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Thread: An idea for practicing sharpening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,258

    An idea for practicing sharpening

    I have reached the stage where i need to give my carving tools a good sharpening before i start on the mule deer project.
    Been nervous about doing this to my pfeil chisels as i want to not only sharpen but ensure in the process i dont alter the shape. Besides them i have a set of hand chisels i picked up a year or so ago from woodcraft.
    These are called Ramelson USA but i honestly doubt they were made in USA.
    Anyway for the fun of it while i was in HF some time back i picked up a $10 chinese set of chisels. Oh boy u could see they were bad but here is what i thought.
    Rob you can go to town on these and get to practice and worst case u wrecked $10 for school fees.
    So i started out with these today to ease into the whole process. The edge on these things might just as well not have been put there. So i used my belt sander and ground a new one. Then proceeded to do my thing with a variety of stone and paper and strop sharpening.
    Then i too a tool and tested it on bass wood end grain expecting to see the new edge curl up on me given i presumed the steel was junk for $10. But i was suprised. It holds an edge. Now the profiles are not spectacular but for practicing sharpening on they perfect. Click image for larger version. 

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    Above u can see what the typical edge is like before and then after on one that i have sharpened and honed.

    Now i randomly picked up one of the Ramelson ones to start on and look at what i found.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have never touched this edge since purchase. But so much for it being any better.
    I will fix this edge and put it right so its balanced on the tool but it does make it difficult for folks to know what to buy thats worth what you pay for them.
    I know one is expected to attend to the edge of a new tool when one recieves it but you would at least expect a fighting chance with a decent grind of the intended profile.
    So when u look at a pfeil and wonder where the money is well i say you get what u pay for with a pfeil swiss made quality tool.


    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Mount Airy, Maryland, East Coast of the USA
    Posts
    115
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    I will fix this edge and put it right so its balanced on the tool but it does make it difficult for folks to know what to buy thats worth what you pay for them.
    I know one is expected to attend to the edge of a new tool when one recieves it but you would at least expect a fighting chance with a decent grind of the intended profile.
    So when u look at a pfeil and wonder where the money is well i say you get what u pay for with a pfeil swiss made quality tool.


    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    I so agree that everyone should learn how to sharpen their own tools. A set of sharpening stones, one coarse and one fine, plus a leather strop and honing compound should be purchased at the time you buy your first set of carving tools. Even if you begin your carving session with pristine edges you probably want to stop about every 1/2 hour to hour of work with the tool to hone the edge on the strop.

    I have used Ramelsons for years. While they may not be the highest quality available to carvers I do recommend them for those that are just starting out. They are inexpensive, they have a nice variety of profiles, and they will get you started without having to take out a loan at your local bank. If you love carving then you can begin adding more tools to your kit that are higher quality steel. If you aren't sure or just want to dabble some, Ramelsons will take and hold a very fine edge and do the job for you.

    I did ceramics way back in the 70s and 80s. At that time if you wanted to try throwing or pouring a few pots you had to invest about $500 in a small studio kiln with shelves, kiln wash, and firing cones, plus another $500 for the kick wheel, wedging table, drying plasters, and clay ... or ... you went to your local community college and for $50 you took a class! Tool sets like Ramelsons are the $50 community college class that lets you know whether or not you love carving enough to go buy the better tools.

    Just my opinion.

    Lora -

    PS ... Just one more thought here. I usually don't recommend that you sharpen your tools using a belt sander or grinding wheel until you have had some experience doing the sharpening with stones. It is so easy to 'burn' a tool edge on a belt sander and ruin the tempering. So, if you are trying this for the first time please do it with a few tools that you can live without if you do over-heat the cutting edge. Again, just my opinion.
    Please visit me at LSIrish.com and ArtDesignsStudio.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
    Posts
    4,632
    Once you get the technique, you'll find that you can put an edge quite quickly on any tool, without struggling with it. Eventually you'll find that you'll know wether it is sharp or not even without trying it. A real sharp tool is a joy to use, and so less tiring and dangerous than a blunt one.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
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    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

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