sharpening chisels - Router Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
levon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Country: United States
First Name: levon
Posts: 1,820
 
Default sharpening chisels

i have seen people on woodworking shows using chisels by hand to shave wood to make better joints and various purposes. i dont have a fancy wood handled chisel set.i have a pretty good set of 5 stanley chisels. when i say pretty good, they are the only ones i havent beat to death ,lol

my question is, can these chisels be sharpened to shave wood by hand like this?

light travels faster than sound, this is why some people seem bright til you hear them speak.

Please Please Please edit your profile with a name and location so we can better assist you and make for a friendlier forum

levon
levon is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 09:45 AM
mbg
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 3
 
Default

Yes! Last year I bought a WorkSharp WS3000 and first tried it out on my inexpensive Harbor Freight chisels and I could shave the hair off of my arm. I highly recommend the sharpener.

Mike
mbg is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 10:15 AM
Registered User
 
istracpsboss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Country: Croatia
First Name: Peter
Posts: 1,683
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbg View Post
Yes! Last year I bought a WorkSharp WS3000 and first tried it out on my inexpensive Harbor Freight chisels and I could shave the hair off of my arm. I highly recommend the sharpener.

Mike
Currently available at Amazon.com: Work Sharp WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener: Home Improvement

However, with a simple jig, you should be able to do it on an oilstone without spending that much. Chisel Sharpening Jig or Buy Chisel and Plane Blade Sharpening Guide at Woodcraft.com

There is a jig for a D/E grinder at Amateur Woodworker: Sharpening Jig

However, unless your chisels are really b******d up, you really only need a honing guide like Buy Honing Guide at Woodcraft.com

Cheers

Peter
istracpsboss is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 10:33 AM
Registered User
 
rwyoung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Country: United States
First Name: Rob
Posts: 650
   
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by levon View Post
i have seen people on woodworking shows using chisels by hand to shave wood to make better joints and various purposes. i dont have a fancy wood handled chisel set.i have a pretty good set of 5 stanley chisels. when i say pretty good, they are the only ones i havent beat to death ,lol

my question is, can these chisels be sharpened to shave wood by hand like this?
Boy, you are opening a can of worms... Here is a long and rambling post that might give you some ideas or just might drive you off to buy some do-all gadget and be done.

I've been using the "scary sharp" or sandpaper method for a while and I'm transitioning into using water stones (IceBear brand, good stuff and less expensive than Norton or other Japan stones). The water stones are a bit more expensive but except for needing to rehab a seriously beat up chisel, I've found them to be faster and less mess than the sand paper. Still a little mess on the bench but not like cleaning up the overspray from sticking down the paper or the metal filing dust.

In general for western style bench chisels, all the sharpening methods will tell you do first flatten the back of the chisel. The whole back doesn't have to be flat, really just the 1/8" to 1/4" down at the business end. Work through the grids/grades of your system of choice until the back is flat and shiny and free of scratches (again, the last 1/4" is really the important part). Next you can either hollow grind or skip the hollow grind. The thing about hollow grinding is that you have less material to remove later with the finer grits and it does make it easier to balance the chisel if holding by hand to sharpen.

The WS2000/3000 does not require hollow grinding (can't do it anyway) and some of the other powered machines don't. I've started hollow grinding and I like it because once done, it isn't necessary again until the chisel has been well used (abused) and it does seem to speed up the later sharpening steps. The speed increase is because you will have only two small edges of the chisel in contact with the honing surface instead of the whole bevel. Less metal to remove so quicker to get through the grit/grade.

Also, you can pick the bevel angle at this time. The average bench chisel is probably around 30 degrees. A good compromise angle. Steeper holds an edge better letting you chop harder. Shallower for paring cuts (say 25 or even 20 degrees) but the edge won't stay as long.

Don't fret getting the bevel exactly at 30.00000. 29 is fine, 31 is fine, etc. Lots of ways to set the bevel, I just give it a quick check with a protractor and then proceed by eye. The key is to have only one facet after honing (unless you are doing microbevels... did I mention a can of worms is involved here!

