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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont know about you guys but i am guilty of not sharpening my tools enough, just get carried away with what i`m doing

but it soon become apparent the blades dull always seem to let it go to far and have to spend more time honing them

They say a chisel should have a 20 degree angle on them for a good cut and a knife a 12 degree angle ? i have never mesured the angle i just sharpen it to suit my needs so i guess it must be about right ?

Any of your guys mesure your tool edges?
 

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I try to strop the tools as I go. That minimizes the times I have to spend with a stone or sharppener. But I have a sharppening day 3 or 4 times a year to clean and tune up the edges.
 
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FWIW, I was told and read that 30 degrees was standard for chisels, although there was usually a micro bevel on the flat side of the chisel. The reasoning was that common tool steels would hold that edge under average use.

A few of my better wood knives might hold 15 degrees on a side, for a total of 30. More acute than that, I suspect the edge would fold pretty rapidly.

If I need a finer edge, I use disposable blades that, when stropped, can make almost hairline cuts. I suppose that the edges might be restored, but it would take more work than I care to do.

What I've found is that the edge needs to be flat and even, not rounded. A few degrees doesn't make as much of a difference than a consistent edge. I have magnifying lenses that let me see that. Without having sharpening tools that guarantee a flat edge, the best I can do by hand tends to be pretty wobbly.

As I've mentioned, I usually use somewhat harder woods than ideal for figure carving.
 

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After I went to the Duneland Woodcarvers show I got an awaking on sharpening. The woodcarver's club had a gentlemen there that was giving a seminar on sharpening. I had my Case pocket knife with me and I thought it was sharp, WRONG. As gdenby said, a flat edge is the best and the old boy that was giving the seminar put one on my knife. He said all the "mumbo jumbo about angles on knives was for the birds. Sharpen the knife edge flat against the stone or it will round off after very little use. Once the knife is sharp keep it that way by stropping the knife flat on a leather strop with a good compound. You will know when to strop by when your blade starts to drag rather than cut clean. Rule of thumb strop every 10-15 minutes when carving on soft woods like pine or basswood, more frequently on harder woods like cherry or walnut."

On gouges, V-tools or chisels. The fellow said lay your tool flat then slowly raise the tool while trying to make a cut. When the tool catches the wood, that is angle the edge needs to be sharpened at.

I have followed his instructions and my carving has improved by virtue of having sharp, easy to use tools.

Mark
 

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There are so many thoughts on sharpening. The out side angle you use or need on chisels / gouges depends on the woods you carve the most. The hard woods you need a heaver cutting edge, 25 to 30 degrees, or you will damage the tool. If you are using softer woods a thinner bevel ,15 to 20 degrees, gives you more control and work well. I also use a inside bevel on my tools. The book that helped me the most on learning to sharpen is Chris Pye's. I carve a large variety of hard and soft woods. My waist removal tools are a 30 degree heaver edge. Most of my shaping and finishing tools have about 20 degree edges. I have also lowered the heal of the bevel this lowers the angle of tool as I cut. This ,I feel, gives me more controls. But the bottom line is, are the tools being used sharp enough to do a good job and do they feel comfortable for you as you are cutting. From what I have read the goal of most master carver is finding the edge and angle that works best for them for what and how they carve. It is a learning process. And it can be a job getting all your tools the way they work best for you. But more than worth the effort!
With detail knives a I like a flat bevel but they are not good for have cuts or hard woods. Your higher Rockwell tools hold a edge but can be brittle. If your bevel is not right for the job or the wood you are using you will leave little to large pieces blade in your prodject.
 
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CV3,

What are you using to sharpen the inside bevel of your tools?

Presently I have been using the Flexcut Slip Strop block with compound. The block has various rounds and V's precut in it the for inside edges. This is fine for maintaining an edge.

When a tool gets overly dull and needs to be dressed I use a course and a fine Arkansas stone to sharpen the outside edge of the tool. My question is what type of stone or file do you use for the inside edge?
 

