Help needed to restore chipped edge on a vintage chisel

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Forum topic by CTW posted 10-25-2014 03:05 PM 3235 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 1552 days

10-25-2014 03:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question chisel refurbishing sharpening

I have an old chisel that has a chipped edge which I would like to repair for use. I have a grinder, but it is one of the fast ones (I’m not in the shop so I can’t look at the label – can you tell how new I am to this). So using the grinder is out. I have files and rasps galore, but don’t know if I can use one on the blade safely. I had thought about putting the chisel in a vice and slowly trying to remove the chips with a file. Then I could follow-up with wet/dry sandpaper laid out on a level granite tile. I don’t have much in the way of stones, but I do have a small oil stone (pocket knife size) and a small diamond stone (same size). I used the sandpaper method on an old plane and it has worked satisfactorily. I have a sharpening jig that helps with the angle, but I think I am going to have to be more aggressive than sandpaper in removing the chips.

Any help here would be appreciated. Also, there is no rust on the chisel, but it does have some of the dark staining, which keeps me from making out the makers stamp. Is there a way I could remove some the staining without removing the maker’s ID? It is a beautiful tool and I think it may be of good quality.


5 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


12469 posts in 2622 days

#1 posted 10-25-2014 04:25 PM

Keep a soup can full of water next to the grinder and grind the edge flat until the chip is gone then regrind the bevel. Hold the chisel with the fingertips of one hand reasonably close to the edge, when it feels hot, dip it into the water for several seconds. You won’t have any trouble. The coarser the wheel, the slower it will heat up.

-- Rick M,

View a1Jim's profile


117423 posts in 3819 days

#2 posted 10-25-2014 04:38 PM

Rick has using the grinder right,after you get the bevel roughed in try the scary sharp method to get a super sharp edge

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View MrRon's profile


5281 posts in 3485 days

#3 posted 10-25-2014 04:39 PM

The “staining” as you call it, is patina. Removing it will cause loss of value as an antique. Grind and sharpen the blade and leave the rest alone.

View JoeMcGlynn's profile


219 posts in 2595 days

#4 posted 10-25-2014 04:45 PM

Post a picture!

Depending on how badly the edge is nicked (and your patience) you can work it out on a coarse stone or diamond plate. The grinder is OK too, just use a light touch, a coarse stone and quench regularly to keep it cool.

You’ll want to flatten the back, you can use the same procedure on the top side to remove the staining and show off the maker’s stamp I expect.

-- Blog:

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2203 days

#5 posted 10-25-2014 06:13 PM

Rick has it right. In case what he’s saying isn’t obvious though, hold the tool straight into the grinder to grind off just the chipped edge, then angle it to the bevel angle to re make the bevel. That way you heat up the new steel less where the new edge will be. Very thin bits like an edge can’t conduct the heat away fast enough so the method Rick gave allows you to use a grinder while still keeping the heat down. If you stop grinding the bevel just before you’re done and do the rest with a coarse stone you’ll be in good shape.

Other way is coarse sand paper actually works faster than you’d think. You can stick some down to a flat surface and work the chip away but it’ll take lots of elbow grease.

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