Seriously, I suggest you google around for the scary sharp method and watch some of the videos at Fine Woodworking, Wood Magazine and on YouTube. You don't have to go nuts making jigs and stuff. Some hardware store float glass and a piece of MDF make a useable sharpening station. Get some wet dry from the auto parts store, up to 1500 or 2000 and have a few sheet of the grades in between down to maybe 80. The really course ones you'll only use once or twice.

Mineral Oil works well as a lube for the swarf, as does water or even WD-40.

As to a honing guide, that is a personal choice. I started with one, about a $40 job so middle of the road in quality and I've stopped using it except for my 1/8" chisel because I can hold by hand and get done quicker. The 1/8" gives me trouble keeping it straight so I still use the guide.

A good sharp chisel or plane blade makes a WORLD of difference!

Last edited by rwyoung; 07-30-2009 at 10:35 AM.
rwyoung is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 11:12 AM
Retired Moderator
 
Bob N's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Country: United States
First Name: Bob
Posts: 5,688
     
Default

Hi levon,

I have had about every sharpening device on the market at one time or the other. Last year I settled in with the Worksharp 3000 and have never looked back. Simple, fast and a real no-brainer for folks like me

It gets my chisels sharp enough to shave Harry's cat and that is plenty sharp enough for me
Bob N is offline  
post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
levon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Country: United States
First Name: levon
Posts: 1,820
 
Default

thanks to all who answered!

Bob, i thought sooner or later i might hear from you as you are a real wood turner.

i think as hot as it is here, Harry's cat would probably need a shave. cats are great aniamls and they serve a purpose, i just dont know what that purpose is? lol lol

light travels faster than sound, this is why some people seem bright til you hear them speak.

Please Please Please edit your profile with a name and location so we can better assist you and make for a friendlier forum

levon
levon is offline  
post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 11:33 AM
Retired Moderator
 
Bob N's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Country: United States
First Name: Bob
Posts: 5,688
     
Default

Now levon.... I don't use the Worksharp for my turning tools as I use a grinder with the Wolverine system for that task, but everything else gets the Worksharp
Bob N is offline  
post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 01:47 PM
Registered User
 
Ghidrah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Country: United States
First Name: Ronald
Posts: 1,466
 
Default

I
ve been using the Makita wet stone for well over 12 yrs, they might not even make it anymore. It get's my chisels very sharp, (hair shaving).

I've never used mine to carve for the sake of carving. Don't carving chisels have long handles like lathe chisels for controlled pushing?

Never bite the hand that looks dirty!
The more you know the more you're worth
Ghidrah is offline  
post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 02:13 PM
Registered User
 
rwyoung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Country: United States
First Name: Rob
Posts: 650
   
Default

I would like to point out the arm shaving trick is really just a gimmick. You can shave the hair off your arm with what is really a pretty dull chisel.

A good test of sharpness is how easily you can pair end grain on a soft, sloppy piece of pine or poplar. If you can create a whisper thin shaving, the full width of your chisel with just light, guiding pressure of your hands, it is a sharp chisel.

A dull chisel will catch in end grain and chatter across it. A sharp chisel, even one with a steep bevel angle will pare end grain easily.
rwyoung is offline  
post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 02:52 PM
Registered User
 
curiousgeorge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Country: United States
First Name: George
Posts: 3,003
     
Send a message via Skype™ to curiousgeorge
Default

Rob is 100% correct as to chisel sharpness. You can sharpen just about any chisel to "shaving" sharpness. The question is; how long will it stay that way? If you have a set of inexpensive (read cheap) chisels they will not hold an edge for any time at all because of the soft steel used in manufacture. The edge will likely roll on the first use.

George
Fort Worth, Texas
City where the west begins.

Last edited by curiousgeorge; 07-30-2009 at 02:55 PM.
curiousgeorge is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sharpening (NOT router bits) reikimaster Tools and Woodworking 11 03-28-2009 07:25 PM
Best value in chisels? rstermer Tools and Woodworking 8 10-29-2008 01:52 PM
spent some time sharpening... reikimaster Tools and Woodworking 7 10-01-2007 09:03 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome