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Chisel gets dull whilst working up through the grits

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Jacob

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Could it be called "woke sharpening"?
...

But what to do with all the diamond stones, abrasive papers, exotic glass plates and infallible honing guides?

There will be unemployment and great lamentations amongst the merchants and vendors. Hunger and pestilence........
Haven't used a jig in years but have accumulated a few too many stones.
Counter productive - better to perfect your technique with a small range of options rather than carrying on endlessly experimenting. Sold quite a few surplus bits now.
 

Garden Shed Projects

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An Indian oilstone with a medium and fine grade with strop across the hand was good for me back in the olden days (the 90's). Although it seems that good quality oilstones are not available any more.

After coming back to wood working I now have a 400 and 1000 grit diamonds with a leather strop and they are as sharp as I would ever need. I started to use a honing guide but I got my hand back in and do it free hand. A bit of leather at 100mm x 200mm cost me £3.50 from ebay delivered and really does make a difference.

I have not tried, so probably shouldn't comment, but I cannot understand what the waterstones at 2000 grit and above can add as I work with oak and beech regularly with no issue..
 
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Argus

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Could it be called "woke sharpening"?
Woke? What does that mean? Explanation needed. please!

Haven't used a jig in years but have accumulated a few too many stones.
Me too; somebody gave me an 'Eclipse' jiggery-thing once...... I think that I must have passed it on. I did try it - honest. I couldn't get on with it. It took too long to re-establish the previous bevel and then getting a wire-edge........

I learned the 'drop-hand' method as a lad and it's served me well. Up and down the stone a dozen or so times, drop the hand at the last moment - use a couple of grits if necessary then on to a strop. back to cutting in a minute or two.

Apologies to the OP........ sharpening threads always go this way.
 

Garden Shed Projects

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An Indian oilstone with a medium and fine grade with strop across the hand was good for me back in the olden days (the 90's). Although it seems that good quality oilstones are not available any more.

After coming back to wood working I now have a 400 and 100 grit diamonds with a leather strop and they are as sharp as I would ever need. I started to use a honing guide but I got my hand back in and do it free hand. A bit of leather at 100mm x 200mm cost me £3.50 from ebay delivered and really does make a difference.

I have not tried, so probably shouldn't comment, but I cannot understand what the waterstones at 2000 grit and above can add as I work with oak and beech regularly with no issue..
It should read 400 and 1000 grit
 

thetyreman

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back of chisels should always be flat, the ruler trick is for plane blades, it's much easier and faster to not bother with micro bevels and sharpen it as one bevel freehand, always use a strop, about 30 strokes usually does it for me.
 

JohnPW

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I am bad at sharpening, and have undertaken making a dovetailed box, which by the time it is complete will require me to have become "passable" at sharpening.

I have 600, 2000, 4000, 8000 grit wet stones. I can freehand a bevel on the 600 grit that feels sharp, but when I step it up to the 2000 grit with a microbevel, it appears to dull the edge more than sharpen it.

I'm rather hoping this is a well understood boo boo that I'm making and somebody can give me a clear instruction for how to, um, not do it. I have of course read many instructions, and watched many videos on the topic, but the skill still eludes me.
Maybe the 2000 is rounding over the edge, I would try strokes in one direction only on the 2000, pulling away from the edge.
 

D_W

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Snetty- hone the flat bevel of the chisel with any of your stones, then partially polish the back with your 8k stone, and then polish the bevel with the 8k stone a few degrees steeper than the primary bevel until the shine goes absolutely to the tip. You may perhaps be looking to make a shiny stripe about half a mm in size.

Take a picture of the bevel then as close as you can get it to focus with your phone and show it here.

Ignore everyone else's advice for now, we're going to make sure your chisel edge isn't crumbling on the fine stones (defective). If it won't hold the edge under sharpening pressure then you're banging your head against a wall.
 

D_W

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Do it before Jacob gets here, too, or he'll show us some windows or something and this thread will go to pot.
 

sammy.se

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I am bad at sharpening, and have undertaken making a dovetailed box, which by the time it is complete will require me to have become "passable" at sharpening.

