First honing

So I had my first attempt at honing today. My 3/4″ chisel was my first victim of the Scary Sharp system. I was a bit nervous about it because, well, this was it, you know… the last thing that I needed to do in order to have a usable tool. That, and I’d been reading about how to sharpen stuff for a long time.

It actually worked. I used a variety of sandpaper grits with repositionable spray adhesive on glass. I learned the following:

  • Don’t use too much adhesive. Just a little bit makes the sandpaper stick and keeps it from sliding around. Too much makes it goopy and slippery. Repositionable is great because you can clean it with citrus cleaner.
  • Lapping the back of a blade is the hardest part and takes a long time. Thank goodness you really only have to do this once. I need some more sandpaper grits to do this more quickly; it took me a long time to work out the original milling marks and skip between the various grits.
  • Corollary: It’s gonna take forever to lap the soles of my planes.
  • Honing the bevel is pretty fast and easy, especially when you have a honing guide.
  • A mirror finish on a blade makes things really, really interesting.
  • It’s pretty easy to tell if you’ve done it right. You really can shave your arm hair, and a sharp blade cuts across endgrain with the greatest of ease.
  • I need a real strop.

I still need more practice. But the today’s results are much better than I expected.

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