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Thread: Chisel sharpening - difficulties

  1. For thousands of years people all over the world were taught, or taught themselves how to get their tools sharp enough for the task at hand. The time mucking about with a jig is better spent on learning to sharpen. It's really not that difficult, I promise. You will find you can get a chisel just as sharp, or sharper, in less time and be back to work faster. After a couple of times you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica de Boer View Post
    For thousands of years people all over the world were taught, or taught themselves how to get their tools sharp enough for the task at hand. The time mucking about with a jig is better spent on learning to sharpen. It's really not that difficult, I promise. You will find you can get a chisel just as sharp, or sharper, in less time and be back to work faster. After a couple of times you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.
    Jessica why don't you use your blog on this site or write us an article in the article section and share your step by step analysis. I for one would like to see that and maybe learn something.
    Jim

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Pallas View Post
    Jessica why don't you use your blog on this site or write us an article in the article section and share your step by step analysis. I for one would like to see that and maybe learn something.
    Jim
    Hollow grind the chisel or plane iron, hone on the grind, chase the burr from the back a few times, finish on a strop. There's nothing to analyze. The hollow grind is your jig. You can do a slight lift while honing to put a slightly higher angle on the tip, if you want to. If when wiping the burr off the back on the strop you can do a slight lift to put a little polish, on the back, right at the tip. You are not creating a back bevel, just a little extra polish.
    Last edited by Charles Guest; 02-22-2019 at 3:56 PM.

  4. #34
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    A tool holder or sharpening jig is handy when using coarse abrasive sheets to remove a lot of metal.

    After a good flat bevel is established there isn't a lot of work to be done. Learning to go from the quick rough metal removal to refining the edge by hand is as an essential skill of woodworking as any other. Once the edge is established, touching up an edge by hand is much faster.

    Of course if one is starting with a hollow grind the need for a holder for sharpening is even less.

    Now after about 20 years of woodworking, my sharpening skills are pretty good, but it still amazes me how skill can improve even after all this time.

    One should not feel as if they have reached a point where there is nothing new to learn.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 02-22-2019 at 10:58 PM. Reason: phrasing
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #35
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    The quest for sharpness could drive you quite mad if you let it, and it seems some are well on their way.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Guest View Post
    Hollow grind the chisel or plane iron, hone on the grind, chase the burr from the back a few times, finish on a strop. There's nothing to analyze. The hollow grind is your jig. You can do a slight lift while honing to put a slightly higher angle on the tip, if you want to. If when wiping the burr off the back on the strop you can do a slight lift to put a little polish, on the back, right at the tip. You are not creating a back bevel, just a little extra polish.
    Let me see if I understand this logic, One needs to buy a grinder, perhaps (likely) new wheels, and perhaps (also likely) new tool rests (a jig) in order to put a hollow grind on a chisel or a blade for a plane (another jig) and learn how to freehand sharpen to avoid... buying a sharpening jig? 🤔 My gosh, who is mad now? Why is it that people get SO condescending about how others sharpen their tools? Why can it be as simple as 'Sharp tools are important to good woodworking results, how one gets their tools sharp is not important.'?

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Jones View Post
    Don,

    What is "the Sellers method?"
    You can find it on the tube for a better explanation, but like a plane iron, it's done by hand. You hold near the edge of the blade starting on a 220 and run it back and forth trying to keep it on the bevel but not worrying if it doesn't happen. When there is a burr, move the 800 and then the 1000 or higher and remove the bur on the back. I then strop fairly aggressively about 30 strokes (happens quickly). The result slices a piece of receipt paper nearly in half.

    The bevel becomes convex which works very well. My problem is that over time, it becomes too convex and then back to the sander. For me, that trip only occurs every 10 or 15 sharpening's. I'm bad at explaining so if you search his name on the tube along with chisel sharpening, you'll see what I'm speaking of. Been doing for three years or better now.

  8. #38
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    Interesting comments by some expert woodworkers. Perhaps jigs interfere with skill development. There are many parallels in other learning situations. Do training wheels slow down learning to ride a bike? Some learn music by ear, others by written note and didactic instruction. Does a rigid phonics approach to reading impair interest in good literature, etc. Learning is complex, and individual differences abound. Some might say a beginner can experience what a truly sharp chisel feels like by using a jig. Then he may move on to freehand. Others say it muddles the whole situation. Good thoughts.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Greg Jones View Post
    Let me see if I understand this logic, One needs to buy a grinder, perhaps (likely) new wheels, and perhaps (also likely) new tool rests (a jig) in order to put a hollow grind on a chisel or a blade for a plane (another jig) and learn how to freehand sharpen to avoid... buying a sharpening jig? �� My gosh, who is mad now? Why is it that people get SO condescending about how others sharpen their tools? Why can it be as simple as 'Sharp tools are important to good woodworking results, how one gets their tools sharp is not important.'?
    A grinding facility is pretty standard in a workshop. If you're unaware of this, I doubt there's much point in me going much further. Everything cannot be sharpened in a jig.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Guest View Post
    A grinding facility is pretty standard in a workshop. If you're unaware of this, I doubt there's much point in me going much further. Everything cannot be sharpened in a jig.
    Well first of all, I would challenge that a grinding facility is standard equipment in a workshop. I have one in mine, but plenty of woodworkers get by fine without a grinder. But to the point, my assumption, which may be wrong, is the the OP does not have a grinding station. Did you miss the part where he indicated that he established the primary bevel not with a grinder, but rather his grinding jig? It's not a question of what I am, or am not, aware of. It is a question of assisting the OP with the challenge he is facing with the equipment he has on hand. Suggesting that he needs to buy a grinder, or buy a side mount jig, or learn to sharpen freehand does not help with his question!

