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Thread: Irwin chisels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    50

    Irwin chisels

    My wife just gave me a set if Irwin chisels. After examining them I found that they are not razor sharp. Do I need to first sharping the whole set? I would think they would come that way new. Can someone help with my question.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Congrats on the new chisels. Most chisels that I've seen require honing before their first use. They come from the factory semi-sharp, but require further work to get them sharp enough to really use.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
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    4,632
    Same applies for gouges, one has to hone them before putting them to use,
    when I was kid everybody knew that, I wonder why it's being forgotten
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta)
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    Welcome to the family and the world of hand tools.

    I have done a lot of learning about chisels lately. Following is some random thoughts.

    The 1st thing that is good to do is to flatten the back of the chisels.

    If you are going to get into this you will need to invest in some water stones.

    The Norton Water stones are a good starting place. Look at this link

    You will need 1000, 4000, 8000 stones. You need to progress thru all of these to flatten the backs of the chisels.

    Then you can sharpen the chisles with 1000 and 8000. Look at this Lie-Nielsen link

    Here is a video I found on youtube

  5. #5
    With shipping and handling, the edge would be ruined anyway. So, why try to hone an edge when most Craftsmen want to put their own edge on when they get tools. The extra expense of honing an edge would certainly be passed on to the buyer so it is to you advantage to hone your own.

    Never knew of a "Ready to use" cutting tool, not even a pocket knife. Perhaps a razor blade but that is a different story.

    Bought some Stanleys a few years back they were ready to use as Carpentry tools, But not for WWing tools.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    5,322
    The water stones that Bartee recommends will likely cost more than your chisel set - a big chunk of change, and a steep learning curve for a first timer.

    I'd suggest a piece of thick glass (if you can get it) or just a piece of MDF or particle board, and some wet-or-dry sandpaper. Get a sheet each of 220, 320, 400, 600, and maybe some 1,000 or 1,200 grits.

    Use a bit of water or WD-40 on the sandpaper and work progressively through the grits. Begin by flattening the backs, then carefully work on the bevels, trying not to lose the factory angle.

    It'll be a fair amount of work, but after the 1000/1200 grit, your chisels ought to be shavably sharp.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    I do the same thing as Jim does except I take it to 6000 grit.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta)
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    Good advice from Jim and Don. A great way to get started with sharpening.

    The bottom line is if you are going to use chisels and planes they have to be sharp.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
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    583
    Every new chisel i've ever seen comes with a decent grind on them - nothing more. You'll need to flatten and polish the back side, then hone the bevel.
    I just did a set of 4 Irwins yesterday for a friend of mine. It took about an hour and a half with an 800/4000 grit water stone and sharpening gage.
    Paul Hubbman

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    50
    I want to thank everyone for the good advise. It looks like I have some work to do before I can use them.

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