How to sharpen a chisel at home

Homemade device for sharpening chisels

Homemade device for sharpening chisels

With just sandpaper and this simple homemade sharpening tool, you can get your chisel and your other tools razor-sharp in minutes. Do you wait to sharpen your tools until they are completely dull? There is a simple and cheap way to return them to their former sharpness. We are confident that with its help you will always keep the blades of your planes and chisels in excellent working condition.

This is worth doing, if only because sharp tools make the job easier, more accurate and much safer.

If the chisel cuts wood easily and you don't use much force to do it, it's unlikely to break off, damaging the surface or your hand. Using the correct sharpening technique, you will not waste extra time on it.

Although sharpening time depends on the hardness of the steel and the condition of the cutting edge, on average it takes no more than 10 minutes to get a dull chisel razor-sharp.

Homemade sharpening device is not inferior to expensive and complex ones

There is a huge selection of tools for sharpening tools, ranging from natural, synthetic and diamond whetstones and stones, to special electric sharpening machines of horizontal and vertical types. However, simple sandpaper has several advantages over all these means. It grinds down metal effectively, produces flat edges, and costs very little.

Homemade device for sharpening chisels

For best results, use black wet/dry sandpaper with silicon carbide abrasive.

Silicon carbide grains are harder than other abrasives used in abrasive papers, such as aluminum oxide or garnet, so they grind steel better and last longer.

Stock up on progressively smaller grit paper (100, 150, 220, 320, 400 and 600 grit) and you can get all the hand tools in your workshop sharp again.

To finalize the cutting edges, you will need a little fine abrasive powder. You can use household cleaning mixtures consisting of oxalic acid, feldspar and baking soda.

Household cleaning mixtures containing abrasive elements

The work requires a hard and flat surface, for example, a piece of MDF sheet, on which sheets of paper are placed. If the surface is too smooth, such as glass or plastic, and the sandpaper begins to slip, moisten it with water. Although not necessary, you can better evaluate the work by using a magnifying glass.

Most of us find it difficult to assess the quality of sharpening without resorting to a magnifying glass. With 8x magnification, this simple magnifying glass doesn't block the light so you can see any imperfections clearly.

And finally, since it is very important to maintain the exact angle of the blade when sharpening with sandpaper, use a simple, but strong and reliable hardwood device that allows you to confidently control the entire sharpening process.

When working with it, the blade is held exactly at a given angle, without tilting from side to side, and the chamfer is perfectly flat. However, the sharpening device allows for side-to-side movements to prevent wear of the abrasive paper in one area.

Before you start sharpening, make yourself the same device.

Making a sharpening device

The device shown in the figure is suitable for chisels and plane blades with a length of at least 75 mm with a sharpening angle of 25°. You can make several of these to sharpen at other angles.

Elements that make up the sharpening device

First, cut out the base (A) from hardwood, such as maple, with an allowance for length. The workpiece should have dimensions of about 13x76x255 mm. Install a mortise disk into the saw and cut out a tongue 5 mm deep and 45 mm wide at a distance of 19 mm from the rear edge.

Then install the rip saw blade and tilt it at an angle of 25°. Using double-sided tape, attach the workpiece to a support board made from scraps, the dimensions of which should be larger than the workpiece. Position this assembly and cut the bevel on the workpiece.

Return the blade to a vertical position and saw the workpiece to a final length of 190 mm.

Making the base of the sharpening device Making the base of the sharpening device

Make a holder (B) from a piece measuring 19x45x255 mm. Tilt the saw blade at an angle of 25° and, attaching the holder to the supporting board, file the bevel. Place the disc in a vertical position and saw the holder to a length of 190 mm. Drill two holes with counterbores (an additional recess for the head of a screw or nut) on the bottom side for installing screws.

The centers of the holes are located at a distance of 32 mm from the ends of the holder. First make the counterbores and then drill a 5mm hole in the center of each one. Install a groove disk into the sawing machine and, using a transverse (angular) stop, make a recess 102 mm wide and 1.5 mm deep.

This recess will help secure the tools to be sharpened at right angles to the work surface.

Making a sharpening device holder

Saw out the clamp (C), and drill holes for the screws. Place the holes at a distance of 32 mm from the ends of the clamp in the middle of its width. Make a handle (D) and glue it to the clamp. Once the glue has dried, assemble the fixture by adding screws, washers, and wing nuts. Apply a little wax paste to the tongue of the base so that the holder moves easily from side to side.

The process of sharpening using a device

Take a dull chisel. Place the jig on a sheet of 100-grit sandpaper. Insert the chisel blade, chamfer down, into the holder (B) under the clamp (C). Align the blade along the edge of the groove in the holder so that the bevel touches the sandpaper. Tighten the wing nuts firmly to secure the chisel. The blade is now positioned perpendicular to the work surface, and its tip protrudes slightly beyond the underside of the base.

You can attach the chisel to any edge of the recess in the fixture. You just need to align it along this edge and make sure that the bevel of the chisel fits tightly with its entire surface to the working surface - a sheet of sandpaper. Once you start sharpening, you will see a mark on the sandpaper. Move the jig periodically to work on an untouched area of ​​sandpaper. By pressing the device, you prevent the sheet of paper from moving.

Place the tool so that its base and the chamfer of the blade rest on the sandpaper. Hold the edge of the sheet with one hand and grasp the holder (B) with the other. Move the holder along with the chisel away from you, pressing the bevel against the paper. Then return to yourself again, loosening the pressure a little. After making several such movements, remove the holder from the base and inspect the chamfer of the blade. It doesn’t matter whether a new chisel is being sharpened or an old one, the tasks are the same.

It is necessary that the entire chamfer is evenly covered with thin marks parallel to the cutting edge. If this requires a few more movements, move the base of the tool a little to use an untouched area of ​​the sheet. Remove the chisel from the tool, press it against the sandpaper with its top plane (back) and make several movements from side to side.

And again the same goal - to achieve a uniform pattern formed by thin marks.

