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Thread: Sharpening Mortise Chisels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Bellevue, WA
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    38

    Question Sharpening Mortise Chisels

    I just got myself my first mortise chisel. It's a Narex (Czech Republic), 6mm (1/4 in). (I know, it hasn't happened because there is no picture.) I figured the 1/4 in. size would probably be the most useful for me to play around chopping out mortises.

    I got some time today and sharpened it. It was in pretty good factory condition, but did need some honing. Getting the back and bevel sharpened was a piece of cake on my new water stones; only needed to use the 4000 and 8000 stones. After that little bit of honing, I chopped out my first mortise with it. It did a real good job, much much better than using a bevel edge chisel.

    So, my question is should the sides of the chisel, near the edge, also be honed, similar to the back. To my ignorant status it seemed to work just fine without honing the sides, but should I do that also.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Dick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
    Posts
    2,449
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Line View Post
    So, my question is – should the sides of the chisel, near the edge, also be honed, similar to the back. To my ignorant status it seemed to work just fine without honing the sides, but should I do that also.
    You are right Richard, it is not needed. You want a sharp "edge" which is just the intersection of two planes, the back and the bevel.

    On your mortise chisel, you may need to add a steeper secondary bevel if you pound away on some hardwoods. If your edge does not last very long at all, I would give it a try. Probably your primary bevel is at 25 degrees and this may not be enough, but don't do anything now, let your wood tell you it is not enough.

    Be sure to let us know how you like the Narex after you play around with different woods and bevel angles. I would be curious as to how it holds up. I have a set of beefy Two Cherries mortise chisels.
    Last edited by Bill Satko; 03-24-2010 at 04:25 AM.

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