Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

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sdbranam
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Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby sdbranam » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:19 pm

As a follow up to a reply on another thread where I posted a link to part 1 of trying Mr. Grimsdale's sharpening method for sharpening, here's the full 2-part blog post, including a video at the end of part 2.

http://www.closegrain.com/2010/04/grimsdale-method.html

Also posted to UKW.
Steve, mostly hand tools. Visit my blog at http://www.CloseGrain.com.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby modernist » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:53 am

Lambs and slaughter spring to mind :roll:
Cheers

Brian


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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:10 am

sdbranam wrote:As a follow up to a reply on another thread where I posted a link to part 1 of trying Mr. Grimsdale's sharpening method for sharpening, here's the full 2-part blog post, including a video at the end of part 2.

http://www.closegrain.com/2010/04/grimsdale-method.html

Also posted to UKW.

By Jove he's got it!
The main issues being:
the 'dip' makes more energetic application possible without sacrificing the 30º edge;
this makes it faster;
this means you can use finer grits for the same effort;
this makes it sharper for the same effort;
it also enables you to maintain an edge without ever having to regrind;
this avoids the risk of softening by over heating;
it also means a stronger edge as hollow grinding makes it weaker - what's the point of having trendy thick blades and then hollow grinding them thinner?;
sharpening suddenly becomes as easy as sharpening a pencil and about as interesting (i.e. not very).

3" stones a good idea but 2" will do, in fact 1 1/2" was common. You just have to keep things moving.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:22 am

bugbear wrote:
SBJ wrote:BugBear- I think it always has been, it's not the angles that are different, it's the technique to achieve them. Unfortunately, some people have been more interested in rubbishing Jacob than listening to him.


The rubbishing is well earned, IMHO.

There is no benefit, when aiming for a (e.g.) 30 degree bevel doing strokes (or part of strokes) at any angle other than 30.

BugBear
Poor old BB still doesn't get it!
BB - you only need 30º at the cutting edge.
Usually this is made easier to achieve by grinding a primary bevel (usually 25º) first, so that only a narrow 30º bevel is needed.
The convex bevel is just the same except that the bevel changes in gradations from 30º to something less. Approx 25º will do, or less on a thicker chisel - you can round off to 0º on a mortice chisel.
I think you might just get the hang of it BB, if you have a go. It's not enough to be just an armchair woodworker or tool sharpener - you miss all the interesting bits!

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:11 am

Just been over there to see how they are getting on. The usual (rather vague) objections have been raised. Paul Cs are the vaguest; 'did a mortice once' etc etc - Paul I've done hundreds (by hand, thousands by machine).
Stropping - I do it on my palm, more out of habit than any conviction of it's value.
But I tend not to do it at all, instead remove the burr with a lot of smaller and gentler honing and face flattening passes - across the stone not along it.
How sharp? In theory sharper than with a (wheeled) jig as you can get more pressure and hence use finer stones.
But ultimate sharpness isn't the only issue; a limit may be reached however sharp and you have to resort to the belt sander or whatever.
More important is the practicality in use i.e. being able to flip out the blade, give it a quick fresh-up hone and then carry on working. This is where the convex bevel and freehand honing wins.
This is also where trendy thick hard-steel blades lose i.e. too slow to hone. Which is why thick blades were laminated with a hard face and a soft back.
Until the thinner and cheaper Bailey pattern blade became the preferred choice of millions for several generations. Absolutely central to the whole concept. A bit like the difference between the safety razor (still with us with ever thinner blades, in one form or another) and the long abandoned thick-bladed cut-throat.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby jrm » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:44 am

mrgrimsdale wrote:Until the thinner and cheaper Bailey pattern blade became the preferred choice of millions for several generations.


It didn't become the 'choice'. It was the only show in town (picture millions of woodworkers queuing up, "can I have one with the special weedy blade please?"). I don't know why you keep going on about the inferiority of thicker blades. I'm with you on the merits of sharpening freehand, have been for years, but I have no problem with Lie Nielsen, Clifton, or Ron Hock, all of which I use. If you've never seen chatter with thinner blades you must have arms like Popeye or very poor eyesight.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:02 am

jrm wrote:
mrgrimsdale wrote:Until the thinner and cheaper Bailey pattern blade became the preferred choice of millions for several generations.


