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Chisel Factory Bevels (Read 2220 times)
Don_Orgeman
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Chisel Factory Bevels
Apr 23rd, 2009 at 7:45am
 
Hey Ukers --

Over the last couple of days I have been playing around with sharpening my chisels using the Scary Sharp method (glass plate and sandpaper).  I would set my honing guide to match the factory bevel on the chisel and polish the bevel edge using the sandpaper. After that was done I would raise the bevel by about 5 degrees and hone a micro-bevel.  This improved the sharpness of the chisels.

Today I was playing around and decided to check the factory bevel angle of my chisels using a Wixey digital angle guage.  I was surprised to find that my Nicholson 1/2 inch chisel and rasp combination had a factory bevel of 30 degrees and my Craftsman chisel set had a factory bevel angle of 40 degrees.

I thought a factory bevel angle of 25 degrees was standard and you then honed a micro-bevel of 30 degrees to keep a sharp edge.  I looked through a few major tool catalogs and none of them list the factory bevel angle for their chisels.

As a test I flattened the factory bevel angle on my Craftsman 1/2 inch chisel to 25 degrees using 80 grit self adhesive sandpaper on my table saw top, polished the new surface through 2000 grit, reset the honing guide for a 30 degree micro-bevel, and honed and polished the micro-bevel.  It could just be the work I put into changing the chisel, but is seems to cut a lot easier with the new bevel.

So, here's the question:

What factory bevel angle are you finding on your chisels, and who makes the best chisels particularly for the difficult task of carving a neck heel block

Don
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ukrazy
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Re: Chisel Factory Bevels
Reply #1 - Apr 23rd, 2009 at 8:49am
 
I just got a new "Footprint brand" chisel, and on the package it says to grind it to 25 deg. and hone it to 35 deg. I haven't noticed any difference from my old 25/30 chisels.
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konacat
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Re: Chisel Factory Bevels
Reply #2 - Apr 23rd, 2009 at 12:47pm
 
Don,

I have a boxed set of 6 Irwin/Marples chisels and they use 25/30 also. I have been pleased using the scary sharp method and have found it simple to use. A sharp tool is easier and safer to use.

One of the members from the OLF made a foldable wooden case to hold their scary sharp system. Very nice and self contained. You just open wooden box and all the glass and sand paper are in place and ready to go.

Here is a video showing the scary sharp system but please note the example is a single bevel.

http://www.woodsmith.com/issues/165/videos/sandpaper-sharpening/

I couldn't find a photo of the case I had mentioned but did find a different one that will work. http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10102&t=10234&hilit=scary+sha...

Enjoy!

Philip
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Don_Orgeman
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Re: Chisel Factory Bevels
Reply #3 - Apr 23rd, 2009 at 3:18pm
 
Philip:

The folding box is a neat idea.  I bought the Rockler system with a 12 X 12 glass plate and rubber feet.  Using a suggestion from the comment section, I mounted the course paper (220, 320, 400, 600) on one side of the glass and fine paper (800, 1200, 1500, 2000) on the other.  Rubber feet in the corners and center keep the paper off the bench and support the glass plate.  A storage box for the glass plus the honing guide and extra sandpaper is a great idea for protecting the glass and keeping everything together.

I am surprised that Craftsman's highest quality chisel set has such a poor bevel angle.  I guess it pays to invest in better quality tools when buying chisels.  I may have the rest of my set reground to a 25 degree angle.

Don
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