There has probably been as much discussion of sharpening
methods on the OldTools list as there has been of almost any other subject. I
strongly disagree with those methods which require a large investment in time
I have developed a sharpening method that is quick, easy,
and cheap. I really believe that if you try this method you will never go back
to the old ways. I use a grinding wheel on a bench grinder, a diamond plate,
and a hard felt wheel. The picture story follows.
With the grinder off, and the tool resting on the tool rest,
look at the side of the grinding wheel and locate the position that you want to
grind the bevel at. If you are not experienced at grinding tools you should mark
a square line on the back of the chisel to guide you. I use a friable grinding wheel for my edge tools. These are
usually white, but I have seen pink ones.
Grasp the tool between your thumb and forefinger as shown
above. The forefinger rests against the bottom of the tool rest. Once you begin
grinding, never remove your finger from the tool. Move the tool from side to side as necessary for a nice
bevel all the way across the edge.
Even when you cool the tool away from the grinder do not
remove the finger from its position on the tool. This is how you go back to the
wheel and maintain the angle you started with.
When you have obtained the bevel you want, it is time to
hone the edge.
The backs on all my tools were flattened long ago, so I did
not get into doing that here. I will put up another tutorial on flattening the
backs of edge tools. When the tool has been sharpened this much, you can feel a
definite wire edge on the flat side.
Now it is time to go to the felt wheel. While the wheel is
turning I apply some compound to the surface. Just a little. Green compound
works just fine. Then I polish the cutting edge.
CAUTION! The wheel must turn away from you! If you try this
with the wheel turning the normal way, you are in for an unpleasant surprise.