sharpening question

What is the best way to maintain a keen edge on carving tools such as the gouges, etc.? Back when I was a chef, I never let my knifes get dull. Everyday I would fine tune them with a few strokes on a hard stone so they were like a hot knife through warm butter.
Carving chisels are a different thought altogether with the polishing and mirror finish needed to glide through the wood, not to mention the many different shapes. Would a minute or two on a power strop be what is needed to maintain a keen edge? Or, is a stone then polishing required each time? I just purchased a small sheet of leather and some compound to try out the old method of stropping without power, which seems that it would be good on the straight chisels but a pain for the rest.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated on this subject.
Thanks, Patrick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are quite a few specialty stones and hones that are shaped for gouges. Look at the Lee Valley catalog or Woodcraft catalog and you'll find all you could ever need.
You could also use short lengths of dowels with PSA-backed microfinishing film of different grits attached and make your own hones that way. Just match the dowel approximately to the size of the gouge and you can sharpen/hone the inside face.
For the outside face, take some scrap pine and use the gouge to cut the profile into the wood. Take some sharpening/honing compound and apply it to the profile. Then use that to hone your gouge. You can do quite a few on one board and then keep that handy while you're carving.
Unless you really screw up and chip an edge, regular honing like that should be sufficient to keep your tools sharp.
Chuck Vance
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thank you Chuck, above is what I really needed to hear. I wanted to stay away from the stones as much as possible (not because I don't know how to use them), because I want to preserve as much as possible the shapes as I go through my learning curve to master the art of keeping a keen edge.
Thanks again, Patrick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Roy Underhill had a professional wood carver who spent a few minutes on sharpening. He held the tool about 8 inches from his nose and used small profiled stones freeehand at eye level so he could see the alignment. He held the stones by their ends - between thumb and 1st or 2nd fingers. He held the tool steady and moved the stone. For polishing, he had some leather sheets with various grooves carved in them to match the profiles. There were maybe 12 grooves running parallel in the leather which he charged with polishing compound. He said that's how he was taught by carvers from the old country. mark P.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mark popp wrote in message ...

Thanks Mark.
I have always enjoyed Roy Underhill's show and am sorry that it hasn't been on where ever I am anymore. I do like the way that things got done in the old country before we got lazy with "more power," but I am glad that I didn't live back then without deodorant and other modern niceties.
Patrick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don't get me wrong . . . I love my power tools!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
patrick wrote:

When wimminz were required to wear 3/4 body suits instead of thong bikinis... :)
I'm surprised no one mentioned this yet, so I will. The benchmark standard is pretty much "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" by Leonard Lee. Widely available. I think I bought mine at a real bookstore.
He covers every kind of sharpenable except machetes. It's a great book to have around the shop.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.