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Dave Rowell
 
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Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect


I recently bought a second sets of knifes for my planer (Jet 13"
planer/molder) and Jointer (Powermatic 54A) and sent the originals out for
sharpening. I was really unimpressed with both the new knives and the
"sharpened" knives. Both new knife sets were labeled as being from
Jet/Powermatic and were purchased at the same local distributor. The
jointer knives had really large nicks in them. The planer knifes looked
better (I had to get a light out to see faults) but neither were very
sharp. For what I do they are pretty much useless and perhaps worse than
what I sent back to be sharpened. What I got back as sharpened was pretty
much the same quality as what I sent out.

My question is am I expecting too much. I sharpen my own bench plane blades
and chisels and am used to really sharp tools that work wood easily and
cleanly. Is the current blade market so bad that people are using kinda
sharp, but not really sharp blades or did I get taken by my local tool
store and sharpener?

The results I get with either the new blades or the sharpened ones are bad:
lots of tearout, lots and lots of noise and surfaces that look like junk by
my standards (but I'm pretty good with the #4).

Dave R.
  #2   Report Post  
Bridger
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect

On Sat, 03 Jan 2004 05:12:39 +0000, Dave Rowell
wrote:


I recently bought a second sets of knifes for my planer (Jet 13"
planer/molder) and Jointer (Powermatic 54A) and sent the originals out for
sharpening. I was really unimpressed with both the new knives and the
"sharpened" knives. Both new knife sets were labeled as being from
Jet/Powermatic and were purchased at the same local distributor. The
jointer knives had really large nicks in them. The planer knifes looked
better (I had to get a light out to see faults) but neither were very
sharp. For what I do they are pretty much useless and perhaps worse than
what I sent back to be sharpened. What I got back as sharpened was pretty
much the same quality as what I sent out.

My question is am I expecting too much. I sharpen my own bench plane blades
and chisels and am used to really sharp tools that work wood easily and
cleanly. Is the current blade market so bad that people are using kinda
sharp, but not really sharp blades or did I get taken by my local tool
store and sharpener?

The results I get with either the new blades or the sharpened ones are bad:
lots of tearout, lots and lots of noise and surfaces that look like junk by
my standards (but I'm pretty good with the #4).

Dave R.




sounds like you either need a new sharpening shop or a setup for
sharpening your own....
  #3   Report Post  
Kelly Shamash
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect

Even a honed and polished planer blade would probably never feel as keen as
a properly sharpened chisel due to its much higher angle.
I wondered the same thing myself, if a planer blade were to be polished to a
razor edge, how much better would it perform, and for how long?
Personally I think it would be a waste of time to go beyond a certain level
as the pounding the blades are subjected to would probably crumble keen
edges fairly quickly.
As for your Jet blades, you may have gotten a defective set. You could try
to return them and try another brand?

"Dave Rowell" wrote in message
.166...

I recently bought a second sets of knifes for my planer (Jet 13"
planer/molder) and Jointer (Powermatic 54A) and sent the originals out for
sharpening. I was really unimpressed with both the new knives and the
"sharpened" knives. Both new knife sets were labeled as being from
Jet/Powermatic and were purchased at the same local distributor. The
jointer knives had really large nicks in them. The planer knifes looked
better (I had to get a light out to see faults) but neither were very
sharp. For what I do they are pretty much useless and perhaps worse than
what I sent back to be sharpened. What I got back as sharpened was pretty
much the same quality as what I sent out.

My question is am I expecting too much. I sharpen my own bench plane

blades
and chisels and am used to really sharp tools that work wood easily and
cleanly. Is the current blade market so bad that people are using kinda
sharp, but not really sharp blades or did I get taken by my local tool
store and sharpener?

The results I get with either the new blades or the sharpened ones are

bad:
lots of tearout, lots and lots of noise and surfaces that look like junk

by
my standards (but I'm pretty good with the #4).

Dave R.



  #4   Report Post  
WORSS
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect

I am certainly no expert in this area, but if you are getting blades back
with nicks in them that is completely unacceptable. I sharpen my own planer
and jointer blades on the Makita sharpener and get good results. I can get
minor nicks out pretty easily. The last time I sharpened the jointer blades
(6"), I actually tried to flatten the backs. Took forever and I never did
get them completely flat. I have a feeling this is a waste of time.

Bill


"Dave Rowell" wrote in message
.166...

I recently bought a second sets of knifes for my planer (Jet 13"
planer/molder) and Jointer (Powermatic 54A) and sent the originals out for
sharpening. I was really unimpressed with both the new knives and the
"sharpened" knives. Both new knife sets were labeled as being from
Jet/Powermatic and were purchased at the same local distributor. The
jointer knives had really large nicks in them. The planer knifes looked
better (I had to get a light out to see faults) but neither were very
sharp. For what I do they are pretty much useless and perhaps worse than
what I sent back to be sharpened. What I got back as sharpened was pretty
much the same quality as what I sent out.