I have 600, 2000, 4000, 8000 grit wet stones. I can freehand a bevel on the 600 grit that feels sharp, but when I step it up to the 2000 grit with a microbevel, it appears to dull the edge more than sharpen it.

I'm rather hoping this is a well understood boo boo that I'm making and somebody can give me a clear instruction for how to, um, not do it. I have of course read many instructions, and watched many videos on the topic, but the skill still eludes me.
As a relative newbie of sharpening, I had exactly the same issue as you, and in the end it came down to my freehand technique. As soon as I made a honing guide (two bits of wood, and two screws, clamping the blade/chisel in between) I was getting extremely sharp blades all through the grits. I have an inexpensive honing guide now and it does the job fine.

Yes yes, I know people will say just do freehand, but just do whatever works for you! I was rounding over my edge when going freehand. maybe one day I'll perfect it.

Re stropping - It makes a lot of difference, and really gets the blade sharp. I strop on MDF, a bit of denim, and leather taped to the MDF (basically, I make a strop every time I find a rag). I use car polish on the strops. Works a treat.
 

D_W

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As a relative newbie of sharpening, I had exactly the same issue as you, and in the end it came down to my freehand technique. As soon as I made a honing guide (two bits of wood, and two screws, clamping the blade/chisel in between) I was getting extremely sharp blades all through the grits. I have an inexpensive honing guide now and it does the job fine.
I've said it before often - people mail me tools to fix ..who knows, five to ten times a year? None that I've received with a single bevel sharpening have ever had uniform fine scratches at the edge in a way that the edge was completed. Many have obviously had a lot of physical work spent on honing the whole bevel, but there is no means for the person doing the work to see that the fine stone got to the edge.

There are two things that have to happen in sharpening aside from getting workable geometry - damage or wear needs to be removed, and fine scratches need to remain where the cutting will happen.

A guide is infinitely useful for someone just starting out to get an idea what it feels like for something to be sharp, as I'm guessing 90% of claims of a tool being defective or nicking easily, etc, are because of incomplete sharpening or sharpening with poor geometry.

I don't use a guide, but when I started I did. I'm glad I did. It caused my freehand sharpening to be far better because I understood the value of getting the fine finish at the edge of the tool and not just back from it.
 

D_W

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Here's how I do it. Start by, er ..........

Ahh, screw it ... I can't be ar-sed, and I'll leave it to all the usual adversaries, ha, ha. Slainte.
Work the back of the tool first on something pedestrian like an india stone, then work the bevel, then work the back again and strop.

....I'm trying to do my Richard impersonation but won't be so rude as to fish out prior conversations and cut and paste your words :)
 

D_W

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(raffo brought me a couple of tools that were sharpened all the way to the edge, but he didn't mail them - just in case he reads the comment above!! It was kind of a shock as I'd never seen it before, and I'm sure the experienced workers who try to do cabinet work with planes all or nearly all sharpen well, but most people bringing me tools are not in that phase - they're bringing tools that don't work but seem like they should. )

This conversation about using a microbevel to get an idea of a finished edge isn't religion, it's about results and solving problems for someone starting out. Rule 1 of sharpening is that you have to actually complete the job, and then work from there. I don't use a jig because I can complete the job without it reasonably well. But when I started, I couldn't initially. I watched Charlesworth's video and his method works wonderfully but takes too long for me to tolerate day to day. It worked perfectly, though - and served its purpose.
 

Adam W.

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It's OK I was only joking.
Gone a bit quiet over there maybe I should pop over and wake them up - shout "WAKEY WOKEY" through the letter box or something?

Watch out though, they may get shirty.
 

okeydokey

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Whatever sharpening method is used I would strongly recommend honing (stropping) the sharp edge (pulling towards you only) using green polishing compound similar to that sold by Axminster at only £3.88 a stick. My honing block is about 10"x3" -- a strip of leather offcut ex (nearby shop) spray glued (rough side upwards) to a 11/2" thick block of hardwood offcut (that what I had hand) . It really touches up the sharpness and puts a mirror like polish after only a few strokes.
I put it in the vice to stop it travelling - also used on the back of plane irons and chisels to finish the smoothing/levelling process.
 
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