Honing Guide Help

Robert166

robert166
User
I did not try it last night, I forgot to put the back bevel on it. I will do that this afternoon and let you know. But it cut kinda not so bad before this (bad english I know) so after this reworking of the back I expect a big leap forward.
I still plan on going to the class in April. I will make the donation that Friday before the class.
Thank You again for the advice!
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
I forgot to put the back bevel on it.

Do you mean the back which you just flattened? I'd leave it flat and not put a back bevel on it (it's not necessary).
 

Robert166

robert166
User
Do you mean the back which you just flattened? I'd leave it flat and not put a back bevel on it (it's not necessary).

Hmmm did not know that, learning something every day.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Do you mean the back which you just flattened? I'd leave it flat and not put a back bevel on it (it's not necessary).

Hmmm did not know that, learning something every day.
Absolutely do not put a bevel on the back (flat side). Put it together and see how it cuts. I think you will be amazed.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Do you mean the back which you just flattened? I'd leave it flat and not put a back bevel on it (it's not necessary).

Hmmm did not know that, learning something every day.
Good, you stopped before a disaster.

Where did you get that information about putting a back bevel on the plane iron?
 

Robert166

robert166
User
I incorrectly called the what is done on the back as a "bevel" I should have said remove any burr from the back. I have been watching Rob Cosman on youtube. It is the final step he does with the small ruler to remove the burr.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Yeah, that’s a lazy way to finish. Use your finest stone, alternate a few strokes on each side very gently. Few strokes front, few strokes back, few strokes front, few strokes back, few strokes front, few strokes back. Lighter each time. Done.
 

marinosr

Richard
Senior User
As you have seen, the "ruler trick" elicits strong opinions. My strong opinion is that it works great. As long as two planes intersect to form a straight, sharp edge, you will get good results. It doesn't matter if the plane on the back of the iron is 1/2" wide (as yours is if you flattened the last 1/2" of your iron) or 0.001" wide (as is the plane of the microscopic back bevel produced with the ruler trick.) The edge is the only part that cuts anything... any polishing further up on the iron is useful mostly for checking your teeth for spinach. Other woodworkers more skilled than me think differently, but some also share my opinion.
 

Robert166

robert166
User
What I learned so far while sharpening,
1. Take your time, don’t be in a hurry
2. Don’t expect perfection
3. Water stones require continuous flattening
4. If I skip the flattening routine
5. I will have to start over
6. A sharp blade is very satisfying
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Robert, you're learning the basics of how to sharpen so be patient. You've made good progress. I remembered this tidbit from Ron Hock about the microscopic details of sharpening. You might want to read it too. BTW, the "burr" isn't hard to see or feel as you get close to the end of sharpening and approaching that so-called zero radius.

 

Robert166

robert166
User
Update,
I purchased a honing guide, set it to 25 degrees . Realized I was no where near 25 degrees on the blade edge. Checked and rechecked the guide to be sure of that. After going through the steps outlined in this thread, I produced a very uniformed looking edge. Strange thing was it did cut better, but not to the “wow factor“ better.
Read the Hock cliff notes, and figure 25 does not have to be an exact number, 30 will work to. And that is where I was at during my sharping by hand.
Conclusion: The guide was not a waste of money, I am glad I bought it. Will I use it every time I do a quick touch up? No.
Will I use it on a very dull blade? Definitely will
Do you guys deserve a big thank you and thumbs up? Dang Right!
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Good for you Robert. A honing guide is consistently repeatable, whether it's 25 degrees or 30 degrees. That's what makes them so handy.

Read the Hock cliff notes, and figure 25 does not have to be an exact number, 30 will work to. And that is where I was at during my sharping by hand.
From Ron Hock: "Chisels get different bevel angles for different tasks: 25° or lower for paring, 30° or more for chopping. Experiment a bit with different angles to see which one works best for the wood and your style of work. A honing guide helps with all this by establishing an angle and sticking to it."
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
Robert166: For my traditional planes (Stanley/Baileys, etc) I usually establish a primary bevel of 25 degrees when doing maintenance sharpening. The secondary bevel (the one that is at the cutting edge) is at 30 degrees. The result is that when I am honing the edge, there is a lot less surface contacting the stone, making the job much easier and quicker. When my secondary bevel has erased 1/2 to 3/4 of the primary bevel, I re-establish the primary bevel almost t the edge (This is what I call "maintenance sharpening"). Establishing the primary bevel is the time consuming part, and it is where the honing guide really helps maintain consistency throughout the whole process. Another time saver is to realize the primary bevel does not have to be highly polished like the secondary, so you can stop at a coarser grit. It also has been my experience with normal steel irons (i.e OS ) that a 30 degree secondary is stronger, resulting it it dulling less quickly, and much more resilient against chipping than 25 degrees if you hit a knot or hard resin spot.
 

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