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How to Use a Sharpening Stone

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Learn to hone your woodworking tools using a sharpening stone by watching this quick tutorial video.

This video has been created for instructional purposes.

Once your chisels are well and sharp, make sure you haven't missed our videos illustrating how to use them in your woodwork.

The step-by-step instructions will take you through everything you need to know to make sure your tools stay in good working order for your woodwork projects. Using sharp tools can help you work more safely and ensure good results.

Music - Gilles B

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In this video you will learn how to use a sharpening stone.

The two common types of sharpening stones are oil stones and water stones.

They are generally classified by grit into coarse, medium and fine varieties.

Use a ruler to ensure that the back of the chisel is flat.

If you are using a water stone, moisten the sharpening surface before you start working the chisel.

Start by sharpening your chisel on the coarse stone.

Grip the handle with your dominant hand and place the fingertips of your free hand to apply downward pressure on the blade.

Hold the chisel bevelside down with the angle of the bevel flat against the stone as you sharpen it.

Rub the blade back and forth across the whole length of the sharpening stone.

The pressure should be firm and even.

Try to use the entire stone to avoid wearing down the stone unevenly.

Keep checking to ensure that the flat side of the bevel is maintained.

You can move back and forth in a figure of 8 or up and down.

Move the chisel as an extension of your arm instead of using your wrist.

Sharpen the flat side to get rid of any burrs.

You can also do this by running the chisel over some scrap wood.

The chisel might seem sharp, but it is important to repeat the process on the fine stone so that the chisel is perfectly sharp.

Check with your thumb if the chisel is sharp, being careful not to cut yourself.

Watch your fingers.

You can also test the sharpness by chiseling some scrap wood.

Check with a ruler to see if the back of the chisel is flat.

Place the chisel on the workbench bevel side down so that the sharp edge is not disturbed.

You can sharpen a plane blade iron in the same manner.

Sharpen the flat side first.

Then sharpen the bevel edge at the angle required.

Finish with the flat side again to get rid of the burrs.

You can also sharpen your chisel with a honing guide, a contraption that holds the chisel in place without compromising its angle.

For wood chisels use the narrow jaws to clamp them.

For a 30° angle the chisel should project 3 cms from the edge of the jaws.

Roll the honing guide back and forth over the sharpening stone.

For plane irons, use the wider jaws.

The iron should project 5 cms from the edge of the jaws for a 25° angle.

It is advisable to keep the sharpening stone in a box.

You have now learnt how to use a sharpening stone.


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