Author Topic: Chisel strategies  (Read 2853 times)

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Online ear3

  • Posts: 3293
Chisel strategies
« on: May 20, 2017, 03:41 PM »
I just realized that I have to raise the angle on my Narex bench chisels if I want to do anything other than paring.  Rolled the edge on several chisels, which are all currently sharpened at 25 degrees primary bevel (with a Veritas MKII induced microbevel), while I was squaring the corner in a 1/2" deep rabbet in white oak.

I'm just trying to figure out now whether I should raise the angle on all the chisels to 30 degrees or more, or whether it might make sense to get a second set of chisels so that I have one for chopping mortises and other tasks that involve working against end grain, and another reserved for paring and shaving work that I would keep at 25 degrees.

Just curious -- for those of you who keep your chisels at a more obtuse angle (30 degrees+), do you shape the whole primary bevel at that angle, or just a smaller secondary bevel?  If the latter, how much of the blade do you have to sharpen at the higher angle for it to be effective (1/16"? 1/8"?  more?)

If I get another set of chisels, I will probably go for something better than the Narex.  Do you think it's better to have the higher end chisels for paring work or for chopping mortises and other heavy duty action? 
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Online tony_sheehan

  • Posts: 101
Re: Chisel strategies
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2017, 03:48 PM »
When faced with the same situation, I opted for a set of Japanese chisels. I find you can pretty much hammer the cr*p out of them if necessary and they retain their edge for a very long time

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 143
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Chisel strategies
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 11:43 PM »
I have a couple of different sets of chisels: Koyamaichi for dovetailing in very hard woods, Veritas PM-V11 and O1 (I was one of the testers for Lee Valley, hence ended up with both), vintage Stanley 750 (which is high carbon steel), and Blue Spruce in A2, which were the chisels that got me thinking about the bevel angle of bench chisels.

The point of bench chisels is that they are all rounders and more often used with a mallet (or gennou). They have to cope with impact, which places much stress on an edge. The short answer is that I bevel all my bench chisels at 30 degrees. You would not wish to use A2 steel below this with chisels, and Japanese white steel, which gets sharper than anything else, also needs to be 30 degrees .... so where is the advantage in going lower? Just keep your bench chisels sharp.

For paring I use Japanase slicks (Kiyohesa), which are at 25 degrees. But that is another story.

You may be interested in this article I wrote comparing the different steels in bench chisels:

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/FourChiselSteelsCompared.html

The chisels used were the Veritas PM-V11, vintage (not the new versions) Stanley #750 (which is a HCS similar to O1, but I am unsure of the specific type), Koyamaichi white steel, and Blue Spruce A2.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1720
Re: Chisel strategies
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2017, 02:35 AM »
Right now, all my chisels are sharpened with a primary bevel of 30 degrees; then a secondary bevel of about 2 or so degrees more. I took a class from a well-known woodworker/hand tool expert on sharpening and he informed the class that he sharpens all his tools at about that angel; give or take a degree or two; anywhere close to 30. After that, I just decided that there was no advantage to a lesser angle. For low angle planes, I do sharpen at whatever the original angle was (25 degrees), but my chisels all now get the same angle. I haven't really noticed that paring is a problem at that angle. The most important thing is that they are sharp.
Randy

Online ear3

  • Posts: 3293
Re: Chisel strategies
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2017, 05:49 AM »
Thanks @derekcohen and @grbmds .  Looks like it's time to break out the xtra coarse stone and reset the bevel.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • DX 93 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1720
Re: Chisel strategies
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2017, 02:46 PM »
@Edward A Reno III  Here is a link to a Popular Woodworking article or blog from Christopher Schwarz which provides his sharpening philosophy for chisel and plane iron angles:

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/woodworking-blogs/chris-schwarz-blog/about-my-love-of-35

I feel there are reasons to sharpen low angle plane blades at 25 degrees, since that is what they were sharpened at whey purchased. However, I don't see any real need to sharpen chisels and other plane blades at anything buy one single angle, with a secondary bevel 2 degrees. If Christopher Schwarz does it, I guess it's good enough for me. Anyway, the most important thing seems to be that the tools are as sharp as you can get them.
Randy

Online ear3

  • Posts: 3293
Re: Chisel strategies
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2017, 04:18 PM »
Thanks @grbmds
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • DX 93 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 553
Re: Chisel strategies
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 11:27 PM »
I just sharpened a set of PMV-11 chisels a couple of months ago.  At first I started with the 25 degree bevel and made the microbevel 27 degrees.  Then I read a writeup from @derekcohen and changed the microbevel to 30 degrees.  When I'm ready to regrind, I'll regrind to something just less than 30 degrees and continue with the 30 degree microbevel - seems to work well.

