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How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

author-gravatar Sean Nov 25, 2019


In today's post i'm going to show you my method for sharpening a brand new chisel and a brand new plane iron. If you didn't catch my last video, I built the sharpening station that's in the video and it's a must have to store all of your gear!

My sharpening setup is as follows(affiliate links below):

#sharpening

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To flatten the back of a brand new chisel I start on my coarse diamond plate. I spend about 30 seconds on this plate before checking my progress.    

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

The shiny spots are from my lapping. The horizontal scratches came from the making of the chisel and need to be removed on at least the first 3/4" of the chisel. I stay on this stone for about another 5 minutes to ensure all of the scratches are from my stone.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Next I move on to the 1,000 grit stone to replace the coarse diamond plate scratches with 1,000 grit scratches. 

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

After I'm done with the stone I always flatten using my coarse diamond plate. If you stay on top of flattening, it only takes a second. If you ignore flattening, it's going to take a long time.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

You'll know it's flat when all of the marks are gone and you have a clean surface.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Next up is the 5,000 grit waterstone. I forgot to mention but you can angle your chisel on every other stone to make it easier to see when you remove the previous grits scratch pattern. Oh, and don't forget to flatten your stone!

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Finally I move on to the 8,000 grit stone and repeat the same steps until I have a polished back.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Reflection time!

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

To hone the bevel I use the Lie-Nielsen honing guide.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Most chisels come with a 25 degree primary bevel and I like to put a 30 degree micro bevel to make sharpening much faster. There's no need to polish the entire bevel, only the leading edge. Watch the video to see just how fast it is!

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

I take probably 6-10 strokes on the 1,000 grit stone and feel a burr on the back side of the chisel. This indicates you've pushed steel over the edge and it's time to move on.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Next I spend a little more time on the 8,000 grit stone. I spend more time because i'm skipping grits. I'll spend probably 30 seconds on this stone vs the 5 seconds on the 1,000 grit.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

And i'm sharp! This is what a micro bevel looks like. Just that tiny strip at the edge is all you need.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

To flatten the back of a brand new plane iron, I use the Charlesworth ruler trick to put a tiny back bevel on the backside of the iron. It's 2/3 of one degree so its super small. The ruler is .5mm (19 thousandths) thick and 6 inches long.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

I place it on the edge of the 1,000 grit stone.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Next I place the iron bevel up and keep it roughly 1/4" away from the opposite edge and move it back and forth for about a minute.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Once you have a strip at the very edge, you can move on to the 8,000 stone to get a nice polish.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Next I hone the same 30 degree micro bevel on the plane iron. I start on the 1,000 grit and again, it only takes a few strokes.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Next I go over to the 8,000 grit stone and spend a little more time since I skipped grits. Probably a minute.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

Take the iron out of the guide and swipe the back on the 8,000 grit stone to remove the burr. Doesn't take much.

Photo of How To Sharpen A New Chisel And Plane Iron

I wipe down all metal using a jojoba oil to prevent them from rusting since they came in contact with water.

Ahh yeah, sharp is awesome!

2 comments

Nice video. I enjoyed the shiny micro bevel. The results speak for themselves!

@tmorrill  said:

Nice video. I enjoyed the shiny micro bevel. The results speak for themselves!

Thanks for stopping by and checking it out! Once you have a process, its so much easier. Stick with what works

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