I know only too well how true the old saying: “ask 10 woodworkers the same question and you’ll get 12 different answers” but I’m going to take a chance and ask it anyway! I would really like to know opinions of others out there who, like me, probably spend the majority of the time working by yourself in your shop. As the picture shows, I recently sharpened my bench chisels, I use a 30° bevel which I’ve found holds a better edge when using hardwoods and exotics.
Question #1: Micro or secondary bevels — your thoughts. I’ve decided not to do the micro bevels. I never use a power grinder which leaves a hollow ground so micro bevels never get very long. Without a hollow ground that micro bevel can get quite long and then it takes some time re-establish the entire bevel. The sharpening session I had yesterday was quite lengthy since the micro bevels were half way up the edge! I could see that if you used a power grinder you could restore the entire grind quickly but hand work takes much longer. What are your thoughts???
Question #2: As you can see, I use DMT diamond stones and have them in coarse, fine, extra fine, and extra extra fine. The question, if you have them is this — do you use some type of lubricant with them or use them dry? I’ve done it both ways and it seems that even though using some water with a few drops of detergent lifts the swarf off the stone, it also makes a mess! It also seems that using the stone dry the cutting action is more aggressive and the swarf can be removed with a paper towel. Your thoughts???
Question #3: If you use them, how do you clean your DMT diamond stones? I use Bar Keepers Friend and a a grey scrubby.
Question #4: When sharpening chisels do you remove the burr from the back on each stone before going on to the next grit? To restore the edges I spent a lot of time on the coarse stone so I removed the burr from the back on it before going to the fine stone. Then didn’t remove it until after the final strokes on the extra extra fine — what do you do???
That’s enough questions and I’d appreciate some responses. One of the reasons for sharpening the chisels was to prepare for an online class I’m taking from Matt Kenney. It’s about making a small, wall hung cabinet. He has some construction methods I’d like to learn more about. I’m planning to use vertical grain Douglas Fir so wanted to see how it works with hand tools. These dovetails didn’t turn out too badly, the wood is pretty graining so starting the saw cuts requires concentration to stay on the scribed line. Pretty happy with these. To highlight the beautiful vertical grain I plan to use OSMO Polyx which I did on this corner. Anxious to get the first “hands on” lesson in the Matt Kenney class, so far it’s been about design and things to be aware of when selecting lumber. The wood I got is 4/4 and he’s mentioned we’ll probably surface to a thickness around 1/2 to 5/8 inch. Telling the grain direction is tricky with the Douglas Fir, used my smooth plane to surface the dovetails; worked well on one side but not so great on the other!