Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
sneaking these rolled edges on people..

David Weaver
I think i said this already, but generally when I ship something to someone, I roll the edge a little bit so that their first experience with whatever I send isn't an iron or chisel that chips.

I passed that file steel chisel to steve and rolled the edge on it some (just with a stone) in case he put it to hard work. He'd mentioned in a follow up email that he thought it was a bit hard tempered because once he'd resharpened it, it didn't stay chip free as well, but he didn't say it felt dull to use the way I'd sent it to him.

The irons that I sent back to jim (the xhp), I rolled the edge some on them so that they'd not get chipped in rough cut wood or something and be a problem right away. It would be a real buzz kill.

I'm always curious about passing things around because I've learned in isolation by experimentation, and my ears are open if I come up short somewhere. This whole rolling the edge thing is probably a huge no-no in the eyes of most gurus, but I haven't noticed the shortcoming and I've come to it slowly (which is always easier - no rush to try something, do it a way that it doesn't work, and then conclude it's no good -the first time I ever used a loaded wheel to sharpen a chisel as a beginner, I made it too blunt and considered it unworkable).

Last thought on this that I remember from randall rosenthal (a superb carver who carves pine into extremely intricate still-life type carvings), I asked him what he does to sharpen his gouges because all of the cuts were very bright and clean in his roughing work, and he just said "oh, i'm so lazy. I do all of my sharpening on a buffing wheel" or something to that effect. It takes a lot of experience to find exactly where chisels/gouges will work well (no chipping, but not too steep to make bright clean easy cuts) using a buffing wheel. It wouldn't work if an edge took on damage as the buffing wheel will buff the damaged profile as well as the clean (i've noticed this using the buffing wheel on hard knives - I just used it and the gray scotchbrite yesterday to sharpen a VG10 japanese knife. Blindingly sharp, but some of the tiny pinprick sized defects remained - i think they get chased deeper.

(i have to tape the handles of my knives after sharpening here so that my wife won't touch them until I take the tape off of the end of the handle when they've dulled a little).

If I had more interest in making things, I guess I wouldn't ponder this dumb stuff.

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