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Plane blades and chisels not grinding square and other questions

Started by JoeJoe, March 12, 2022, 01:29:54 PM

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I bought a new Tormek T8.  I started with a Narex 1/2" chisel using the SE 77 square edge jig.  It looked square before I started, but I though it may have been a little out of square at the end.  It was really sharp and I was happy.  I don't have a small enough square to see if it is square. 

Anyway, I proceeded with sharpening a few of my older wooden body plane irons.  The first one was already out of square.  I used the SE-77 square edge jig.  I spent a long time grinding it-- I went into a time warp it feels like, but must have been a couple of hours that I was working on it.  I figured it was taking a while to grind because it had to get squared up.  I assumed that the SE-77 jig would make things square, but what I ended up with was a plane blade that was skewed/ not square but sharp.  Then what I  did was start putting pressure on the side that was longer.  I tried turning the two knobs on the end to skew it some as well.  I ended up with a bit of a straighter blade.  Spent another hour or so doing this before calling it quits for the night.  At the end of the night, I noticed that my wheel was a rust color and my water tray was full of shavings.  I realized I need to keep the water clean for the future. 

Next day, I got the idea that I would just comes at the stone almost 90 degrees with the previous plane iron and square it off and then resharpen.  This worked fairly well.  Still a little out of square but good enough for me. 

The wheel seemed to not be cutting well despite using the grader to clean it up several times.  I went ahead and used the diamond grader/ truing tool to get a new surface and clean things up. 

I worked on a few other out of square blades and was able to get them fairly straight by focusing my grinding in the higher spots, but these took 2-3 hours each to get them straightened out still.  The final one I tried was for a foreplane, so wanted a decent camber on it.  I centered it in the SE-77 jig and turned the two screws at the end 2 full turns each.  I ended up with a camber, but it wasn't smooth transition-- corners looked a bit more diagonal.  At the end of sharpening this, my stone surface is covered in the rust color material.  I dumped out the tray several times while working and used the stone grader to clean the stone several times.  Now, I'm looking at using the grader/ truing tool again.

So few questions:
1.  Why doesn't the square edge jig take an out of square tool and make it square?

2.  What is the proper technique for squaring up an out of square tool or keeping a square one square while grinding?  Is there a video of someone doing this.  I wish instead of hitting a chisel on the end with an axe and then resharpening it that the Tormek videos would  make a messed up out of square tool square again. 

3.  How often do you have the resurface/ true/ grade the stone, because mine is seeming to need it after 3-6 hours of use. 

4.  Any tricks for the camber?  I feel like with the SE-77 I'm not able to make a smooth and fluid movement with the camber.  I just ordered the SVD-110 and thought I might free hand it. 


Ken S

Welcome to the forum, Joe Joe.

First, I want to recommend two excellent videos to you:

Pay special attention toward the end of the video with Stig. He demonstrates a very simple way to help insure square edges by using the side of your grinding wheel as a reference surface.

Starting with your half inch chisel was wise. Some people start with a quarter inch chisel, thinking small to large. A narrow chisel is actually more difficult to sharpen. It doesn't have enough flat surface. A wide chisel can take longer to sharpen. Half inch or three quarters builds skill and confidence in a timely manner.

You really need a smaller square.

Interrupted....will return. stay tuned.
Back on the job......

A good small square and a black marker are essential. Check the chisel initially for square. Flip the square over and check from the other side to make sure the sides are parallel. Note the high side of the edge. With the motor off, adjust the chisel so that the wheel only removes the black marking on the high side. Each pass across the grinding wheel should get your chisel or plane blade closer to square. Check early and often with your square.

Regarding the long times to sharpen: Keep your grinding wheel true and coarse. Stig recommends firm grinding pressure with the SG-250 wheel. The key to efficient sharpening is to resharpen before your tool is really dull. The Tormek is a superb sharpener, but less stellar at reshaping. Try to return to the same bevel angle. If your existing angle is not what you want, try making the change gradually over several sharpenings.

I was pleased when Tormek introduced the SE-77. With practice, it is more flexible than the SE-76. It is not automatic. My plane irons are century and near century Stanleys. They are not as thick as modern irons nor are they A2 steel. My irons are easy to camber. Yours may require more time and practice. Stay with it. Controlled camber puts your woodworking in a different league.
Hang in there. I sense you already have more woodworking experience than most of us.