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Thread: Chisel sharpening - difficulties

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Leawood, KS
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    Chisel sharpening - difficulties

    I'm a novice and am looking for insight into what I'm doing wrong.

    I'm using the Veritas Mk II sharpening jig. After flattening the back, I'm setting a 25 degree bevel first on the 300 and then 1000 stone. When I go to do the micro-bevel it's clear that something is not straight based on the results. I've gone through the process several times with consistent results.

    I've double checked that the chisel is sits square to the fence (both before & after), and am tightening the clamp knobs evenly. I'm applying even pressure to both sides of the chisel.

    What am I doing wrong?


    IMG_20190220_211041.jpg
    Last edited by Bryce Walter; 02-20-2019 at 10:27 PM. Reason: fixed: a word

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Bryce I use the same guide. The most obvious reason is twisting the guide as you push it across the stone or perhaps just at the end of the stroke. However the most obvious reason is also very unlikely.
    It is trickier than you think to get it square, check it with a small square after removing the guide alignment.
    If it is truly square and pushed in a straight line parallel to the edge of the stone the edge will be square.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  3. #3
    I do a similar thing. I establish my primary 25 degree bevel on a WorkSharp and then put a secondary bevel on an 8000 water stone by hand.

    What I'd recommend is that you not use the jig for the secondary bevel - just hold the chisel. Do a couple of passes and look at the secondary bevel. It may be starting to "one-side" like you show. That's because of the way you're holding the chisel. Compensate by putting more pressure on the side that's thinner. You'll pick up the technique quickly.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #4
    You don't say what angle you're using for the micro bevel. When you establish there primary at 25 degrees are you then turning the little knob to give you 2 degrees of micro bevel (i.e. 27 degrees) or are you resetting the chisel for a 30 degree micro bevel? I get some of what you're seeing but it's not really as wonky as what you might think. I just hone the micro bevel, until it's established all the way across, remove the wire edge, strop and go to work. Like I said, even though it looks wonky, check it with a square and it may not be as bad as it looks like.

    I think I'll try the micro bevel by hand as Mike suggests and see how that goes.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Leawood, KS
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    I did some more testing and I think it might be something with the Micro-bevel adjustment on the jig.

    If I establish a 25 degree primary bevel, and then put the registration jig back on and set to ~27 degree, the micro bevel looks great.
    If I establish a 25 degree primary bevel, and then use the micro-bevel knob (the manual states it gives 1-2 degree micro bevel), it comes out looking all wonky (to quote Jim).

    I guess the question now is, is this something I should/can live with? I'm glad I figured out something that works for me. However, for a $70 sharpening jig, I guess I expected more.

    I appreciate everyone's insight.

  6. #6
    I tried the veritas mkII jig, but ended up returning it for the same problems you were experiencing. I found the jig to be too finicky and difficult to get a square bevel, particularly for chisels. I didn't have the narrow blade attachment (not sure if they had it at the time).
    IIRC, you have to tighten two knobs like on the tormek jigs, and uneven pressure can result in a slight skew.

    Anyway, I bought the lie nielsen jig last year and am very happy with that one. Very easy to get setup consistently square, since it clamps from the sides, as opposed to the faces. I don't do micro bevels, but you could easily achieve that with a shim in your home made registration jig. Only downside I've experienced so far is the limited selection of skew angles, but not a big deal for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Thornton Colorado
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    12
    Sounds like you're on the right track figuring out the problem. I'm just starting myself and had the same issue first time I sharpened my chisels, but i'm using a cheap beat up jig I basically got for free. What helped me get my arms used to the movement was starting with only a pulling stroke when grinding. Once I started getting the feel for it I started speeding up my arms. Now i'm working on not relying on the jig so much, but that is my goal, to be able to keep a straight edge free hand. $70 is a lot of money to spend for it not to work like it's supposed to and the intended goal to make it simple to add a micro bevel. Sounds like the micro bevel knob is making the jig tilt to one side, not necessarily out of square. Is there more play on one side than the other?

