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Staying sharp

I decided it was about time to sharpen my plane irons and hand chisels. I hadn't done them for a while, and there is a saying in woodwork that goes "If you think it is getting blunt, then it is already blunt". And to be honest, I hadn't done mine in a while.

The three plane irons (the rectangular pieces of metal with a slot in them) come from the hand planes I use the most - a number 4 1/2, a number 5 and a block plane. Out of the three, it is the block plane that I use the most. It is just so useful for quick little jobs.

The chisels are a mixture three different makes, but they all basically do the same job. It is just some of them are my 'best' ones, and some I use more aggressively. And I am not saying which is which!

The plane irons and chisels were all reground on my Tormek grinder, which is just the best machine there is for grinding edges on tools.

It comes with various jigs that hold the tool being sharpened at the correct angle to the grinding stone, and being water cooled means that you can't burn the edge of the tool.

I know some people still use the old fashioned grind stones and get really good results, but for me I like the Tormek. It is simple to use and gives great results.

All that is left to do once the tools has been ground on the Tormek is to put a very small cutting bevel on the edge. This is the thin shiny line at the front edge of the chisels in the picture. The cutting bevel is created on a very fine grit (8000 grit) water stone. Just a few strokes is all that is needed.

Everything is now sharp.

I just only wish they stayed that way.

Tags: #tormek #sharpening #chisels #woodwork # woodworking

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