After just a few strokes on 100 grit paper, traces of factory processing begin to disappear. Continue working on the same sheet of paper until the entire chamfer has a uniform matte finish. Before moving to a finer abrasive, sand the back of the blade using the same paper. This is necessary to maximize the sharpness of the cutting edge and remove any burrs that may have formed.

Many new chisels have a concave bevel, and sometimes it takes a little more time and effort to get it flat. Gradually reducing the grit of the sandpaper, repeat these steps on both edges of the blade so that they are processed equally. Use a loupe to examine the surface to determine when to change to a finer abrasive.

Of course, you can continue to reduce the abrasive grain size down to 2000 grit, but you can stop at 600 and start fine-tuning the cutting edge. The chisel will be sharp enough to handle any carpentry task.

Finishing process

When finishing, the tiny scratches left by the sandpaper are removed, and both surfaces that form the cutting edge become polished like a mirror. You can perform finishing on a leather belt rubbed with green chromium oxide paste (GOI paste). Instead of a belt, you can take a piece of any tanned leather, for example, the top of an old boot, and instead of a polishing paste, any cleaning powder used in everyday life.

Sprinkle a little abrasive powder onto a flat surface and proceed in the same way as with sandpaper. A few strokes are usually enough to finish polishing the cutting edge.

Excellent results can be achieved even easier. Apply a pinch of cleaning powder to a flat piece of dense wood such as maple or a piece of MDF sheet. Then use the sharpening tool again. Then, taking the chisel out of it, polish the back side (back). The fine abrasive particles contained in the cleaning powder will remove most scratches and polish the steel to a shine.

Sharpened chisels should be stored carefully so that nicks do not appear on the cutting edge. When you have finished finishing the planer blade, immediately insert it into the block and do not extend the cutting edge below the sole unless you intend to immediately begin planing.

Once you have all your cutting tools in order, develop the good habit of always keeping them sharp by regularly sharpening them.

Then you don’t have to start working with 100 grit abrasive, but can immediately take paper No. 320 and move on to smaller numbers.

Control of sharpening results under a microscope

We sharpened several chisels using our jig and sandpaper, followed by a belt polish with an abrasive paste, and then sent them to the lab where we took photographs of the cutting edges using a scanning electron microscope.

A section of a chisel blade that was sharpened on a homemade jig, at 150x magnification. Under a microscope you can see traces of scratches that have not disappeared even after finishing and polishing. This chisel is sharpened using special expensive equipment with a magnification of 150 times. Scratches are located perpendicular to the cutting edge and are less noticeable. The sharpness of the chisel is almost the same.

One of these samples is shown in the left photo. For comparison, we sharpened another chisel using special high-precision equipment and also polished the cutting edge. This sample is shown in the right photo.

Conclusion: Our primitive sharpening method provides very similar results at significantly lower cost.

Sharpening on a wheel and sandpaper

Any sharpening method using sandpaper creates a flat bevel on the blade. Each time you have to grind the metal off the entire chamfer. This won't be a problem if you sharpen regularly to keep your tools sharp.

Concave chamfer when sharpening on a disc

If you use an electric sharpener at the first stage of sharpening, the abrasive disc forms a concave chamfer. Of course, you can do it this way and then continue sharpening with sandpaper. But still, we can recommend that you always sharpen tools only with sandpaper, since with a concave chamfer the cutting edge usually turns out to be less resistant.


How to sharpen a semicircular chisel

I inherited a set of old woodworking tools. It contained semicircular chisels that I wanted to restore. Most of the tools were very poorly sharpened by the previous owner. The sharpening angle of the blade was completely missing, and the old sharpener had many chips. When I compared one of the chisels with the same one from this set, I realized that it was much shorter.

This indicated that it had been sharpened beyond the limits of strong metal, which was usually only used at the end of most ancient tools. I decided to try to repair it anyway, because you never know what will happen in the end until you try. Note also that even if other chisels are narrower than this one and their handles are longer, the same restoration principle applies. In the future I will show the best sharpening option.

Conventional sharpening requires much less effort and tools.

List of tools:

  • Vise
  • Kiyanka
  • Diamond stone F140, F400
  • Sharpening stones F1000, F2000
  • A piece of leather nailed to a board
  • Abrasive paste
  • Sandpaper
  • Square with protractor
  • Combined square with level
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper P80, P120, P240, P400, P600, P1000, P2500

Step 1: Removing Rust

The first step to sharpening a blade is to remove the rust. If you do this after sharpening, you may ruin your blade. I tried many methods, but only one worked best when I use a brush attachment on a drill. I have a steel brush coated with copper.

Firmly secure the handle in the vice and, to protect it, place soft wood boards, such as pine, between the handle and the jaws of the vice. The longer and harder you sand, the more shiny the surface will be.

Don't forget to wear safety glasses, otherwise there is a high chance that small pieces of rust may fly off and get into your eyes.

Step 2: Sharpening Tools

Saw the board into bars, holding it in a vice

Give the edge of the block the shape of a semicircular chisel, cutting off the excess

Apply double-sided tape and then sandpaper.

Most people find a way to sharpen the outer concave side, but many have trouble sharpening the concave side. You can use a special oval sharpening stone, but it can be expensive and difficult to sharpen when it gets too worn, and you have to get used to it. I'll tell you about the method I use.

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Take a piece of board that is almost the same width as the length of the chisel blade. I only had plywood, but regular pine board works better because it's not as fragile. Saw off four pieces a little more than 5 cm wide. Secure one of them in a vice. Trim the top of the board until it fits the shape of your chisel. Usually, even a dull chisel will be sharp enough to be used for this purpose.

Repeat all this for other pieces of wood. Apply a piece of double-sided tape to the rounded edges of the three bars. You can also use an abrasive spray, but that doesn't work well for me.

Then wrap the first block with P400 sandpaper, the second block with P1000 paper, and the third with P2500 paper (zero).

