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Thread: Grinding the bevel on a bench chisel

  1. #1

    Question Grinding the bevel on a bench chisel

    I purchased some Crown bench chisels from various different sellers on ebay. A couple of them have a different primary bevel angle than all the others. I want to grind the bevel on these two to match the others, but I'm coming up short on figuring out how to set up the grinder to do that. Most of the videos I've found assume that you're regrinding the bevel to the same angle that it already has. Any advice?

  2. #2
    Set up the grinder to grind one of the bevels you like, then grind the ones that you don't like.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    306
    Use one of the "good" chisels to set up your grinder for the desired angle, then grind the other two.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Boston
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    1,204
    If one of the chisels has the bevel where you want it use it as a guide. If not, cut the desired on scrap to mimic a chisel and use it to set the angle.
    Don

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,245
    Where do you live? Another creeker may be willing to give you a hand with that..... for example, do you live near Columbus Ohio? I have a Tormek, which will allow me to set the angle..... That said, if you cut a piece of wood to the angle that you desire, you can use that to set things properly. Sounds like you already have some chisels that are set for that, however.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Vermont
    Posts
    2,290
    Lee Valley, and I believe others, hone with a slightly higher bevel angle on their smaller chisels. I believe the reasoning is that if you apply the same force to the chisel (that is, you whack the end of the handle with the same blow regardless of size of the chisel's blade) that force is concentrated on a smaller area in the smaller tools, so using a slightly higher angle helps counteract increased wear. Whether this makes any difference in practice, I don't know - regardless, as long as the edge doesn't wear by chipping, the worst case is you need to strop or sharpen more, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

    If you want the same bevel angle on every tool, as others have said, setting up the grinder with a chisel who's bevel you like is a good way to go. If the blades are not similar thickness, it may effect things, over course.

    I don't worry as much as I should about the exact angle, rather whether I want to grind something more acutely or with a steeper angle - I simply touch the tool to the grindstone, and look for a setup that puts the grinder marks closer to the cutting edge or the top of the tool, depending on which way I want to move.

    Ah - here's Lee Valley's quote on the bevel angles:

    Our bench chisels less than 1/2" wide have a primary bevel of 30, with a micro-bevel of 32; they generally require a steeper bevel angle because the narrower blade edge is subject to more concentration of force when driven by a mallet. Chisels 1/2" and wider have a primary bevel of 25, with a micro-bevel of 27, delivering a good balance between edge retention and cutting action.
    " Be willing to make mistakes in your basements, garages, apartments and palaces. I have made many. Your first attempts may be poor. They will not be futile. " - M.S. Bickford, Mouldings In Practice

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    9,821
    Not having a grinder, my primary way to change a bevel angle is to attach it to a guide, easy to make or cheap to buy, and rebevel it on some #80 sand paper.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  8. #8
    Thanks guys. I guess I'll set up with one of the reference chisels and match it that way.

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