Sunday, May 14, 2017

Housekeeping: Chisels

It being a rather grey Sunday morning, I thought that I’d do a bit of housekeeping; sharpen chisels! When you’re in the zone, fitting a neck or carving braces, you don’t want to stop to sharpen tools, so a bit of regular housekeeping is required.
First I like to polish/flatten the back of the chisels on a stone- you can’t get a sharp edge if the back isn’t flat. Over the years they get flatter and better.
Where possible I like to use a honing guide to ensure a consistent angle.
If the chisel or plane blade doesn’t fit in the guide, I use an angled wedge to help with the correct sharpening angle.
 I use three grades of stone, the last being my hard black Arkansas stone; it gives a surgically sharp edge. 
You may remember, awhile back, Amanda bought me a set of “vintage” Stanley Hercules butt chisels? These have become firm favourites to use; they're the perfect size for mandolin work.
I also enjoy using my old Marples bevel edge chisels; I bought these about 40 years ago (1 per week) when I started college. They’ve been a great investment, although recently I had to replace my 3/8”
This Bahco 4mm chisel is also an old favourite (again about 40 years old), particularly useful for the small housing joints that I use on my instruments.
About 10 years ago I bought some Japanese chisels and I must admit that I don’t find them as useful for luthiery as my bevel edge ones; I find them a bit too thick.
Anyway here we are ready for Monday morning.



Post a Comment

<< Home