Small chisel sharpening??

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Bucky182

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OK as you might know I am new to this. I have about 5-6 chisels I got from my dad and other places that are all old and need sharpened badly. I ordered one of those chisel jigs but the chisels are too small to fit in it. either the shank is too short or too thin or both. LOL Is sharpening by had the only way to do these smaller chisels? A couple I will have to re-due on the bench grinder to get them square again. Probably last sharpened around 1700. LOL I am going to try and set guide on grinder to @ 25 degrees and use a wooden jig along the side to try and keep flush. I also know I have to square the backs up. I only have a 3 sided wet stone and some other stones. Also plan on trying the glued down sand paper on plexin glass trick.

So I guess I am asking what is the best way to sharpen these little chisels? by hand? or is there a jig that will work with these little guys?
Any and all suggestions please
 
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OK as you might know I am new to this. I have about 5-6 chisels I got from my dad and other places that are all old and need sharpened badly. I ordered one of those chisel jigs but the chisels are too small to fit in it. either the shank is too short or too thin or both. LOL Is sharpening by had the only way to do these smaller chisels? A couple I will have to re-due on the bench grinder to get them square again. Probably last sharpened around 1700. LOL I am going to try and set guide on grinder to @ 25 degrees and use a wooden jig along the side to try and keep flush. I also know I have to square the backs up. I only have a 3 sided wet stone and some other stones. Also plan on trying the glued down sand paper on plexin glass trick.

So I guess I am asking what is the best way to sharpen these little chisels? by hand? or is there a jig that will work with these little guys?
Any and all suggestions please
Post a couple of photos showing the dull ends. We can help you better!

Larry
 
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A slow fine (white) wheel grinder is best. And you probably will need to hand hold. As a wood turner and occasional carver I have found the small chisles difficult to maintain a sharp edge on. However, once sharpened and stroping on a piece of leather charged with grinding/polishing rouge (I use red) is often all that is needed for years of use.
 
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I have a chisel jig and tried to use it a few times. That was about 25 years ago. At some point I became a proponent of the Roy Underhill approach to sharpening chisels and plane irons. My summation of this is "This isn't an exact science and there are several ways to the true result. Don't obsess over the precise angle you're sharpening at. Take your best shot and just do it. Learn and improve as you go. It will work for you."

I think you are likely to spend more time and frustration on figuring out how to use a jig than it will take you to learn how to do it by hand and eye. Why don't you just allocate a single day and an old chisel to learning how to do that? And why are you GRINDING anything? This MAY be necessary, but a power grinder will ruin a cutting tool in microseconds if you don't know exactly what you're doing. If you put that chisel on a power grinder, you will likely ruin the temper on it and then wonder why you can't sharpen it. If you already ground chisels down on the grinder, there's a chance you'll never be able to put a good edge on them now unless they're re-tempered.

I only use a grinder for some circumstances on old garden tools, maybe an axe in certain circumstances, and a tool I need to take a big nick out of. Even then I use it VERY delicately so it doesn't heat the blade and destroy it. I think you should stay away from the grinder. You need FLAT stones (and a flatenning stone). Also, the approach with sandpaper and a piece of glass (or tile that's flat) is a good one. I do mostly that nowadays. Otherwise use my Japanese water stones.
 

ord sgt

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I use a small sheet of window glass for my flat surface. Depending on how much damage needs to be repaired, I start with 300 grit. Laying the bevel on the grit, feel for the flat. Using short push strokes, work the blade over different sections of the oxide paper, checking the bevel occasionally. You will start to see a change. Then switch to 400, then 600 and finally 1000 grit. And don't forget the belly of the chisel. I get that area mirror bright.
 

Bucky182

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Thanks Guys for sharing your valuable knowledge. I would be lost with out all of your help! I will try and post some pictures later.
 
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Most folks that have damaged wood chisels , need to find someone with the proper tools to reshape , and sharpen the chisels. Once the chisels are properly resharpened , only a few simple items , are needed to keep the chisels properly sharpened.
 