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CV3,
What are you using to sharpen the inside bevel of your tools?
Presently I have been using the Flexcut Slip Strop block with compound. The block has various rounds and V's precut in it the for inside edges. This is fine for maintaining an edge.
When a tool gets overly dull and needs to be dressed I use a course and a fine Arkansas stone to sharpen the outside edge of the tool. My question is what type of stone or file do you use for the inside edge?
I have used just about every thing over the years. Today I use Spyderco ceramic stones most of the time. But this is also one of those choices that is what works best for you. Flexcuts are good steel and hold a edge well. If you are having to use a course stone I would say you are waiting to long. I have medium,fine and extra fine. I rarely use more than my fine stone and strop. I also use the flexcut strop. I have learn to try and leave enough time at the end of my carving to tune up the tools I used. It is a good habit. You are ready to go the next day and you really end up spending less time sharpening. Most of the time it is just a minute a tool. I also carve by making shallow cuts. It puts less pressure on the edge. Also check now and then for micro chips along your edge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I must get into the habit of looking after my tools better the benifits are obvious and it seem to me by spending a bit of time at the end of each session will help..

It will also reduce the time spent on rubbing up the tools on the stone
 

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I need some input on proper sharpening for my wood chisels. (I don't do carving - hope this is the correct thread).

My "inventory" includes 2 1/4" then 1 each 1/2" 3/4" and 1" - either made by Craftsman or Stanley. At present I'm doing most of my bark-removal via those wood chisels and they need sharpening. I do not have one of those clamp-devices, nor do I have the sharpening stone.

Can I sharpen my chisels using sand paper?

thanx

-neb
 

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Sharpening standard wood chisels is not difficult today. I would suggest getting a good stone and a honing guide. The guide is a small jig your chisels clamps in holding it at the right angle to get good edge. Check Woodcraft store.
 
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If and when I need to do 'sharpening' or reshaping of my edges, I start with a coarse stone to reshape, remove chips, then move to auto sandpaper on a perfectly flat glass block. It is very important that it is flat to have a proper edge. At my tractor supply there is a sampler pack of 300 800 1500 3000 6000. I use each of these for a few swipes then finish with a good stropping.

As I'm carving I strop often, you just have to make it a part of your process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Most of the work i do involves carving and i use a medium and a fine stone for keeping the edge good. and usually finsh it by stroping , I do use chisels a lot and palm tools and find that this works for me. I do think people have different approachs and ideas on this. but if it cuts clean without dragging then its okay.
 

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I need some input on proper sharpening for my wood chisels. (I don't do carving - hope this is the correct thread).

My "inventory" includes 2 1/4" then 1 each 1/2" 3/4" and 1" - either made by Craftsman or Stanley. At present I'm doing most of my bark-removal via those wood chisels and they need sharpening. I do not have one of those clamp-devices, nor do I have the sharpening stone.

Can I sharpen my chisels using sand paper?

thanx

-neb
You can sharpen chisels w. sand paper. Aluminum oxide paper, the reddish stuff, or crocus paper,emery cloth all work. Even sandpaper for wood, but its not nearly as good. But it is hard to keep a constant angle. I concur, get a guide. Guides are a little hard to find, but I've seen them for as low as $12. A double grit stone can be had almost anywhere that sells tools, and they only cost a few dollars.

For removing really heavy thick bark, I use a farrier's knife from Mora of Sweden. I had started w. one of their carving knives, but the flat, heavy 4" long farrier knife works really well. Otherwise, I use coarse wood rasps, and finish w. wood scrapers or single edged craft blades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think it would be worth your while getting a medium and fine stone for sharpening . you dont need a guide it will come with experiance . but it will make for a quicker job for you.

As for stripping bark i used a draw knife on the hawthorne i stripped its quick job remember to use the cutting edge face down. i much prefer to keep the bark on hazel shanks.

Think you will find a lot of people use different methods there isnt a right or wrong it just what suits you.
 

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I also have a small draw knife I use to strip bark with. You can I also have a small Spoke plane. But does not work well on bark. you spend more time cleaning it our that striping bark.
 

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I used to use an old KA-BAR lock blade to strip bark.

I started using a Flexcut roughing knife as the KA-BAR is 40 years old and can't be replaced if I damage it.
 
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