I recently unpacked a set of 6 small carving tools (no maker’s marks) that I had purchased at a carving show several years ago. These poor little tools had obviously been abused, but I figured that they could be brought back to life with a little care and patience. I really would have had difficulty cutting my finger with them. Here’s what they looked like, complete with fairly coarse grinder marks.
So, the time came to work on these, and all it took was 3 steps.
1. I did a fairly short demo to show my son Peace how to sharpen and hone these carving tools.
2. Preparation of the strops was done with Flexcut Gold Polishing Compound.
3. Then I stood aside, watched my son implement what he had just seen, and saw him patiently bring these 6 tools back to beautifully polished cutting edges.
He did a beautiful job on them, and they are cutting with ease. You can see the polished finish best on the 3rd from the left. (Sorry the photos are not showing more detail.) Job well done.
I have to add that I have been using Flexcut Gold Polishing Compound for several years now, and the results have been excellent right from the first use. I had previously been using other types of honing compounds (red and green), but none had ever given me the mirror polish that I get with this Flexcut product. The mirror finish (compared to what I was previously getting) really seems to reduce the friction as the blade cuts through the wood, and this means that my effort results in carving the wood rather than fighting with difficult grain. While carving, I find that I usually don’t need more than a few strokes, every so often, on my strop to maintain my blades at 100%. Of course the type of wood being carved, the moisture content of the wood, and the quality of the metal in the tool, will determine how often any touch up will be required. But, once tools have been properly honed, I find that this compound maintains the polish with much less effort, and I enjoy doing a bit of honing before putting them away so that they are ready for the next carving session.
Based on my recommendation, a local fellow who had his own sharpening business, which included making custom knives, decided to try the Flexcut Gold on his carving tools. His feedback was quite clear when he told me that out of all of the honing compounds that he had worked with, “this is the best I’ve ever used!”. I have to agree with him.
Now Peace has 6 restored carving tools to use while he is developing his carving skills.
Thanks for reading. Comments welcome.
-- John, British Columbia, Canada