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I still have a few Stanley wood chisels I got from my father as a gift when I was 12. So they're about 63 years old. They've been through a lot, but still work and sharpen up just fine. 😂
 

Bucky182

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Old wood I live in Kansas about 500 miles from any where and 50 ft from hell. I wish I knew someone who could do that. LOL
 

Bucky182

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Ok I hope this works for a photo, computer skills no as good as wood working. LOL
 

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Bucky182

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Larry (Omaha) here are some pics of two of them
 

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I worked in the tool room on night shifts form over thirty years and had a reputation for doing an excellent job of sharpening knifes and chisels for co workers. They were always amazed that I would use a large flat stone, or a plate of glass with a piece of wet/dry sandpaper stuck to it, instead of any of the expensive grinders to put the final edge on knifes or chisels.
 
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I'm a carver and have several knives and some small chisels. I can do a credible job sharpening a knife but for whatever reason chisels don't seem to sharpen well for me. Never been able to figure out why not..
 
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I agree with ORD SGT. Get a small sheet of window glass or stone countertop and the 300 grit paper. Wet the surface plate and paper. Place the tool flat side down and clean up that surface and then place the tool bevel side down. Make certain that when you push that the tool is not rocking and sharpen until all dings in the edge are gone and you have a good angle. I would try to get a 25 to 30 degree angle (30 degree if you are using it as a chisel and 20 to 25 if you are using it as a carving tool). You can color the bevel with a sharpie and see how the angle is coming. Then switch to 400 and polish the flat side and then the bevel. Repeat using the 600 and finally 1000 grit. You should get a wire edge indicating that you are getting it sharp. Just buff that off by turning the chisel over. Follow this by polishing on a leather strap or buffing wheel with red or grey rouge. Once you get it sharp you should only need to keep it sharp with the buffing wheel or perhaps the 600 – 1000 grit paper.
 

ZUG

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From your picture that chisel will require a fair amount of work to get it to where it can be used. First you will need to flatten and polish the back then establish the cutting angle and then polish it. I would also put a micro-bevel on the cutting edge. If you don't know what a micro-bevel is GOOGLE it. This can all be done with a GOOD diamond plate not one of those cheap discount ones. Diamond plates cut fast and last much longer that anything else out there. I got many natural, wet, synthetic, ceramic sharpening "stones" and use them all but if I want to establish an edge on an abused chisel, I go for the diamond plate first. You want a good micro grain diamond plate that is made by a reputable manufacture - they are not cheap but are well worth it. I have several and the one I like best is made by Eze-Lap <EZE-Lap DD6SFC Double Sided Sharpening Stone - Knife Country, USA> It has two different grit sizes one grit on each side. Mine has 1200 / 600 diamond grit. Again don't buy the cheap diamond plate sharpening 'stones" I can't stress these enough you want a good micro-grain diamond plate otherwise you will be very disappointed after a few sharpening's as the "diamonds" are knocked off the plate and the plate becomes useless.:mad:
 
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Holding the chisel by the handle , pull the chisel edge toward you , on the leather strop. If the two edges on the chisel are sharp enough to leave a wire edge at the cutting edge , stropping will make the chisel very sharp. Beside the top and bottom flats of the chisel , don't forget to polish each side to make a good square edge on each side of the cutting edge.
 
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Bucky182

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Thanks so much guys, worked on two of them for about 3 hours tonight, first flattened the sides and used the sharpie. All I had to work with tonight was a three sided wet stone. Once I got the sides pretty flat I worked on the cutting edge. They are actually kind look like a chisel now. LOL Hopefully tomorrow get some glass and super fine sand paper. Lightly stopped them a little still have a long way to go but a huge improvement from butter knife edge to one that will cut something!! LOL
I can't thank you for your help. Ordering stock tomorrow!!
 

Bucky182

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Well put another couple hours into them. One is a Swan chisel 1/2 inch. Man it got sharper compared to the other off brands. Got it slicing paper in about 30 minutes of work. I guess quality is quality.
 

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