My question is am I expecting too much. I sharpen my own bench plane

blades
and chisels and am used to really sharp tools that work wood easily and
cleanly. Is the current blade market so bad that people are using kinda
sharp, but not really sharp blades or did I get taken by my local tool
store and sharpener?

The results I get with either the new blades or the sharpened ones are

bad:
lots of tearout, lots and lots of noise and surfaces that look like junk

by
my standards (but I'm pretty good with the #4).

Dave R.



  #5   Report Post  
Mike at American Sycamore
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect

"WORSS" wrote in message . ..
I am certainly no expert in this area, but if you are getting blades back
with nicks in them that is completely unacceptable. I sharpen my own planer
and jointer blades on the Makita sharpener and get good results. I can get
minor nicks out pretty easily. The last time I sharpened the jointer blades
(6"), I actually tried to flatten the backs. Took forever and I never did
get them completely flat. I have a feeling this is a waste of time.

Bill


"Dave Rowell" wrote in message
.166...

I recently bought a second sets of knifes for my planer (Jet 13"
planer/molder) and Jointer (Powermatic 54A) and sent the originals out for
sharpening. I was really unimpressed with both the new knives and the
"sharpened" knives. Both new knife sets were labeled as being from
Jet/Powermatic and were purchased at the same local distributor. The
jointer knives had really large nicks in them. The planer knifes looked
better (I had to get a light out to see faults) but neither were very
sharp. For what I do they are pretty much useless and perhaps worse than
what I sent back to be sharpened. What I got back as sharpened was pretty
much the same quality as what I sent out.

My question is am I expecting too much. I sharpen my own bench plane

blades
and chisels and am used to really sharp tools that work wood easily and
cleanly. Is the current blade market so bad that people are using kinda
sharp, but not really sharp blades or did I get taken by my local tool
store and sharpener?

The results I get with either the new blades or the sharpened ones are

bad:
lots of tearout, lots and lots of noise and surfaces that look like junk

by
my standards (but I'm pretty good with the #4).

Dave R.






Dear Dave:

I have always had great luck with knives ordered from Freud. You will
find them better quality from the replacement blades most companies
sell and they are priced very competive. I would also suggest that
you talk with the sharpening service and explain to them that you are
not satified and perhaps they could do a better job for you. If they
are unwilling to co-operate....find a new service.

Good luck,
Mike From American Sycamore


  #6   Report Post  
Bob S.
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect

They should be sharpening them with 600 grit which leaves a striated surface
on the bevel. Any nicks viewed with a 4x loupe should be no deeper than a
grit scratch. If you're seeing nicks with the naked eye - they're doing a
lousy job.

Get yourself the Makita or the Delta sharpener with the planer blade
attachment and you will be set up to sharpen just about anything in your
shop except sawblades. I have both the 600 and 1000 grit wheels, made a
leather hone wheel out of MDF plus some Scary Sharp wheels again with MDF
and various grits of wet/dry paper. My chisels, turning tools, plane
blades, jointer and planer blades and even drill bits can be sharpened and
honed quickly.

I've seen several shop made jigs (see magazine sites) that will hold both
jointer and planer blades and use Scary Sharp techniques that can be built
inexpensively. In our area, getting a set of DeWalt 12" planer blades
sharpened cost nearly $20. The Makita or Delta sharpener can be had for
under $200 with a 600 grit wheel on the Makita and I don't recall what the
Delta comes with. Some MDF and a chunk of leather from a hobby shop plus
some green honing compound will add $10 plus your time to make the honing
wheels if you need them (and you don't for just jointer and planer blades).

A sharpening system - shop built or purchased is a good investment. Lots of
"How To" articles out there and mentors here that can explain the fine
points of shapening just about anything. You'll get lots of opinions and
ideas and you can pick and choose what suits you.

Bob S.

(I see I'm gonna have to trademark my sig since there's another Bob S
(doesn't use a period) out there....;0



  #7   Report Post  
Dave Rowell
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect


Dear Dave:

I have always had great luck with knives ordered from Freud. You will
find them better quality from the replacement blades most companies
sell and they are priced very competive. I would also suggest that
you talk with the sharpening service and explain to them that you are
not satified and perhaps they could do a better job for you. If they
are unwilling to co-operate....find a new service.

Good luck,
Mike From American Sycamore


I use Freud for the occasional bit and saw blade, but I never thought to
check there for knives. Thanks a lot for the pointer. One set of the
"new" knives came so badly dinged that it maybe be cost affective to
toss them and buy a set of freuds.

