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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Default While everyone is talking sharp

Check out these sharps in action, impressive.
Via an article from FWW

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It's from a hand planing competition in Japan. This video (and another one) have been popping up on woodworking forums and blogs recently. What you'll see is a fine gentleman taking a shaving that is 9 microns thin. How thin is that? Well, I know that here in the Western woodworking world, we often brag about shavings that are 1 or 2 thousandths thick. There are 25.4 microns in one thousandth of an inch. So, a shaving that is 9 microns thin is just a bit more than one third of one thousandth of an inch. And those guys are taking full width, full length shavings that thin! (And, more importantly, the surface left behind by that blade has got to be perfect.) That's how I know I don't sharpen as well as I could. I can't do that
Kezuroukai, Planing Competition Finals 2012 - YouTube

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Originally Posted by from FWW
After you're suitably impressed by that video, check out this other one. It's impressive because the guy is taking a super thin shaving with a wickedly wide plane. The blade has got to be at least 9 in. wide. Notice how heavily the guys using it are breathing when they're done. Must be a bear to pull
Wood planing competition in Uwajima 2012 - YouTube
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 10:57 AM
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An average human hair is about 100 microns in diameter (varies from 50 to 120).
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 03:25 PM
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One question. What does all this sharpening navel gazing lead to? To keep tools that sharp you'd need to resharpen them every 3 or 4 strokes in timbers like oak. Can't see that happing soon, no matter how picky the client....

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 03:53 PM
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Hi Phil.

I might have been the person who started some of the recent threads on sharpening to which you are referring.

I can't answer your question about navel gazing, but I CAN say that it is no fun working with planes and chisels that are dull. Certainly you can understand that. I just want my tools to be sharp enough and easy to keep that way.

I have no desire to measure how thin my shavings can be or anything like that.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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I seriously doubt that the iron those guys are using would show up on a job site anytime soon, sort of like grabbing a competition chainsaw to prune a few bushes.

While everyone is talking sharp-competition-chainsaw.jpg
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 06:18 AM
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I CAN say that it is no fun working with planes and chisels that are dull. Certainly you can understand that. I just want my tools to be sharp enough and easy to keep that way.
I totally agree, Chris. Sharpening is one of those fundamental skills you acquire early in the training cycle. Like a lot of people I've dabbled (and wasted time and energy) with all sorts of approaches, from hand-driven grindstone (a la Krenov), double-ended grinders (fast and slow), Scary Sharp, through Japanese wetstones and even a Tormek (BTW I'm back tio high speed double grinder at home). For site use, though I don't carry any jigs or equipment to sharpen other than three 8 x 3in diamond lapping plates and a small plant spray bottle of lapping fluid (a sort of refined paraffin oil). That allows me to manually rehone several times in the day before sharpening is required. Once back home I can get out the bigger sharpening toys, but I still wouldn't go to the ultra mirror finish some people demand. Life is too short for me to spend it all sharpening

Addendum: Sorry, Chris. If I sound a bit flip it's not meant that way at all. It's just that the woodworking magazines seem to devote an inordinate amount of time and energy to this subject and with some writers it becomes an obsession bordering on insanity.

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Phil

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 06:40 AM
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Those are something to behold!!

Everyone needs a hobby, even sharpening - but that one to me is like mountain climbing which is 'just because I can'. Heck, I would have trouble cutting into soft butter after a sharpening bout with any tool or knife.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
I totally agree, Chris. Sharpening is one of those fundamental skills you acquire early in the training cycle. Like a lot of people I've dabbled (and wasted time and energy) with all sorts of approaches, from hand-driven grindstone (a la Krenov), double-ended grinders (fast and slow), Scary Sharp, through Japanese wetstones and even a Tormek (BTW I'm back tio high speed double grinder at home). For site use, though I don't carry any jigs or equipment to sharpen other than three 8 x 3in diamond lapping plates and a small plant spray bottle of lapping fluid (a sort of refined paraffin oil). That allows me to manually rehone several times in the day before sharpening is required. Once back home I can get out the bigger sharpening toys, but I still wouldn't go to the ultra mirror finish some people demand. Life is too short for me to spend it all sharpening

Addendum: Sorry, Chris. If I sound a bit flip it's not meant that way at all. It's just that the woodworking magazines seem to devote an inordinate amount of time and energy to this subject and with some writers it becomes an obsession bordering on insanity.

Regards

Phil
I understand Phil, thanks. Being that you have more experience than many, and have tried alot of the different sharpening approaches, I'm very interested to know what you have found works best for sharpening plane irons and chisels. This double grinder of which you speak ... does it have 2 stones with different grits? After doing your thing at the grinder(s), do you do anything else somewhere else to finish the sharpening, or can you do the whole thing at the stones?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 08:20 AM
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Got to say, that is some sort of awesome.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 09:11 AM
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heh, i wonder how many plys of that it would take to make a piece of 3/4" ply ...
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