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Sharpening Help in Chicagoland Area

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Forum topic by Bonvivant1 posted 01-11-2017 06:09 PM 485 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bonvivant1

31 posts in 784 days


01-11-2017 06:09 PM

Hello,

I am having a hell of a time trying to learn how to sharpen carving chisels. I really like woodcarving but can’t proceed unless I learn to sharpen these maddening carving chisels. So I have resolved that I need some hands on help.

Does anyone know of any classes in the Chicagoland area? Is anyone willing to teach me for compensation? I have watched a million videos but still can’t get it right.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

-- You took your first pinch like a man and you learned the two greatest things in life...Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.--Jimmy Conway


10 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8006 posts in 2387 days


#1 posted 01-11-2017 06:20 PM

The good folks at Woodcraft are helpful, and seeing you’re about 20 minutes away I’d go to Woodcraft:
Woodcraft of Woodridge/Downers Grove
7440 Woodward Avenue
Suite A 107
Woodridge, IL 60517
Call Us: 630-435-9663
Fax Us: 630-435-0663
Email Us: woodridge-retail@woodcraft.com
Sunday: 10 AM – 4 PM
Monday: 9 AM – 7 PM
Tuesday: 9 AM – 7 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM – 7 PM
Thursday: 9 AM – 8 PM
Friday: 9 AM – 7 PM
Saturday: 9 AM – 6 PM

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Bonvivant1

31 posts in 784 days


#2 posted 01-11-2017 06:44 PM

Thanks for the advice! I have sent them an email. Hopefully they have a class or know where I can go.

I am thinking about just breaking down and getting the Tormek. The Grizzly and Jet systems have horrible reviews. The WS3000 is almost as costly as a used Tormek. Plus, I am not good at freehand shaping.

Who knew that carving some wood could be so expensive!

-- You took your first pinch like a man and you learned the two greatest things in life...Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.--Jimmy Conway

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

991 posts in 1805 days


#3 posted 01-11-2017 07:02 PM

A guy named Don teaches a sharpening class at that Woodcraft once a year or so. He is also available independently for a fee. They can give you his info.

I have the grizzly tormek clone. If you buy the tormek jig for it (the one that comes with it is junk), and the stone truing tool, it works just fine. Still much cheaper than tormek and no consumables like the worksharp. It makes a big mess because of the water reservoir being a little narrow. But otherwise it works.

Might be cool to organize a chicago/NWI LJ meet up sometime. Bring some gear to try out. Don’t know where we would do it.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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Bonvivant1

31 posts in 784 days


#4 posted 01-11-2017 07:07 PM

I was thinking about the Grizzly. It just got such bad reviews. Have you had the issues with the rail or the pleather wheel?

I would be up for forming a Chicago Group.

-- You took your first pinch like a man and you learned the two greatest things in life...Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.--Jimmy Conway

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bbasiaga

991 posts in 1805 days


#5 posted 01-11-2017 07:16 PM

I havent, but to be fair I haven’t had it that long and I only use it occasionally to re grind the primary bevels on my blades. In normal use I sharpen with a jig on stones.

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1151 posts in 1608 days


#6 posted 01-11-2017 08:53 PM

I use a tormek but it still took some time to get the hang of it.What ever method you choose plan on spending time to master it.
Some of the wood carvers I sat with in a carvers club used a cloth wheel on high speed buffer to keep their tools sharp.
I choose to use the leather strop on my tormek.
V gouges are the hardest to get right.
Here’s some pics of my work.


Good luck and don’t give up.
Aj

-- Aj

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

3335 posts in 2994 days


#7 posted 01-11-2017 09:09 PM

I use a paper wheel sharpening system on a bench grinder with the guards removed.

http://www.sharpeningwheels.com/products.html

They sell something similar at grizzly and woodcraft. It works great for all outside curved tools. For removing the burr on the flute, I use a piece of leather with honing compound to strop it off.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

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Bonvivant1

31 posts in 784 days


#8 posted 01-11-2017 09:50 PM

Beautiful work! I am willing to put in the time but my results are so dismal that I feel I need the sharpening jig to get the bevel angle correct.

I like the idea of the paper wheel sharpening system but I don’t have a grinder. By the time I get the grinder I might as well get a sharpening system.

-- You took your first pinch like a man and you learned the two greatest things in life...Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.--Jimmy Conway

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3178 days


#9 posted 01-11-2017 09:56 PM

I free hand all my sharpening. I use a Harbor Frieght slow speed wet grinder. Buy your self a really cheap set of carving tools like HF and just practice your sharpening, a little practice goes a long way. You don’t need hundreds of dollars worth of sharpening equipment.

View Planeman41's profile

Planeman41

21 posts in 333 days


#10 posted 01-12-2017 05:16 PM

Having made myself two sets of 31 carving gouges, one of of the socket type for heavier mallet work and the other a tang type for light hand work, for a total of 62 carving gouges (plus eight carving knives), all hand sharpened, shaving the hair off my forearm as the final test, I recommend hand sharpening using Arkansas stones and slips (https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Arkansas-Slips-and-Files-C105.aspx ).

I view sharpening as two steps – shaping the blade with coarse stones (I use diamond slips and “stones”), then moving to Arkansas stones for the sharpening of the edge, finishing up with stropping on leather strops. I made my own leather strops in various shapes and sizes to handle both large and small gouges.

I recommend using a 2X magnifying visor (the cheap ones seem to work just as good as the expensive ones) when sharpening. Periodically inspect the progress on the edge by looking at the edge straight on using the magnification under a strong light. An un-sharp edge will appear as a thin line of light. When you can no longer see the edge this way, its sharp. Then begin honing and testing by shaving the hair off your arm. Keep at it until it shaves nicely!

Planeman

-- Always remember that that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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