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Jul 15, 2021 - 6:55:01 PM
9490 posts since 3/19/2009
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For several years I struggled with keeping tools 'scary sharp'.. My son took a course in instrument making and he said he spent the first whole week just learning how to sharpen his tools.. I learned from him, and am still learning..SO>. How do YOU sharpen/keep-sharp your chisels/knives?

Jul 15, 2021 - 7:55:52 PM

567 posts since 3/1/2020

I have an old geared hand crank grinder that I fitted with a new white aluminum oxide grinding wheel. I made my own articulated tool rest to make it easy to grind all kinds of blades.

After the grinder I use two Belgian stones to get a razor edge. I keep a strop charged with a jeweler’s compound for touching up edges between honing or grinding sessions.

For years I used a Jet slow-speed bench grinder with Veritas tool rests, then the Belgians. I have used DMT diamond stones a bit as well, but I like my Belgian stones a lot more, even if they’re softer and have to be resurfaced occasionally. I’ve also used the King stones, but I don’t like having to soak them before using—they tend to get gross and they’re too far on the soft side. I also tried the Alberti hand disc sander with a leather-covered disc. It worked fairly well for a quick touchup, but I always had trouble with the edge rolling.

I switched to the hand crank grinder for two reasons:
1) I don’t have the space for a bench grinder in my own workshop
2) A colleague retired and gave me a German grinder that is impossible to find in the US but works beautifully after decades of use.

There are a number of approaches to sharpening. It’s good to have a grinder of some kind that isn’t too high powered (it’s easier to burn the steel) and then some kind of abrasive to hone. The goal is to get consistent results without taking too long. If it’s not easy to sharpen, you’re less likely to do it.

Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 07/15/2021 19:57:06

Jul 15, 2021 - 8:05:54 PM

9490 posts since 3/19/2009
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

I have an old geared hand crank grinder that I fitted with a new white aluminum oxide grinding wheel. I made my own articulated tool rest to make it easy to grind all kinds of blades.

After the grinder I use two Belgian stones to get a razor edge. I keep a strop charged with a jeweler’s compound for touching up edges between honing or grinding sessions.

For years I used a Jet slow-speed bench grinder with Veritas tool rests, then the Belgians. I have used DMT diamond stones a bit as well, but I like my Belgian stones a lot more, even if they’re softer and have to be resurfaced occasionally. I’ve also used the King stones, but I don’t like having to soak them before using—they tend to get gross and they’re too far on the soft side. I also tried the Alberti hand disc sander with a leather-covered disc. It worked fairly well for a quick touchup, but I always had trouble with the edge rolling.

I switched to the hand crank grinder for two reasons:
1) I don’t have the space for a bench grinder in my own workshop
2) A colleague retired and gave me a German grinder that is impossible to find in the US but works beautifully after decades of use.

There are a number of approaches to sharpening. It’s good to have a grinder of some kind that isn’t too high powered (it’s easier to burn the steel) and then some kind of abrasive to hone. The goal is to get consistent results without taking too long. If it’s not easy to sharpen, you’re less likely to do it.


Sounds like you have a good 'system'... As for me I get tools Very sharp using diamond coated stones and then finish up with an old belt coated with the red rouge... There are probably better ways to sharpen but I'm getting pretty good results.. On some days when I don't have a project I just sharpen and test.... sharpen and test.... sharpen and test.. just for fun..Seems that I never get tired of sharpening tools..!!   Then I head to the kitchen and tell my lovely wife to get out of the way.. I'm going to sharpen the knives.. She Runs..!!

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 07/15/2021 20:07:00

Jul 16, 2021 - 10:56 AM
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2009 posts since 8/27/2008

I use a Work Sharp. It has a glass disk that turns at a slow speed that you put fine grit sandpaper on. There's an adjustable platform to hold blades at correct angle. Finish with leather strop. I like it because it's quick and accurate. I'd rather spend time using my chisels than sharpening them.

Jul 16, 2021 - 11:59:03 AM
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5620 posts since 7/1/2007

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

For several years I struggled with keeping tools 'scary sharp'.. My son took a course in instrument making and he said he spent the first whole week just learning how to sharpen his tools.. I learned from him, and am still learning..SO>. How do YOU sharpen/keep-sharp your chisels/knives?


I hate to sharpen, but it's critical that I always have really sharp tools at hand. For planes and chisels I use a standard honing guide like you see everywhere. I have a bench grinder and a couple of stationary belt sanders, but I haven't fired any of them up in years. To make a new edge or refurbish an old plane, I either use a silicon carbide (crystolon) stone or a 300 grit diamond stone. I've worn out two or three diamond stones in past years, so I reserve the diamond stones for light use and use cheapo diamond hones from Harbor Freight or SC stones for heavy use and clean up with a good diamond stone. For everyday sharpening I use the diamond stone to re-establish a bad edge, then use King waterstones. I keep the waterstones flat, and they are very fast. I sharpen my shop knives with a Spyderco Tri-angle sharpening system.  it's also very fast, and keeps my angles where they should be. In the kitchen, I just use a round ceramic hone every time I pick up a knife. This keeps sharpening time to a minimum, and maximizes productive work time.

Jul 16, 2021 - 9:29:20 PM
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46davis

USA

47 posts since 3/16/2021

I use a simple and cheap system. When I re-edge a blade or get a new one, I tape a piece of 400 grit Tri-M-ite paper to a piece of plate glass and use a roller vice to get the right angle. I substitute a washer for the roller for gouges. I then hone it with an Arkansas or other fine stone to a nice polish then finish it on a leather stropping board with chromium dioxide compound. I'm happy when the blade easily shaves the hair off my arm.

Jul 20, 2021 - 4:16:32 AM

72 posts since 9/4/2007

I use the Veritas Mk. II honing guide set and diamond stones, rough, fine, and extra fine. Once I got the angles set with the guide all I have ever seemed to need is quick touch ups. Haven't used leather and compound to do a final polish ever since I started using the Veritas guide. Like it a lot.

Jul 20, 2021 - 5:30:21 AM

2467 posts since 10/22/2007

I can't add much to Rich or
Mike's posts, but I've started using my magnifying devices also when I sharpen.

Jul 20, 2021 - 5:55:23 AM

gapbob

USA

787 posts since 4/20/2008

Tormek.

Jul 20, 2021 - 10:54:05 AM

1249 posts since 10/13/2010

3-in-one-oil on a Soft Arkansas Stone and a leather strap with green honing compound.

I'm thinking of adding an intermediary hard stone.

I also have a honing guide but I'd like to get away from it.

Jul 20, 2021 - 7:43 PM

567 posts since 3/1/2020

I like the Tormek and have seen great results with it. Many of my colleagues use them. I was actually about to buy one for myself when I happened upon a hand crank grinder.

The Worksharp has always intrigued me, although not being able to hollow grind is a deal-breaker for me.

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