Offline Mismarked

  • Posts: 120
Re: Chisel strategies
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2017, 05:24 PM »
@derekcohen
Are you currently hollow grinding your chisels at 30 degrees on the wheel, and then doing the sideways freehand sharpening on the stones for a microbevel at the same 30 degrees?  I think I read that in one of your articles, but I know you have updated your techniques over time.
  The reason I ask is that I bought a Tormek a few weeks ago but have not had time to try it out and have no experience with hollow grinding.
   I have a set of the lower priced Fujikawas that I initially ground at a straight 25 degree bevel with no microbevel, and one in particular kept chipping.  I thought it was maybe my lack of skill, but I am going to try using the Tormek and change to the 30 degrees and see if it helps.  I also recently purchased a few of the Veritas chisels and want to try and get it figured out before doing anything to them.  I do have a few Home Depot buck brothers and will probably practice on those first.

Online ear3

  • Posts: 3293
Re: Chisel strategies
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 06:34 PM »
Buck Brothers!  I still have a couple of those for when I do site work and have to do something stupid and ill advised.  And a Buck Brothers plane blade was also how I first started practicing my sharpening skills...Those blades are thin enough to be cabinet shims.

@derekcohen
Are you currently hollow grinding your chisels at 30 degrees on the wheel, and then doing the sideways freehand sharpening on the stones for a microbevel at the same 30 degrees?  I think I read that in one of your articles, but I know you have updated your techniques over time.
  The reason I ask is that I bought a Tormek a few weeks ago but have not had time to try it out and have no experience with hollow grinding.
   I have a set of the lower priced Fujikawas that I initially ground at a straight 25 degree bevel with no microbevel, and one in particular kept chipping.  I thought it was maybe my lack of skill, but I am going to try using the Tormek and change to the 30 degrees and see if it helps.  I also recently purchased a few of the Veritas chisels and want to try and get it figured out before doing anything to them.  I do have a few Home Depot buck brothers and will probably practice on those first.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • DX 93 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 143
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Chisel strategies
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2017, 12:24 AM »
Buck Brothers!  I still have a couple of those for when I do site work and have to do something stupid and ill advised.  And a Buck Brothers plane blade was also how I first started practicing my sharpening skills...Those blades are thin enough to be cabinet shims.

@derekcohen
Are you currently hollow grinding your chisels at 30 degrees on the wheel, and then doing the sideways freehand sharpening on the stones for a microbevel at the same 30 degrees?  I think I read that in one of your articles, but I know you have updated your techniques over time.
  The reason I ask is that I bought a Tormek a few weeks ago but have not had time to try it out and have no experience with hollow grinding.
   I have a set of the lower priced Fujikawas that I initially ground at a straight 25 degree bevel with no microbevel, and one in particular kept chipping.  I thought it was maybe my lack of skill, but I am going to try using the Tormek and change to the 30 degrees and see if it helps.  I also recently purchased a few of the Veritas chisels and want to try and get it figured out before doing anything to them.  I do have a few Home Depot buck brothers and will probably practice on those first.

I hollow grind all chisels at 30 degrees, and then freehand sharpen on the hollow.

Sharpening any bench chisel at 25 degrees - especially Japanese bench chisels - is asking for a chipped edge when the chisel is used with a mallet. Japanese bench chisels are designed to be hit with a gennou. The impact placed more stress on the blade edge than paring with hand pressure.

Although some frown on the practice of hollow grinding a Japanese chisel, I do this all the time with the Tormek. The wet grind prevents damage to the hard steel, and I have not had any chipping result (as long as the edge is 30 degrees - more if hammering into very hard wood).

Regards from Perth

Derek