As far as going back to the same sharpening service, I don't think that
will be a win. The service was through the store that sold me the "new"
blades that I'm now convinced were someones returns. It took weeks to
get a set sharpened and I'm stuck with two sets of basically unusable
blades and I don't want to eat anymore downtime (before was okish
because of the holidays and the kid's vacation schedule). I may try to
get them to take back their POS blades they sold as new, but it's a
tough fight since they could always claim I dinged them. (I used to have
a regular tool salesguy that always handled my business and I really
miss that now.)

I'm probably going to send the planer knives out to a sharpen by mail
service. Where I live nothing is cheap (~30 bucks for sharpening 3 13"
planer blades) and it's really hard to find competent services in
anything (Don't even start me on the painters who just secured their
tarp by nailing through my roof). If they come back reasonable I send
the other sets to the same place.

Dave R.
  #8   Report Post  
Bob S.
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect

Well let's see now.... my day job may be short-lived, I have the Makita
sharpener, I know how to sharpen planer and joiner blades and he sounds like
he's willing to pay the price for quality work... Yooo...... Dave

;-)

Bob S.


service. Where I live nothing is cheap (~30 bucks for sharpening 3 13"
planer blades) and it's really hard to find competent services in
anything (Don't even start me on the painters who just secured their
tarp by nailing through my roof). If they come back reasonable I send
the other sets to the same place.

Dave R.



  #9   Report Post  
Dave Rowell
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect


Well I just fired my painter and it looks like all my woodworking
projects are pushed out until after I finish stripping and painting this
puppy myself. So basically maybe I'm not in as big a rush on the jointer
and I might have time to get into sharpening them myself.

I've read good opinions on the Makita setup and maybe I'll go that
route. One concern I have is whether or not you have problems with
blades flexing, resulting in cupped or crowned blades. I'm still a
little bit worried about the balancing issues, but I see most people
don't seem to have problems. Do you do anything special to make sure
blades in a set all have roughly equal mass? How much time does it take
to do a set of 3 13" knives?

Thanks for the info.

Dave R.

Well let's see now.... my day job may be short-lived, I have the
Makita sharpener, I know how to sharpen planer and joiner blades and
he sounds like he's willing to pay the price for quality work...
Yooo...... Dave

;-)

Bob S.


service. Where I live nothing is cheap (~30 bucks for sharpening 3
13" planer blades) and it's really hard to find competent services in
anything (Don't even start me on the painters who just secured their
tarp by nailing through my roof). If they come back reasonable I send
the other sets to the same place.

Dave R.




  #10   Report Post  
Bob S.
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect

Dave,

With the Makita, the blade holder is rock solid and the blade itself rides
against adjustable stops. So while it's a bit of a pain to initially set
up, once it's done, lock it down and forget it. The holder is cast and
steel - it will not flex. Follow the sharpening procedures in the Makita
book and unless you have nicked blades, one or two light passes and you have
a sharpened blade. If you have nicks, then it will take however many passes
it takes.

I wouldn't worry about blades being out of balance - you're only taking off
a few microns of steel. And you take the same number of passes on each
blade. To check the blades, place then on a flat surface and place the
sharp edges together. Use a magnifier and see if there is any gap between
any two sharpened edges. If there is, double check your setup or perhaps
better yet, do this before you grind them so you'll have a reference point.
Then you can count the number of passes it takes to get any cupping out. As
for crowning, that should come out when the blade is installed flat but
unless those blades are real thin, I doubt they have any crown to them (or
maybe I'm not understanding what you mean by that...)

To do a set of knives for my planer takes about 15 min. That's get the
sharpener out, set it up, align the blade holder to the correct angle (since
I may have used it for a different blade angle previously), add some water,
insert blade, make minor adjustment so blade only contacts grinding wheel at
one spot (per instructions) then make one pass, inspect, and repeat as
needed. Blade is sharp when it slices your finger and you didn't even
realize that you touched the blade.... Did I mention that you should wear
some protective gloves while handling those blades? The garden gloves with
the latex covering the woven fabric (borg - $3.98pr) type gloves work well.

Actual sharpening time - about 10 seconds per pass - slow and easy with
consistent speed and pressure pushing the blade holder from left to right.
Takes longer to mount the blade and remove it than it takes to sharpen it.

Bob S.



"Dave Rowell" wrote in message
.166...

Well I just fired my painter and it looks like all my woodworking
projects are pushed out until after I finish stripping and painting this
puppy myself. So basically maybe I'm not in as big a rush on the jointer
and I might have time to get into sharpening them myself.

I've read good opinions on the Makita setup and maybe I'll go that
route. One concern I have is whether or not you have problems with
blades flexing, resulting in cupped or crowned blades. I'm still a
little bit worried about the balancing issues, but I see most people
don't seem to have problems. Do you do anything special to make sure
blades in a set all have roughly equal mass? How much time does it take
to do a set of 3 13" knives?

Thanks for the info.

Dave R.

