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Thread: Sharpening Pfeil chisels

  1. #1
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    Sharpening Pfeil chisels

    Hi all,

    Am starting some carving, thus-some questions.

    Have found out that most of my Pfeil chisels require an angle higher than I like for carving.

    Of course, that means that while my right/dominant hand is held higher-pushing (my left hand on the tool breaking, as is 'suggested'), more of my effort goes into pushing the tool into the wood instead of along the cut.

    I would like to regrind the bevels so that I can get away w a lower angle of attack. Of course, for an in-channel gouge (as most are), grinding the heel allows a lower cutting angle....and, to keep a decent bevel to support the edge, I will likely find myself increasing the upper (?) bevel.

    But, am writing this because I remember reading (Chris Pye) that says to not ever alter the upper grind.

    What you all think please?
    David
    Confidence: That feeling you get before fully understanding a situation (Anonymous)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Ragan View Post
    Of course, for an in-channel gouge (as most are), .....
    I guess I'm a bit confused by this. To me, an "in-channel" gouge has the bevel on the inside curve of the tool (opposed to the outside) and I wouldn't say it has a "heel". If this is the kind of gouges you have (and I wasn't aware that Pfeil made these), I can certainly understand why you're having trouble carving anything but straight cuts with them.

    Am I misunderstanding your question?
    .... Dave

    Old carvers never die.... they just whittle away.

  3. #3
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    Hi Dave

    My use of “heel” is probably incorrect

    Am trying to change/decrease the angle with w I push (straight line), for instance a longbent gouge

    Any help is appreciated
    David
    Confidence: That feeling you get before fully understanding a situation (Anonymous)

  4. #4
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    ED166173-2C82-44F1-914A-F3939D6826AF.jpeg

    This is what I mean

    There is a heel, right?
    David
    Confidence: That feeling you get before fully understanding a situation (Anonymous)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Ragan View Post
    Hi all,

    Am starting some carving, thus-some questions.

    Have found out that most of my Pfeil chisels require an angle higher than I like for carving. Key word here is "like", Pfeil's work just fine as delivered.

    Of course, that means that while my right/dominant hand is held higher-pushing (my left hand on the tool breaking, as is 'suggested'), more of my effort goes into pushing the tool into the wood instead of along the cut. Technically true, but perfectly inline with the cutting edge is impractical as that would mean the handle is below the wood surface. Reality is a compromise.

    I would like to regrind the bevels so that I can get away w a lower angle of attack. Of course, for an in-channel gouge (as most are), grinding the heel allows a lower cutting angle....and, to keep a decent bevel to support the edge, I will likely find myself increasing the upper (?) bevel. Okay, grinding the bevel back allows for a lower angle of attack, smoothing the heel (the intersection of the bevel and the tool at the end opposite the cutting edge) allows for a smoother "scooping" motion. Adding a small bevel inside the curve (incannel) will strengthen the cutting edge, but should be very small, almost unnoticeably small. Chris Pye talks about this in his sharpening video made with Rob Cosman

    But, am writing this because I remember reading (Chris Pye) that says to not ever alter the upper grind. Not sure where this came from, in the video above Chris states that he does not know how people can carve without the inner bevel. Of course he then contradicts himself when discussing how to sharpen spoon gouges saying they should not have the inner bevel.

    What you all think please?
    I think you are overthinking this. I have lowered the angle on a few of my gouges and have noticed little difference. One of the best carvers I know, Dan Reahard, works with Pfeils without changing the angle. Mary May does not change her angles (mostly Stubai) either. The carvers in the Hays shop and the joiners shop at Colonial Williamsburg (taught by Dimitrios Klitsos) work with Pfeils and do not change the angles.
    Sharpen to the best of your ability and practice, you WILL get better (and easier)
    Mike
    From the workshop under the staircase, Clinton Township, MI
    Semper Audere!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike holden View Post
    I think you are overthinking this.
    Mike
    How come my family tell me this repeatedly?

    That why we love woodwork right?
    David
    Confidence: That feeling you get before fully understanding a situation (Anonymous)

  7. #7
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    Don't worry David, you are not alone.

    analysis paralysis is one term, the best however is the sign on a manager's desk: "At some point in the project we have to shoot the engineer and get the job done" (grin)

    Best, Mike
    From the workshop under the staircase, Clinton Township, MI
    Semper Audere!

  8. #8
    I see many carvers that are downright scared to alter a tool. Carving tools are not some set in stone design that we should not alter. The guy that taught me is a true master, has carved for more than 70 years and has modified almost all of his 500 gouges to suit his needs. In his eyes, the manufacturer ships a rough approximation of a carving tool, not a finished product.

    I use Pfeil, Dastra, Stubai and Henry Taylor. The Taylors all had to be rebevelled as they are way too steep. The others I've modified if needed. Pfeil are generally don't require much work.

    I suggest changing one if you wish and as you note you may want to put an inside bevel on it. See how it works compared to your others. If you like it change them.

    P.S. Mary May has altered many tools over the years. Ask her about her Dastras and the black arkansas stone.
    Last edited by Warren West; 11-28-2018 at 2:10 AM. Reason: Grammar police nabbed me

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren West View Post
    I see many carvers that are downright scared to alter a tool. Carving tools are not some set in stone design that we should not alter. The guy that taught me is a true master, has carved for more than 70 years and has modified almost all of his 500 gouges to suit his needs. In his eyes, the manufacturer ships a rough approximation of a carving tool, not a finished product.
    This is a perfect example of what I mean. You can see how the backs of these gouges have been ground on the sides making it work better. It slices through the wood better and hangs up less.

    20181207_125643.jpg20181207_125743.jpg
    Last edited by Warren West; 12-07-2018 at 7:59 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren West View Post
    This is a perfect example of what I mean. You can see how the backs of these gouges have been ground on the sides making it work better. It slices through the wood better and hangs up less.

    20181207_125643.jpg20181207_125743.jpg
    Hi Warren,

    thanks for your input....I'm having a devil of a time w the v-gouge, as is expected.

    From you pictures above, you are showing how you took down the heel of the tool, as referred to earlier in this thread?

    Thanks, D
    David
    Confidence: That feeling you get before fully understanding a situation (Anonymous)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by David Ragan View Post

    From you pictures above, you are showing how you took down the heel of the tool, as referred to earlier in this thread?
    No, sorry to have created any confusion. I was just using photos to show you some alterations done to carving tools to make them work better than the factory sent them. Nothing to do with the v-tool, but was an addendum to my post about not being afraid to try an alteration and see how it works.

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