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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don’t know if I’m doing this right or what. I decided to use a chisel that I bought 40 years ago as my first sharpening with my General Tools Sharpening guide. I have tried sharpening the chisel many times over the years with a grinding wheel and I’ve probably screwed it up, but I’ve been working on this for hours using 100 grit sand paper and the General Sharpening guide without much success.



I have a bevel on the top side from a mistake many years ago and I don’t know if I’m ever going to remove enough metal to get rid of the bevel on back.



Is this as a fast as it goes? I have 7 more chisels to go and I don’t have time for this.
 

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The damage that these chisels has sustained is not easily remedied unless you want to use a grinding wheel to correct the original bevel. Sharpening by hand, using a jig is never a quick process if you are trying to correct damage done by sharpening incorrectly. Keep at it. Once you get the damage corrected, touch ups on the bevels and micro bevels only takes a minute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks pwalter5110 & Kenbo for replying,

I just noticed that the 100 grit sandpaper I was using is marked for Drywall. I don’t know if that makes a difference or not, but I’m looking for some 60 grit wet/dry that I just bought. I have lots of dry wood type sand paper and I was advised to only use wet & dry.

I’m afraid to use the grinding wheel because that’s what got me here in the first place. I’m thinking of cutting a 25 deg angle on a piece of 2x4 and using my HF 6” belt sander. I’m just not sure what the sawdust from the 2x4 will do to my chisel sharpening.
 

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Using a grinding wheel works but you would need a jig to keep it square. The other problem with using a grinding wheel is you can end up with a hollow grind. When using the sand paper, just make sure that your paper is attached to a flat surface. Otherwise, any imperfections in the surface will be transferred to your chisel. Don't try to look for a quick and easy way. Look for the proper way and then touch ups are a breeze. Water stones work well too.
Here's a video I made on sharpening with water stones. It may not help you with your current dilemma, but it might give you some ideas of where to take your sharpening in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Kenbo, great video!

Well I finally found my sand paper in the trash can, but there wasn’t any 60 grit. I’ll have to pick some up tomorrow.

I’ve been looking at my grinder and I definitely have to make something to do chisels, because the little holder is not strong enough to hold a jig.



I also have another wet stone, but I’ve never been able to get it to work right.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I decided to pull out my DMT Diamond Extra Course stone and it didn’t start out well then I figured out that I needed to wash the stone every once in a while. I also had a tough time keeping it flat on the stone and may have to come up with a solution for that.



OK I thought I was doing so well until I switched stones to Fine. I found out that it really needs cleaned much more often because it clogs up and starts hopping on the stone.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I’m giving up on the General Tool No.809 sharpening jig and I'm looking for a new jig possibly like this one except with wheel on each side instead of the center. At least this has a better way of keeping the chisel square.


The General sharpening jig has no way of keeping the work from rocking and damaging the sides. I like how I can get full strokes on my 6” Diamond stones without the jig falling off the stone, but I’m not sure if it worth it without wheels on the front to keep it from tipping side to side. Maybe I can incorporate some into the design.
 

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Find an experienced person close to you

Use this forum and possibly other forums to locate someone close to you that would look forward to helping you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have two of those style jigs, from two different makers, and really not happy with them.
Been really looking at this one.
http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,43072,43078,51868&p=51868
Don't know if this will help you, hope it will help me...
Ya I saw those, but the $70 is almost half way to buying a Work Sharp WS3000.

Anyway I'm back at it again with the fine stone and it looks better although my surface has changed. I don't know if the chisel has moved or the rear height leg adjustment has changed. I'm so close now that I'm afraid to change anything and I'm not sure if I want to go to the next step to extra fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So my chisel looks sharper than it has ever been, but it still can’t cut a piece of paper. I haven’t tried the extra fine stone because I’m afraid of screwing it up again. I might try it again later.:shifty:

Anyway I’ve spent about 7 - 8 hours over 2 days sharpening it plus $160 for the cost of a Honing guide and 4 sizes of DMT Diamond stones. I also spent $20 on wet & dry sandpaper which I haven’t used yet.

I just don’t know what the problem is but I think I may have defective diamond stones because the extra course stone stopped cutting after about an hour and I suspect that the fine stone is not completely flat because the surface is not completely covered.

I tried flattening the back of a 1 ½” chisel on the extra course and it did nothing so I tried it on my HF 6” belt sander and wow did that ever remove some metal. The only problem was that it almost took my arm off and left a couple of gouges along the edge.

Well I’m now looking to buy a Work Sharp WS3000 and give up on this DMT crap. :laughing:

 

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If you use an electric wheel grinder/sharpener be sure to not let your chisel or blade get hot, too hot and it will change color, if it gets to that point you ruined the edge. When I sharpen I will keep touching the blade or chisel to make sure it isn't so hot I can't touch it.

Once you have your chisel or blade sharp, all you will need to do is hone it, unless you nick it or damage the edge.

