Tools such as chisels and knife are some of the most basic tools used in a woodworking shop. They are used to gouge and carve wood. The accuracy and safety of chisels and shop knives rest on how sharp they are. Using the proper sharpening techniques, you will be able to maintain the cutting edge which is very important so they can be used as they were meant to be.
The angled side is the sharpest part of knives and chisels. The angled sides are usually shaped as half Vs for chisels and Vs for shop knives. Therefore, the first step in sharpening a chisel or a knife is to grind a whetstone or a steel grinder on their angled edges.
It’s important to keep the angles on both sides consistent when grinding the cutting edges. Otherwise, the cutting edge would have a minute but irregular bumps and burrs which would lessen its cutting power. Also, it is important to change or regrind the grinder stone or the whetstone regularly. An old or worn bevel won’t sharpen chisels and shop knives effectively.
When using the whetstone or grinder how do you know you are done? You would need to swipe a hone on the sharpened edge. If swiping produces a bead of steel over to the side of the tool, then you are finished with grinding.
You will need a little elbow grease for the next part. You will need to polish the cutting edges of the chisels and shop knives with hones. For starters, you need to polish out the scratches left by the bevel with the coarsest hone available. Then, you would need to polish the blade with progressively finer hones until the desired level of sharpness is achieved.
Keeping a sharp edge on your chisel and knives will require sharpening them often. In the end, you will spend less time sharpening them. Regular sharpening will help your tools cut better. Sharp tools are also safer because you don’t have to exert a lot of pressure when cutting something. Excessive pressure makes you lose control of the tool.
Using a lubricant is very important when sharpening the tools. The lubricant makes it easier for you to work and washes away the metal swarf. Also, the lubricant prevents clogging of the sharpening apparatus, especially if you are using an automatic grinder.
Dishwasher detergents are not recommended when cleaning your chisels and shop knives. Detergent can dull your tools quickly. Simply wash them with water. Then you can let them dry out.
If you follow these steps, you can cut, carve and gouge away safely and surely.
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