Tuesday, December 29, 2015

More on CBN Wheel

More on the CBN wheel in answer to a couple of questions about yesterday's post.

Here is a overview of the grinding station I have set up in the "tool room" aka Fibber McGee's closet:

The Tormek with a 600 grit CBN wheel is on the right and a low speed grinder (I think from Woodcraft) with a "pink" wheel and a 180 grit CBN wheel on the left. The rest for the pink wheel is from Veritas and the CBN wheel has a Tormek GBM-100 tool rest.

Because you can not dress the CBN wheel to make it co-planer you have to adjust the GBM-100. There is the rub, as Derek Cohen put it getting there "is not for the faint hearted". I got there but....it took a lot of back and forth adjusting the Tormek tool rest then make a test grind, re-adjust the tool rest, make a test grind.....I ending up digging out a paint can opener to make the test grinds. The other problem is the CBN wheel removes metal so fast even when you are co-planer the bevel can end up with scallops if you let the speed of cross movement or pressure vary as you grind. Again all those can be overcome with practice but a CBN wheel on a low or high speed grinder is not a turn-key answer. Depending on how much grinding you do its advantages may be enough to make it worth while but....it ain't plug and go.  

Here is a close up of the grinder with pink and CBN wheels:

The low speed grinder with the Tormek tool rest was good enough when I heard there was a 50mmX250mm CBN wheel made for the Tormek T-7 it was a no brainer, I couldn't get my AmEx out fast enough. While not cheap, I expect I would have toted the note at twice the price.

On the T-7 all the fiddling is taken care of, it is, from what I can tell, plug and play. On the T-7 the rest is built in co-planer, the speed is slow enough, the grit is fine enough and the wheel is wide enough to control the aggressiveness of the CBN wheel. The ground bevel is flat, smooth, and just for Ralph, ninety degrees to the side. Honing the ground bevel was very easy, I did it freehand on oil stones and it was fast, might have been faster on the Shaptons. 

If you already have a Tormek T-7 and the slowness of the grind bothers you you owe it to yourself to make the change, if you don't have one it might make it worth while to buy one.  I have to admit the T-7 may have been headed for Craig's List if not for the CBN wheel even with all the advantages of the T-7 if it is only used for grinding, the slowness of grind using the water cooled 220 grit Tormek stone was hard to overcome. The CBN wheel is a game changer.

Monday, December 28, 2015

CBN on The Tormek

The UPS girl dropped off a 600 grit, 250mm (10")X50mm (2') CBN wheel for the Tormek this AM. I'll have to live with it for awhile but first impression is...."sweet".  There was no problem fitting the wheel, off with the old on with the new. Checked for square with the jig support and if not square it's close enough. Did a "eeny, meeny, miny, moe" on the chisel rack and the 1" Stanly 750 won the honors.

As expected the CBN wheel cuts the bevel very quickly and did not leave an exceptionally deep scratch pattern. The bevel cleaned up nicely with the soft ARK. I followed the soft Ark with the translucent Ark and a few pulls on a strop with "green stuff".  You can't see it or feel it but I got very nice edge very quickly.  Maybe not better but it was much quicker to establish a new bevel and get to a working sharp iron vs. either the Tormek with the wet 220 wheel or the slow speed 8" grinder with the 180 grit CBN wheel.

As you should be able to see, the polished bevel is nice and even across the hollow grind.

That was the good part of the morning. 

The other:

I spent most of yesterday prepping and dimensioning some White Oak for a step stool build. In fact I had marked, sawed, and cleaned the waste from the tail board when I noticed a very small crack through one of the tails. Need I go farther? Of course not, when I went to the shop this morning to scribe the pins the crack had enlarged and now ran almost the full length down the middle of the tail board. What are the odds that there isn't any more of that White Oak board?

Here is the tail board just after cleaning up the sockets and quitting work for the night:

Oh well....Stuff happens.

BTW, it had been awhile since I had worked White Oak. White Oak really saws beautiful, it's great to work with a chisel, but damn it can be hard to face plane if there is any reversing grain. I'll bet the plane iron spent more time on the sharpening bench than than it did on the Oak yesterday.

A last photo, the CBN wheel on the Tormek:

Click 'em to make 'em big.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Back From Rocky Point Mexico

We traveled back to Tucson on Christmas day. It was a good trip, WX was close to perfect, the critters swam till they couldn't swim no more, I drank beer, ate tamales and tacos till I couldn't eat no more, MsBubba....maybe she could have sit on the beach a little more but it was time to get back to the shop.

MsBubba, the critters and most important a tennis ball:

We celebrated the most important day of the year, MsBubba's birthday, while there:

I watched a couple of Videos while enjoying a few single malts after a hard day on the beach. A couple of takeaways; Charlesworth's are worth the time spent watching, Cosman is as well in spite of his selling, and Schwarz made a couple of mistakes in his "Super-Tune a Handplane but was also worth watching.

A couple more photos because I can:

Last one:

As always....click 'em to big 'em.

