sharpening tools, time and care will do a better job than brute
strength and awkwardness. Hold the tool on the stone so that
the heel of the tool touches the face of the stone in its entirety
(Image 14, Figures 3-1, 3-2). This is important. Nothing is
harder to use than a tool on which the heel has been rounded
through careless sharpening. I have found that on straight-edged
toolschisels, straight and skew, and parting tools-the
best way to bring up an edge is to pass the tool along the oilstone
by pushing it forward.
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try to rotate the tool on the face of the stone until you have
become expert at the job. You may round over the corners and
that spoils the tool for its designed cut.
of tool on sharpening stone: in this case, a firmer chisel showing
how I hold the tool and flood the stone face with oil.
the tool has been edged, reverse it and pass the face of the
tool-that is, the flat side of a chisel, the reverse side of
a skew-across the stone to remove the burr or wire edge. Then
hone the tool on the wet stone the same way. Don't try to hurry
the process. There are no short cuts. The finished edge, after
honing, should be stropped on leather.
to Sharpen a Chisel and a Gouge
SHARPENING A CHISEL PROCEDURE
1. To sharpen a chisel (or any straight-edged tool), keep heel
on stone at angle about 27°. Move tool under light pressure
in direction of arrows. Keep edge at approximately right angles
to sides of stone.
2. Place face of tool flat on stone. Hold so edge is at slight
skew with side of stone. Move with slight pressure on tool in
direction of arrows
consists of passing the tool across a leather face. I use a
piece of sole leather about 10 inches long, 4 inches wide, with
one edge chamfered. Mount this on a 2-inch block, with brads
driven into the four corners and set below the face of the strop.
Load the strop with lapping compound (Carborundum flour, No.
400 grit) . Keep the strop moist with oil and, in stropping,
put the heel of the tool on the strop and pull toward you. If
it is a gouge, rotate the tool from side to side as you pull.
Don't push, or you will cut the leather. Use the same procedure
on all faces of the cutting edges that can be brought to bear
on the leather. Half a dozen strokes ought to be enough if the
sharpening and honing have been done properly.
SHARPENING A GOUGE PROCEDURE
Place heel on stone. Move forward, at same time rotating gouge
2. Remove wire edge (or burr) with slip. Pull toward handle
on inside (face)
of gouge. Do not use too much pressure.
the time you have sharpened your tools you have learned that
it isn't the easiest part of the business. Therefore, keep in
mind the fact that you don't want to repeat the process. The
answer: don't put your tools down on the bench where the fine
edge that you've developed can touch any other tool or metal.
Don't try to overdrive the tool into hard stock; you'll fracture
its edge. I have made a bench tray that I find most useful and
I have developed the knack of putting my edged tools back in
the tray after I have used them.
the tools in your chest when you don't want to use them. Take
out only those tools you think you want for that particular
day's work. Don't have too many tools lying about on the top
of your bench. If you hit the edge of a tool against another,
take time out to resharpen it on the theory that it's nicked.
You'll learn; it probably is.
in the bench tray.
let other people handle your carving tools any more than you
would lend them your toothbrush and don't use carving tools
for carpentry work. Buy carpenters' tools. And vice versa.