs, trigger plates, etc. Cold wasn't a problem. Forge welding when it's 90+ degree and 90%+ humidity on a coal forge is the hottest dirtiest work I ever did. Glad I had the chance!
Blacksmithing is pretty neat but does demand a separate work area and unless you live in isolation you generally cannot do it early in the morning or late at night. I remember when I was a kid that the old guy across the street from us used to forge items. As a child in Poland he was apprenticed as a blacksmith. He came to the U.S. after WWII and went to work in auto body shops hammering cars back into shape. When he died his wife sold the farm and gave our family his anvil. Unfortunately, I was a kid and didn't know enough to grab the tongs, hardies, hammers, etc. The scrap dealer got it all... My father still has the anvil.
John
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On Wed, 07 Feb 2007 00:32:43 GMT, "John Grossbohlin"

I've been thinking about that- it seems like it could work. I also read about a guy who was speculating about putting another layer of metal around the outside of the forge and ducting it to the fan. While the Kaowool I used to line it is good, it's not so good that it keeps every degree of the 2200*F+ temp inside the forge, and it may as well be reused somehow. Only concern was that trapping the heat might cause the primary forge body to melt or warp.

Nope- cold is definately not a problem when it comes to comfort! Just need to preheat the air flow with in a gas rig if you want to weld. I got it to welding heat when it was 40* outside, but subzero is just too chilly to be blowing into my blast chamber.

I am kind of lucky in my situation- my wood shop is in the basement, so the garage is free for blacksmithing, and the garage is underground, so the sound does not carry much, if at all. At least, no one has said anything about me banging on steel at 3am *yet*!
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I'm kinda old school too. I did break down and buy a coarse grit diamond for when things need it. 2 sided India stone. Light Arkansas. Leather with rouge. I have a black Arkansas, but I don't have the patience to use it. I can hurt myself, shave hair off my arm, scrape glue, make shavings, and chop out mortises with what I have and see no reason for a mirror finish that I will just abuse.
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DanG
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I've got to say that I pretty much agree with Stoutman. I have a granite sink cutout that I use with sandpaper... but only for sharprning jointer & planer blades, and also to do serious lapping (the sole of a plane, or initial flattening on a new chisel)
I use a combo waterstone (1200/4000, IIRC) to freehand sharpen chisels and such. With free hand sharpening, I eventually end up with a convex bevel. To fix that I will go back to the bench grinder to take the crown of the bevel. I could do that job with sandpaper, but it would take longer. I only feel the need to do that after a dozen sharpenings.
I have probably flattened my waterstone 3 times in18 years of light use. Set a full sheet of sandpaper on a flat surface (like your table saw top). Rub the stone on that.
-Steve
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"> You didn't mention what you are sharpening, but for chisels I use a water

I got one a couple of weeks ago.. Wish I would have done it sooner. Hell of a lot faster than other methods and less mess too.
Roger
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That is definitely on my wish list. Thanks
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Stoutman wrote:

I have one. It is wonderful. Flattens the stone easily and does a nice job.
Tanus
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I use XC/C/F/XF diamond plates (2 plates, double sided) and 4000 and 8000 grit waterstones.
The diamond plates flatten the waterstones nicely. There's also nothing to soak. The plates and fine stones simply need a spritz.
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Doug,
Maybe you are expecting too much, or cutting too much metal...
I grind my blades on the grinder--once--to get shape and bevel angle about right. Of course disasters have to be ground out, but those only happen to the other guy, right???
I use 3M gold sandpaper for low number grits, and automotive silicon carbide for 600+ grits.
I polish the primary bevel from 150 to 320 grit, then work on the secondary bevel from 320 to 2000.
Usually about 10-20 passes over each grit.
At the end I reliably get a razor (as in hair off the back of my hand) edge.
I use a file card brush on the paper each time to remove swarf. (Magnet in a plastic bag works great too).
Low grits will probably do 6 plane irons, and a dozen chisels. (That's about 2 months worth for me, when the weather is warm.) High grits about double that amount--after all, I'm just honing, not cutting an edge.
I use 1/3 sheet strips for my sharpening. I don't find my sandpaper costs daunting.
That's my experience, YMMV.
Old Guy Exiled from the shop by below 0 weather.

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Arkansaw stones.
You want to save money, and you're looking at water stones?
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I'm one of the "guilty", obsessing about sharpening on this group. That doesn't mean I know everything, just that I'm trying to record what I've learned (so far).
I found that the 3M microabrasive paper with a baby oil lubricant lasts a lot longer than the paper I got at the automotive store. You can get a 15, 5, and .3 micron w/ PSA backing from www.antiquetools.com for $11.55. Before you give up on sandpaper, you might want to give that a shot before investing in stones.
If you are the type that likes to read about sharpening with sandpaper, check this out: http://www3.telus.net/BrentBeach/ I think Beach provides a lot of good, scientific, information.
Mark
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