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Perth, Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryce Walter View Post
    ....


    IMG_20190220_211041.jpg

    If I establish a 25 degree primary bevel, and then put the registration jig back on and set to ~27 degree, the micro bevel looks great.
    If I establish a 25 degree primary bevel, and then use the micro-bevel knob (the manual states it gives 1-2 degree micro bevel), it comes out looking all wonky (to quote Jim).
    Bryce, I suspect that the micro bevel cam may be faulty. Speak to LV about this before you go on. These issues should be taken up with the manufacturer before posting on a forum. For all you know, this could be user error.

    Still, there is a simple solution to your problem: do not use a tertiary bevel. From the photo, it looks like you are honing on a hollow grind. The point of a secondary (and tertiary) bevel is to reduce the amount of steel to make honing easier (less steel to work). The edge off a hollow grind is so small that you do not need to change the bevel angle. Just keep the one setting and use it for all the grits you go through when honing.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Michiana
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    The amount of misalignment that can cause this is almost impossible to measure. It takes almost nothing for it to be visually apparent. It has to do with the two intersecting angles being so close to one another. The misalignment between the two is is exaggerated by the line of transition the smaller the angle is. The greater the angle, the less the apparent visual misalignment.

    Lee Valley touches on the phenomenon here: http://www.leevalley.com/us/html/05M0910ie.pdf (scroll to last page)

    My suggestion? Ignore it. The micro bevel is square to the chisel body with a degree of precision that is beyond anything we really need. Put it to work.
    It's wood dust. Saw dust would suggest a problem.

  10. #10
    Bryce,

    The jig you are using is known to "slip" as are most top clamping jigs. If you need to use a jig and your chisels will fit in an "Eclipse" style jig that is the way to go. Cheaper and works better.

    ken

  11. #11
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    Guess I'm quite a bit lazier. I have a 25 degree mark on the wall next to my stationary sander. When it's time to re-grind, I match that mark and place it on the sander. After that, the Sellers method is used for putting the edge on. Next, it's stropped and am able to to simply re-strop for the next few time before the stones are used again.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Dorn View Post
    Guess I'm quite a bit lazier. I have a 25 degree mark on the wall next to my stationary sander. When it's time to re-grind, I match that mark and place it on the sander. After that, the Sellers method is used for putting the edge on. Next, it's stropped and am able to to simply re-strop for the next few time before the stones are used again.
    Don,

    What is "the Sellers method?"
    *** "I have gained insights from many sources... experts, tradesman & novices.... no one has a monopoly on good ideas." Jim Dailey, SMC, Feb. 19, 2007
    *** "The best way to get better is to leave your ego in the parking lot."----Eddie Wood, 1994
    *** We discovered that he had been educated beyond his intelligence........
    *** Student of Rigonomics & Gizmology

    Waste Knot Woods
    Rice, VA

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    New England area
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    153
    It's a problem inherent with top-clamping jigs. If you use a top clamping jig I'd suggest using a dry honing system -- scary sharp or ceramic stones. You could also just get an Eclipse-style jig (side clamping) for about $12 and use it with whatever stones you care to -- oil, water, dry, sandpaper, whatever. With an Eclipse jig you just hone on the bevel, it's no big deal once you get everything going that way.

    Ultimately, you'd like to move away from using jigs unless there are physical limitations that prevent you from doing so.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    East Virginia
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    601
    I use this type of jig and never had the problem you describe:



    After using a protractor to set the bevel I want, I scribe a line on the back of the blade to make follow-ups easier...

  15. #15
    Its either unequal pressure or the chisel isn't in the jig squarely. I wouldn't be so quick to blame the jig.

    Its also a problem with narrower width chisels because its harder to register against the stone evenly.

    I suggest you re-evaluate with these two things in mind.

    I also encourage you to learn to sharpen free hand. It really isn't that hard to learn.

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