If you round the top and bottom of one block, you only need two bars, but I find it a little awkward to use a double-sided block. You will see further how to use these bars.

Step 3: Correcting the cutter angle of the semicircular chisel

Adjust the sharpening angle of the chisel. Usually 35 degrees is enough.

Stretch the sanding belt evenly in the sander. The rollers should spin away from you.

Check the blade angle using a combination square.

My chisel had the wrong cutter angle.
So I corrected this angle with a sander. The angle of the cutter depends on what you need to do, but a 35° angle is usually used. I set the tape so that it spins in the opposite direction from me and, if it breaks, does not hit me. Move the cutter left and right to sharpen evenly.

I don't wear protective gloves to feel the heat of the steel. As I grind, the hardened steel gets hotter, then I take a break. By making scratches or pencil marks on the cutter, I can monitor the progress of sharpening. Double check that the cutter is perpendicular to the chisel blade. To do this, I use a square combined with a level.

Step 4: Sharpening the inside of the half-round chisel

Now you can see how I will use the prepared sharpening stones.
Since an incisor can only be as sharp as the back of it, you need to take care of that as well. I started sanding it with a block on which P400 sandpaper was glued, and then, successively, with a block with P1000 and P2500 sandpaper.

Move the block back and forth, making sure it fits snugly against the chisel. Depending on the length of the block, you may need to rotate the chisel over several passes to sand down the entire length of the metal, although there is no need to sand around the wood handle since you will only be working with the chisel.

Although it is quite tedious to achieve a completely flat surface, fortunately this will only need to be done once during the life of the tool.

Step 5: Sharpening the cutter

To sharpen the convex side of the chisel, move it along the block in semicircles.

Sharpening the bevel angle of a chisel

Polishing the cutter of a semicircular chisel

I started sharpening on an F240 grit diamond stone and used soapy water for lubrication.
If your instrument is in better condition than mine, you can skip this step and perhaps the next one. You will feel when you have achieved the correct angle of the cutter by turning the chisel up and down. Some people use a figure eight sander, but I'm not very good at this method.

For the method I use, you have to press your elbow to your thigh. Then you bend your body left and right, as if dancing (watch the video on Utube). Note that it works best if the table is slightly lower than mine. Depending on the shape of the chisel, you may need to bend your hands a little.

This method allows you to sharpen the blade evenly. Stop when you can feel the roughness on the inside of the chisel, then switch to the next F400 block. Don't hesitate and check your sharpening angle as often as you like. Move the cutter more intensely on the block with F400.

Then continue on the F1000 block. This can also be a block of carborundum, which must first be soaked for ten minutes, and its surface must also be periodically leveled. The movements are the same as on the previous bars.

Every time you feel roughness, switch to the next finer grain block. Follow the same procedure. I also use a little soapy water when I'm working with sharpening stones because it's hard to start the sharpening process if your tool is covered in grease.

In general, it doesn’t matter what you sharpen the tool on - on sandpaper glued to a flat surface, on an electrocorundum block or on a diamond block. I prefer diamond stones. They are less aggressive, grind quite quickly and last longer than electrocorundum bars. They also don't need to be aligned.

Even though it's not necessary, I like to polish the cutting tool. To do this, I rub it with some abrasives on a board on which a piece of genuine leather is glued, rubbing it several times on both sides to work the entire chisel.

For the inside, I use one of the leftover bars that I prepared in step two.

Step 6: Handle restoration

  • Sand the handle with sandpaper
  • Clean the grooves with a knife
  • Used rust oil rags can be stored in a glass jar.
  • Now the chisel cuts like butter.

Since the varnish on the handle was peeling off and I didn’t like it, I decided to renew the handle.

The easiest way to clean the old coating is with a scraper. I used a knife to clean the cracks. I then sanded the handle with 80, 120 and 240 grit sandpaper.

Always sand along the grain, otherwise you will end up with a rougher surface. Next, wipe the handle with a cloth soaked in soapy water and let it dry for an hour. If you use this method, you will feel that the wood has become rougher due to the grains being raised as you sand. If you put the handle in water, you can remove them.

To do this, use P400 sandpaper.

You can treat the handle with boiling linseed oil. Wipe off excess oil and always place used rags in water to prevent spontaneous combustion. Leave the handle overnight and then sand again with 600 grit sandpaper. It's a little overkill, but I like the way the handle feels after doing this.

Then apply a second coat and let it dry for about 24 hours. Then apply a final coat of oil. To protect metal from rust, apply anti-rust oil.

If you store your used oil rags in a tightly sealed container, you can reuse them on other tools several times. Over time, you will use this oil less and less and thus save money. For storage, it's best to use a metal container that won't break if you accidentally drop it, unlike a glass container.

After all the measures to restore the semicircular chisel, it began to cut like clockwork.


Sharpening a chisel at home

There is one true rule: a sharp blade is much safer than a dull one. It's right! The rule applies not only to the production of sharp edges of a chisel, but also to other carpentry and even kitchen utensils. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary that the pointed edge of the chisel is regularly cleaned at least a couple of times a year. If the tool is actively used in work, it is necessary to clean it much more often.

First stage

Even a set of brand new chisels that have not yet been used in work may not be suitable for starting to work with them. Even though they remain sharp for a very long time, you must know how to sharpen a chisel correctly. After all, the quality of the work performed depends on this.

If the joinery is a little old, has a little uneven edges or rust, then you can correct this with a sanding wheel. Gently hold the beveled chisel against the grinding wheel to remove large burrs and rust.

To work, you need a three-level sharpening stone - the smallest, beginner and medium, in order to achieve greater sharpness of the chisel. Sharpening stones can be purchased at hardware or garden stores and are often used for sharpening kitchen knives. The stone you purchase should come with lubricant, or purchase it separately. Note:

  • Do not use water-based lubricant on oil stones. For them you need to buy special products in construction stores;
  • Waterstones prefer water as a lubricant. They need to be soaked in plain water for a few minutes, after which they can be used. This method is quite common in Japan.

