Sharpening chisels for a complete novice

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Lons

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If you're not knocking out work on a production basis where time is money then there's absolutely nothing wrong in using a jig to get consistent repeatable results. It's laughable that the subject causes so much anxt on both sides of the argument, there isn't an absolute right or wrong way, the bottom line is use whichever method/stones/machine that works for you and stick with it.

If you want to spend a fiver on a s/h oilstone then great but if you'd prefer to buy a jig, a machine or whatever then that's fine as well and not for someone else with a particular bee in his bonnet to state categorically that you shouldn't be doing so.
 

D_W

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From the standpoint of a guy who hates to use jigs, if someone wants to use a jig and they get good results with it and they decide to never stop using it, that's perfectly fine.
 

Jacob

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...... there isn't an absolute right or wrong way, .....
Do what you like, but there is a cheap, easy, practical, traditional way which tends to get overlooked.
I can see why it might annoy people who have been struggling away with expensive water stones and all the fashionable gubbins, but that's no reason for me to keep it secret!
.........use whichever method/stones/machine that works for you and stick with it....
......or change it. Always good to have a go with alternatives - you never know!
 
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swisstony

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It's laughable that the subject causes so much anxt on both sides of the argument, there isn't an absolute right or wrong way, the bottom line is use whichever method/stones/machine that works for you and stick with it.

I didn't want my first ever post to be a bone of contention ! But be a member of enough forums over the years to understand there is a always a list of topics that gets everyone going. Bet pocket holes are right up there :)
 

D_W

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Interestingly, pocket hole discussion is a jab that we have at work as there are a couple of coworkers who do no woodworking but use a kreg jig to make everything they can fit in their house (the statement about no woodworking is meant - they're not intending to get into woodworking, but rather just trying to make shelves fit in a closet.

I don't think I've ever seen a contentious decision on them, but they may be in the "projects" or "general woodworking" sections.

Usually someone dipping their foot in the water on the HT section on another forum will say something like "with modern glues and fasteners, most of this is a waste of time".

I worked in a cabinet factory (not a shop, a large factory) 25+ years ago and we used an awful lot of hot melt and staples. I don't know how long they'll last, but probably long enough for the cabinets we made to be out of style (they are now - think the new cabinets that showed up on roseanne when they won the lottery - solid oak with light glaze finish and lots of glass and polished brass on knobs and light fixtures.

Compared to those cabinets, maybe pocket hole screws are a step up!! (there were definitely pocket holes in some of the parts here and there in that place, too, but not many - usually on oddball stuff).

I can tell you what the more expensive cabinets got returned for (as in ply sides and all solid wood doors and raised panels or glass panels). Color. 99% of the cabinets that came back and ended up in the upstairs storage area to be auctioned off didn't color match quite well enough. Send one out with a big gap in the face frame filled with a matching wax crayon? No problem. otherwise perfect higher end cabinet where a customer says they didn't like the color or that it doesn't match another cabinet they have well enough - comes back every time.
 

pidgeonpost

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ps pidgeonpost if it works for you then don't stop now(fifty years is a long time)
The guide I use is the very simple Eclipse job which I'm sure you know. I find it quick and easy enough - at least it's quicker than spending ages correcting a badly sharpened edge.
I have a whizzy Veritas(?) one too which I bought on a whim, but it's more of a faff as I have to read the instructions every time. Tends to mostly live in its box.
One consideration is that currently all my planes and chisels are pretty damn sharp and square having been sharpened using a jig so at the moment I'm not keen to rush into the workshop and try hand sharpening.
Perhaps next time I drop a chisel and it needs more of a workout I'll give hand sharpening another go as there are some useful tips on here.
My neighbour (now deceased) was a time-served carpenter and joiner, and although he could make furniture his real interest was in making one-off doors and windows for older properties - big sash windows with wavy glazing bars that sort of thing. His everyday chisels were nearly all Marples with the blue plastic handles. I could see that some of them weren't dead square, but he seemed able to keep them super-sharp with a quick rub on a stone. Habit of a lifetime I guess.
Being an amateur (drifting OT a bit here), I find that I lose my edge a bit if I haven’t cut certain joints for a while. The first couple sometimes don't stand close inspection, but by the time I've cut maybe half a dozen dovetails by hand I'm getting the hang of it again! :giggle:
 

TRITON

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Powered to grind, hand cut to hone 😉
Standing for 15 hours trying to put a sharp edge on a chipped blade is just plain nuts.

