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  • #16
    Re: Sharpening

    Thankx Capt.

    I see a lot of good advice in this thread.
    Thankx all.

    A tormek?
    I'll have to check on that too.

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    • #17
      Re: Sharpening

      I bought a set of Robert Sorby carving tools several years ago and found that they did not cut like my smaller tools. These are mallet tools and have a bevel of about 20-25 degrees. My palm tools have a bevel of about 15 degrees and these are far easier to push through wood. Now then, the mallet tool is intended to be 'hammered' through the wood and a fine 15 degree bevel would be quickly ruined because there is less metal behind the cutting edge. The bevel really depends on how you intend to use your tools and having a mallet set and a 'push' set is one solution. The mallet set for large, hard pieces and the push set for smaller, softer pieces.

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      • #18
        Re: Sharpening

        This is beginning to look like a sharpening forum. If anyone is interested, a little trick for stopping the insides of smaller gouges; a hardwood one by two with a couple 3/16' dia. holes drilled about 1/2' in from one end and aprox. 3/8' from the edges. Counter-sink the holes a bit, then charge a raw-hide boot-lace with knife makers secret. clamp the 1 X 2 so the two holes hang over the edge of your bench. Thread your lace up through one hole & down through the other. Lay your gouge on the lace and pull down on one end of the lace so that your stroke is away from the edge, not into it. It works & it's cheap.

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        • #19
          Re: Sharpening

          I have read in several threads on this board about mesuring the angle of gouges. How do you do this or is there another tool to buy? (not a bad)

          I bought a power strop and have a good luck but a flat strop on a stick with alum oxide has been great for a quick touch up while craving. I figure I can't do too much damage with these sharpening methods compared to stones.
          Ah chip

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          • #20

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            • #21
              Re: Sharpening

              Any opinions on the pros and cons of using the rough and/or smooth side of leather in making a strop? I have been using the rough side to hold the sharpening compound and then finish stropping on the smooth with no compound.

              Just for info., Lee Valley here in Canada sells a series of micro-abrasive sheets that I found also make an excellent strop. Due to their flexability (mylar backing) they can be used for honing and stropping odd shapes such as the inside of gouges and V tools as well. The finest size is 0.5 micron (9000X).

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              • #22
                Re: Sharpening

                ??? Well, personally, I use both depending on the type of compound I am using and the tool I am stroping. Very small tools can be dulled when stropped on a soft strop and some folks advocate using a block of pine or basswood for a strop. A groove can be cut to fit the exact profile of the tool and rubbed with compound. I use silicon carbide on the smooth side and Yellowstone on the rough side but there doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rules.

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                • #23
                  Re: Sharpening

                  There isn't any real magic to sharpening; but there are a few simple rules that govern the results. For any given angle on the cutting edge, you can only achieve a sharpness that matches that angle. The smaller the angle, the finer the cutting edge. Of course there is a point of diminishing return; if the bevel angle is too small, the edge becomes very weak.

                  What angle you choose for your tools will depend on the hardness of the wood you are working. For example: I sharpen my tools to carve basswood, butternut, and aspen.
                  I attempted to carve some cherry and broke several tools in the process. Once I reground the angles to match the hardness of the cherry wood, I had no more problems.

                  I don't recommend regrinding your tools every time you change wood; it is better to choose a compromising angle that works well on most of the wood you carve.

                  Sometimes when a tool is difficult to push through the wood; the problem lies in the thickness of the tool itself. It may be necessary to form a secondary bevel behind the first to relieve the resistance. It should be a smooth transition between the bevels and polishing them may also help.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Sharpening

                    8)If you wish to keep that sharp edge on your new gouges then I have just the thing for you go to http://dragonwood.freeservers.comclick on to the choosing your tools page at the bottom of the page is a home made strop jig. I have used one of these for years .

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                    • #25
                      Re: Sharpening

                      Interestingly, I recently read in a book or two (an old one, say, 1950), that using your hand as a strop (for knife blades) helps finish the edge. Has anyone noticed any success with this (without bleeding, that is)?
                      ??? :-* ???
                      ~Andrew&&King_of_Blades

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                      • #26
                        Re: Sharpening

                        King,
                        YOUR HAND???!!! Don't even think about it. This sounds like one of those 'secrets' that some un-informed person passed off. And that's what you should do: Pass it off!

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                        • #27
                          Re: Sharpening

                          To BillB: In case you are doing the same thing I did when I first started carving.--I was under the assumption that the entire carving must be from one block of wood. I was amazed when I participated in a carv -along in a carving club, that some of the master carvers were using different chunks of wood to carve the different limbs of the carving. i.e. arms, legs, wings etc. These different sections or limbs were then joined together by using dowels and glue. The holes for the dowels are pre-drilled in the correct angle orientation, then carved to the desired exterior form and texture. The purpose of all this is to orient the grain of the particular limb or section in a paralell or semi-paralell manner with the direction of the carving motion so that cross-grain carving is minimized.
                          I hope this helps. Waldgeist

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                          • #28

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                            • #29
                              Re: Sharpening

                              RE stropping with your hand. Watched my father do it as a kid 35 years ago. Yep it works but think I will stick to leather

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                              • #30
                                Re: Sharpening

                                Hi,
                                Sharpening is not an easy topic to cover. I am sure that you can get as many different ideas as there are people on this board. Do whatever works best for you. The wire edge is visible as a very small linear fray of metal right at the edge of your blade. Resist the temptation to pull it off. Strop it off. Like many of the others I also strop by hand on leather of 2 different degrees of smoothness. When stropping by hand, also resist the urge to lift the blade before you complete the stroke. That will round over your edge. If your wood is coming off in chunks, something is not right. A properly sharpened blade should glide through the wood easily leaving a shiney almost sealed surface. If there is a scratch in the midst of the cut, there is a bur on the blade. Remember you are more likely to cut yourself on a dull balde than a sharp one as you are pushing with more force and this ususally causes trouble. I do believe that some beginners lose interest because of dull blades. Carving with sharp tools makes all the difference in enjoyment and the quality of the carving. Another thing, the line of light that people refer too is a blade that is not correctly sharpened. You will see the line as the light relfects off the edge. It needs more work. See if someone in a local club can help you. This is a practical skill that needs hands on. If you are power stropping/sharpening, the tool can build up heat quickly. Have a quenching bath of water always at the ready. If you heat your tool up especially repeatedly, you will weaken the temper and it will be very difficult to maintian an edge. If you burn the tool and buff off teh burn, forget it. The temper is lost. Ceramic stones have the advantage of never dishing out and therefore long life. It is best to use a little water with them so the metal can float free. Once the proper edge is put on a good quality blade, you should not need to be on the grinder and stones that much. I would advise a protective glove while carving.
                                even though they say you don't have to.

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