wood-chisel-maintenance-and-care

Wood chisel maintenance and care

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Keeping your chisels sharp

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Protective caps

Some manufacturers will supply their chisels with a protective cap that will keep the chisel’s cutting edge from becoming blunted or damaged in between uses. If your chisels are supplied with these, look after them, they’re not always easy to get hold of.

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Storage case

Keeping your chisels in a handy storage case between uses will help them keep their sharp cutting edges. It will also be easier finding the specific size of chisel you need at a moment’s notice. Storage cases may be a box made of wood with individual compartments for each chisel, or simply a cloth case which can be rolled up and tied.

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Honing guide

A honing guide is a very useful accessory when it comes to sharpening a chisel to an exact angle. By inserting the chisel into the honing guide and setting the angle you can accurately and safely resharpen a dull chisel on a sharpening stone. There are many different makes and models of honing guide available.

To buy a Honing Guide click here

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Sharpening stone

A sharpening stone is used to resharpen dulled chisels and other sharp-edged tools. Many sharpening stones are double-sided, with a coarse grit side and a fine grit side for for different stages of sharpening.

To buy this Oilstone (100x25x12.5mm) click here

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Honing oil

Honing oil (also known as cutting oil) is used to lubricate a sharpening stone prior to resharpening a chisel. The oil eases the movement of the chisel blade along the stone.

To buy Honing Oil (250ml) click here

How to sharpen a chisel

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Sharpening on a stone

To sharpen a chisel you will need a sharpening stone (sometimes called an “oil stone” or “whetstone”), cutting oil and a honing guide (optional).

To buy this complete Honing Kit click here

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Step 1 – Set your stone

Set your stone in a place where it will not easily move or slip. Clamped in a vice is ideal. Note: sharpening stones typically have two faces to them – a coarse face and a fine face. Start with the coarse face.

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Step 2 – Lubricate your stone

It is important to lubricate your sharpening stone with cutting oil. This will help to ease the movement of your chisel as it is rubbed against the surface of the stone reducing friction and heat build up.

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Step 3 – Set your honing guide

Honing guides are extremely useful accessories and well worth the investment if you are going to be sharpening often. You can sharpen a chisel by eye, but for precise angles use a honing guide. Set the chisel in the honing guide to your required angle.

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Step 4 – Begin sharpening

Using steady and consistent motion, move the chisel (bevel side down) back-and-forth along the entire face of the stone.

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Step 5 – Sharpen on fine side

Once complete, repeat the sharpening process on the fine face of the stone.

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Step 6 – Add a micro bevel (optional)

The chief reason for adding a micro bevel (or “secondary bevel”) is to save you some time. When a chisel becomes dulled through usage, you need only resharpen the micro bevel. You should be able to resharpen a micro bevel several times before you have to resharpen the primary bevel.

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Step 7 – Raise the angle

To add the micro bevel, raise the angle slightly, and move the chisel back-and-forth in steady consistent movements until the bevel is perfectly sharp. Use the whole face of the stone to prevent uneven wear.

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Step 8 – Remove burrs

Remove the honing guide and flip the chisel over so that you can work on its flat back. By rubbing the back of the chisel on the fine face of the sharpening stone, you will keep the back perfectly flat and simultaneously remove any burrs (a rollover or ridge of metal caused by the sharpening process) from the edge of the blade.