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Hand Sharpening Chisels and Plane Blades

This is the method I use to sharpen both chisels and plane blades.

This sharpening guide holds all my plane blades, although it has trouble with very narrow or short chisels. A simple wooden fixture sets the distance between the chisel tip and front of the guide so it is always exactly the same. I blacken the face of the chisel so I know that I've sharpened it from the heel to the cutting edge.

I use two double-sided DMT sharpening stones. If it's the first time I'm sharpening a chisel or if the tip is nicked I'll start with the coarse (black) grit. Otherwise I'll start with blue (medium) or red (fine). I finish up with the green (very fine).

At each step of the operation I flatten the back of the chisel before moving to the next grit.

From there I go to an ultrafine Arkansas stone. I hope to replace it with a Norton waterstone at some point in the future.

The final step is to buff it on a cardboard wheel which has been charged with a green buffing compound.

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This page last updated 04/27/03
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