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Caring For And Sharpening Your Woodworking Chisels

Aug 17, 2007
There are many types of woodworking chisels around. But no matter which type of chisels you have they all need to be cared for and at some point your woodworking chisel will need sharpening. During this article we will explain how to care for your chisels and the steps you need to take for woodworking chisel sharpening.

It is important that you do not store your woodworking chisels loosely in a draw where they will be able to bang against each other, which will cause the edges to become dulled. It is best if you hang them on a rack on place them in a drawer in individual dividers. By doing this the chisels will be less likely to bang into each and cause damage to them.

What is more important though is that in order for a woodworking chisel to work properly the cutting edge must remain sharp. Below we provide you with steps you will need to take in order to properly sharpen your woodworking chisel using sharpening stones of progressive grades. You may also find that you need to touch up your chisels regularly by honing the flat side as well in order to keep them in the best working condition possible.

What you first need to do is put a few drops of oil on to a sharpening stone before you start to lubricate it.

Now hold the chisel at a 20-degree angle to the stone and slide the cutting edge of the chisel up and down the stones length. You need to work both sides of the chisel blade evenly in order that a burr edge forms along the cutting edge of the chisel.

The best way to test for the burr is by very lightly dragging your finger away from the cutting edge. Should you be able to feel a slight roughness to the edge of the chisel then you know the blade is ready for the next step in the sharpening process.

You get a slip stone in order to hone away some of the burr before you finally polish it on a strop.

In order to remove the final remaining bits of the burr edge as well as polish the chisel blade you need a leather strop. What you do is draw the blade across the strop away from the cutting edge first one side then the other until the whole of the burr has been removed.

You will know that your woodworking chisel sharpening has been completed by just resting the cutting edge of the blade very lightly on your fingernail. If the blade starts to catch slightly or feels sticky then the blade is ready to use, but if it skids across the nail then you need to work on sharpening for a little longer.
About the Author
For more information on woodworking using hand tools try visiting http://www.woodwork-guide.com/ where you will find lots of tips, advice and resources about topics all about woodworking
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