I think you're being a bit "anal retentive" here about sharpening. A flat
surface (glass, your tablesaw, a piece of MDF) and a few sheets of sandpaper
makes a ScarySharp sharpening system that is tough to beat. Yes - then next
20 following posts will be from the purists that own the Tormeks or the
latest quality hones or other stones that cost a fortune. I have some
ceramic stones but they haven't been used in several years.
I use a 12" square of 1/4" plate glass I got from a glass dealer ($2) and
some wet/dry papers from the auto store ($1/sheet). I have some coarse
sheets 400-600 grit on up to 2000 grit as I recall and it takes all of about
10 minutes to touch up my whole set of chisels. You do not need to have the
backs so they look like a mirror - just flat. The primary bevel needs to be
nick free but doesn't have to be razor sharp. it's the micro-bevel that you
put on last that does all the work.
Not sure your free-hand style is good enough, then look at the Lee Valley
site ( www.leevalley.com ) and find the sharpening, roller guide for chisels
and plane blades. There are others but Lee Valley makes a great guide and
it has the adjustment you turn to do the micro-bevel.
This should get you there
Don;t do it. A typical Marples or Greenlee paring chisel can last
decades, even with daily, severe professional use, which means frequent
and possibly non-optimal sharpenings. Grinding the back out of a
perfectly decent chisel will stop its useful life at the business end
wherever you locate this folly
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