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Sharpening a Chip Carving Knife

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  • Sharpening a Chip Carving Knife

    To whoever can help:

    I have been chip carving for a couple of years and have read perhaps too much on sharpening methods for my chip carving knives. My main question is does one, on a stone, pull away from the edge, or push toward the edge as in slicing, or just a back and forth motion. The latter has been explained as being able to maintain the angle better. Also, do you work a taper first, then increase the angle to get a bevel? On a new knife, do you use a stone at all or just strop? Do you strop on rough leather, smooth leather, or on wood only as one carver proposes? I could go on and on with suggestions I have read, but you get the picture! Would appreciate some better, tried and true method as a suggestion. And please don't tell me 'whatever works well for you'. I have heard that at least 50 times.

    Thanking you in advance.

    Andy

  • #2
    Re: Sharpening a Chip Carving Knife

    for me...I have found that a straight side from edge to backstrap works the best, I know some say a slight bevel, but I have not had any success with that..maybe its me...I sharpen flat and draw 'away' from the edge...I put my finger on the side of the knife as I draw it, to keep the blade flat, and doing that you can feel it if you tend to lift off the stone...as for a strop I have bags of leather that is like the texture on a pair of suede shoes, maybe a bit coarser, so having so much I use it....they say pigskin is the best, don't know, never had much luck getting a pig to stand still : I can't remember what else you asked ??? So if I missed some willl have to edit this.... OK missed the obvious...I do not use a stone unless I nick the blade....I have some very fine sandpaper, 1200 and 2000 grit and if I need to get more serious than a strop, I use that....I haven't had to do anything other than strop for a long long time however

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    • #3
      Re: Sharpening a Chip Carving Knife

      [quote author=foAndy Ballestra link=board=GeneralC;num=1100447774;start=0#0 date=11/14/04 at 09:56:11]To whoever can help:

      My main question is does one, on a stone, pull away from the edge, or push toward the edge as in slicing, or just a back and forth motion.[/quote]

      I push the blade edge first as if trying to slice a VERY thin slice off the stone.

      Also, do you work a taper first, then increase the angle to get a bevel?
      I make a secondary bevel by holding the knife so the back edge of the blade is raised about 1/16' off the stone. I do this for all of my carving knives including my two chip knives.

      On a new knife, do you use a stone at all or just strop?
      It depends on whether the knife came pre-sharpened and honed. If it did then all you should need to do is strop it.

      Do you strop on rough leather, smooth leather, or on wood only as one carver proposes?
      I use a piece of oak board with a length of old belt glued on rough side out on one side and smooth side out on the other. I also have tried the board and even cardboard with compound on them and both of these work too.

      Make that 51
      The best way to learn which sharpening/honing method is best for your style of carving is to experiment and practice. Find the way that works best for your tools and your style of carving and then practice some more.

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