Now you need to prepare the stones accordingly. Usually such stones come with instructions. Instructions are also written for oil lubricants.

Sharpening a chisel

We start sharpening our carpentry tool from the flat side, it should be so sharp that it will look like a mirror. We begin to move the tool intensively along the sharpening stone. It is important that when sharpening, your hand is fixed, so the chisel will be sharpened smoothly. Do not allow yourself sudden movements: everything should be slow and as smooth as possible.

When minor scratches begin to appear on the whetstone, move to the fine-grained side, and then to the very fine side.
The flat or, as it is also called, the even side of the tool will be ideally sharpened when it begins to look like a mirror. Some tips:

  • You cannot move either the whetstone or the chisel from side to side. We move only along the length of the sharpening stone.
  • When working, use the entire surface of the whetstone.
  • Be sure to clean your hands and chisel of dust, as it will obscure the appearance of the product.

Wood chisel sharpening angle

This can be done manually, but there is a very high chance of making a mistake. To get the perfect bevel angle, place the chisel in a special sharpening device, tighten the screws so that the product is firmly fixed. The angle of inclination largely depends on the type of chisel being sharpened:

  • cleaning the chisel - set at an angle of about 20 degrees;
  • for a regular chisel, increase the angle by five degrees.

Additional finishes

Usually, after sharpening, the chisel can already be used, but if you want the tool to be even sharper, then it makes sense to add a microbevel. In fact, this is another small bevel, which is made at the very tip of the chamfer. This is a necessary step when performing very delicate and precise work. To make a micro-bevel, you need to adjust the sharpening apparatus to work at an angle of 5 degrees. Repeat the work done using a fine-grained stone.

This concludes our tutorial on how to sharpen a chisel at home . When working, take care of your eyes and wear safety glasses.

Other materials for sharpening tools:
* Sharpening a hacksaw for wood.
* Sharpening jointer knives.

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Tricks to help sharpen a chisel with your own hands

Sharpening chisels at home can be done with equal success using factory-made machines and homemade devices. A standard set for processing the blade of a carpentry tool includes an abrasive for initial work, grinding products for finishing, and a mandrel-fixer.

General rules for sharpening chisels

To sharpen the blade of carpentry tools, you will need to rigidly fix the product at the desired angle to the abrasive surface. Moreover, it is necessary to strictly maintain the angle both in the longitudinal and transverse directions. Two types of sharpening mandrels are used for fixation:

  • equipment used to process the working plane of a chisel on the abrasive wheel of an electric sharpening device;
  • manual mandrel for sharpening tools on whetstones and sheet abrasives.

Chamfer processing of carpentry parts is carried out using a grinding stone with a grain of 300-400 microns, followed by the procedure of finishing the cutting edge with an abrasive of 50-80 microns. To sharpen chamfers, both electric sharpeners and hand tools are used. At this stage, it is important to achieve equal angles of inclination on both sides of the canvas.

Finishing is carried out exclusively by hand, during which the cutting edge is extremely sharp and micro-irregularities and scratches are eliminated. The purpose of finishing is to achieve geometric accuracy of the working surface of a wood carving chisel.

Tools and materials for sharpening

To adjust the sharpness of a wood carving chisel, various types of tools and materials are used:

  • sharpening machines of vertical and horizontal types;
  • sharpening stones;
  • bars with sandpaper;
  • sheet abrasives;
  • cloth polishing resources and felt bases.

Sharpening of chisels can be done using a machine

To fix the tool use:

  • metal models of factory-made mandrels with angular adjustment;
  • homemade wooden versions of devices in which the angle is formed using wedges.

The fixing device provides two functional components in the form of a carriage for moving along the abrasive surface and an inclined platform with a clamp. The latter is pre-set at a given angle.

Sharpening technique

In order to properly process the working surface of the chisel, it is recommended to use special products that have both grinding and polishing properties. Most often, preference is given to sharpening water stones or fine-grained sheet abrasives on a water-resistant basis.

Preparatory stage

Sharpening stones are pre-soaked in water. During the sharpening process, the liquid helps create a viscous grinding suspension, as it mixes with abrasive dust.

Angle editing and chamfering

The wood chisel is fixed at a given angle; according to the standards, the inclination is about 25°. This parameter may vary depending on the purpose of the joinery:

  • The chamfer of the tool for slotting work is sharpened at an angle of 27-30°;
  • for accurate trimming of wood with the removal of thin chips, a correction of the working surface by 20-22° is required;
  • A universal chisel for most woodworking is sharpened at an angle of 25°.
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It is worth considering that the sharpening angle of the chisel also depends on the parameters of the blade: thick blades provide a relatively steep bevel.

If you need to form a chamfer with significant adjustments to the sharpening angle, you should start working on a sharpening machine. To easily correct the sharpness of the cutting edge, perform the following steps:

  • process the chamfer on the abrasive stone until visible damage is completely eliminated. In this case, the specified slope must be maintained both in the longitudinal and transverse directions;
  • check the cutting edge for geometric evenness. Here it is necessary to achieve strict perpendicularity of the line in relation to the canvas. Otherwise, you will have to straighten the edge on the sharpening stone, after which the working surface is ground again to an ideal sharpness.

The angle for sharpening chisels should be about 25°

If it is necessary to adjust the sharpness of a chisel with a bevel on the edge, grind it with a stop, lifting the cutting blade up within 5°.

Features of cutter processing

The work is carried out taking into account the following recommendations:

  • First, the flat side of the canvas is processed. Movements are performed along the same trajectory along the entire length of the stone;
  • then change the position of the chisel and work with the main working surface of the wood carving tool. Movements should be uniform, without jerking, but quite fast. In this case, it is necessary to maintain the desired angle of inclination;
  • after the coarse-grained abrasive begins to leave scratches on the surface of the cutting blade, switch to a medium-grained stone. Next, if necessary, use an abrasive material with fine grain;
  • when sharpening the chamfer, 1.5-2 mm is allocated, the perimeter is made at an acute angle of 5-7°. The chamfer is formed in just a few movements along the entire length of the stone.

