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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it normal practice when using a guide to go back and forth or just pull it towards your body? Thanks!
 

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I go back and forth with a guide. If free hand sharpening, I only pull to prevent digging into the stone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Somehow I was able to get a micro bevel on my big 1" chisel but I can't seem to do it on my 3/4 or 1/2. I am using dewalt chisels and I am practicing on them before I sharpen my stanleys, which were a tad more expensive, I just don't have the confidence in sharpening them so I am using the dewalts as testers. I am using a veritas sharpening system set to 25degrees and I start with a 1000 and finish with a 4000. I also have a 250 and 800 but I dont use those since the chisels are new. Thanks for any tips.
 

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Biggest tip I could give you is don't forget to flatten the backs of the chisels.

I had one chisel I just couldn't get sharp and couldn't figure out why. I flattened the back and had a good bevel but it just wasn't sharp. Turns out the back really wasn't flat and there was a small area just at the cutting edge on the back that was recessed - almost like a back bevel had been ground into it. Spent a little more time truly flattening the back and it sharpened up right away.

I wouldn't necessarily worry about getting a micro-bevel on your chisels. Some people use them some don't. I don't bother with them. I know they can speed up resharpening times as you are removing less metal, but I never spend more than a few moments resharpening anyway. Usually just a few swipes on my finest grit stone or on a strop to retouch while I'm working.
 

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I have just chopped out 8m/24' of ceramic tile with a Chraftsman 1" chisel. More waves in the end than the ocean.
1. Joint/square off the end just beyond the last of the damage/wear.
2. Paint the bevel with black felt marker and SCRUB on a coarse oilstone to reestablish a 30 degree bevel.
3. Go through 2 finer grits of oilstone at 30 to refine the bevel. Pull strokes only at this stage.
4. Do some refinement on the back to smooth it out and take off the gross wire edge.
5. Maybe 800 to make it look pretty.

Pull strokes alone, particularly with freehand sharpening as I do, allow for far better control of the developing bevel.

If this were one of my carving tools, I'd go on to a 4K waterstone then 40,000 grit to hone on a strop to see "carving sharp."

I see no reason, other than esthetics, to spend much time fooling with flatting the back for the work this chisel is expected to do. I have 3 days in which to totally trash an entire kitchen, appliances and all. To finish with an empty box of a room with a sewer connection and H & C water stubs.
9P Saturday. I can see what all to do tomorrow and I'm done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks for the tips. I did swipe the back of the chisels a few times. The back of the chisels are weird now that I ran them across the stones. They are almost smudged in some areas on the back more so towards the tip, and the rest of the blade seems untouched by the stone. Same thing on the bevel end, there is a small shiny area and a dark smudgy area.
 

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Thanks for the tips. I did swipe the back of the chisels a few times. The back of the chisels are weird now that I ran them across the stones. They are almost smudged in some areas on the back more so towards the tip, and the rest of the blade seems untouched by the stone. Same thing on the bevel end, there is a small shiny area and a dark smudgy area.
You only need to flatten the first inch of the back next to the cutting edge. After fifty years of use if you have shortened the chisel from sharpening you can flatten the next inch.:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
that video was great and very helpful. I cannot seem to get a shiny finish on my chisel, even using a 4000grit, but it is extremely sharp now. I was able to shave my arm hair with it, and it cuts through paper with ease, so I think I just need to keep practicing my skill at sharpening and then I can do my primary chisels :)
 

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I use a veritas guide with diamond stones and sandpaper with a push and pull stroke. I figure you get twice the metal removal for the same amount of work.

Try moving the chisel around with respect to the light. Some times it's hard to see the reflection, especially if you have a micro-bevel. But at 4000 grit it has to be shiny.
 

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I use the Veritas guide too. I just don't do as well without it. Diamond plate, sandpaper on glass. Push and pull.

I would also like to add. If your chisels are economy models, best off if you at least when you do your first sharpen and hone. Check the back for flatness. Some are curved enough to give you problems and would need more than the first inch flattened.

I strop. I forgot to add that.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Well, good. If all you plan to do is shave arm hair and cut paper, you're done!

How well does that edge cut in the wood that you intend to use? For carving, I have "try sticks" of every kind of wood that I use. I test edges in that wood as I have no urgent need to carve arm pit hair, fingers or paper.

If you need a really shiny surface, you need to "hone" the face of the bevel with a honing compound on a strop.
1. The honing compounds are 0.5 micron and smaller, that's possibly 40,000 grit. No, anyone who tells you that these are polishing compounds is full of hooey = the edge is so finely scratched that your eyes can't see it and you 'believe' that the metal is polished (use a 10X magnifier to prove what I say.)
2. "Push" rams the fresh edge into the sharpening medium = error. Each push undoes a pull.

For honing my carving tools and those for other carvers, I use chrome green which is a green colored chemical with a nominal partical size of 0.5 micrometer. Besides the common european style gouges and skews, I have 9 different crooked knives. Four of those are pairs of Mora #171 Hook knives = their edges, now at 12 degreees, are better than stock razor blades.

I'm not bragging. Making tools carving sharp is a learned skill. Over the past 10 years, I have learned to do that very, very well and I will endeavour to teach anybody how to do it.
BTW, I do it all freehand. Once you learn how to use your body as a jig, you are good to go. Veritas, eat your heart out.

