Sharpening chisels for a complete novice

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swisstony

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Morning all

First post for me and why not start with a complete novice question. I have an assortment of chisels that all need sharpening. I haven't a clue what to buy or for that matter how to actually sharpen the chisels but I guess you tube will be the best source. Still remains what is a good set to start with ?

I saw that Rutlands had a pretty decent diamond block
or on a real budget I can buy this

Would that be a good place to start and are they pretty easy to use ? I appreciate that you guys are all a lot more experienced at this than me but opinions vary but budget is one thing and I can't stretch to some expensive japanese water stones etc. Any advice would be most welcome. thanks
 

Jameshow

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Yes easy to use especially with the guide.

You soon learn to do it without the guide and often between each joint. Wood working of course... !

Cheers James
 

D_W

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buy yourself some coarse PSA paper and run your guide at 25 degrees, and then reset it to slightly over 30 (ever so slightly) on something much finer (it could be one of those oilstones you have pictured followed by a good strong polish like autosol.

No need to buy anything expensive. Your biggest task as a beginner is going to be grinding accurately so that you can sharpen easily. If your chisels are already well ground at something, leave them be and just keep them like they are. If they're sloppy, then you may need to fix them. Many arrive at 25 degrees - don't grind them steeper for no reason and waste your time doing that.

You essentially will always have two things to do -
* grind the bulk of the bevel to an angle that gets it out of the way
* address just the tip of the chisel honing that and where the back and bevel tip meet
 

swisstony

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buy yourself some coarse PSA paper and run your guide at 25 degrees, and then reset it to slightly over 30 (ever so slightly) on something much finer (it could be one of those oilstones you have pictured followed by a good strong polish like autosol.

No need to buy anything expensive. Your biggest task as a beginner is going to be grinding accurately so that you can sharpen easily. If your chisels are already well ground at something, leave them be and just keep them like they are. If they're sloppy, then you may need to fix them. Many arrive at 25 degrees - don't grind them steeper for no reason and waste your time doing that.

You essentially will always have two things to do -
* grind the bulk of the bevel to an angle that gets it out of the way
* address just the tip of the chisel honing that and where the back and bevel tip meet

Thanks a lot, I guess my biggest problem (apart from being an silly person) is seeing how bad the chisels have got before deciding how to tackle them. Luckily most are just dull without any major damage or nicks. But once again thanks for the advice
 

Stan

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Welcome.

It will seem like everyone will have their own preferred way of sharpening. Here is my tuppence worth..

If you need a flat surface, a decent piece of glass will do it reasonably cheaply. I got a piece about A4 size. I then used a piece of 18mm thick plywood and recessed one face so the glass sits in the plywood about 1mm proud, with a 2 inch border all round the glass. This protects the glass nicely when in use and I can clamp the plywood to my bench. When finished, I screw a 6mm piece of plywood over the glass, and it is protected for storage.

I am slowly changing over from waterstones to diamond stones, as the wallet allows. I don't like waterstones because firstly they are messy to use, and secondly they take a while to prepare when you want to use them.
 

Jacob

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Best beginners' oil stone is the Norton IB8. Coarse and medium. Does for most woodwork, then when you are reasonably confident you could add a finer stone. All you need for the rest of your woodworking life!
I haven't tried that very cheap Stanley kit but it might be a good starter.
I'd dump the jig though. To quote the great Salaman "Such devices are intended to help novices but in fact they only postpone the acquisition of a necessary skill which will be quickly learnt after a few attempts at free-hand sharpening".
 
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D_W

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Never met a maker worth their salt who cared whether or not someone else used a guide. The chance for a beginner to have success and figure out what they're even looking for is likely much better with the guide and an angle finder, though.
 

D_W

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(and I sure have seen a lot of freehanded tools that don't have a very good edge because people can't keep track of what the grind is vs. what's going on at the tip)
 

MARK.B.

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(and I sure have seen a lot of freehanded tools that don't have a very good edge because people can't keep track of what the grind is vs. what's going on at the tip)
I have enough trouble with two hands o_Oimagine how much i would have with using freehand's ;):LOL:
 

Jacob

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You can free hand with one hand, with glass of whisky or cigar in the other! Hope that helps.
 

Phil Russell

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Some time ago I was faced with a similar task ... quite a few neglected chisels and plane irons that came into my possession. The biggest/longest job started to be using a stone or whatever to get back a decent 25 degree 'front' angle. It took a long time.
Then I decided to make a jig to clamp onto my grind wheel steady rest. This made getting that initial 25 degree grind a doddle ... very quick. After which all I had to do was progress to the oil stone /diamond stone for the final sharpening.
Cost to me: about an hour making the rest jig which in itself saved many hours of tedious 'hand' grinding.
Cheers, Phil
 

Jacob

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Some time ago I was faced with a similar task ... quite a few neglected chisels and plane irons that came into my possession. The biggest/longest job started to be using a stone or whatever to get back a decent 25 degree 'front' angle. It took a long time.
Then I decided to make a jig to clamp onto my grind wheel steady rest. This made getting that initial 25 degree grind a doddle ... very quick. After which all I had to do was progress to the oil stone /diamond stone for the final sharpening.
Cost to me: about an hour making the rest jig which in itself saved many hours of tedious 'hand' grinding.
Cheers, Phil
Best to hone at 30º for starters then if you get a nice edge (as you would with a new chisel) you don't need any further grinding
 

novocaine

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don't waste your money on the stanley stone, it's a composite and rather loose, I cut a channel in it within a few days from sharping 5-10 1/2" chisels.
otherwise, buy what you want. the guide is ok, just make sure the tool is straight and ignore the crappy stamped marks.

good luck. :)
 

Oraclebhoy

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I started my sharpening with three different grits of sandpaper. Think 120, 240, 600 or something like that. Got some really good results using that and a guide.
I since bought some very cheap Diamond plates and have been very disappointed with them (but I sort of expected to be)
One thing I will recommend is dedicated flat board to mount your sanding equipment to. . Got the diamond plates stuck to it with tape and I clamp it to my wobbly desk.
 

Jacob

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I started my sharpening with three different grits of sandpaper. Think 120, 240, 600 or something like that. Got some really good results using that and a guide.
I since bought some very cheap Diamond plates and have been very disappointed with them (but I sort of expected to be)
One thing I will recommend is dedicated flat board to mount your sanding equipment to. . Got the diamond plates stuck to it with tape and I clamp it to my wobbly desk.
Diamond plates have just a thin layer of diamond dust on them. Oil stones have 25mm deep Alox and last many years longer - for life in fact, of a typical user!
 
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