It is noteworthy that the process of sharpening a wood chisel takes no more than 10 minutes if a simple correction of the sharpness of the carpentry is performed. If there are significant irregularities, chips or other defects on the surface of the tool, sharpening will take up to 1 hour or more.

Final polishing

The process of sharpening a chisel for wood carving is completed by straightening using various devices. Most often, they use a leather belt rubbed with GOI paste, or a kitchen cleaner on a flat wooden surface. The blade can also be polished on a felt wheel using polishing paste.

Chisel sharpening machine

Various models of machines and devices for sharpening chisels are presented in specialized stores in Moscow and other cities. Since the device provides a simple design, they often make equipment for correcting the sharpness of carpentry tools with their own hands.

To make a homemade sharpening machine, make a blank for the base with dimensions of 13x76x255 mm. The work to be done next is as follows:

  1. Moving 19 mm from the back line of the workpiece, cut out a 5x45 mm tongue and groove. To do this, use a device with a cutter to form grooves.
  2. Using a slitting disc, a bevel is made at an angle of 25°.
  3. The workpiece is fixed on the base surface. Double-sided tape is most often used for these purposes.
  4. A vertical cut is made to set the final length of the device for sharpening chisels; the size of the product is 190 mm.

Chisel sharpening machine

To build a trolley holder, use a blank with dimensions 19x45x255 mm:

  • a bevel is made on the workpiece at an angle of 25°;
  • vertically trimmed within a length of 190 mm;
  • on the bottom surface, moving 32 mm from both edges, drill 2 holes;
  • Using a groove disk, a 102x1.5 mm recess is formed to fix the chisel.

Next, a clamp is cut out, and holes for screws are drilled in a selected area in the middle of the workpiece at a distance of 32 mm from each edge. Then the handle is glued to the clamp. The final assembly of the structure is carried out after the fixing composition has completely dried.

For normal operation of the machine, the base tongue is treated with a wax composition. This also helps to optimize the sliding level of the holder.

How to sharpen a semicircular chisel?

To correct carpentry tools with a semicircular cutter, a wooden block with an edge that follows its shape is used.

Necessary materials:

  • silicon block;
  • wood blank;
  • abrasive powder;
  • sandpaper with a grain size of 400, 800, 1000, 2000 microns;
  • a piece of leather for polishing.

Stages of work:

  1. Wet the silicon block in a soap solution. Next, they begin to work, performing sideways movements, pressing the chamfer to the touchstone at the desired angle until a burr is formed.
  2. Next, a wooden block with a rounded edge, which is decorated with sandpaper, is used. During the processing process, the abrasive is changed to an analogue with a small denomination.
  3. At the end of the process, the cutting edge is polished and straightened using leather.

If you sharpen the chisel correctly, ensuring the appropriate chamfer angle, the quality of the carpenter's work improves. Moreover, not only the accuracy of the cut, but also the level of productivity of the woodworker depends on the sharpness of the working surface.


Sharpening chisels for wood carving: a homemade device and rules for sharpening carpentry tools


  1. Advantages of a homemade sharpener
  2. Materials and assembly rules
  3. Assembling a sharpening machine
  4. The process of sharpening on a homemade machine
  5. Edit
  6. Device for sharpening semicircular chisels

If you are passionate about carpentry and make wood products, then you know how uncomfortable and even dangerous a dull tool can be. It is advisable to have sharp cutters on hand, for sharpening which you can make a special device yourself.

On a sharpening machine, with the proper approach, in 10–15 minutes, depending on the hardness of the steel, you get a sharp tool. The process may take a little longer if the cutting edge is significantly damaged. Once straightened, the chisel will cut wood easily without the risk of damaging the surface being worked on or, worse, causing injury.

Advantages of a homemade sharpener

There are devices on sale designed for sharpening chisels and plane knives. They differ in type and material of manufacture. These can be synthetic or diamond shards, natural minerals and other mechanical objects.

Carpentry workshops often purchase special electric machines of vertical or horizontal design. However, all these advertised devices are in no way inferior to sandpaper.

It does an excellent job of grinding down metal, giving it thin and clear edges, and its cost is extremely low.

Materials and assembly rules

An excellent result is guaranteed by black sandpaper, the abrasive side of which consists of silicon carbide. It is suitable for wet and dry grinding, and due to the hardness of the material, which is superior in similar parameters to garnet or aluminum oxide, it copes with the task better and wears out longer.

Sharpening a chisel at home requires sheets of paper with different grain sizes (from 100 to 600 units). The final grinding of the cutting edges is carried out with a fine abrasive powder, which can be replaced with a kitchen cleaner containing feldspar, soda or oxalic acid.

To ensure comfortable work on sharpening tools for wood carving, the master needs to create a flat base of thick plywood or MDF on which sheets of emery will be laid. To enhance the adhesion between the paper and the smooth base, you can spray the plywood with water.

No matter how sharp the vision of a craftsman may be, it is difficult to complete the job without the help of a magnifying glass. Therefore, it is better to play it safe and purchase a simple lens with eight times magnifying power. Such an optical device does not obscure the light and makes it possible to see most of the flaws in the cutting tool.

When working with sandpaper, it is necessary to maintain the sharpening angle, which is not easy to do manually without a special device. This problem is solved by a wooden device that provides control over the process at all its stages. With its help, the blade will be fixed at a given angle, deviations will be excluded. In this case, the chamfer of the product will acquire an optimal plane. In this way, it is possible to ensure uniform abrasion of the sandpaper when performing movements in opposite directions.

Assembling a sharpening machine

Below in the picture you can see a device used to sharpen carpentry chisels and plane blades with a length of 75 mm at an angle of 25°. Such drawings are also suitable for assembling a similar machine for straightening blades at different angles. Sharpening semicircular chisels is performed using other equipment.

The beginning of assembly involves sawing out the base from hardwood with a margin of length. We recommend focusing on workpiece dimensions of approximately 13x76x255 mm.