Small eclipse holder is very good, so good infact its sellling at a premium on the bay, and even Lie Neilsen have made a copy. But of course you'd have to be mental in the brain pan to buy the LN one at over 100 quid.
 

Jacob

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Powered to grind, hand cut to hone 😉
Standing for 15 hours trying to put a sharp edge on a chipped blade is just plain nuts.

.......
I agree.
But in fact grinding by hand doesn't take that long if you have to do it. Has to be freehand though so you can put some welly into it. Even faster if you bolt your plane blade to a lath so you can put both hands and a lot of energy into it.
"Fast and energetic" are the terms missing from modern sharpening - neither are possible with a jig and modern sharpeners have lost sight of what is possible.
 

Cozzer

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My chisels are all "inherited", with handles missing, splattered with paint, and chipped to death in the main.
I caught a Paul Sellars video some time ago praising an el cheapo set from Aldi, and thought "Great! I'll grab a set of them!"
A few years on, I'm still waiting for a re-stock!
 

D_W

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The aldi chisels are hit or miss. I've seen some quoted as striking 62 hardness, and others 58. The former will seem like a great chisel, and the latter, a dud.
 

D_W

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But even two cherries are that. Claim 61, and some have tested 58.
 

TRITON

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I agree.
But in fact grinding by hand doesn't take that long if you have to do it. Has to be freehand though so you can put some welly into it. Even faster if you bolt your plane blade to a lath so you can put both hands and a lot of energy into it.
"Fast and energetic" are the terms missing from modern sharpening - neither are possible with a jig and modern sharpeners have lost sight of what is possible.
I've got 60 fking chisels :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
 

Jameshow

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I didn't want my first ever post to be a bone of contention ! But be a member of enough forums over the years to understand there is a always a list of topics that gets everyone going. Bet pocket holes are right up there :)
Can we take about helmets, disc brakes, steel Vs carbon bikes?!!!

Sorry I'm on the wrong forum!!

Cheers James
 

novocaine

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Can we take about helmets, disc brakes, steel Vs carbon bikes?!!!

Sorry I'm on the wrong forum!!

Cheers James
Helmets are for girls. Discs are for mountain bikes a plastic bikes all break. I had a mate of a mate tell me so.


Note. Yes i wear a helmet, 1 of my road bikes has discs and i own 2 steel bikes.
 

TRITON

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Can we take about helmets, disc brakes, steel Vs carbon bikes?!!!

Sorry I'm on the wrong forum!!

Cheers James
General off topic section on here somewhere, try there.

Helmets - Dont wear one(except off road)
Brakes - Well its Hope or nothing( well maybe saint or 4 pot xt)
Steel may be real, but its too heavy, and carbon, well thats still an unknown force. I'l stick to alloy and ti.

Yes, but you can only use one at a time and you can only sharpen one at a time, which is a lucky coincidence!
I'm horribly lazy, and got a number of doubles(and triples) so instead of doing the right thing and grind/sharpen/hone i just pick up another.
Of course this is great until they all get dull and you're left with the nightmare job of resharpening them all :LOL:
 
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G S Haydon

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A good honing guide is cheap. Less than £10.00 for a perfectly good clone of an eclipse.

Grinding a thick iron (old wooden plane irons or modern thick version) is not much fun. You can do without one but eventually it will be useful to have a grinder. Many people who enjoy hand tools have a big bandsaw but turn their nose up at a grinder.

Freehand is great to learn and for me is preferred. I couldn't care less if a guide is preferred. Please do give one a try if it helps you.
 

Jacob

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Helmets are for girls. Discs are for mountain bikes a plastic bikes all break. I had a mate of a mate tell me so.


Note. Yes i wear a helmet, 1 of my road bikes has discs and i own 2 steel bikes.
My road bike is titanium with carbon forks. My tourer is steel Dawes Galaxy
Helmets weren't invented when I started cycling but I've been nagged into wearing one lately and don't like it.
 
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