31 Jul. 2006|
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But a properly-honed chisel is an extremely useful woodworking tool.
Sharpening a chisel is actually quite easy, especially if you use a honing jig. An initial investment of less than $150 will get you chisels, a honing jig and sharpening stones - all of which will likely last longer than you will.
When I was first starting out in woodworking, I assumed that the "sharp" chisel I brought home from the hardware store was ready to go. But just because something is sharp enough to go through your hand if you're not careful does not mean it's sharp enough to take on wood with nice results.
Chisels go through an elementary grinding when being made which simply gives them a beveled edge. This instructable will demonstrate the use of waterstones and a honing guide, and will get your chisel sharpened to 8000 grit with a microbeveled edge.
I use two combination stones (again, from Woodcraft), that take the sharpening through grits of 800, 1200, 4000 and 8000.
I have a sanding screen (180 grit) glued to a piece of glass to flatten my lowest grit stone, and I flatten the other ones with the next lower grit stone. One of the tips I found along the way to a sharper chisel in the polishing end of the scale, is to put down some polishing compound on a hard surface like a piece of glass and moisten it a bit to form a slurry.
Working the chisel back and forth in the slurry on the glass will further sharpen and polish the cutting edge.