Hand Tools Archive

I am late to the party here
Response To:
When Unicorn-19.. ()

Richard Darjes
I have been following this discussion of buffing chisels as a last step in sharpening, although I have not read every post, so I may be adding something that has already been discussed.

I was fortunate enough to attend Woodworking in America in 2010 where Marc Adams presented on sharpening chisels and scrapers. He used Sandvik chisels with red plastic handles that he had used for years. His technique involved pushing the chisel into a buffer wheel bevel down as the last step to "remove the burr." I thought he attributed the method to someone like Taig Frid, but I could be wrong on that. It clearly worked when he demonstrated it, but given what everyone else who taught sharpening at that time was saying, it felt like I was watching some kind of magic trick that seemed too simple to be true. I do remember grimacing when he shoved that chisel straight into the buffing wheel - no way that could do anything but round over the edge! But the chisel cut a hanging piece of paper just like chisels sharpened all the other ways.

He didn't make any special claims for this being a "better" way to get chisels sharp, just that this is the way he did it and it was a fast way to get the chisels sharp enough for him over the many years he had been using the method.

The presentation was early, like 9 am and it seemed to me that the people in the room were just like me- we just didn't get it. I gather he has continued to teach this method of sharpening chisels, but it hasn't taken the woodworking world by storm up until now. I do think the current discussion that includes microscope pictures and explanations of why it works will go a long way to adding this approach to the sharpening arsenal of more people.

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