Any Tips / Web Tutorials for Sharpening Chisels?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Matt_sx, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. Matt_sx

    Matt_sx New Member

    Now I know why some chisels are more expensive

    I've bought some cheap chisels and it looks like the bevel was cut with oxy/acetylene

    Trying to cut my loss i've got some honing oil and a oil stone, anyone got any tips how to sharpen?

    I guess rubbing the bevel on the course then fine, but is that it?

  2. murrmac

    murrmac Member

    Tip number one is to throw away the oilstone and buy a set of Japanese waterstones, if the chisels are for workshop use.

    If they are going to be used on site (which for some reason I don't think likely) then invest in a couple of DMT diamond hones.
  3. Matt_sx

    Matt_sx New Member

    Your right, I'm a DIYer so not used on site

    Any tips for a bloke who rarely uses chisels, has bought blunt chisels, and owns a oil stone and some honing oil :)
  4. marlow-renovations

    marlow-renovations New Member

    If they are really blunt and you have no grinding wheel then you could start with course sandpaper stuck to a flat surface and work your way to finer grades. If you only use a oil stone it could take ages to get the initial grind depending on your stone. This system is called 'scary sharp'.
    Also a honing guide makes the whole process easy. Try to not let the metal become too hot by dipping in water if needed. you are aiming for a 30 degree angle without getting too technical.
    There is tons of info on the net on chisel sharpening from grinding to stropping and a hundred ways to do it.

  5. Matt_sx

    Matt_sx New Member

    I've only got 3 chisels so prepared to put the time in

    Have heard about a guide so maybe worth the investment

    Wish I didnt skimp and bought some marples now!

    Thanks mate, appreciate it
  6. lamello

    lamello New Member

    I sharpen mine up on silicon carbide paper. Bit of oil and through the grits fron 120 to 320. 5 mins max for a set of 5. guides and stuff are more hassle than they are worth. Couple of goes at it and you will be a natural. Obsessing about getting the perfect edge is a hobbyists thing. Working for money you get em sharpened and get on.
  7. lamello

    lamello New Member

    You want to use silicon carbide paper as oppossed to aluminium oxide.
  8. lamello

    lamello New Member

    not wanting to have a pop but their is a great deal of money to be made out of sharpening. I've had diamond stones and arkansas stones and oilstones etc but for the last ten years all I have used is silicone carbide on a machine bed with 3 in 1 oil. Best, quickest and cheapest. And a cheap grinder to take out any dings. By the time someones plugged a tormek in I'll be done and on my way
  9. murrmac

    murrmac Member

    there are of course varying degrees of sharpness.

    site joiner sharpness, bench joiner sharpness, woodcarver sharpness, luthier quality sharpness.

    if all you need is to chop a mortise or a hinge recess, your chisel need only be as sharp as the average screwdriver - this would be site joiner sharpness.

    at the other end of the scale, luthier quality sharpness requires an edge which is capable of taking a gossamer thin shaving off the end grain of softwood.

    such an edge is obtainable only by dint of much practice and experience, and such an edge is not required for 99.99% of joinery work.

    a further tip is that before you even try to sharpen your chisels, you need to spend time "backing them off" ie flattening the backs off on a perfectly flat surface, either a diamond stone or sandpaper on a machine bed as suggested above.

    once the backs are perfectly flat, then it will be possible to get a decent edge on them, but not until then.
  10. murrmac

    murrmac Member

    by "backs" , I mean the area of the back immediately behind the edge, for say about 12 mm or so.

    it isn't necessary to flatten the whole area of the back of the blade ...
  11. Mr Mike

    Mr Mike New Member

  12. stevie.c

    stevie.c New Member

    go on youtube "how to do section",and type in sharpening chisels.
  13. lamello

    lamello New Member

    Really murmacc tell me more about how site joiners only need a screwdriver sharp chisel to hang doors. I can guarantee you that when I sharpen my chisels up I can pare oak endgrain to leave a virtually polished finish. Sharpening is the area of woodworking that has the most about it. I am not a site joiner but can guarantee you that any decent site joiner would be able to produce a finer edge in quicker time than any playing around hobbyist. Why, because sharp tools earn you more money than blunt tools. Obsessing about levels of sharpness is the refuge of the incompetent and lazy hobbyist who would rather get himself all ready to work than actually do the work.

    Of course there are different degrees of sharpness I agree but to suggest that site joiners can survive hanging doors with a chisel as sharp as a screwdriver suggests two things 1) you have no experience of such things and are a googling fantasist as evidenced by your ludicrous Fallacies thread.2) you are a windup merchant.
  14. Wayne K

    Wayne K New Member

    I agree with lamello, Murmac has spent ages telling this guy sweet FA. I think number 1)
    he has no experience of such things and is a googling fantasist as evidenced by his ludicrous Fallacies thread
    I also reckon he is a nob
  15. Mof

    Mof Guest

    I also agree,you always need sharp chisels whatever the job.You must realize that a screwdriver is not "sharp" it has a flat on the end.

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