Sharpening Chisels and Planes - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 02-16-2017, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Sharpening Chisels and Planes

Hey All,

I am curious as to how you all sharpen your hand tools, specifically your chisels and plane blades. I am looking at picking up some diamond sharpening plates and was curious at the progression of grits you use to sharpen/hone the blades. I have heard some people starting quite course at 600 grit and others starting at 2000. Some people end with 2000 up to 10,000 (I am assuming a honing compound?).

Let me know your steps and the grits you use. I am really interested in seeing some setups before I make my purchase.

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post #2 of 11 Old 02-16-2017, 04:14 PM
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I use wet/dry sandpaper on a piece of marble. Start at 220 grit if the edge is really rough, 400 if it isn't, move up through 2000 grit, then strop on a piece of leather loaded with green compound. Get my blade absolutely razor sharp and I never have to worry about my 'stones' being out of flat or clogging. Admittedly, a high-quality diamond stone you wouldn't have to worry about either, but a high quality diamond stone runs about $100. I pay $.30 a sheet for sandpaper, and I only need 1/3 of a sheet of each grit
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-16-2017, 04:23 PM
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as stated, it really depends on how non-sharp the thing is.
which, also means 'which thing?'
because a chisel can get a whole lot non-sharper than a hand plane blade before it is 'useless'

by and large tho, I'd say 600 should dress anything grossly dull for starters.
wet/dry paper in grit up thru 2000 are indeed much more economical than so many alternatives.
on a pc of flat glass, stone, marble, granite....whatever.

for dozens of years I used a Sear tri-stone with entirely good results. it got a bit grungy / gummy and clogged up, so I shifted to wet/dry papers.

I have a diamond plate. I use it to flatten my sharpening stones. never used it on a cutting edge proper.

some sort of angle guide is probably the most important tool/gadget/doohickie for the beginner.
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-16-2017, 04:59 PM
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Hold the bevel edge up to a very bright light and look at it. If sharp, you see nothing as there's no crumpled edge to reflect light.
As the edge gets duller and duller or outright damaged, flat spots develop which will reflect "sparks" of bright light and they are obvious.
Paint the bevel with black felt marker so you can easily follow your work.

As above, I'll begin with 600 grit if the edge looks banged up. Get rid of all the "sparks."
Then 800, 1000, 1500 to refine the new edge. Hone on box card with CrOx scribbled on it and my wood carving gouges are ready to go.

I've got some water stones, 1K and 4K, they are very nice for conventional gouges. Don't use them much any more with the sandpapers doing a good job.
For PacNW crooked knives and adzes, the sandpapers wrapped on mandrels are essential.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-17-2017, 01:18 AM
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I usually start on my hard stones (roughly 800 grit) but if it is really dull Ill start on the soft stone (400+/-) or if I messed up and jammed my chisel into a steel rod (I did that the other day) and I ruined the edge entirely I will start on some 220 sandpaper and work my way up.

Measure 6 times, cut 3. Plane it down wrong and go buy a second board.
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-17-2017, 07:17 AM
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I have the 10" Grizzly wet grinder/sharpener. I've just recently started to learn how to use it. So far my results on kitchen knives and chisels have been pretty good. I also have a nice soft Arkansas stone that I've gotten pretty good with.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-17-2017, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input guys! I bought 600, 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit plates. I already have honing compound. The plates are $4.88 each so I decided to get a nice range and epoxy them on glass or marble slab and give 'er a go :)
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-17-2017, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintenance Man View Post
I have the 10" Grizzly wet grinder/sharpener. I've just recently started to learn how to use it. So far my results on kitchen knives and chisels have been pretty good. I also have a nice soft Arkansas stone that I've gotten pretty good with.
I've got one too, it will sure put a nice edge on a blade, I was talking to one of my buddies on a trap shooting forum and he said it will do a better job if you get the Tormek jigs to hold the blades but I have had good luck with the ones Grizzly sells
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-17-2017, 12:10 PM
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TomCT2: " how non-sharp the thing is. . . ." (#3).

Total kitchen renno = gut the room = empty box. Pound a 1" chisel through approx 25' of grouted kitchen countertop tile to reveal the edges of the lower cupboard units.
Repair the chisel by hand. Fool that I am, I did it.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-17-2017, 03:40 PM
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ouch. that'll leave a mark . . .
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post #11 of 11 Old 02-17-2017, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arvanlaar View Post
Thanks for all the input guys! I bought 600, 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit plates. I already have honing compound. The plates are $4.88 each so I decided to get a nice range and epoxy them on glass or marble slab and give 'er a go :)
Not bad. I've recommended the DMT Duosharp 8x3" "stones" to a few people. The price is decent, and I've liked working with them. They measure in microns or mesh: I have 45/325, 25/600, and 9/1200 plates, and I'm quite pleased with them. I also have a strop that I use with honing compound for a final polish or a touch-up during work.
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