Hand Tools

Subject:
The talk about ...rabbit holes...
Response To:
Sharpening... ()

David Weaver
This discussion about trying to engineer a chisel to go well with a certain abrasive set that's common and not slow is really the part about going down the rabbit hole....

....but if I didn't discuss that rabbit hole, it may not do well to explain why these seem sharp. The original chase of making chisels before using any buffer was to get a really crisp edge off of a washita after rounding the tip over a little - one that was well polished without using a really fine stone, and that didn't hold on to the wire edge much so that you could just do the minor tip rounding, very light stropping and have it seem strangely sharp given that one of the beginners rules of sharpening was just intentionally violated (that something isn't sharp unless it's two flat planes meeting).

When people get a hock iron or an A2 iron or something and describe it as being sharper than an older iron or whatever else they were using, I think it's the dynamic of their stone or sharpening process meeting harder steel. It doesn't really get sharper, it just gets sharper with the same process.

The buffer closed the loop on all of this, because all of the sudden, the very marginal feeling irons (like the one home depot sold for $2.99) can take and hold a very good edge - the little bits about sharpening that people have trouble managing (getting the work all the way to the edge, not damaging an edge with a heavy hand or something laying on a sharpening stone, and dealing with a wire edge on a soft iron combined with an apex with low strength.....all gone with the buffer. It erases all of that. I've come to like those soft irons a little bit - they sharpen so fast that the damage never accumulates on them).

(I did not look at your chisels under a microscope though, or fiddle at them, and you'll find some scratches at the corners, etc, on the back that will be gone with subsequent honings - buffer allows cheating on that, too, as the scratches now don't result in edge weakness or holding-on of wire edges).

© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.

WOODCENTRAL, P.O. BOX 493, SPRINGTOWN, PA 18081