Well let's see now.... my day job may be short-lived, I have the
Makita sharpener, I know how to sharpen planer and joiner blades and
he sounds like he's willing to pay the price for quality work...
Yooo...... Dave

;-)

Bob S.


service. Where I live nothing is cheap (~30 bucks for sharpening 3
13" planer blades) and it's really hard to find competent services in
anything (Don't even start me on the painters who just secured their
tarp by nailing through my roof). If they come back reasonable I send
the other sets to the same place.

Dave R.








  #11   Report Post  
Bob S.
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect

Forgot to mention - in my remark of "lock it down and forget it", I failed
to mention that you need to purchase some metric lock nuts (7mm I think)
that go on the adjusters on the blade holder. Your initial (PIA) alignment
is where these get adjusted, then use lock nuts or double nuts (back to
back) to set these adjusters so they do not move. Some Lock-Tite (blue
stuff - not red) will help too.

Bob S.

"Bob S." wrote in message
.. .
Dave,

With the Makita, the blade holder is rock solid and the blade itself rides
against adjustable stops. So while it's a bit of a pain to initially set
up, once it's done, lock it down and forget it. The holder is cast and
steel - it will not flex. Follow the sharpening procedures in the Makita
book and unless you have nicked blades, one or two light passes and you

have
a sharpened blade. If you have nicks, then it will take however many

passes
it takes.

I wouldn't worry about blades being out of balance - you're only taking

off
a few microns of steel. And you take the same number of passes on each
blade. To check the blades, place then on a flat surface and place the
sharp edges together. Use a magnifier and see if there is any gap between
any two sharpened edges. If there is, double check your setup or perhaps
better yet, do this before you grind them so you'll have a reference

point.
Then you can count the number of passes it takes to get any cupping out.

As
for crowning, that should come out when the blade is installed flat but
unless those blades are real thin, I doubt they have any crown to them (or
maybe I'm not understanding what you mean by that...)

To do a set of knives for my planer takes about 15 min. That's get the
sharpener out, set it up, align the blade holder to the correct angle

(since
I may have used it for a different blade angle previously), add some

water,
insert blade, make minor adjustment so blade only contacts grinding wheel

at
one spot (per instructions) then make one pass, inspect, and repeat as
needed. Blade is sharp when it slices your finger and you didn't even
realize that you touched the blade.... Did I mention that you should wear
some protective gloves while handling those blades? The garden gloves

with
the latex covering the woven fabric (borg - $3.98pr) type gloves work

well.

Actual sharpening time - about 10 seconds per pass - slow and easy with
consistent speed and pressure pushing the blade holder from left to right.
Takes longer to mount the blade and remove it than it takes to sharpen it.

Bob S.



"Dave Rowell" wrote in message
.166...

Well I just fired my painter and it looks like all my woodworking
projects are pushed out until after I finish stripping and painting this
puppy myself. So basically maybe I'm not in as big a rush on the jointer
and I might have time to get into sharpening them myself.

I've read good opinions on the Makita setup and maybe I'll go that
route. One concern I have is whether or not you have problems with
blades flexing, resulting in cupped or crowned blades. I'm still a
little bit worried about the balancing issues, but I see most people
don't seem to have problems. Do you do anything special to make sure
blades in a set all have roughly equal mass? How much time does it take
to do a set of 3 13" knives?

Thanks for the info.

Dave R.

Well let's see now.... my day job may be short-lived, I have the
Makita sharpener, I know how to sharpen planer and joiner blades and
he sounds like he's willing to pay the price for quality work...
Yooo...... Dave

;-)

Bob S.


service. Where I live nothing is cheap (~30 bucks for sharpening 3
13" planer blades) and it's really hard to find competent services in
anything (Don't even start me on the painters who just secured their
tarp by nailing through my roof). If they come back reasonable I send
the other sets to the same place.

Dave R.







  #12   Report Post  
Montyhp
 
Posts: n/a
Default Jointer/Planer knives - How sharp should I expect


"Dave Rowell" wrote in message
.166...

[snip]

One concern I have is whether or not you have problems with
blades flexing, resulting in cupped or crowned blades. I'm still a
little bit worried about the balancing issues, but I see most people
don't seem to have problems. Do you do anything special to make sure
blades in a set all have roughly equal mass? How much time does it take
to do a set of 3 13" knives?

When I jointed a bunch of green oak (I know, it was pretty abusive on the
equipment) with my Grizz 0500 I ended up having to clean off a significant
amount of pitch from the knives. There is no way that the same amount of
pitch lodged on each knife. If the amount of pitch as compared to the mass
of the cutterhead was significant, I would have had a real problem. I don't
think that a small amount of difference in the blades is significant (the
cutterhead is only going 7000 rpm or so, we're not talking about a jet
engine here).

Thanks for the info.


No problem

Dave R.

Montyhp
[snip]


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