It didn't become the 'choice'. It was the only show in town (picture millions of woodworkers queuing up, "can I have one with the special weedy blade please?"). I don't know why you keep going on about the inferiority of thicker blades. I'm with you on the merits of sharpening freehand, have been for years, but I have no problem with Lie Nielsen, Clifton, or Ron Hock, all of which I use. If you've never seen chatter with thinner blades you must have arms like Popeye or very poor eyesight.

John
No it wasn't the only option; there have been dozens of other makers either copying the Bailey design with whatever variations they fancied, or carrying on with trad woodies. There has always been plenty of choice and in the hey-day of hand work the users were highly selective - just think of all the odd 'innovations' which came or went over the years. Survival of the fittest.
The thin blade was a deliberate design decision which, together with the cap iron and cam lever cap, made planing, sharpening and setting much easier than ever before.
Thick blades aren't inferior except they are harder to sharpen and cost more, slightly pointless in a steel plane IMHO. But I'm working on it - that's partly why I bought a QS.

Yes I have seen chatter but I had to think about it - it means you are doing it wrong basically (wrong technique or wrong or badly set up plane) , or the workpiece is not firmly held.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby jrm » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:49 am

mrgrimsdale wrote:Survival of the fittest


Survival of the cheapest, as is so often the case.

mrgrimsdale wrote:Thick blades aren't inferior except they are harder to sharpen and cost more, slightly pointless in a steel plane IMHO. But I'm working on it - that's partly why I bought a QS.


You bought a QS because it is cheaper than a LN or Clifton otherwise you would have tried one years ago.

John

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:55 am

jrm wrote:
mrgrimsdale wrote:Survival of the fittest


Survival of the cheapest, as is so often the case.....
Steel planes, thin blades and all, were much more expensive than woodies. They were preferred in spite of this.
When I was at school we all had wooden planes (survival of the cheapest) with the few steel ones kept for special use only - because they were much better but much more expensive, too good for a classroom of idiots.

...tried one years ago....
I did. Not that impressed or I would have bought one years ago.

It's utterly improbable that Bailey, Stanley, Record and the dozens of other smaller makers would have missed thick blades as an improvement when you consider the vast amount of design development and evolution which went in to the steel plane.
These were well developed items, not cost cutting exercises, and the cost difference would have been marginal.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby paulchapman » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:55 am

mrgrimsdale wrote: The usual (rather vague) objections have been raised. Paul Cs are the vaguest; 'did a mortice once' etc etc


Well at least I tried it.........

Cheers ;)

Paul

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby thatsnotafestool » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:03 pm

mrgrimsdale wrote:.....

It's utterly improbable that Bailey, Stanley, Record and the dozens of other smaller makers would have missed thick blades as an improvement ......


Not necessarily. They might have been held back by the availability of steel technology/quality needed to make quality thick blades.
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby jrm » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:21 pm

mrgrimsdale wrote:It's utterly improbable that Bailey, Stanley, Record and the dozens of other smaller makers would have missed thick blades as an improvement when you consider the vast amount of design development and evolution which went in to the steel plane.These were well developed items, not cost cutting exercises, and the cost difference would have been marginal.


It doesn't matter how marginal, the ship is often spoiled for a ha'peth of tar such is the mentality of the engineering accountant. I own a pre-war Record #3 and a post war Stanley #3. The pre-war example is of far higher quality with just one example being the extensive area of casting on the frog in contact with, and supporting, the blade. By your argument, they must have put in hours and hours of research to find out that it was far superior to remove more than 50% of the material.

John

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:39 pm

thatsnotafestool wrote:
mrgrimsdale wrote:.....

It's utterly improbable that Bailey, Stanley, Record and the dozens of other smaller makers would have missed thick blades as an improvement ......


Not necessarily. They might have been held back by the availability of steel technology/quality needed to make quality thick blades.

