ARTICLE - Sharpening Carving Chisels

http://www.woodcraft.com/articles.aspx?articleid95
A bit too fussy for my taste.
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On Feb 15, 2:28 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Thought there might be some reference material there, but it's just another snip that Woodcraft picked up from a book they sell.
Sharpening is interesting for a few minutes. After that, I want to start working with wood. I just can't get as persnickety as some woodworkers seem to be. I'll spend a couple hours, maybe three, to save a favored old tool, but after that, it gets the same sharpening as any other, which takes five minutes. Or less.
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In article

Is it sharp enough?
Yes: Use it.
No: Sharpen it so it's sharp enough.
Repeat loop.
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"Charlie Self" wrote

Purchased the WorkSharp 3000 (partly based on Charlie B's review and other gathered information) and for the first time in a long time all my chisels, and most of my planes, are 'scary sharp' in less than 10 - 15 minutes each ... all with no mess whatsoever.
... and the "mess" is what's turned me off for umpteen years, to the point that I'd almost rather buy a new, almost sharp chisel, then sharpen an old one.
Nice to be able to grab a sharp chisel out of the drawer, use it a few minutes, touch it up in seconds, then put it back, still sharp, for the next time.
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Sounds like my kind of machine. I'll check that out.
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Swingman wrote:

I have never bought a chisel that I considered to be sharp when it was new. I always had to tune it up a little to get it just right.
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Robert Allison
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Robert Allison wrote:

I'm terrible at sharpening. When I buy a chisel, it's likely as perfect as it will ever be. I use it as long as I can before sharpening, because after I sharpen it, it's misshapen, sharp here/dull there, overheated, lopsided, and abused.
The sharpening jig I'm looking for is a box into which I can place the tool, close the lid, then come back in a few minutes to a finely honed edge. If it's more complicated than that - I'm gonna bugger it up.
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DS wrote:

I"m gonna get flamed but here goes.
Many years ago, I had an excellent woodworking instructor who spent a great deal of time showing us how to sharpen with an oilstone. Ostensibly we had a project to make out of pine, but it was bogus, cause what this guy really wanted to do was teach technique. And he did that. When I left that little course, I could sharpen chisels and plane irons.
However, that skill is now lost. And I don't have the patience to re-acquire it. I've tried to sharpen free hand on oil and water stones. I've altered the angles of every tool I own and ground them back to shape with shitty grinders, being rewarded with that lovely blue that comes with lousy stones. I've spent hours with sandpaper on glass to get my angles back and have produced edges that couldn't cut butter in July.
At some point, one realizes that pounding a head against a brick wall will feel much better if one simply stops. Which I did.
I got the Veritas Mk II jig. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pQ868&cat=1,43072,43078
That, and a decent set of water (or oil) stones and I consistently produce edges that I'm satisfied with. Scary Sharp? No. Not quite. But I can shave the back of my arm.
It took me an hour or so the first time using it to get to where I wanted, and now it takes a few minutes with each chisel or plane iron.
I don't think this system is as good as what charlieb and Swingman are using, but it's a bit cheaper. YMMV
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No flame here! We all need to solve this problem in the way that works best for us, because dull tools are awful.

I actually took a specific sharpening class

Any hand skill needs constant use to stay sharp. (sorry, bad pun)
Your experience is exactly why I broke down and bought a Tormek. As a part timer, I couldn't keep the skill fresh. I can now get a tool properly sharp, and keep it touched up on 4000/8000 grit water stones, all the while getting back to working wood.
Whatever machine, jig, or technique works for the particular craftsperson is the correct answer. <G>
This is the same reason I do a five minute dovetail to warm up for hand work and spray scrap panels or cardboard boxes before I start to spray a project. This is the woodworking version of the pre-game skate!
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"Tanus" wrote

Actually, I've spent far more on waterstones than I did on the WorkSharp 3000. The basic unit, which will set you up to immediately do chisels and plane irons, 'out of the box', is $199.
I found that much more attractive, costwise, and less messy, than the Tormek, which I could have sprung for many times in the past, but was always put off by the inherent "mess" of any water based grinding system.
The WS 3000 is probably not for everyone, but it certainly suits my purposes _much_ better than any other sharpening method I've tried, and no sludge to deal with.
(I've got a Grizzly slow speed water based grinder I'll give to anyone who wants to come pick it up)
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Swingman wrote:

SOLD! I'll be by in..oh, wait. Houston, right? As in Texas? Google maps says you're a bazillion miles away. At $4/gal, with a truck that makes 20 mpg, that Griz will be a steal at $3,986 plus customs duties once I bring it back to Canada.
OTOH, I've always wanted to see the Astrodome...
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"Tanus" wrote

Better hurry ... my guess is that it's soon going to be history. AAMOF, we're playing what I expect will probably be our last gig there this coming week, at a Rodeo function.
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DS wrote:

Don't worry, you are not alone. Sometimes on a job I will pull out my stones and start tuning up a chisel or something. You would not believe how many people come over with horribly mishapen chisels or knives and want me to "fix them up".
I generally take everyones chisels home when I have the time and sharpen them all at once. It is a zen like experience, really.
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Robert Allison wrote:

So... I've got a shop full of chisels, plane irons, gouges, skews, knives, awls, and even a couple of screwdrivers that I'd like to box up and send to you for rehabilitation!
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Robert Allison wrote:

Actually, I just noticed the Georgetown in your sig. Next time I'm in Round Rock for training, maybe I could drop a couple of gouges by, then head to Reds in Pflugerville for some range time before heading down to 6th street for some music and brew. That's pretty much my SOP when I'm there.
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DS wrote:

You have to be earning money for me to provide that service for free! I figure that if I sharpen their chisels and such for them, they will accomplish more, therefore more profit for me.
Apparently, zen can be capitalistic, too!
:-)
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Robert Allison wrote:

Well, I do spend quite a bit of money on beer and wild women in Austin. Since I'm enriching the local economy, I'm sure some of that ends up there in Georgetown. So really... If you think about it in the right way...
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DS wrote:

OK, you have convinced me. When you are coming through Georgetown, take the Westinghouse road exit (south end of G'town). You have to turn left on Westinghouse Rd. Go over the interstate, then continue up the hill. When you are past the top of the hill and going back downhill, you will see some VERY large boulders stacked on the right side of the road. Leave all of your chisels, etc. on the backside of the northeastern most boulder. Be careful to wrap them in plastic to avoid moisture damage.
Come back in six months and they will be ready.
Post here when you have left them.
:-)
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Robert Allison wrote:

Deal! If I can remember all that after practicing for deer hunting at Red's then dear hunting in the warehouse district, I'll wrap 'em up and leave 'em.
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