It’s been a long held view here. Amongst all the angst at a sharp length being
too many angstroms in thickness there is a wide thread of reality needed. Some
people enjoy producing that edge that has the sharpness of obsydian, and they
obsess and spend mighty dollars (unit of foreign currency,. Jeff) in pursuit of
the means of obtaining a marvellous edge.
Others get on with turning out product. When feeding your family depended on
product, you understood about how sharp an edge *needed* to be.
Certainly, I have some bits of kit that will get me a stupid sharp edge, and I
have enough (definitely not an excess) planes and edge tools that i can reserve
some to be tuned to near death and reserved for the gnarliest grain.
But most of the time, I work with edges that are not totally sharp, reach for a
stone, grab out he blade, give it a few swipes, wipe off with a shaving, and
back to work. Now and again I may declare a grinding day, and pull out the
usual suspects, re-grind the bevels back, and continue,
The thing about the galoot mentality is that you need very very few tools, and
bucketloads of skill. Everything we have is just 'sharp on a stick’ - but it’s
knowing how to hold and manipulate that sharp which gets results, and allows
recovery from awkward material or even (shudder) a mistake.
And most important, it’s the sum of being able to understand the material and
the sharp that gives such enormous pleasure and satisfaction at the completion
fo anything - be it ever so humble.
in Spring, where it’s April, and snowing.
> On 6 Apr 2021, at 11:22, Mick Dowling wrote:
> Ed, Richard
> Did you guys start this thread to drag me out into the open!
> I’ve written and said this so many times over the years that if you were to go
into the archives you might be able to find the next few sentences already
posted by me in a previous rant.
> I have never cracked open a long dead tradesmans tool box, shoved a hand in,
ouch, dragged out a bloody partially severed finger, and thought ‘man that old
bloke kept his stuff sharp’.
> Chisels, plane blades, rounded over and in need of serious remedial grinding.
> Saws! Uneven teeth, uneven set. If you could ask one of these long dead
oldtimers ‘how’s your fleam working’, you’d probably get a smack across the
> But they pumped out incredible work.
> That’s enough. Need a rest now. Seeing stars, that’s not good.
> Mick Dowling
> Melbourne Australia
>> On 6 Apr 2021, at 7:59 pm, Ed Minch wrote:
>>> On Apr 6, 2021, at 4:50 AM, Richard Wilson wrote:
>>> We are much more picky these days - absolutely flat stones - micro bevels -
accuracy to thousandths - but it wasn’t always so, and empires were buiilt with
hollow stones and tools that were just sharp enough.
>> Well said Richard - think of all the bench planes that have undergone sole
flatenning when the last guy made a lviing with them as they were
>> Ed Minch
in the most northerly county, farther north even than Yorkshire