Woodworking tool sharpening tips in basic 4 steps

Woodworking tool sharpening tips: Sharpening the planer blades, chisels, saws, drill bits, etc., is essential to keep their appropriate sharpness and sizes. You should check the sharpness of these things before starting work. If the amount of work is more, check the sharpness from time to time and sharpen it as needed. Carpenter’s quality and skill or the user can be judged by the wood cutting machine’s condition and sharpness. Remember, having a good wood finish depends directly on the sharpness of the instrument.

Woodworking tool sharpening tips

There are different methods used for sharpening different instruments. You should customize each device according to its own design and requirements. Planer blades and chisel sharpening methods are almost identical. They have one surface equal and the other surface angle, although the slope is not equal. The blade or chisel is sharpened in the following steps:

Step-1: Beveling

  • Chisel and blade’s bevel gradually become round and eventually damaged because of frequent sharpening. 
  • Sometimes, the chisel and blade’s angle is broken. So, the first work is beveling.
  • First, on the grinding wheel, grind the sharp edge to square and measure it with a tricycle.
  • Then tilt to the right angle.
  • Use special support to place the chisel or blade on the grinding wheel at an angle of 25 to 30 degrees.

Step-2: Grinding in whetstone

With the grinding wheel’s help, you can fix only the slope of the machine and sharpen the wood initially, but you cannot sharpen the wood properly. You have to rub the chisel or blade on the whetstone. Whetstone can be thick, medium, and fine and comprises two types of grains in a flat block.

  • Finish first by rubbing in coarse or medium grains and then in fine grains.
  • Hold the shield of the chisel or blade on the whetstone.
  • Hold the back so that its slope matches the plane of the rock.
  • Rub it in front-back or like 4 and keep it at a certain angle in all cases.
  • Rub the instrument along the maximum length of the stone.
  • If you rub it with small pulls, only the stone’s middle will erode and become a hole. 
  • The sharpening angle will be 30-35 degrees.

If the chisel’s angle is elevated during rubbing, its bevel will be damaged and gradually become round. In that case, the wood will not cut well. Soak the whetstone in water first and occasionally apply machine oil or mobil oil. The sharpened edge of the chisel cannot be heated if oiled. As a result, the temper is not damaged; it keeps the friction slippery, and dirt cannot get into the stone grains’ corners. If the whetstone is new and dry, soak it in water for 10-12 hours in the first situation, and you will get good results.

Hold the blade at a fixed and right angle during friction. Once the bevel has sharpened enough, turn the blade upside down and spread the surface evenly over the fine-grained surface of the stone, gently rubbing without raising. After rubbing the blade’s reverse side a few times, a fiber will come out like a skinny wire. When this fiber comes out, you can understand that the work of rubbing on the stone has been completed.

Step-03: Rubbing on leather or wood

In the last stage, keep rubbing on leather or wood. Pull the blade slightly back and forth at a 45-degree angle. You will see that the thin wire-like fiber has completely vanished, and the blade becomes as sharp as a razor.

Chisel and blade edge test:

Check the sharpness by lightly tapping the thumb on the edge of the chisel. If the blade’s sharpness is high and good, a rough sound will be felt on the fingers. The exact situation can be realized through experience. Be careful not to pull the blade sideways and pull along the sharpener to cut the finger.

Step-04: How to sharpen a pocket knife, auger bits, drill bits, countersank bit, saw

Both surfaces of the pocket knife are beveled, with a total of 25 degrees. You can sharpen on ordinary sandstone. Gauze is relatively difficult to sharpen. After first leveling and sharpening it on the grinding wheel, grind it very carefully and thoroughly on the whetstone. You will find a special-shaped whetstone in the market for sharpening gauze.

Auger bits must be polished by rubbing with an auger bit file or a special-shaped whetstone. Carefully honing the bevel of the bit, i.e., the lowest part of the spiral cutter and the nib, the sharp edge of the spiral part cuts the side of the wooden hole.

First, fix the lip angle (usually 60 degrees + 60 degrees) on the grinding wheel and then grind it on the grindstone to sharpen the drill bit.

Hold the drawknife with both hands and sharpen it by repeatedly pulling on the grinding stone. The angle of the sharp edge is usually 20 degrees + 20 degrees. If the corner is pulled, the entire length of the knife will be sharpened at once. Sharpen the countersank bit into a small mid-sized whetstone. The blades of the screwdriver are gradually narrowed and flattened. Grind the end flat and even surface, do not sharpen. Sharpening will cause the blade to slip off the screw and suddenly destroy the screw head.

It is challenging to sharpen a saw. Therefore, it is better to take the help of an experienced person. Constantly working with a saw destroys the teeth setting. Sawteeth are arranged to a certain size from left to right, and this is called setting. If you use too much, the saw teeth will be damaged, and the teeth’ height will be reduced. First, tie the saw upside down inside a vice and rub it with a flat file to equalize the teeth’ level.

Hold a long straight edge over the teeth to see if the height of the teeth is right. Then adjust the teeth’ setting, i.e., one to the right size, the other to the left. The setting means that the amount of right-left curvature must be the equal and correct size. To do this, use a tool called a saw set. Then grind each tooth with a 150-165 mm. (6″-7″) long triangular file carefully.

To sharpen teeth with a triangular file, keep the file at an angle of 80-90 degrees perpendicular for the rip saw and 60 degrees for the crosscut saw. In both cases, you should make the equal size of the teeth. You have to place the marking gauge’s pin in the gauge and sharpen it with a flat or half-round file.

Safety rules and care

After sharpening the machine and cutting the tool, protect it with special care. Ensure that the sharpened part does not come in contact with other metals or solids under any circumstances. Therefore, take special care when operating the wood equipment and keeping it inside the box at the end of the work. On the other hand, make sure that the sharp instrument does not cut off the user’s hand or any other body parts due to careless negligence.

Take care of all the files or planners that have been discussed for so long. Occasionally clean the iron chips that accumulate and get stuck inside the file with a file card or file brush. Do not use oil or grease on the file. Be careful not to rub against each other while using or keeping in the box.

If rust or dirt accumulates on a scale, tricycle, or other instruments, first clean it by rubbing with steel wood and applying a little oil.

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