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Sharpening Your Chisels

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 9:50 AM

To state the obvious, having sharp tools is absolutely necessary in wood turning. If your chisels are not sharp, you will experience a good deal of tear out, and catches. Dull tools can even be dangerous.  If you turning a hard wood like aged white oak or a wood with a lot of natural silicate, your tools can become dull rather quickly.

 

When I started I was a bit intimidated by the idea of sharpening my own tools. I was afraid, that I would get the angles all wrong, that I would be inconsistent, and that I would generally make a mess of things. Each time time you grind, you are taking away some of the metal you paid for when you bought your chisel. I thought I might grind half my chisel away trying to get a proper grind.   

 

After doing a bit of reading and talking to a few friends, I found out that the "trick" to consistent and properly angled grinds is a simple jig. With a proper jig you will get clean sharp tools every time, while removing as little metal as possible.

 

I use the Wolverine jig, which I feel is the best on the market. The video below explains the jig much better that I can.

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Or, you can make your own jig. Alex Harris does a great job of explaining how in the video below.

 

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