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
rant mode off
The Finger Printless One
As you've discovered...
and to them, that's:
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.
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 Gorman - West Yorkshire - UK
Username for email is amgron
charlie b apparently said,on my timestamp of 5/08/2004 2:25 PM:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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