How to sharpen chisels by hand

Sharpening chisels with a sharpening jig

At best we will not have used the chisels for any purpose other than that for which they are designed. We buy them, we use them, we keep them in any way and we don't remember them until we need them again (well, I am speaking for myself). It is no longer about keeping them correctly, which I hope soon will be a post in this woodworking blog as a small woodworking project, but rather sharpening them correctly so that we do not have to resort to buying others every time we need them. And is that a chisel has to be properly sharpened to be useful, easy to handle and do its job properly. So I bought a guide to sharpen chisels and let's see how it works.

In my case I always resorted to sharpening the chisels by hand with a whetstone. Or else with an emery board. The problem is to do it freehand, since it takes a lot of practice so that the bevel is flat and with the cutting edge at 90º with the sides of the chisel. And I don't have the necessary practice (that's how the results were).

Emery with water stone.

The best option for sharpening chisels is to use a sharpening kit, which does not usually cost much, which allows us to always have the chisel in the correct position while sharpening it (to make a homemade guide to sharpen chisels to incorporate it into my collection of joinery guides it is already for another occasion).

I'm going to use a sharpening kit consisting of a sharpening guide, a whetstone with medium grain on one side and fine grain on the other, and lubricating oil. I will also use sandpaper for metal because, as you will see in the video in this post or in others that can be found on the internet, using sandpaper to sharpen instead of the sharpening stone can be as valid or better than using the stone.

In the videos from thewoodwhisperer you have this video where he explains how to sharpen chisels (XNUMX minutes) correctly. Basically both tell the same but each one with their tricks and in more detail than I do in my video, so I recommend you to watch them.

How chisels are made.

I found it curious that in starwoodworking they use wet and dry sandpaper (not sure what the name of this type of sandpaper is) to sharpen chisels. As you can see in my video, I tried the guide to sharpen chisels on sandpaper. And the truth is that if we are looking for a coarser grain to recover a very deteriorated edge or a finer one to sharpen the edge a little more, using sandpaper is the easiest thing to do. In addition, sandpaper has the advantage of not absorbing as much lubricating oil as stone, so we use less.

Finally in this channel you have a video from Discovery Channel where they explain how these so useful small tools are made. From now on I'll try to keep them more correctly.

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5 comments on "Sharpen chisels with sharpening guide"

  1. Hello Sergio. I liked the explanation. I have a question. How can I clean the whetstone? Dirt from filings is building up and turning black. Thank you

  2. Congratulations on your work.
    I would like to ask you a question, I am getting parquet.
    I have to lower the bathroom and kitchen doors, so that they are not too cut, I want to lower them just to the extent of the traffic that I have to put on the floor, in the form of a ladder.
    Can you giarme, how to do it?
    Thank you

    1. Thanks Antonio for the comment:
      I do not understand what you mean with a ladder, but the truth is that it is a subject in which I have little or no experience. Surely by searching Google you find information on how to do it, since I do not think I can give you any idea that has not already occurred to you. Regards

  3. Oscar Vivi Valenzuela

    Very good your contributions and indications to make our woodwork easier and more technical. Thank you

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