which method to use for sharpining

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Forum topic by dannelson posted 02-25-2012 02:24 PM 875 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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193 posts in 2368 days

02-25-2012 02:24 PM

my chisels get used and they do get dinged up. Im not a fanatic on them having to be razor sharp. however its nice and we do have the technology.I currently use three different ways to sharpen. I have a makita wet stone that is made for planer/ jointer knives that works pretty well for getting the edge close and that switch to a water stone that has to be flattened, and then sand paper on glass. all held with lee valley jig.I need something faster,and something that doesnt get me soaked at the end of a sharpening session. looking at a low speed grinder or work sharp.any comments thanks in advance

-- nelson woodcrafters

4 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

18711 posts in 2564 days

#1 posted 02-25-2012 02:55 PM

You should only need a mechanical device the first time, or after you’ve hit something that caused damage. You said you went from waterstones to sand paper but didn’t give a grit.

I have the makita horizontal wet grinder. I don’t use it for chisels or plane irons, because like you, I don’t like it.

Get a grinder with an GOOD aluminum oxide blade. I like an 8” because it’s a lower hollow grind. A slow speed grinder is better, but I have the $60 home depot special and it works, you just need to be careful if your grinding a lot.

You can then go straight to a 6000 grit stone and a strop, ot an 8000 grit stone. I just bought some used DMT stones and love them, but used oil stones before that. I still will use them and I like them better than waterstones. Many dissagree, so its a personal prefernce.

This blog is a little old, but may help.

Also look through some of the sharpening refences here.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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174 posts in 3384 days

#2 posted 02-25-2012 03:12 PM

the work sharp is ok. I use it if I need something fairly sharp in a hurry. they say you can sharpen lathe tools on it, but I prefer the slow speed grinder for lathe tools.

I need to sharpen my chisels. I might try doing a hollow grind with the slow speed grinder and then put my micro bevel with the work sharp. I want to see if its faster than stones.

If you have a lathe I’d say get the slow speed grinder, without blinking an eye. If you don’t I think its a toss up.

-- There are many ways to skin a cat...... but, the butter knife is not recommended

View JAAune's profile


1798 posts in 2314 days

#3 posted 02-25-2012 04:26 PM

I use an ordinary bench grinder. The wheels however, were replaced with white aluminum oxide. I used to burn tools when I first started but there are a few things that help prevent that.

Get a decent tool rest that will hold the tool at the right angle to the wheel. Not only does it keep the tool in the proper position, it also makes it easier to keep a light pressure against the stone. Let the wheel do the work. Excessive pressure will cause burning.

I keep one thumb high up on the tool as close as I can safely get to the grinding wheel. If the tool ever gets hot enough to cause discomfort I know I need to stop and cool it in water. If your pressure is right, the warming process should be slow and gradual.

I never grind all the way to the edge of the blade. Grinding is just to get close to the edge. Final honing is done on stones.

-- See my work at and

View dannelson's profile


193 posts in 2368 days

#4 posted 02-26-2012 01:20 PM

thanks for the info, looking into the oxide wheels for touchup and taking the dings out

-- nelson woodcrafters

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