 At a distance of 19 mm from the back of the workpiece, it is necessary to cut out a tongue and groove (5x45 mm - DxW), for which a groove-forming cutter is installed in the sawing unit.

Then, using a longitudinal cutting disc, a bevel is sawed at an angle of 25°, and the workpiece itself is fixed with double-sided tape to the load-bearing surface. Now a vertical cut sets the final length of the product to 190 mm.

To make a trolley holder, you will need a workpiece measuring 19x45x255 mm, on which a bevel is sawed off at an angle of 25° and vertically cut to a length of 190 mm. Then, on its lower side, at a distance of 32 mm from each edge, two holes are drilled with a recess for the nut. After this, a groove 102x1.5 mm (WxD) is made with a groove disk, in which a chisel or chisel will be fixed at a right angle.

At the next stage, the clamp is cut out and holes are made for screws in the middle of the workpiece at a distance of 32 mm from each edge. The handle of the device is glued to the clamp, and after the adhesive has dried, final assembly is carried out. So that the sharpening machine can function normally and the holder slides without unnecessary effort, a special wax composition is applied to the tongue of the base.

We recommend watching a video that shows another option for making a home sharpener.

The process of sharpening on a homemade machine

To sharpen a dull tool, you need to place the device on coarse sandpaper. The cutting part of the chisel is installed in the holder under the clamping mechanism with the chamfer down, after which the nuts are tightened to secure the tool tightly. The blade should be perpendicular to the working plane.

When you start sharpening the cutter, pay attention: characteristic marks will be visible on the sandpaper, so you need to move the structure so as to continue the process on the untouched part of the material.

The work is carried out until the cutting segment acquires a uniform matte surface. Before changing the sandpaper to a finer abrasive, run the back of the blade over coarse paper a couple of times, removing any possible burrs.

Each time you change the abrasive, repeat the process until the sharpened tool becomes optimally sharp.


Sharpening the chisel is completed by straightening it using a leather belt rubbed with GOI paste. The cutting edge is polished to a mirror finish. The paste can be replaced with a kitchen cleaner, which does the job just as well as the paste. The powder is poured onto a flat wooden surface. A hand-held machine will come in handy here; you need to sharpen it according to the principle discussed earlier.

Device for sharpening semicircular chisels

Sharpening a semicircular chisel is carried out on a wooden block with an edge processed to the shape of the tool. During the work you will need:

  • silicon block;
  • plywood;
  • abrasive powder;
  • leather;
  • sandpaper of different grits (400, 800, 1000, 2000).

You need to start the process by wetting the bar in a soap solution, and then you can start working by pressing the chamfer to the touchstone and performing sideways movements (as in the photo below).

After a burr has formed, take a piece of wood with a rounded edge, onto which sandpaper is glued (replace it, gradually moving from coarse to fine abrasive).

At the final stage, the chisel is polished and straightened using leather. When the blade acquires a smooth, sharp edge, it is necessary to check its cutting ability.


Sharpening a chisel at home: devices and methods

Carpentry uses a wide range of tools for different purposes. If professional carvers mainly use electric saws, knives and jigsaws, then in households hand-held devices, which include a chisel, are more in demand.

It is affordable and easy to use, but requires regular maintenance. The convenience and accuracy of wood processing will depend on the quality of sharpening of the chisel.

There are different ways to restore the sharpness of an incisor, the most effective of which will be discussed below.

Tools and consumables for sharpening

The simplest device for straightening hand carvers is a whetstone. It can be used without special equipment, held in the hands and making reciprocating movements to exert a mechanical effect on the target surface. To avoid injuring your hands, you can wrap one side of the sharpening stone with a thick rag or make a sheath to hold it. The stone itself may have different characteristics. The main parameter of choice is grain size, that is, the depth of the stitch.

A special device for sharpening chisels in the form of a sharpening device will help increase the productivity of the work operation. In a sense, it is a machine tool, but without an electric drive.

Its design is designed to perform two tasks: gripping an abrasive bar (stone or file) and performing mechanical reciprocating movements on the bed.

The work is performed by the user himself, but due to the guides and rigid fixation of the workpiece, the efficiency of processing the cutter surface increases.

You should start working on the flat side of the knife. Proper sharpening of this surface will be indicated by the presence of a mirror reflection on it. Regardless of the tool used, during dressing the chisel should move back and forth along the abrasive. If the knife is fixed, then the stone or file will also be directed in a reciprocating pattern.

It is important to hold the working element with both hands and make movements smoothly along one trajectory without deviations. As for the pressure, it depends on how dull the chisel is. Sharpening in carpentry workshops is usually carried out in several stages with abrasives of different fractions - gradually moving from coarse to fine grains until finishing.

After completion of the operation, dust, metal chips and other waste should be removed with a vacuum cleaner.

Features of sharpening chisels and plane knives?

Planers are equipped with knives that are similar in appearance to a chisel blade. Moreover, in some models they can be almost identical in cutter characteristics. But most often the plane is equipped with thinner, rounded knives, thanks to which, by the way, the carpenter can make complex selections of wood pulp.

Accordingly, you will need an abrasive that is not as rough as a whetstone - for example, many people use sandpaper of different fractions, as well as polishing devices. If we talk about the differences in the sharpening techniques of chisels and planes, then in the second case less effort is applied when pressing the abrasive onto the working surface.

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The operation itself is more reminiscent of the process of finishing or finishing metal.


The nature of the implementation and overall organization of procedures for servicing a chisel may vary depending on the nuances of its operation. It’s one thing if the tool is rarely used and restoration of the blade is required only as a superficial finishing touch, and another thing is regular work with wood in the household.

In the first case, sharpening the chisel can be done manually with grinding stones, but in the second case, more productive special units will be required. The home craftsman may be faced with the question of choosing the appropriate equipment. According to experts, the optimal result is ensured by a household sharpening machine.

