Techniques in Sharpening Chisels and Shop Knives


Some of the basic but most useful tools in woodworking are chisels and shop knives. Chisels are used to carve and gouge wood. Similarly, knives are used to cut or carve larger chunks of wood. Learn here the Techniques in Sharpening Chisels and Shop Knives.

The accuracy and safety of chisels and shop knives rest on how sharp they are. Therefore it is important to keep their cutting edges sharp. This can be achieved using proper sharpening techniques.

For chisels and shop knives, the sharpest part lies on their angled side. The angled sides are usually shaped as half Vs for chisels and Vs for shop knives. Therefore, the first step in sharpening a chisel or a knife is to grind a whetstone or a steel grinder on their angled edges.

It is important to keep the angle consistent when you grind the cutting edges on both sides. Otherwise, the cutting edge would have minute but irregular bumps and burrs which would lessen its cutting power. Also, it is important to change or regrind the grinder stone or the whetstone regularly. An old or worn bevel won’t sharpen chisels and shop knives effectively.

How do you know you are done grinding with a grinder or whetstone? You wound need to swipe a hone on the sharpened edge. If swiping produces a bead of steel over to the side of the tool, they you are finished with grinding.

The next part is a little bit laborious. You would need to polish the cutting edges of the chisels and shop knives with hones. For starters, you need to polish out the scratches left by the bevel with the coarsest hone available. Then, you would need to polish the blade with progressively finer hones until the desire level of sharpness is achieved.

To maintain the sharpness of your tools, here are some useful tips to follow.

First, sharpen your chisels and shop knives often. In the end, you will spend less time sharpening them. Regular sharpening will help your tools cut better. Sharp tools are also safer because you don’t have to exert a lot of pressure when cutting something. Excessive pressure makes you lose control of the tool.

When sharpening the tools, use a lot of lubricant. The lubricant makes it easier for you to work and washes away the metal swarf. Also, the lubricant prevents clogging of the sharpening apparatus, especially if you are using an automatic grinder.

When cleaning your chisels and shop knives, do not use dishwasher detergent. Detergent can dull your tools quickly. Simply wash them with water. Then you can let them dry out.

Following these steps, you can cut, carve and gouge away safely and surely.

Recommended reading: Chain Saw, Expert Tips and Tricks You Should Know

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