You would say, that sharpening chisels is not something complicated. But with some experience I will tell you – it’s not that easy.
There are multiple ways you can get your chisels sharp, including using electro-tools or manual techniques.
Sharpening chisels requires a lot of patience 🙂
Topic is very wide and I don’t want to get into too much details. I will just briefly show you the way I make Weronika’s chisels sharp.
First, we have to determine how bad is the damage done to the chisel. If the edge is heavily damaged, we may start with using 150, then 300 grade grinding stone. We had two sided 150/300 stone included with our chisels set. It is designed to use it with water – to clear exccess of metal filings . But important thing is – when edge is not damaged, you can start with much higher grade. I didn’t know that from the start.
To sharpen the edge that is not heavily damaged, but you can feel it is not working smooth – I start with 2000-4000 side of bigger grinding stone/block. This time I’m using oil. There are also stones you can use with either water or oil (check manufacturer description), but once you choose one, you have to stick to that.
The tricky thing is to stay with proper angle of the edge. Good way is to block your joints (wrist, elbow and arm) and use only leg movement while standing. It is easier to maintain same angle with each move. Of course – there are many techniques and I’m not saying it’s the only one. I have just seen it once on a youtube channel of Polish sculptor and I think it makes sense (as results are good). For harder wood you can create wider angle of the edge, around 25-35 degrees, for softer wood: 15-25 degrees.
Once I am happy with result, I can switch to 6000-8000 side and make things smoother. After that you can check the other side of the edge. You can see some metal filings, that have to be removed. I’m using the same side of a stone and just treat it with few strokes. If you have profiled chisel with U or V shape, you have to use profiled stone. I have some small Arkansas stones designed for this.
And that’s preety much it. Of course, patience is everything. You have to check it with a piece of wood, carving across fibers. That’s the best test. If you feel it goes smooth – you’re done. If not, you have to start again 😀