March 2017: SWS Sharpening Day
On Saturday the 18th March, 10 members and 4 non
- members attended a flat Chisel and
Plane blade sharpening workshop at Jim Davey’s shed at Falls Creek.
What a fabulous informative day we all had. Jim started the day by describing the
different quality and grades of steel
available and their varying attributes, then went on to show us the differences
in the honing stones and explained when, where and how to use them, more
importantly, how to keep them in good shape and what not to do with your stones.
The next faze we moved
to the other work shop where Jim demonstrated how to use a bench grinder safely
and efficiently, showing us the set up
procedure with a jig for both chisels and planes, to use with the bench
grinder, after this process the tools were ready for the final honing.
We all got to practice with the stones, bench grinders and
jigs, ending up with tools that were beautifully sharpened, we did have much
larger upper arm muscles after the honing process..
During the day Suzy Jim’s wife provided us with tea coffee
and biscuits and a delicious lunch, which we were able to enjoy outside, yes
the rain stayed off long enough for us to have lunch then bucketed down again,
Thank You Suzy. We all enjoyed the day,
everyone helped each other.
I came away with my brain on overload, but thoroughly
enjoyed the experience. Thank you Jim.
Marcia, SWS Member.
Jan 2013: WoodRiver #92 Shoulder Plane
The WoodRiver #92 Shoulder Plane arrived today. Boy is it sharp!
I've never got anything this sharp straight out of the box.
Steve T - NSW
Sept 2012: IBC Block Plane Blades
plane blades arrived today, just 24 hours after we spoke.
I got them
both going in about 40 minutes, including taking one to a 30° bevel. They certainly
are flat. Hardly any time working through the grits to get the backs polished.
This supports all that others have said.
I took your
advice and rounded the shoulders a touch.
that I have been using my #19 at a bevel angle of 30°, plus a micro
bevel. This has made it one of my favourite planes for tackling difficult
grains. (I favour the knuckle joint cap for comfort). I tested the new
blade, reground to 30°, on my testing lump of seriously old jarrah, and
the results are stunning, with and against the grain. I am surprised that many
others have not made this transition of a venerable and relatively inexpensive
for your responsiveness.
June 2012: IBC Blades
"As a greenwood chairmaker for the last 22 years I never really
under stood what a Really Sharp Blade was. Working greenwood is like cutting
cheese/soap/ butter- you get the idea-
when it came to planing the underside of a cranky grain seat slab of
English Elm or dressing some wild grain American Oak or Ash my planes just
weren't up to the job. After a very short chat with Jim at last years
Sydney Working with Wood Show I purchased an IBC blade for my old #6 &
after fitting it found out what 'frighteningly sharp' is all about- it was sensational.
that year at the Canberra show I purchased IBC blades for my corrugated sole #4
& my beaut little #65 knuckle plane -same result, I had discovered the Holy
Grail of Sharp.
Jim, you & IBC have changed my planing life!
July 2011: WoodRiver #4
I've bought a few small bits & pieces from
Jim lately and been very happy with the service. However recently I decided to
upgrade to a top of the line #4 size smoother plane, to replace a old &
broken Stanley Bedrock. After looking at a number of choices, I chose a
Woodriver V3 #4, both for quality and value for money. After placing my order
on Jim's website, it was only a couple of days when it arrived on my
doorstep, and I couldn't wait to put it into action. There was a note in the
box saying that the plane had been given a few tweaks, making it ready to use,
right out of the box, and the blade has been honed on a 10,000* superfine water
stone. If anyone tells you a plane can't be used straight out of the box, just
refer them to Jim Davey. All I had to do was wind the blade out a touch, (it
was retracted to protect the razor fine edge,) and I was taking shavings off
hard English oak, so fine, they almost floated away. With over 90 planes in my
collection, the Woodriver #4 is one of the best planes I have ever used, and a
firm favorite. I also had the pleasure of meeting Jim at the 2011 Melbourne
wood show and found him not only to be an expert in his craft, but a extremely
pleasant fellow as well. The next time I need any tools, I know where I will be
getting them from again.
Brent Smith. Plane addict. Gippsland, Victoria.
June 2011: overheard at the TWWW Show in Sydney
WoodRiver Spokeshave demo, right out of the box without being honed - "WOW - I'll take one of those"
IBC Plane Blade - "Jim, I took the IBC Blade out of the packet last night - it is as good as you say they are"
"I recall it as a typical chilly July Saturday morning the
day I travelled down to Jim Davey’s shed in 2006. The mission was to purchase
these sharpening aids called “diamond plates” which I read about in the
woodworking magazines. I came away that day with a diamond plate and a “Jim
Davey” fully fettled 1920’s Stanley #18 block plane which was frighteningly
sharp and (still) a pleasure to use. Five years later and I still have my diamond plate, a set of
Jim’s sharpening stones, attended over 7 of Jim's sharpening days, joined the
Shoalhaven Woodcraft Society and now own over 40 perfectly tuned hand planes and chisels that
I fettled myself under Jim's careful guidance and tuition.Jim changed my entire philosophy on woodwork; skill levels
are built around working with hand tools - not machines and the ultimate
satisfaction comes from using frighteningly sharp hand tools you maintain
yourself.Jim is pragmatic and one of the most knowledgeable people on
hand tools and sharpening you will ever meet and always happy to share his
knowledge to others.
Many Thanks Jim - you taught me the meaning of a new word …………“PSHHHT”."
Robert Jolliffe, Corrimal NSW, Member Shoalhaven Woodcraft Society.
recent Tool Sale in Sydney, organised by the NSW tool club TTTG I met up
with Jim Davey. Over the years Jim has turned into what I consider
Australia's best Plane Doctor. I
receive a lot of queries on the subject, in order of frequency:
replacement handles and knobs, how to sharpen cutters or where to get
better cutters, welding broken bodies and so on ... I'm happy to pass
all these questions to Jim."
Hans Brunner, Brisbane Qld
"Over the years, Jim Davey has fettled about 15 Stanley and Stanley Bedrock
planes for me, and probably twice that number for my students. He does a
wonderful job, and like a true woodworker, he undercharges for it. Getting Jim
to fettle your plane, or buying one he has performed his magic on is, without
doubt, the most economical way to get a metal plane with top shelf performance.
And if you have never had the opportunity to use a fully fettled plane, then you
are REALLY in for a treat: there is no other woodworking experience like
Robert Howard, Brisbane QLD
"Jim sharpened, fettled and polished
up my Dad's old Stanley Bailey No. 4, which probably hadn't seen a piece of wood
in anger for over 30 years. Not only did it open up a new world of
"frighteningly sharp" planing to me, it gives me a warm sentimental glow every
time I use it. And now he's done my grandfather's No.4 with the corrugated sole
(made some time between
1898 and 1902) and it's so beautiful that so far I have only managed to put
it on the mantelpiece and admire it."May 2009, fully fettled Planes:
D.W., Leura NSW
Just a quick email to say thank you for the new planes and
to tell you how
happy I am with them.
They arrived late Monday but I
didn't get to use them until last night -
and they are fantastic, just
beautiful to use.
Thank you so much, I will be in contact soon I'm sure
to order more."