Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Scary Sharp" vs. Dull Chisel

 For Christmas I received a bunch of sandpaper so I could create my own "Scary Sharp" sharpening system. This system basically replaces expensive waterstones with much cheaper sandpaper. Unlike water and oil stones, this system doesn't require periodic flattening, because the sandpaper is adhered to a sheet of 1/4 plate glass or granite slab, which are pretty much wear-proof. 
  To use you simply stick the various grits of wet/dry sandpaper to the glass, either by using adhesive backed sandpaper or adhesive spray. The grits usually range from between 80 to 2000.  To start you wet the paper lightly and using a angle guide (or without if your really brave) move the chisel in a firm consistent back and forth motion trying to use all of the paper evenly. After awhile, you'll begin to feel a small wire edge on the back of the chisel. When you feel this edge along the entire back of the chisel, it's time to start honing the back of the chisel. Do this until the wire edge is gone.  I usually do this twice on the coarser grits. Repeat the process of "honing the bevel edge until you feel a wire edge on the back then hone the back until it's gone" for all the rest of the grits. I will sometimes do it twice on a certain grit if I think it needs it. Let's skip to some pictures to help explain.

Glass plates with different grits marked by labels.

Rusty back of dull chisel. Cutting edge is chipped and rusty.

Bevel edge looks pretty sad.
Edge not square and chipped.
There's a little gap in the photos here, but all I did was square the edge on a grinder and then hone the bevel edge until I felt a wire edge on the back, which is what this picture demonstrates.
After I went through all the different grits, I had a nice mirror polish on the back of the chisel. I only honed the first inch or so which is really all that needs to be.
Voila! It shaved a nice thin shaving off my Sharpie! I'm pleased with that! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Groz No. 4 Bench Plane

Santa Clause Rocks! Look what he brought me for Christmas!

Actually, as you might have guessed, this wasn't a gift from Santa. I was given this by my Mom and Dad. It's a Groz #4 Bench Plane from Woodcraft. I've been needing a hand plane for awhile now so I was very pleased to find this under the Christmas tree Sunday morning.
     It came already honed to the proper bevel and they also offered a $3 sharpening service. When I took it to the shop later that morning, it cut like a breeze! Nothing's better than the feelings of paper thin shavings piling up on your shop floor. I also received a "Scary Sharp" sandpaper sharpening set which I hope to put to use soon to further sharpen this and to finally sharpen all my dull chisels!
    Well this isn't a top of the line plane, it definitely worked quite well and for the price ($16 on sale, $30 regularly) it can't be beat!

My sister-in-law also gave me a bunch of nice router bits! Isn't she the best?!

She also gave me this nice keyhole bit. It's used to make those handy slots on the back of picture frames and plaques so you can hang them on the wall. It ought to be a handy addition to my shop.

I can't wait to put these to good use in my shop! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! God Bless!