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Sharpening new chisels

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Forum topic by ChuckC posted 12-29-2011 12:10 AM 1675 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ChuckC

821 posts in 2396 days


12-29-2011 12:10 AM

I just ordered an 8 piece Stanley Sweethart chisel set. I’m looking for some recommendations to sharpening them. Since they are new I won’t know how much work the backs will need to get flat. Is there a general rule to what grit to start with? I’ll be using the Worksharp 3000. I know I can start with a low grit and work my way up but I’d rather be more efficient and not grind away more than I have to.


9 replies so far

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Loren

8295 posts in 3109 days


#1 posted 12-29-2011 12:31 AM

I’ll wager the backs of those are pretty close to flat. You start by making
the back flat, but what grit you start at depends on how flat they are
to start with, so assess flatness. If a chisel needs a lot of work start
with something pretty coarse.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13713 posts in 2079 days


#2 posted 12-29-2011 12:53 AM

I had a very positive experience w/ my SW chisels. Didn’t have much to do on them. Details in my review, also in the forum posts below.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

821 posts in 2396 days


#3 posted 12-29-2011 06:36 AM

I guess I was wondering how to tell how flat each one is? Does starting with 300 grit sounds reasonable?

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jeth

249 posts in 2299 days


#4 posted 12-29-2011 02:02 PM

I would say 300 or even a little higher is a good start, you want something which will give you a slight scratch pattern on the backs to highlight any areas which are out of flat.
Mark the backs with a sharpie or similar, give them a few strokes on the abrasive and you will see if the lines are being evenly removed. Best to start fairly fine so as not to add a lot of coarse scratches if the backs are in fact close to flat. If the lines are removed in one area but not others, work it a little more , if after a brief lapping you are still not getting an even removal across the whole area then drop down to a coarser grit. If you are taking off all the marks evenly then you are good to start moving through the finer grits and working up to a polish.

With a bit of practice you won’t even need the marker to do this, you can see the scratch patterns, changing the direction of movemement between grits allows you to see where each grit is taking off material, from the change in the fine scratching, or just the “tone” of the metal, as each grit will leave the surface a slightly different tone of ‘grey’.

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Manitario

2397 posts in 2344 days


#5 posted 12-29-2011 02:07 PM

I don’t think it matters what grit you start at for lapping the backs; I generally start at 220 and if that isn’t going quick enough I change to 120 grit. I only lap the last 1/2” of the blade, and switch to a finer grit once I can see a uniform scratch pattern from my lapping efforts.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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NJWiliam

32 posts in 2028 days


#6 posted 12-29-2011 09:59 PM

I would err on the side of coarser for initial flattening. Put the time in to flatten it from the start and you won’t have to flatten again for a long time.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13713 posts in 2079 days


#7 posted 12-29-2011 10:52 PM

Only unflat I ran across was an upturn at the tip of a couple tools. Scratch pattern easy to see because of the laquer coating on the chisels…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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ChuckC

821 posts in 2396 days


#8 posted 12-30-2011 07:09 PM

Thank you for the advice. They came last night and look pretty good. I noticed that at least one of them has a couple of small nicks on the edge. That one may need a lower grit.

I read somewhere that you are supposed to remove the lacquer before you sharpen? It seems to me that you would want to keep it on for protection with the exception of what gets removed when you sharpen.

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

3112 posts in 2241 days


#9 posted 12-30-2011 08:38 PM

Leave the Laquer and you’ll gum up your sharpening system.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

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