Hand Tools doings #26: Finally sharp!

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 03-29-2009 11:28 PM 1355 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 25: A box for Callie - a left handed experience Part 26 of Hand Tools doings series no next part

While I’ve had a modicum of success sharpening my chisels, I have finally got the hang of it and actually got my chisels sharp enough to cut the fine hair on my arm and pare end grain!!!!! Yippee!!!!

My pictures stink (those digital cameras still take talent!). But you can make out that the fibers are cut not crushed.



I used a combination of methods – some I used my WorkSharp and some I used my waterstones. I think my waterstones came out just as good or better than the WorkSharp. Now maybe I’ll be able to get some decent dovetails cut.

Thanks for looking.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

4 comments so far

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3387 days

#1 posted 03-29-2009 11:54 PM

Great Betsy, you are in the club now!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 3514 days

#2 posted 03-30-2009 12:24 AM

Re: your comments about your photo skills. It looks as if you took the photos in low-level, available (incandescent) light. If you cannot go outdoors and make use of sunshine or get some very bright photoflood lights, use a flash for photos like that. Digital camera or chemical-film camera, if the shutter speed is too slow you will get movement-related blurring and probably a very shallow depth of field, due to a wide-open aperture.

Unfortunately, many digital cameras have an on-camera flash function that does not illuminate all that well. The better digital cameras have a hot-shoe on top that lets you install a powerful, rotating-head flash unit that can bounce light off of the ceiling for a nice sense of natural illumination, with no blurring.

Good job of sharpening, in any case.

Howard Ferstler

View lew's profile


12052 posts in 3749 days

#3 posted 03-30-2009 12:52 AM

Great Job, Betsy!!!

Glad you mastered the water stone, wish I could.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3519 days

#4 posted 03-30-2009 01:53 AM

It’s a great feeling when you can shave endgrain. Now you know you have the sharpening skills down, and can focus on the work instead of the tool.

I have great success with just using the macro setting on my camera. It gets rid of the blur/jittery shots, and takes care of the flash problem.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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