Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 42

Thread: New Chisel Prep

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,748

    New Chisel Prep

    I've started prepping the new chisels from Stan. I've never found a way to do it that didn't just take pulling up your big boy pants and take iron to stone and do the scut work. I wish there were an easier way, if there is I haven't found it. What this really got me to thinking about is the sharpening process and how to tell if a cutter is sharp.

    We have endless posts on sharpening about what stones to use and what grits for grinding, honing, and polishing but not much on how to tell if a cutter is sharp other than what tests the poster uses to check the iron out. Maybe because there is no way to show how to feel sharp and even less to show how to see sharp we end up with sharpening posts that really do not address how to have sharp cutters. I think feeling sharp is easier to show someone than seeing sharp because you can A&B sharp edges vs. dull edges until the light goes on. There are so many factors with seeing that make it hard to show. I wish I could figure out a way to photograph sharp edges vs. ones that are not because even if someone is in your shop and you are trying to show them what to see you or at least I am not sure they are seeing the same thing I'm seeing.

    BTW, I guess one of the things that started this line of thought was the first chisel I worked on had a wire edge that refused to go and even thought it felt sharp (the wire was very small) you could see it wasn't sharp.

    Anyway just thoughts to go along with my cut and abraded fingers and thumb. You can take a lot of skin off before you know it is happening.

    ken

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,516
    I don't know how to teach it to someone else, but I don't test for sharpness. The feel of the tool on the stone tells me when it's done. I don't even feel for a burr, and don't worry about creating one. When it feels like it's slicing down into the surface of the stone (of course, it's really not), it's done on that stone. For cambered irons, you can tell by the swarf if it's cutting all the way across, in addition to the feel. That was the way my Dad taught me to sharpen a pocket knife, when I was about 9, and it still works.

    That's the main reason I don't like diamond stones-there is no feel.

    For my helpers, I have them count strokes. For something that I know might take 6 strokes for me, I tell them to take 10 strokes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,748
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    I don't know how to teach it to someone else, but I don't test for sharpness. The feel of the tool on the stone tells me when it's done. I don't even feel for a burr, and don't worry about creating one. When it feels like it's slicing down into the surface of the stone (of course, it's really not), it's done on that stone. For cambered irons, you can tell by the swarf if it's cutting all the way across, in addition to the feel. That was the way my Dad taught me to sharpen a pocket knife, when I was about 9, and it still works.

    That's the main reason I don't like diamond stones-there is no feel.

    For my helpers, I have them count strokes. For something that I know might take 6 strokes for me, I tell them to take 10 strokes.
    Tom,

    I do not test for sharpness either. In fact I'll bet the chisel that started this would have passed all the standard sharpness tests, it would have shaved arm hair or pared end grain with no problem.

    ken

  4. #4
    Do you have really good eyesight?
    I once did, and now when I'm working on edges, searching for perfection, I have started keeping an inexpensive photographer's (or jeweler's) loupe with my stones and evaluating the edge from time to time while sharpening. There's a whole new world visible, particularly scratch pattern that you cannot feel, but with the loupe you can see.

    Anyway, if you have eagle eyes you might not need it, but seeing as how you have some beautiful steel, you might find it interesting to zoom in for a closer look.

    Please post photos of these chisels once you have them all prepped.
    Edwin

  5. #5
    When its sharp, you'll know its sharp.

    Says me, who has very little hair from the elbow down LOL

  6. #6
    Hi Ken - You've touched on the source of my greatest frustration. I didn't grow up using tools of any kind and am alone in my shop trying to learn from books, the internet, and mistakes. Especially while sharpening, I often find myself wishing for a clear reference to know what sharp feels and looks like, It's the kind of knowledge that, I suspect, is most easily and efficiently gained face-to-face.

  7. #7
    a couple ways to check are the fingernail test and soft wood endgrain test.

    but from experience, you'll know its sharp and won't have to test, as I facetiously said above.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Tucson, Aridzona
    Posts
    215
    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Anyway just thoughts to go along with my cut and abraded fingers and thumb. You can take a lot of skin off before you know it is happening.
    You sure can, I have bandaids currently that are making typing tough.

  9. #9
    I used to test on wood, but that was too slow most of the time so after stropping I now typically do the fingernail test. If it sticks, it's sharp. If it scares me that it wants to cut right through my fingernail, then it's very sharp.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,748
    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    Do you have really good eyesight?
    I once did, and now when I'm working on edges, searching for perfection, I have started keeping an inexpensive photographer's (or jeweler's) loupe with my stones and evaluating the edge from time to time while sharpening. There's a whole new world visible, particularly scratch pattern that you cannot feel, but with the loupe you can see.

    Anyway, if you have eagle eyes you might not need it, but seeing as how you have some beautiful steel, you might find it interesting to zoom in for a closer look.

    Please post photos of these chisels once you have them all prepped.
    Edwin
    Edwin,

    Good eye sight? It has been a few years. Up till recently, if working with direct sun light I didn't need a loupe. Today I use one every time and often. Photos will follow but it may be awhile, I can only stand so much at a time.

    ken

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,748
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rathhaus View Post
    Hi Ken - You've touched on the source of my greatest frustration. I didn't grow up using tools of any kind and am alone in my shop trying to learn from books, the internet, and mistakes. Especially while sharpening, I often find myself wishing for a clear reference to know what sharp feels and looks like, It's the kind of knowledge that, I suspect, is most easily and efficiently gained face-to-face.
    Eric,

    You haven't posted your location, I'll bet you can likely find a member close that would be happy to show you how to judge your cutters. While different from judging sharpness here is a link to the best video tutorial I've seen on free hand sharpening.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5Z5g-cyTVM


    ken

    P.S. I want to add, it is a Norton video with Joel from TFWW hosting and while it is a very good technique tutorial I disagree on the use of a secondary bevel.
    Last edited by ken hatch; 01-21-2020 at 7:04 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,748
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Engel View Post
    a couple ways to check are the fingernail test and soft wood endgrain test.

    but from experience, you'll know its sharp and won't have to test, as I facetiously said above.
    Robert,

    Yep, pretty much,

    ken

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,748
    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    You sure can, I have bandaids currently that are making typing tough.

    Mike,

    MsBubba is off visiting the kids, she is the bandaid dispenser it this house, so I'm walking around with a sore thumb wondering where she hides the bandages . How is the rat battle going?

    ken

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,748
    Quote Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
    I used to test on wood, but that was too slow most of the time so after stropping I now typically do the fingernail test. If it sticks, it's sharp. If it scares me that it wants to cut right through my fingernail, then it's very sharp.
    Chris,

    My laugh for the day, but ain't it the truth.

    ken

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Tucson, Aridzona
    Posts
    215
    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Mike,

    MsBubba is off visiting the kids, she is the bandaid dispenser it this house, so I'm walking around with a sore thumb wondering where she hides the bandages . How is the rat battle going?

    ken
    Ken,

    We still have first aid kits lying around from the last 5 years of marching band (and I know where they are )! It's always the middle finger on my left hand for me. I'm down to one item left in the 'shed' (other than bicycles, but the rats don't seem to care about them.. and they're hanging anyway). Unfortunately it's the box they're living in it seems. I'm not really looking forward to moving it and having a family of rats fight back, so last night I helped a friend replace brakes on his truck. Seemed a more sane thing to do, while I contemplate chemical warfare. If you hear about someone on the NW side using chlorine gas, it's probably me.

    While all of that is serious, I'm hoping to finish getting everything out of there this weekend and tear down that outer wall. That'll leave it without anywhere to hide, and I can start cleaning.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •