So i have been having shop withdrawals this year what with moving and now not having a basement place to work. Got to the point other weekend where i braved the cold and rounded up my carving gear and tried to set about carving something new.
That invariably led to me taking a good look at my small carving tools and wanting to sort them out .....once and for all.
Sharpening a gouge or any tool that is say bigger than 1/4 inch is relatively cut and dry but get down to the smaller veiner and v tools and then you see the issues.
Anyhow i finally determined one of my big faults when sharpening anything that ends up getting stropped.
I did a fair bit of research to see opinions tricks methods on the web used by others and it seems this is a huge gap in solid knowledge that exists out there. Those that trully know are not sharing it as openly as what has become the norm and many are doing this behind paid subscription sites, (heck dont blame them i think they wise to get a return on their knowledge especially if there is a gap to do it.)
So what did i find.
- My problem is that I get a nice flat sharp edge and then when stropping go and round it over and wreck it.
- In a short glimpse into the issue a very experienced woodcarver doing a video on behalf of woodcraft on sharpening Pfeil tools revealed that his preference for stropping material is not as most information on the web would have us believe. His preference was for thin leather and the soft belly leather and placed on a solid flat surface.
I have been using two different strops one which has had me resting a piece of say 3/16 thick leather on a surface and stropping and the other a say 1/8 thick piece of cowhide with the rough side facing up glued to a block of wood.
What i notice is the first one has a load of give such that with me (overdoing it) pressing on the leather it is resulting in an action that rounds off the edge and in the other case with the hard one its so uneven that i am pressing to get a even surface out of rough surface.
Having looked at many carving tool sharpening videos it looks like this community is all over the place on sharpening, i am convinced there are several that are claiming razor sharp tools after their technique, which may be true but when they come to cutting actual wood the tool does not behave as one would want and "bounces" or gets directed away from the direction of the cut by the "rounded" edge.
Now i am set to take the edges back to straight line edges to the cutting edge and then try again.
Examination of my small tools also shows up the quality of the tool in the first place where the "u" of these 2mm to 3mm wide veiners were not forged symmetrical so the compensation i did last time i sharpened them needs serious reshaping.
Anyone have a view on stropping of tools like this with very fine edges and shapes?
I come to realize i am fundamentally pressing too hard during my stropping process rather than merely doing more strokes at a more gentle pressure.
Do you buy the thinner softer leather on a solid surface as a better strop? What do you use and how do you do it?
I have this book below and wanted to try some of the techniques in it, unfortunately this author has retired and in the book while he covers the detail on each facial element very well, there is no info on tools he uses or how he keeps them sharp enough to get the fine lines you see on the cross grain cuts in the face on the front cover.
Most when doing carving tool sharpening instruction, all pick up a relatively no brainer shallow curved chisel or tackle the V tool making a song and dance out of the "its two chisels" approach. But have not found any that have showed how to actually do a 3mm veiner (u shaped chisel) and ones that have very shallow u and then ones that are deep .
I have this set of palm tools
For all their marketing hoopla i think they pretty poor quality but i guess you get what you pay for and what can one expect for $60 if they genuinely were made in the US???
One thing for sure if one is doing sharpening in this category then really good light is a MUST have and even magnifiers one needs to watch each stroke is what i am finding.
Anyone know of a better set of small size tools. By better i am looking for proper forming of the shape and cutting edge. I can see there being high reject rates in production if the jigging for the forging of these tools is not just right to control the strike, or they being made by grinding the basic shape, still heat treatment after may result in scrap dunno ??
I see LV supposedly stocks http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...30,43332,43337
I may make a trip to the local store to see what these look like again something i want to now see in person not order over the web from central warehouse and return if i dont like them. One thing for sure once bitten twice shy. Now i will carefully examine the carving tools i buy before touching them.