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 Post subject: Sharpening the chisel
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:21 am 
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 7:43 pm
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What are the different ways to effectively sharpen a chisel and maintain the sharpness? I have used water stones from various course grits to 8000 grit, however no matter how much I polish on the 8000 grit, I still cannot get razor sharp results. My chisel is almost a mirror. Should I try a finer grit waterstone or perhaps some leather? Or is the microbevel too acute or too steep? Would like advice.

Thanks,

Sam


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:07 pm 
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Location: Seattle
How are you setting the angle?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:37 pm 
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I don't have any special angle setting tools so it more of a guess. I measure from the end of the chisel to the honing guide to maintain consistency when re-sharpening so I dont hone multiple microbevels.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:14 pm 
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Location: Hegins, Pa
sounds to me it is more your technique. Get a jig you can clamp the chisel in so you can keep from rounding the edge. I can get a chisel to shave in less than 5 min.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:12 am 
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Yes -- get one of the gizzies designed to hold a chisel at a fixed angle when sharpening. Lie-Nielsen sells a beauty: https://www.lie-nielsen.com/nodes/4239/honing-guide
but you can get by fairly well with one of these:
http://www.rockler.com/honing-guide
The one from Rockler will benefit from some cleanup of the corners and clamping surfaces with a 3-corner file.
There are others that may be better than the Rockler but still cheaper than the Lie-Neilsen.

Lie-Nielsen also has .pdf of sharpening instructions that I found quite good.
https://d3h1zj156zzd4j.cloudfront.net/p ... :03:15.pdf

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There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 7:43 pm
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Yeah okay thanks. I actually use that rockler honing guide. Ill try your file idea.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 637
Location: Chestertown Maryland
How long your chisel stays sharp is more dependent on the steel than the chisel is made from. Any good name (Kobalt is not a good name) tool has reasonable steel in it - think vintage. There is no reason why you can't adequately sharpen by hand, but a blade holder is certainly a good way to learn. You can also get a 50 cent protractor and use an adjustable bevel gauge set to 25 to 30° to get the angle right in the jig. For paring (not striking the chisel, hand power only) 25° (or sometimes less) is a good goal. For striking, 30° is better most times. If you don't have a protractor, a 30° angle has the bevel being twice as long as the blade's thickness.

Ask 10 woodworkers what they use to sharpen and you will get 11 answers. It ranges from waterstones (a little messy and need to be flattened) to oil stones (a little messy) to sandpaper stuck on glass (need to replace sandpaper periodically) They all work. Something you can do to take it a step further is to get a green crayon like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-X-Green-DIALUX-Polishing-Compound-Bar-Vert-for-hard-steel-Mirror-Polish-/182184779754?hash=item2a6b0f1fea:g:Q~MAAOSwe-FU9qHJ

No affiliation - yada, yada, yada

And rub it on a piece of pine. Then wipe both your polished bevel and your polished back over the wood at the appropriate angles and you will get an even better edge in a hurry.

I use the sandpaper and glass technique. For general woodworking I work the blade to 400 or 600 grit emory paper. For fine work with paring chisels on things like guitars, I work it to 2000 grit, then the green crayon on a piece of pine - fabulous edge in just a minute.

Ed


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:41 pm 
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I find that the big advantage of using Lie-Nielsen's coarse sandpaper idea is that it lets you establish the correct bevel (I use 25 degrees) quite rapidly. You don't have to spend two hours with a stone or risk burning the steel on a power grinder. #80 grit paper will get the chisel flat and beveled correctly in a few minutes. Then a few minutes on a medium and a fine stone, followed by a strop, and you're set. If you maintain the same angle with a honing guide, you don't spend time taking off any excess metal. While it can be done successfully freehand, I've decided I'm not that good at it.

And yes -- you need a good chisel to begin with. I've bought a couple of the Stanley "Sweetheart" chisels and like them. There are others, of course.

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Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:19 pm 
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My 2 cents:

I think that a jig is a must, and doesn't cost much.

The "microbevel" (a slightly higher angle than the rest of the bevel) is done as a last step, just before stropping.

I suggest that you try out the "Scary Sharp" method ... an internet search will turn up a bunch of articles on it (including a Wikipedia one!).

Stropping with a leather strop and some polishing compound is a necessity.

And as others have stated, the quality of the steel is important, too. I have two sets: a Harbor Freight one that I use for general woodworking and a Marples set for the better stuff. My HF was bought twenty years ago, when their supplier was still using good steel. Most recent ones I've seen are garbage.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
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Location: Hegins, Pa
I can't agree more about the tools quality Not all steel is the same. I love to search old tools at flea markets

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Blues Creek Guitars Inc
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Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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