How does flattening the first inch behind the bevel edge promote a good cutting edge?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, good. If all you plan to do is shave arm hair and cut paper, you're done!

How well does that edge cut in the wood that you intend to use? For carving, I have "try sticks" of every kind of wood that I use. I test edges in that wood as I have no urgent need to carve arm pit hair, fingers or paper.

If you need a really shiny surface, you need to "hone" the face of the bevel with a honing compound on a strop.
1. The honing compounds are 0.5 micron and smaller, that's possibly 40,000 grit. No, anyone who tells you that these are polishing compounds is full of hooey = the edge is so finely scratched that your eyes can't see it and you 'believe' that the metal is polished (use a 10X magnifier to prove what I say.)
2. "Push" rams the fresh edge into the sharpening medium = error. Each push undoes a pull.

For honing my carving tools and those for other carvers, I use chrome green which is a green colored chemical with a nominal partical size of 0.5 micrometer. Besides the common european style gouges and skews, I have 9 different crooked knives. Four of those are pairs of Mora #171 Hook knives = their edges, now at 12 degreees, are better than stock razor blades.

I'm not bragging. Making tools carving sharp is a learned skill. Over the past 10 years, I have learned to do that very, very well and I will endeavour to teach anybody how to do it.
BTW, I do it all freehand. Once you learn how to use your body as a jig, you are good to go. Veritas, eat your heart out.

How does flattening the first inch behind the bevel edge promote a good cutting edge?
No lol, I plan on using them when hand cutting dovetails. The paper and my arm was just a quick test to see how sharp it was. I think I have a good technique finally so I can apply it to the other chisels. That video really helped me, very informative and exactly what I was looking for.
 

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I don't want to hijack this thread - but wondering if anyone had tips for sharpening mortise chisels by hand. I've seen a few videos online - but those are mostly for honing them - not fixing a fairly trashed chisel. I found this mortise chisel in a bucket in my dad's basement and would like to use it - but it looks pretty abused. There isn't much of a bevel left - so it looks like this needs to be re-established - and the last 3/4" of the chisel necks down from 1/4" to a little over 1/8". From what I understand they should be the same width the full length - should this portion be cut or ground off or would it be usable after putting on a new bevel? Or should it just go back in the bucket?
 

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Probably the same routine that I use to repair a fine wood carving gouge which has hit a sand grain.
I prefer to do all this freehand as I've never gained much experience with powered sharpening systems of any kind.

1. Paint the existing bevel with black felt marker so that you can see what's happening.
2. Begin with a coarse oil stone. I use Pennzoil 5W40 motor oil. Hold the tool axis vertical and scrub the tip back to square with the axis. Tedious but has to be done once.
3. Draw the desired bevel angle on some sort of card stock. This will stand beside the sharpening medium until the end.
4. Put the old bevel tip on that same stone, same oil, and elevate the tool shank to match the angle card.
5. Scrub and scrub to re-establish the needed bevel. I have skews at 25 degrees, spokeshaves at 28 degrees and my Stanley #5 at 30 degrees. I like those angles. Most western wood carving tools are 20 degrees. For a mortise chisel, that may not put enough steel behind the edge for support in that task.
6. I'd go through my 3 oil stones refining the bevel, the top might be approx 220 grit (unknown, all of them.)
7. 600, 800 then 1500 grit W&D automotive finishing sand papers.
8. From step 5 onwards, you'll notice a good wire edge develop. Alternate a few strokes on the flat, maybe pull strokes only. Takes time but it will break off.
9. How fine you need to go is up to you. Who sees the inside surfaces of a well cut mortice?
10. I don't like sanding my carvings. As such, then, the tools mark the surface. I hone my edges with chrome green on some sort of strop = might be leather, might be crackerbox cardboard, might be a 4" x 6" filing card. With a nominal particle size of 0.5 micrometer, that makes my honing process about 40,000 grit.
= = =
Looking again at the tip, it is so very rounded off, is there a possible reason for that shape, not just simply wear and tear?
 

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Don't have any idea what the proper name might be, BUT. . .
if you turn it over, it looks like a round-nose, wood turning, lathe tool. Approx 60 degree bevel. I have tuned up a few of those over the past couple of years.
 

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Robson Valley said:
Don't have any idea what the proper name might be, BUT. . .
if you turn it over, it looks like a round-nose, wood turning, lathe tool. Approx 60 degree bevel. I have tuned up a few of those over the past couple of years.
It doesn't have the right socket for a turning tool. It just looks like someone was picking ice and concrete with it. It's still a keeper. It's been struck pretty hard but it's also made to be struck. If it were mine I would follow the instructions and restore it. Yak with the hand tool guys. Many in that section can tell you exactly what it is.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Al B Thayer said:
It doesn't have the right socket for a turning tool. It just looks like someone was picking ice and concrete with it. It's still a keeper. It's been struck pretty hard but it's also made to be struck. If it were mine I would follow the instructions and restore it. Yak with the hand tool guys. Many in that section can tell you exactly what it is. Al Nails only hold themselves.
I wouldn't be surprised if it was used to chip mortar or concrete. It was in a bucket with some of my dad's other masonry tools. My dad's bench chisels are similarly rounded as well and I know they have been used as screwdriver, pry bars and putty knives in a pinch.

From the markings I can find on it, it was made by Ohio Tools and looks similar to other Ohio tools mortise chisels I've found pictures of online.
 
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