Hold your chisel or blade up so light will shine on the edge, if the edge shines anywhere that spot is dull.

From my experience, you will get a much better edge from the wet/dry sand paper than a diamond, you want the sanded part to be almost mirror shiney. Let the edge rest on your thumb nail at a sharp angle, it it slides off it isn't sharp, if it sticks it is sharp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you use an electric wheel grinder/sharpener be sure to not let your chisel or blade get hot, too hot and it will change color, if it gets to that point you ruined the edge. When I sharpen I will keep touching the blade or chisel to make sure it isn't so hot I can't touch it.

Once you have your chisel or blade sharp, all you will need to do is hone it, unless you nick it or damage the edge.

Hold your chisel or blade up so light will shine on the edge, if the edge shines anywhere that spot is dull.

From my experience, you will get a much better edge from the wet/dry sand paper than a diamond, you want the sanded part to be almost mirror shiney. Let the edge rest on your thumb nail at a sharp angle, it it slide off it isn't sharp, if it sticks it is sharp.
Thanks BigJim, You know over heating just might have been the problem because when I first started using a grinder 20 years ago I did heat them up and they were smoking. I remember some were blue when I was done.

Well I still have the wet&dry sand paper, maybe I'll give that a try. :smile:
 

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Blue is cooked. Toast. Need to gently grind that all out and start over.

Right at the very beginning, something I do that might work for you:
Basically, you can't see what's going on as the surface to be worked on is down.
Paint the bevel with waterproof black felt marker. Work that surface.
Now when you turn it over, there's absolutley no doubt where the metal is coming off.

When I build up a crooked knife from a hook knife that a farrier would use, the first step is to change the bevel along the entire sweep (freehand) from 30 degrees to 12 degrees. Black marker is a relaxing way to see the progress.
 

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Blue is cooked. Toast. Need to gently grind that all out and start over.

Right at the very beginning, something I do that might work for you:
Basically, you can't see what's going on as the surface to be worked on is down.
Paint the bevel with waterproof black felt marker. Work that surface.
Now when you turn it over, there's absolutley no doubt where the metal is coming off.

When I build up a crooked knife from a hook knife that a farrier would use, the first step is to change the bevel along the entire sweep (freehand) from 30 degrees to 12 degrees. Black marker is a relaxing way to see the progress.
On my grinder, I did something some may not agree with, I took the guards off and turned the bench grinder around where the off and on switch is on the back side not the front. This way the wheels are spinning upwards, not downward and you can see the edge of what you are sharpening, I also keep a pan of water close so I can cool the blade if it gets a little too warm.

If you do turn the grinder around, with a magic marker draw on the top of the grinder, where it can be seen, that the wheels are running backwards so no one will use it wrong and get hurt.
 

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Sleeper, That Lee Valley jig is the best. If you are in this for the long run just buy it you won't regret it. I have used many methods in my 50 + years of woodworking and my chisels and plane irons have never been sharper.
 

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Sleeper, I bought a guide identical to the second one you posted from woodcraft I believe and it worked great for me. I recently tried my hand at sharpening for the first time and learned creating that initial bevel is a pain. Once that was achieved, the process went smoothly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sleeper, I bought a guide identical to the second one you posted from woodcraft I believe and it worked great for me. I recently tried my hand at sharpening for the first time and learned creating that initial bevel is a pain. Once that was achieved, the process went smoothly.
I may have to Buy that at least for the narrow chisels. I just did my 1/4" from the same Craftsman set as the first chisel. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake because there wasn't as much metal to take off and I had a lot of trouble keeping it flat on the stone. I finally gave up on holding the chisel down on the stone and just held the wheels while pushing it around. I just finished it and it is realy shinny, but when I tried to cut paper it would not cut at all, so I guess I have more work to do on it.

I still have the 1/2" & 3/4" to do from that same set, but the 3/4" is shot and I may have to replace it. To remove the "blue" would mean I have to take off way to much metal.

I also have a fairly new Stanley set that's never been sharpened and I hope I'll have an easier time of it.

I mentioned earlier that I started a Stanley 1 1/2" and had to quit because I wasn't getting anywhere. That is actually my favorite because I bought that in '72 while working as a framing carpenter and I have a lot of good memories associated with it. I'm going to wait until I buy some 60 Grit Paper to start it.:smile:
 

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I think you are WAY over doing this. The object is to bring two surfaces together. You could use water stones, oil stones, sandpaper, etc. I would encourage not to buy anymore fancy devices, your grinder will work just fine. You don't need a jig for the grinder, use the holder on the grinder as is. Next use whatever holding jig you have and put on a secondary bevel. This process works well for inexpensive chisels and should take about 5-10 minutes to do. After you become better at it you may want to buy better chisels and at that point you no longer want to turn to the grinder and stay with either a holding jig or free-hand sharpening.
 
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