It's good to get back to the shop. I spent the morning fettling a old Stanley #5, I believe a type 12. It had been on the rack for a few years and still had a OEM iron and chip breaker which I changed to a Vertias O-1 iron with a Hock chipbreaker. I flattened the sole and had to enlarge the mouth for the Vertias O-1 iron. I ended up A&B'ing the iron, sharpened the first time with the LN honing guide on waterstones and didn't like the feel. Sharpened a second time with the old favorite, freehand on a soft Ark and a Hard Black Ark followed by a Horse's Butt strop with green stuff. Much better, the plane could be a keeper.

One last item, I have a 10" CBN wheel for the Tormek in the mail. Report when it arrives. BTW, I ground the skin off my right thumb this morning getting enough pressure on the iron while using the Tormek, happens more often than I like to admit. I expect the CBN wheel will be faster and not need the pressure, it may save some thumb skin. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Off to Mexico for a Few Days

The last couple of weeks haven't seen any production from the shop. I'm in between projects and I have been doing an early AM Initial Line. When you have a 0100 show not much gets done that requires thinking. I finished the guys up Friday morning, rested most of what was left of Friday and today has been spent getting ready to go to Mexico for a week.

What I have done in the shop for the last couple of weeks is sharpen a lot of iron and play with my planes.

I've several newer Lie Nielsen planes acquired after Lie Nielsen stopped making O-1 cutters. I've tried very hard to fall in love with A-2 but it's just not working. There is another problem with Lie Nielsen planes, neither Hock or Vertias O-1 cutters will bed on Lie Nielsen frogs.

Lie Nielsen irons are 5/32" thick, Hock and Vertias are 1/8", you wouldn't think 1/32" would make that much difference but it does. The depth adjustment yoke goes too far into the cap iron and will not let the cutter seat on the frog, if you grind the cap iron so the yoke seats then the iron/cap iron are too thin for the leaver cap to tighten. Arghhh....

I've looked at the Clifton irons and while they are thiner than Lie Nielsen they are just thick enough to work. Once back from Mexico I'll order a couple to replace the A-2 cutters.

BTW, I received a couple of Japanese Blue Paper Stanley replacement irons last week. They are really nice, they come with very flat backs and will take an incredible  edge. It's a shame they will not bed on Lie Nielsen frogs either. They are so nice in the older, lighter Stanley planes the Lie Nielsens may get set aside if the Clifton cutters do not work out.

I'm looking forward to a few days of R&R with beer and tacos for breakfast and watching the critters swim their hearts out. See you guys on down the road,


Friday, December 11, 2015

New Camera

My camera work has been on hold for a few years, mostly because of changing location, time, and limitations of the current camera. Before going digital I carried a Leica everywhere and used it to document my life.

I finally, I think, have found a Leica replacement in a FujiFlim X-Pro 1. It has been out for a few years, in fact one of the hold ups has been waiting for the replacement X-Pro 2 that has been rumored but never released. I figure its release date is now Jan 2016.

Anyway the new camera along with learning to use "Lightroom" should keep me entertained between projects and when not in the shop sharpening iron.

Shield any small children's eyes and make sure the critters can't see the monitor, here is the first image made with the new Fuji. Ugly Dude in front of a wall of tools:

Sweet Maggie Dog looking out for folks and critters walking in her gully:

Sam the Wonder Dog barking at critters in the gully:

And last, the gully the critters protect. Looking out to the Northwest and the Tucson Mt.:

As always....Click 'em to big 'em except for maybe the first one :-),


Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Cross Post of "Beat a Dead Horse"

While the engineers and metallurgist hash out sharpening PM-V11 steel on a SMC thread, I've an observation on sharpening some other tool steels. I've always liked HC steels for working, mostly because they are easy to sharpen and will give a keen working edge that holds up reasonably well. Life is a trade off in most things, and working edges are one of those thing where if you improve one area some other area ends up in that well known basket. Because HC steel fits my "likes" and work flow I would guess 95% of my tools have HC steel cutters. There are a few exceptions and one is a cheap crank-neck WoodRiver chisel I picked up because I needed one to remove some glue and it was available. Turned out to be one of the most used chisels in the shop.

Anyway Bubba cut to the chase....

I've never paid much attention to sharpening the crank-neck because of its use, when it loaded up with "gunk" or wouldn't remove glue I'd hit it with a couple of the oil stones and go back to work.

When I'm, for whatever reason, trying to avoid being productive I sharpen iron. BTW, my hands have been "black" for the last couple of weeks .

Finally to the chase: I decided to give the crank-neck some love....Total rejection, it refused my advances. Started out on oil stones with a "green stuff" infused Horse's Butt strop working freehand. Sharp feeling and looking but I decided to break routine and test on some end grain, OK but a lot of effort to pare. A&B'ed with one of my HC chisels, no contest the crank-neck was dull. Humm, what to do?

Pulled out the Shapton Pro's and went through the full progression finishing up on a Gokumyo 20000. Same story....No joy it didn't improve. What the hey, maybe I've lost the freehand touch....where is the new Lie Nielsen honing jig, has to be somewhere. Flattened all the Shapton and the Gokumyo and went at it again using the jig, no difference. The blankety blank will not sharpen.

Bottom line, I've not a clue what steel is used in the chisel, but while it will get sharp enough to remove soft glue and other rough work around the shop it will not get to "working" sharp like a HC chisel such as a Japanese White Steel or a Western O-1.

I guess I'm in the market for a good crank-neck.