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Why Bother Sharpening My Carving Chisels?
Making sure your carving chisel and other tools are sharp enough is crucial to safe working and producing quality wood carvings , it's make it far more enjoyable and saves struggling when there is no need, also an added benefit to keeping the cutting edges of tool sharp which you use to carve your wood projects is that you will increase the length of the life of you tools thus saving you money this has got to be a good thing.
Which Tools will I need to Keep my Carving Blade Edges in Top Condition?
Well a good quality sharpening stone with a fine and course side will work very well , they are called oil sharpening stone , of course they get this name as you well need to apply a small amount of oil on the stone this ensure a smooth run through this helps create a quality finish on your carving chisels edges.Also a strop are useful with gouge chisels to remove the burr created by sharpening the chisel edges.
How do I Know if I need to Resharpen My Chisels?
Well if you are struggling to cut through the wood while you carve and also create a fibrous finish it's a very good sign to that wood carving with your tool kit will is not cutting the mustard so its time to get the oil stone out , its always worth checking your carving tool on some scrap softwood to check if it's really necessary to sharpen the carving tool edge, you should see straight away when you test the chisel as you will notice nasty looking scores in the wood you are running you test cuts in the wood and also that it takes greater effort to carve through the wood.
Work Safely While you Sharpen your Carving Tools
Simple things like ensuring you work area in clean and clear from obstructions will help, also not taking any short cuts and securely fixing the sharpening stone case to you work bench is a good start for beginners while learning how to sharpen their carving tools, so there are no nasty accidents with the stone moving while you run the tools over the stone, I also advise you to stand up while you are going through this process and also make sure you finger are no too close to the cutting edge of the chisels.
Guide on techniques whith Sharpening Wood Carving Blades
With Standard carving types you will need to add a small amount of oil to the stone just enough to help guide the chisel blade over the stone, as mention before it's best to stand while you work as this is far safer and helps you add pressure over the tool, you just need apply pressure to the chisel and run in down the sharpening stone with a nice smooth action away from yourself , start with the course side of the stone and the move onto the fine grade side on the stone to create a lovely smooth finish on the bevel of your carving tool.
How to sharpen Gouge and V Shape Carving Tools
There is a little more technique with these curved edge carving tools but do not worry it's not to difficult after some experience of sharpen these popular shaped carving tools , again stand up while you work and with a oil stone with a drop of oil on the stone work you way down the stone with the carefully rolling action of the gouges blade over the stone corner to corner with a smooth action slightly pressing down on the chisel, you will create a burr on the inside of the carving blade you will need a strop to remove this, again start with a course side of the stone when starting and then used the stones fine side on the edge, test the carving gouge with some scrap soft wood, also by eye you will see the bevel edge of the carving chisel develop a super polished finish, sometime a leather strop will also help create a quality polish carving edge finish.With V shaped Carving Shaped Chisels cutting dimensions is measure on the inside of the carving blade, but the method of sharpening these v shaped carving blades is the same as with the gouge you just with care roll the edge over the stone , if when testing the carving edge on your scrap wood you notice one side of the v chisel is not cutting clean just of course sharpen this edge only on the oil stone then just keep making test cut until the the chisel cuts through with no effort and produces a super smooth plane like finish.
Keeping Carving Chisels extra sharp is the number 1 tip by professionals this is why their tools last years as they are not putting extra strain of the tools while they work on their woodworking project.
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