Sunday, September 11, 2011

Working with Ipe

I decided to use Ipe charged with diamond paste for one of my sharpening stations.  It has a Janka rating of 3680 and is pretty difficult to work with.

I had a long piece of Ipe about 2" thick.  It's pretty easy to cut with a crosscut saw.  Here is my sawbench.



I decided to square and flatten it using handplanes rather than dragging out my powered jointer.  Don't like the darned thing anyway.  Here I am going at it with a jack plane with a cambered blade.  It worked pretty well.



Next, the #8 jointer was put to work to flatten it.  Think thin shavings, then make it thinner.  I had several "power out" moments until I got the right setting.  And the approach of picking up the plane and putting it to work without sharpening the blade was a non-starter as well.  It was skating along the top after a few strokes, so I broke out the sharpening stones.  But I was able to get one side and one edge flat and square.



This stuff will make you and your equipment look like The Hulk - colorwise, anyway.  It also left some waxy-looking crud on my plane blades that I had to scrape off.



Then I ran it through the tailed planer to get the other two sides flat and square.  Next, I tortured my poor little 10", 1/3 hp Rikon bandsaw by ripping it to about 1" thickness.  It was slow, but it cut it just fine.



Sent it through the planer one more time, then cut three blocks to length.  Here they are in the sharpening station, ready for diamond paste.



And finally charged with diamond paste, and put a secondary bevel on a blade.


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