How To Sharpen Wood Chisels For Woodwork
A wood chisel is an important tool for almost every woodwork. It helps ease the works of carpenters practically in most of their work activities. Chisels, like knives, need maintenance to ensure their quality. The blades must be sharpened whenever necessary to provided quality work. There are ways on how to sharpen wood chisels, and you should perform the correct way to preserve its good quality.
How to Sharpen a Chisel
A chisel in sound quality or requires a new edge can be sharpened in a short time; otherwise, the process will be slow. The below instructions will teach you how to sharpen wood chisels in the shortest time.
Glue the sandpaper to the glass. You will need a ¼-inch thick glass, sandpaper (high-quality), spray adhesive for sticking the sandpaper to the glass. To prepare the sharpening surface, cut a sheet of 80-grit sandpaper to fit the glass, spray a little amount of adhesive onto the sandpaper, then press the sandpaper onto the glass. Repeat this process using 150 and 220-grit sheets. Apply the sandpaper to the sides of the glass to prevent the glass from sliding.
Keep your tool cool. Put the blade in the water every two passes to protect the blade from burning. A bluish color or straw means that the chisel overheated and may ruin the temper. Start with your least-favorite chisels.
Flatten the back. Every edge toll has two sides, and both sides need maintenance because they are equally important. For the chisel to cut straight and as smooth as a beveled side, the back should be dead flat.
The process of making a smooth and flat back is called lapping. We need to lap a chisel only once. First, check out how much metal you have to remove and which grit to start. Press hard and rub the back of the chisel for a few times using 220-grit. Go in a diagonal direction, then turn over the chisel and examine the back; if it is almost covered with scratches, continue lapping with 220-grit. If the scratches are only on a few high spots, you will need to start with a coarser paper. Try first the 150-grit or use 80-grit. Keep lapping until the scratches extend across the full 2 inches width of the back.
If you started with 80-grit, the next process is to make finer scratches using 150-grit then push the chisel in the other diagonal direction rubbing in opposite directions to track your progress. Continue until you no longer see any of the 80-grit scratches. Repeat the same using 220-grit then push the chisel in a new direction in and out until the 150-grit scrapes disappear.
Set the honing angle. Use a honing guide to sharpen the edge efficiently. Draw line1-3/16 inches from the edge of the wood then extend the chisel to the line to produce a 30-degree angle.
Sharpen on sandpaper. To sharpen the chisel, you need to roll the honing guide on the 80-grit sandpaper.
Feel for a wire edge. Continue honing until you feel a slight ridge of metal that starts to form across the chisel's back. The wire edge indicated that the chisel is already sharp, and the bevel has come to a point.
Remove the wire edge. Remove the wire edge using 220-grit sandpaper; rub the back of the chisel. To produce a sharper edge, hone the bevel using 150-grit until a new wire edge is developed; remove the wire edge using a 220-grit again.
The final step is to hone the bevel by six strokes on 220-grit and flip the chisel over then rub the back six strokes. Repeat the process by four to five times.
Polish the edge. If you want a super sharp edge, continue honing using a finer sandpaper or buffing compound. Rub the compound on small plywood and pull the chisel and honing guide across the compound at least 12 times (do not push).
It takes skill to learn how to sharpen wood chisels, but you can do it if you have the determination to do it. By learning how to sharpen wood chisels, you will no longer have to pay for the same service, thereby saving you some money.
Learning how to sharpen wood chisels will add you other skills that you might need in the future. Newly learned skill is always an advantage. Plus, with this form of maintenance, it can ensure their quality and usability in the long run.
October 8, 2020
By: Adam Stevenson
Having sharp hand tools is essential when it comes to woodworking. A sharp chisel, for example, is necessary to complete the job with less hassle.