They were making thick laminated blades in the old fashioned way until the 50s. You could buy a totally traditional but brand new Marples woody (and other makes) until 1960 ish.
If anything the thin blade would be more technically demanding.
I don't think they were held back by anything; this was a big leap forwards.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:46 pm

jrm wrote:
mrgrimsdale wrote:It's utterly improbable that Bailey, Stanley, Record and the dozens of other smaller makers would have missed thick blades as an improvement when you consider the vast amount of design development and evolution which went in to the steel plane.These were well developed items, not cost cutting exercises, and the cost difference would have been marginal.


It doesn't matter how marginal, the ship is often spoiled for a ha'peth of tar such is the mentality of the engineering accountant. I own a pre-war Record #3 and a post war Stanley #3. The pre-war example is of far higher quality with just one example being the extensive area of casting on the frog in contact with, and supporting, the blade. By your argument, they must have put in hours and hours of research to find out that it was far superior to remove more than 50% of the material.

John
Not 50% ! Just a different design - slightly less metal probably cheaper (easier to machine the flat bits?) but no loss of performance. I've got both and there is no difference at all.

NB I agree with everybody that the later products were poorer quality on the whole, but the hand woodwork trade was disappearing fast. So much so that we are nowadays still awash with high quality old tools which nobody much wants.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:11 pm

Just spotted this http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/?p=998
I'm not the only person who thinks grindstones are unnecessary!

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby noel » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:18 pm

Interesting article Jacob. What's the story with English slate?

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:31 pm

noel wrote:Interesting article Jacob. What's the story with English slate?
Not my article it's Stephen Shepherd's
I guess a hard slate would do as a fine hone/strop, I'll give it a go.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby engineerone » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:27 am

you keep running this hare about thin blades jacob, but you really should check some of the proper data.
there are books published at the beginning of the last century which complain about the quality of thin blades, and their preference over thin ones.

you talk about the marples wooden plane available in the 60's well wrong again, the post war marples woodie was actually a pre fabricated device to allow them to get schools contracts, and overcome the problems they had with steel and iron quotas post the second war. marples were taken over only a couple of years after they introduced it, and record dropped it very quickly. interesting though that it was based around using a record frog and adjustment system.

i have checked prices in the 30's when the average wages were between 1 and 2 quid a week for 50 odd hours work.
and a record 5 1/2 sold for about a quid, ie between 50% and 100% of the weekly wage. the replacement blade cost was about 3 shillings and 3 p, or in modern money, less than 20 p. now these were retail prices. so consider this, using modern accounting methods, you could properly assume that wholesale price was about 10 bob or 50p. so the price of the blade would be about 10 p. makes it 15% of the cost. now it is unreasonable to suggest that replacement cost would be the same as costed into the complete tool. let's assume, 5 p is the price, ie 7.5%. now if you can get 30-50% more blades out of a piece of metal by thinning it down, then you are going to increase your profit by at least 10-15%, that has to be worth it. so on purely economic grounds your argument fails.

until i had done this research, i thought record had been around producing planes for a long time, when in fact they only
started selling them in 1930, at the height of the depression. you can guarantee they were very careful about their costs and prices.

similar price relationship with stanleys, 30 years earlier too.

i found also that norris planes were still being made in 1928, and infact the replacement price of the blade was 7.5% of the retail, but since retail was nearer 40 shillings or 2 quid, it shows how much labour was involved in norris planes.
the final assembly of any plane is a relatively fixed cost, so the only thing you can influence in your pricing is the cost of the metal production.

paul ;)

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:06 am

Not sure what your point is here Paul.
NB I have several wartime and after woodies - they all have totally traditional laminated thick blades. They were never unavailable.

If thick blades were so desirable then you would expect occasionally to find old steel planes modified for thick blades as per the modern fashion. I've never seen this. Has anybody?
I doubt they ever felt the need - and if they did they would want laminated blades for ease of sharpening.
You often see intermediate planes where the opposite is done i.e. building a thin bladed bailey pattern frog unit into a wooden plane body. Pretty obvious which bit they though most important!


