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    Anonymous
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    Post count: 4

    Facing sharpening five neglected plane blades and realizing my stones weren’t wide enough to hone on the sharpening stones I had, I used readily available wet/dry paper in various grades on a flat surface. Plexiglas or glass works to maintain a flat surface beneath sheets of sandpaper. The sandpaper is easily rinsed and wetted down to prevent loading and easily replaced when worn. Using sandpaper on a flat surface bypasses the need to resurface a stone to maintain that flat surface. And it gives you more room for longer strokes without running off the edge.

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    • Mike in TN
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      Post count: 299

      I use a variety of sharpening mediums depending on what I am sharpening and my mood. Abrasive paper on a flat backer is certainly an option. One drawback of using abrasive paper is the fact that you have to be very careful if you push the blade forward to keep it from digging into and cutting the paper. If you sharpen freehand you can skew the blades if your stones are only slightly less wide than the blades. I normally reshape blades on an electric grinder (when necessary) and stone them on diamond plates which don’t require flattening. I do sometimes use oil stones and a ceramic stone which I will occasionally flatten with a diamond plate and/or abrasive paper on a surface plate. I don’t have a lot of experience with water stones but was put off by the mess of water/swarth and the near constant need for flattening. I tried ending by polishing with a 16,000 grit ceramic stone but found I can achieve a superior edge by simply going from a 1200 grit stone (or paper) to a hone/strop to remove any wire edge and give the final polish. Any rounding of the edge is negligible compared to the benefits of the highly polished surfaces and edge. For those on a tight budget, abrasive paper followed by honing is an excellent short term option. Another advantage of using abrasive papers is that they can be wrapped around convex surfaces for use for concave bevels for things like curved spoke shaves, molding planes, and in-cannel gouges.

      Have fun.

    • Anonymous
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      Post count: 4

      Thsnks for the information

      My situation might be a little different than many of the avid woodworkers. As much as I enjoy the creation of practical and beautiful pieces of wood, and I have done my share, I’m up in years and can’t do what I used to. Arthritis limits what I’m willing to tackle and I’m not up to adding more to my shop. I don’t have anyone in my family who is willing to take over when I’m no longer able to but I am trying to make sure that what I have is in good shape. I feel for the guy who is just starting out and trying to make his pennies stretch. I may be able to still learn a few things and hopefully, I may help someone else along the way. I used to sharpen freehand but my eyesight and hand strength are not what they used to be. I’m content with what I have accomplished already and enjoy figuring out workarounds when needed as much as I enjoy finally finishing a piece. Thanks again.

    • Mike in TN
      Participant
      Post count: 299

      71,
      Like everything in woodworking, there is at least three ways to do anything and they are all valid depending on the circumstances, experience levels, and equipment of the individual craftsman. Part of the joy in the activity is overcoming challenges to a given situation. Many others are facing some of the challenges you are and I appreciate you sharing your solutions.

    • Anonymous
      Inactive
      Post count: 4

      honing guide

      The caution about tearing sandpaper when honing is well taken, especially when attempting to hone free hand. However, with the use of a honing guide this problem is eliminated and maintaining a constant angle is solved. I purchased a Powertec chisel honing guide from Home Depot for a reasonable $10.79 which accepts smaller chisels up to wide planer blades. Pictured is a scraper blade 3″ wide.

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