The ability to equip it with grinding wheels of different grain sizes and adjustable rotation speed allows you to sharpen the knives of chisels, planes and other cutting tools.


How to sharpen a chisel

A chisel or chisel is a necessary tool that will always come in handy when working with wood. Especially if you are installing an internal lock on a wooden door . However, during operation, its blade quickly becomes dull and the efficiency of work drops significantly.

You can restore functionality by “sharpening” - the simplest method is “emery”, but not all of us have it. Why go far here, there isn’t even a whetstone for sharpening knives.

Then a fair question arises: how to sharpen it then? Calm down, there is one old-fashioned and very cheap way


  • What to replace the block with?
  • What was the chisel like before?
  • STEP 1
  • STEP 2

The chisel is made of durable metal; you can sharpen it with a “knife sharpening stone” if you have one at home. However, many simply do not have it. But wait, what is a block - essentially a very strong stone composition, simply a rough stone that can grind down metal and at the same time very slowly collapse. Then let's think about what can replace it?

What to replace the block with?

Honestly, with anything, even a brick. However, the surface must be rough and durable. By the way, you can also sharpen it on asphalt. But I didn’t go outside, my balcony is made of very strong concrete blocks, and there is also a slab on the floor. It is about them that you can focus.

What was the chisel like before?

To be honest, it was very worn out, because they simply worked on it mercilessly, and by the way, they wanted to throw it away. But I revived her! Here's a photo.

It can be seen that the main incisor is not only blunted, but also broken in the middle - a small area is dented. It is simply impossible to work with such a tool; when I wanted to “punch” a wooden door under the lock, it simply crumpled - but did not “cut”. Of course, sharpening with emery would be done in five minutes - but there’s nowhere to get it. So, let's start sharpening at home.


First you need to remove the rough layer, so to speak, that is, remove the “groove” in the middle of the blade. We just take a chisel, place the blade at an angle towards the stone (in my case it’s a balcony wall and slab) and start “rubbing” with effort.

Yes, it’s really difficult, and you need to rub hard and quickly, but the effect will not take long to arrive; after 20 minutes, the blade has ground down and the “groove” has gone away.

Then I turned the blade over and also rubbed it on the stone so that all the “bulls” went away from the back. Sharpening may be enough for many here, because essentially we have removed the crumpled layer! But they did it roughly, and the knife is not so sharp, so you need to fill the “mirror”.


You will need “sandpaper” (sandpaper), just don’t say you don’t have it! As a last resort, it is sold in any hardware store; it is a really common product. Buy “zero” fine sandpaper, it will be easier to fill the “mirror” of the chisel. I didn’t have a small one, so I’ll have to clean it up; I have a “two”. We also begin to sharpen on the surface, first on one side.

Then on the other.

As a result, we get a mirror on the incisor, although not as we would like (the sandpaper is rough), but it will still work. The chisel knife is already sharp.

For a “full mirror”, you can also move it along the leather belt (preferably along), then you can look into the blade. BUT for me this is not important - I’m not going to the exhibition!

I tried to cut through a wooden door, everything works great - it just cuts through, and does not crush!

Thus, we sharpened the chisel, with our own hands and at home, without any complex equipment. You need to apply a little force, have a piece of sandpaper (not necessarily large) and that’s it.

version of the article (see)

It’s so easy and simple, I think it will be useful to many. Read our construction blog.


Tool sharpening

Each of us has encountered a situation in life when blunt tools, be it an ordinary knife or carpentry tools, interfere with normal work. Dull tools require greater effort and therefore your hands get tired faster and dangerous situations may arise. Sharpening the tool in advance will provide you with a quick and easy work process without any extra effort.

Each type of tool has a cutting edge with its own individual sharpening angle. Tools with sharpening angles up to 25° have sharper edges, but are not suitable for work that requires significant effort; in this case, tools with a large sharpening angle are used.

It is necessary to take this fact into account and therefore, before starting the sharpening process, we advise you to familiarize yourself with the optimal sharpening angles for various tools.

By the way, good sharpeners are equipped with an angular scale for setting the supporting surface for a specific tool, which greatly facilitates the process of sharpening the tool.

Sharpening angles for some tools

  • scissors – 60°;
  • carpenter's ax – 40°;
  • kitchen knife – 20-40°;
  • vegetable and fish knives – 25°;
  • chisel – 35-40°;
  • chisel – 18-20°;
  • plow – 20°;
  • turning cutter – 15-25°;

To sharpen you will need an electric sharpener (recommended for beginners), sharpening stones of various shapes and grits, and a container of water. The process of sharpening a tool requires a certain skill and experience, so it may take quite a long time before you learn how to sharpen tools as efficiently as possible.

Sharpening chisels and chisels

These popular tools are in every carpenter's kit. Typically, chisels with a width from 3 to 16 mm and various sharpening angles are used, as well as flat and semicircular chisels. The process of sharpening these tools begins with a sharpening wheel, and then the dressing is done on a whetstone.

An important point is the position of the blade relative to the abrasive wheel; the plane being sharpened at the point of contact should be located strictly perpendicular to the radius of the wheel. After sharpening, you need to pay attention to the resulting chamfer.

The length of the chamfer to obtain the desired angle of 20° must be 2.5 times greater than the thickness of the tool.