PS just reread it:
now if you can get 30-50% more blades out of a piece of metal by thinning it down, then you are going to increase your profit by at least 10-15%, that has to be worth it. ...
Cheaper yes (but in a much more expensive plane). I've said that all along. But with no loss of performance - that's the whole point. Much better performance from a steel plane than the best of woodies.
Factor in the ease of setting and sharpening and the saving in down time would soon pay for the extra cost of a steel plane.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:17 am

Just had another peek:
you talk about the marples wooden plane available in the 60's well wrong again, the post war marples woodie was actually a pre fabricated device to allow them to get schools contracts, and overcome the problems they had with steel and iron quotas post the second war. marples were taken over only a couple of years after they introduced it, and record dropped it very quickly. interesting though that it was based around using a record frog and adjustment system.

You seem to be talking about a particular (not well known) design. The ordinary woodies were available too, having been in continuous production for hundreds of years (different brands, often the same factories/workshops).

There were many other brands:

Ebay purchase. £0.99p, plus p&p. Salmen 404. 2 1/4". 1944. badly pitted (Tyzack hardly used) blade.

Now sharpened, linseed oiled, sole planed flat.

Image

Image

I've also got a Marples "Technical" plane which was for schools but nothing like what you are describing, just an ordinary woody but cut away (is it called 'razee' or something?)

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:07 am

From "The History of Woodworking Tools" WL Goodman (very good book BTW) p98;

He's talking about Bailey's 1867 patent;
"One of the most important features of this model, and indeed one of Bailey's major contribution to progress, is again not mentioned in the specification, and appears to have been taken for granted. This is the comparatively thin cutter with parallel faces. All the cutters used in the previous models had been standard jack- or smoothing-plane irons, tapered back in thickness appreciably from the cutting edge. A thin parallel iron was a great improvement on this, as it saved a lot of time in grinding and could be honed at the same angle, which could thus be more constant and made the tool less subject to chatter"

The thin blade has been tops since 1867 - and still is!

PS honed at the same angle is more or less what you get with the rounded bevel - just about flat but backed off slightly to make honing easier. This is why it works much better than you would expect.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mtr1 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:36 pm

How did you get over the pitted blade Jacob, re-grind? or lots of flattening on a stone? As one of my grandads planes(big woodie)(that sounds a bit wrong) has a pitted blade and I don't want too chuck it.

PS, I've seen the Plane Paul is describing, might have a picture.......

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mtr1 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I think this is What Paul was describing possibly?

Image
Image
Image

Oh and I found this pic of a Roman one.

Image

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:26 pm

mtr1 wrote:I think this is What Paul was describing possibly?....

There seems to have been lots of intermediate wood/steel plane designs from a long way back, like your pictures, and modernish ones like this:
Image
but I guess they never caught on in a big way.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby engineerone » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:32 pm

since there were two marples companies operating at the same time, it is easy to see that people might well be confused :roll: w marples became part of record ridgeway, post ww2 and produced the product i described.
j marples is a brand that garlick saws own, and make measuring tools.

as for the cost of different thickness irons, you are confusing the costs of manufacturing and assembly, and that in later usage by a carpenter or joiner.
paul ;)

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:33 pm

mtr1 wrote:How did you get over the pitted blade Jacob, re-grind? or lots of flattening on a stone? As one of my grandads planes(big woodie)(that sounds a bit wrong) has a pitted blade and I don't want too chuck it.........
There's 2 options - either to flatten the face or to do a back bevel. On that one I flattened the face with the help of this jig (scroll down for the Mk II version) which worked really well, starting on 80 grit emery paper and finishing as fine as you can be bothered to go, stone or paper.
If you do a back bevel you can eventually lose it as every time you sharpen you flatten the face a touch until the pits have gone, but this may take years.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mrgrimsdale » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:37 pm

Yes, brand names are highly mobile, and still are today.
engineerone wrote:..
as for the cost of different thickness irons, you are confusing the costs of manufacturing and assembly,
Paul I'm not confusing anything.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby mtr1 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:45 pm

Think I'll try flattening the face first, might get a course diamond stone for this. I will give that jig ago too, looks effective cheers.

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Re: Experimenting with the Grimsdale method

Postby jake » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:09 pm

mrgrimsdale wrote:Yes, brand names are highly mobile, and still are today.
engineerone wrote:..
as for the cost of different thickness irons, you are confusing the costs of manufacturing and assembly,
Paul I'm not confusing anything.


I think you are confusing him. But that's not difficult, face it.


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