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Forum topic by Howie posted 02-06-2013 11:24 PM 1136 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Howie

2656 posts in 1613 days


02-06-2013 11:24 PM

What degree of bevel do you chip carvers use to sharpen your knife?

-- Life is good.


7 replies so far

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Dan Krager

1613 posts in 924 days


#1 posted 02-09-2013 04:43 PM

Most instructions will tell you to sharpen the edge about 10 degrees on each side, yielding an effective 20 degree cutting edge. While this is pretty steep, the great steel used in chip knives can handle it. In fact, I have pushed the envelope a bit, going to about a 12 degree total cutting angle (6 degrees each side) for a knife used in soft woods like pine, basswood, and even poplar. Honed to a mirror polish without rounding using a submicron diamond film or green chromium honing paste the knife cleanly slices the soft wood with minimal compression and pressure. I’m anxious to find a metal lubricant that lubricates on a non-contaminating “molecular” level to further ease the pressure of separating fibers. In harder woods I would stick with closer to 20 degrees else any side pressure will possible damage the blade.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5092 posts in 1267 days


#2 posted 02-09-2013 04:52 PM

http://lumberjocks.com/MyChipCarving/blog/34449

An interesting blog me thinks.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15960 posts in 1557 days


#3 posted 02-09-2013 05:51 PM

It’s close to whatever angle Wayne Barton recommends because when I started it was his book that first taught me. However, once you get the hang of it you don’t even think about it. I’ll tell you what though, it’s unbelievable how fast you can sharpen a good chip carving knife. It doesn’t take long to learn how and once you do if you take care of your knife you will almost never have to use anything but your fine ceramic stone. I’m not sure if I’ve ever used the rougher stone. My knife was sharpened when I got it. I’ts a Wayne Barton knife but I’m not sure who makes it for him. I’ve never dropped my chip carving knife nor let it touch another tool. When you’re sitting down carving you’ll know when to sharpen it and it don’t take but a moment and you don’t even have to get up. That’s the beauty of chip carving. You’ve got one knife and one small ceramic stone. You can carry that anywhere. I rarely use the stab knife.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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helluvawreck

15960 posts in 1557 days


#4 posted 02-09-2013 07:11 PM

Do you know what, Howie? I went back out to my shop and thought about this. I’m not sure what angle I sharpen my chip carving knife. Here’s the best advice I can give you. Get a few of the books about it because you will get a lot of nice patterns anyways. I procrastinated for years about learning how to chip carve. Marty put a thread on here about learning how and I read it but I didn’t know if I wanted to participate or not but “I’ll see how it goes”, I said. rivergirl spoke up and said something like, “oh come on, Charles, quit maken’ excuses and just do it,” Well, I took it as a challenge and just did it. That’s the best way to learn how to sharpen your knife and chip carve. You read the little bit in the book and it has a picture how to hold the knife on the stone but I didn’t exactly get out a protractor and measure the angle. I’m not sure anybody else does either. You look at the pictures about the technique for cutting the chips, etc. You then lay you some patterns out on a piece of basswood and start carving. Practice helps when you first start. I only had the weekends and I would carve almost all day on Sat. and Sundays. Your knife will get dull so you sharpen it. Your chips won’t look exactly uniform or won’t come out like they’re suppose to but you will get better fairly quickly and you’ll soon learn how to sharpen your knife real fast because you’ll be too frustrated if you don’t. When you figure out getting the wire edge on the knife you’ll see the wire edge on the stone. It’ll come to you pretty quickly how to sharpen your knife. I quickly lost interest in traditional chip carving and kind of liked free form chip carving better. A chip carving class with a chip carver will get you going quicker. Maybe a Woodcraft store class. However, and to be honest, the best way to learn how to sharpen your knife and make chips is to just start doing it and make up your mind to do it. Your subconscience mind, your hand eye coordination, and your determination and practice will take care of it. It did with me anyways. Best of luck to you and I know that if you like it you will succeed quicker than you think. After the my knife was sharp I stopped mine a few times using a leather strop. However, some chip carvers say not to use a strop on a chip carving knife. I do because it seems to work for me.

I believe that this was Marty's class that I spoke of. BTW for a small monthly fee you can join his website and watch an expert chip carver and wonderful teacher on some great chip carving videos.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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Howie

2656 posts in 1613 days


#5 posted 02-10-2013 07:01 PM

As usual I came to the right place for valuable advise.
I going to continue to play around with this and find a class (woodcraft/) to go to.
One of the things I was wondering about was using a “Lansky” sharpening stone and holder as one can use a 17 degree fixed angle and a very fine stone. Any comments on this? I know this is a bit more than some recommend but Dan says up to 20 on hardwoods.
Charles I’m going to check out those vids you mentioned.

-- Life is good.

View mpounders's profile

mpounders

737 posts in 1586 days


#6 posted 02-13-2013 02:50 PM

Just do it by hand and practice until you get the hang of it! A lot of carvers have extensive and expensive collections of jigs and sharpening methods that they abandon, once they find a sharpening method that works for them. Me included. I use a Burke sharpener a lot for stropping, but I have recently went back and used a stone on a couple of knives, to get the edge like I wanted it. Everything old is new again.

-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com

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Howie

2656 posts in 1613 days


#7 posted 02-13-2013 07:32 PM

Thanks Mike. My Dad taught me to sharpen a knife by hand years ago(before all these fancy sharpeners) so I should be able to fall back in the groove.
Now if I could just learn to carve…...

-- Life is good.

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