  1. We examine the worn edge under a magnifying glass - the corners are rounded, jagged edges are visible.
  2. We bring the tool horizontally to the grinding wheel, face down, and remove the nicks on the edge.
  3. We adjust the supporting surface of the sharpener, adjusting it to the required angle.
  4. We begin sharpening the tool - move the chisel from side to side, lightly pressing it against the circle. We monitor the uniform grinding of the cutting edge and periodically cool the tool. The tool must be completely adjacent to the supporting surface so that the sharpening angle does not change after cooling.
  5. Every 10-15 seconds, cool the chisel in cold water to prevent overheating and release of the cutting edge.
  6. If the metal of the cutting edge changes its color, this indicates a change in its properties - with increasing temperature it becomes soft (tempered), and with further overheating it becomes brittle and begins to chip.
  7. When sharpened correctly, a metal burr is formed on the edge of the tool, which is easily removed after processing on a grinding block.
  8. We moisten the sanding block, take the chisel so that the sharpened chamfer coincides with the plane of the block, and begin to make smooth longitudinal movements along the surface of the block.
  9. Turn the tool over and use circular movements to finish the reverse side. Then we return to the sharpened chamfer and repeat the procedure. Processing both sides in turn, we adhere to the following scheme - 10 movements on one side of the tool, 9 on the other, 8 movements on one, 7 on the other, and repeat the final three movements several times.
  10. We check the sharpness of the cutting edge in the light - a well-sharpened edge does not shine, unlike a dull one, which stands out as shiny and flat. You can run your fingernail along the edge to make sure there are no nicks. We check the tool in operation - we cut off a layer on a pine block. The sharp tool cuts easily and leaves a shiny cut.

Tool sharpening with cooling

Sharpeners with a cooling function allow even beginners in turning to perform high-quality work, since the wheels in them rotate more slowly and are constantly cooled, preventing the tool from overheating. Sharpeners can also be equipped with special templates for setting sharpening parameters.

  1. The necessary parameters are set on the template, and then the tool is installed in it and its position relative to the circle is adjusted.
  2. The cutting surface of the tool must fit into the groove of the template until it stops - this allows you to control the correct sharpening.
  3. Finishing of the cutting edge is done on a leather wheel.

Sharpening semicircular chisels

  1. Semicircular chisels are sharpened by holding them obliquely to the axis of the circle and constantly turning them around the axis to maintain a constant sharpening angle.
  2. The same is done when sharpening such a chisel on a grinding block.
  3. There are shaped sharpening stones that allow you to sharpen concave surfaces.

Sharpening large tools

  1. Axes can be sharpened on belt grinders, having first fixed it with the belt facing up on the workbench.
  2. Shovels are sharpened using a grinder with a plate grinding wheel.

Evaluate the manufacturing method:


How to sharpen a chisel correctly?

For high-quality wood processing, it is important to sharpen tools correctly. This increases processing speed and cutting accuracy. However, before sharpening the chisel, it is necessary to study the specifics of the work.

Types of chisels

Chisels come in the following types:

  • straight or percussive;
  • semicircular;
  • oblique;
  • coal;
  • cranberry cutters.

A straight chisel is used to level the surface and remove flat layers of material. Allows the carpenter to do most types of basic work.

A semicircular chisel is used to form semicircular surfaces and decorate with carvings. Allows you to cut cutlery (spoons, dippers), as well as various parts.

Bevel and carbon tools are used for complex geometric cutting. Allows the formation of surfaces with complex shapes.

Cleaver cutters are used for carving deep holes and depressions to form a smooth surface.

Chisel sharpening angle

Chisel sharpening angles are selected based on the following principles:

  • obtuse angles are used for processing hard wood;
  • the larger the angle, the worse the quality and accuracy of cutting;
  • sharp sharpening angles allow you to speed up the processing process, but this increases the risk of blade chipping and dullness;
  • sharpening should be carried out without changing the angles of inclination of the blade, since equality of angles or linearity of surfaces will lead to the unsuitability of the tool;
  • The angles of the chamfer and cutting edge can be viewed in the corresponding table in GOST 1184-80.

The optimal sharpening angles are from 200 to 300. The angle between the edge and the chamfer should be no more than 50.

Sharpening equipment

To sharpen by hand you will need the following tools:

  • abrasive for rough processing;
  • grinding tool;
  • frame for fixing the position.

For machining, a sharpening machine with replaceable grinding wheels should be used. Spindle rotation speed from 1.8 to 2 thousand rpm. You can use a sharpening stone with a special filler (aluminum oxide or other similar properties) that has a medium or low level of hardness.

To obtain a perfectly flat, smooth surface of the cutter, you need to sharpen the chisel or chisel with polishing equipment. A water stone is used, the surface of which is wetted in abrasive dust or suspension.

To perform finishing, exclusively hand tools are used. This is due to the need for precise control of the geometry of the cutter and chamfer relative to the blade.

To manually sharpen a semicircular chisel, you will need the following tools:

  • silicon block;
  • abrasive powder;
  • thick plywood;
  • leather;
  • a set of sandpaper with grit from 400 to 2000.

Sharpening a semicircular chisel

How to sharpen a chisel correctly

You can sharpen a chisel at home as follows:

  1. The chamfer is ground using an abrasive tool. It is important to strictly observe the tilt and ensure the correct geometry of the tool, since distortions are unacceptable. The use of a clamping tool is required.
  2. If necessary, the edge line is adjusted relative to the center line of the web. They must be strictly at right angles. Sharpening stones are used for leveling; the edge must be ground.
  3. The canvas is completely wrapped in fine-grained sandpaper. Then it is secured securely in the clamping equipment, moistened with water and ground to a shiny metal surface.
  4. To sharpen a tool with a beveled edge, grinding is performed with the blade raised by 50 and the blade resting.
  5. After completing the work, the chisel must be cleaned of chips and any remaining paste.

To perform high-quality polishing, it is recommended to use special polishing pastes. GOI paste is considered the most profitable.

To sharpen a semicircular profile with your own hands, you must follow the following rules:

  • visually the semicircular surface is divided into equal planes;
  • Each plane is sharpened evenly and accurately;
  • when turning, it is recommended to perform rotational movements so as not to grind off one of the planes more than the others;
  • When performing finishing, it is necessary to check the quality of sharpening of the edge by cutting a wooden workpiece (the cut must be smooth).

Sharpening chisels with beveled, oblique and carbon edges is carried out similarly to the technology for sharpening cutters for a wood lathe.

After completing the turning process, you need to use leather to finish polishing and straightening the cutting part.
Sharpening the chisel. Double chamfer. Microbevel | Works of the Masters

How to sharpen a chisel correctly? Link to main publication


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