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Greg Jones View Post
    Well first of all, I would challenge that a grinding facility is standard equipment in a workshop. I have one in mine, but plenty of woodworkers get by fine without a grinder. But to the point, my assumption, which may be wrong, is the the OP does not have a grinding station. Did you miss the part where he indicated that he established the primary bevel not with a grinder, but rather his grinding jig? It's not a question of what I am, or am not, aware of. It is a question of assisting the OP with the challenge he is facing with the equipment he has on hand. Suggesting that he needs to buy a grinder, or buy a side mount jig, or learn to sharpen freehand does not help with his question!
    Sharpening out of square is a problem with top clamping jigs that no manufacturer has ever fully solved, adding roller cams and other assorted gewgaws to a poor design doesn't help matters either. People have complained about that same jig, doing the same thing, for literally years. This is nothing new. One can sweat an inherently poor design for the rest of one's woodworking life, or take one's medicine and move on to a better solution. It's that simple. Eclipse clones cost about $12. I don't think it's outlandish to recommend one, which I did in my first post in the thread.

    $11.50 actually:

    http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...=1,43072,43078

    Long-term, I still recommend hollow grinding. The jig is still handy to have around for rebate cutters, and at $11.50 is an afterthought given the overall expense of the hobby.

    The bejeweled piece of kit causing all of the problems could probably be sold on a favourite auction site and recover at least half of its original purchase price, likely more. I think people are drawn to the colourful decals.
    Last edited by Charles Guest; 02-22-2019 at 6:54 PM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Guest View Post
    Sharpening out of square is a problem with top clamping jigs that no manufacturer has ever fully solved, adding roller cams and other assorted gewgaws to a poor design doesn't help matters either. People have complained about that same jig, doing the same thing, for literally years. This is nothing new. One can sweat an inherently poor design for the rest of one's woodworking life, or take one's medicine and move on to a better solution. It's that simple. Eclipse clones cost about $12. I don't think it's outlandish to recommend one, which I did in my first post in the thread.

    $11.50 actually:

    http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...=1,43072,43078

    Long-term, I still recommend hollow grinding. The jig is still handy to have around for rebate cutters, and at $11.50 is an afterthought given the overall expense of the hobby.

    The bejeweled piece of kit causing all of the problems could probably be sold on a favourite auction site and recover at least half of its original purchase price, likely more.
    Just one question-do, or have you, owned the (bejeweled piece of kit) Veritas jig in question? Because if you have not, what makes you qualified to comment on what you perceive to be its limitations?

  13. #43
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    Jessica why don't you use your blog on this site or write us an article in the article section and share your step by step analysis. I for one would like to see that and maybe learn something.
    Jessica; proceed with caution. The Ides of March are approaching. Whats been requested is akin to being thrown into the Roman Colosseum with a bunch of hungry lions

    Stewie;

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by J. Greg Jones View Post
    Just one question-do, or have you, owned the (bejeweled piece of kit) Veritas jig in question? Because if you have not, what makes you qualified to comment on what you perceive to be its limitations?
    The question wasn't directed to me, but I own the "bejeweled piece of kit" and it works really well. It is consistently reviewed positively by magazines and other users. I've also had success hollow grinding. However these days I do neither because I've moved to mostly freehand honing and gotten used to it.
    As a result of the recent thread about A2 steel, I took away some advice to try freehand honing a microbevel which I've been doing for only a few days now, and I'm finding it works very well and very quickly (for me).
    Today for the first time I tried the David C. ruler trick, and I found it brought results even faster. Not necessarily keener than the earlier steps in my evolution, but certainly faster.

    Every single one of these methods brought me sharp edges. I think sharpening is interesting and fun, even therapeutic, and my willingness to experiment with different methods has brought me better and faster results. I'm here to improve my woodworking.

    The OP should absolutely be able to get good results with his jig, so long as he confirms no defect in it. There's no reason to rain on anyone else's procedure if it gives them the results they are seeking. There's also no reason to mock anyone for pursuing sharpening excellence and trying different methods to achieve it.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 02-22-2019 at 7:14 PM.

  15. #45
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    Freehand skill is important from a practical perspective. It’s very fast once you get the hang of it. Developing a feel for it is important in many other aspects of the work.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

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