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TomE

plough gauge knife sharpening

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I bought a new Blanchard 10cm plough gauge and find it pushes the strap so hard against the guide that it takes a great effort to cut 8-10 oz veg tan.  This is most noticeable with narrow straps, 1 inch or less.  The strap has a tendency to ride up on the guide to relieve the pressure as it exits the blade.  I understand that the one sided bevel on the knife is designed to keep the strap against the guide but it seems excessive.  I sharpened and honed the blade and it is quite sharp by my standards.  It easily slices through 12 oz HO veg tan when using the knife freehand without the plough gauge.  The bevel on the new knife was a bit rounded and I worked on flattening the bevel (20-25 deg. taper) as well as the flat backside, finishing with a 4000 grit waterstone and stropping.  This didn't relieve the pressure.  Next I tried shimming the blade a slight amount, moving the point away from the guide.  No improvement.  Finally, I put a tiny (barely visible) taper on the backside of the blade edge.  No change.  I'd appreciate suggestions about sharpening and using a plough gauge.  Previously I've had good results using a draw gauge and a wooden strap cutter.  I bought the plough gauge to cut wider straps consistently, although most of my strap work is in the 3/8 to 1-1/4 inch widths.

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you must develop a wire no wire it's not sharp that 4000 grit stone is to fine to start with start with 400 then 600 then to the strop on the strop white bar compound this will make it look like a mirror if you did it a correctly and the blade steel is good you should be able to strop at least 10 times before it needs to go back to the stone and that stoning should take around 5 min then strop then back to work .

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Thanks, @Samalan. I polished the knife surfaces that contact the strap using a buffing wheel and green compound, staying away from the cutting edge. After stropping the knife had improved and I can cut more easily. I will next try sharpening and stropping as you recommend, producing a wire edge then polishing on the strop. 

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2 hours ago, TomE said:

Thanks, @Samalan. I polished the knife surfaces that contact the strap using a buffing wheel and green compound, staying away from the cutting edge. After stropping the knife had improved and I can cut more easily. I will next try sharpening and stropping as you recommend, producing a wire edge then polishing on the strop. 

Excellent do not roll the blade at all when stropping people have a tendency to doing that .  A friend of mine came over to my shop one day to see how a carving   job I was doing for him was coming along he was a woodworker also with a much bigger shop than mine I had an open roll of chisels on the bench he started telling me about this machine I should buy to sharpen my chisels I said that's ok I'm good he said ya but how sharp can they be as he was reaching to get one all woodworkers know you always get cut getting or putting them away well next thing blood all over the place holding his finger he sad wholly shit are they all that sharp LOL yep that they are.    good luck with that sounds like your on the right road now sharpening should be fast and easy.

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Did you get your plough gauge working correctly? I had the same issue. The only way I could get it corrected was by putting a bevel on the non-guide side of the blade.

Mike

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@mike1967 I’m still working on it. More sharpening and polishing the blade surface that squeezes the strap did decrease the effort needed.  Also, pushing squarely in the direction of the cut helps. But there’s still room for improvement especially with narrow straps. I’ll keep experimenting and post if I have a breakthrough. 

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Your blade is in backwards, put the bevel facing out. With the bevel facing the fence you are trying to compress the leather against the fence, hence your problem

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54 minutes ago, Leescustomleather said:

Your blade is in backwards, put the bevel facing out. With the bevel facing the fence you are trying to compress the leather against the fence, hence your problem

That’s how they are designed to keep the leather edge against the fence. The blade is fixed in one orientation. 

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On 2/20/2022 at 8:14 PM, TomE said:

That’s how they are designed to keep the leather edge against the fence. The blade is fixed in one orientation. 

 Sorry my mistake

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Finally solved the mystery of the Vergez-Blanchard plough gauge.  Moving the blade 3 mm back from the fully forward position relieved the pinching and binding of the strap against the guide.  It now slices through 12 oz HO veg tan with little effort.  This fix was suggested on FB by a Kelsey Watson from White Hall, VA.  I think he fabricates leatherworking tools.  Thanks to everyone for tips on sharpening the knife - my skills continue to improve and I am sure that helped as well.  Now if I could get more brass hardware that has been out of stock for 6 months.

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1 hour ago, TomE said:

Finally solved the mystery of the Vergez-Blanchard plough gauge.  Moving the blade 3 mm back from the fully forward position relieved the pinching and binding of the strap against the guide.  It now slices through 12 oz HO veg tan with little effort.  This fix was suggested on FB by a Kelsey Watson from White Hall, VA.  I think he fabricates leatherworking tools.  Thanks to everyone for tips on sharpening the knife - my skills continue to improve and I am sure that helped as well.  Now if I could get more brass hardware that has been out of stock for 6 months.

I'm glad you found the solution, thanks for sharing!

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