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Thread: This Neander stuff is tough Chisel Sharpening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Vero Beach FL
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    This Neander stuff is tough Chisel Sharpening

    Hi everyone

    I have a set of my Dad's old chisels kicking around on a shelf in the shop, they are German, the label is diamond shape and says Wolfram-Vanadium Carantie around the perimeter, with the word "Bracht" in the center of the diamond.

    Anyway, I decided to "tune up" the set, now I"m not so sure! I just spent 3 hours on the first chisel. I have a 220 DMT diamond Whetstone and a Norton 4000/8000 water stone. I have an older version of the Veritas sharpening jig,

    This was a long hard slog, I couldn't get a mirror finish on the back, but it appears to be flat (uniform "polish" across the entire surface). The Veritas jig worked well on the bevel, and I was able to put a microbevel on very easily. When all is said and done, I can shave the hair on my arm with the chisel, now I should try it on some wood.

    I know that I'll "only have to flatten the back once" but I wonder if I"m doing something wrong to take this long. Six more to go! Wrists back and elbows are all a bit sore from all the stone work.

    Thanks for your help.

    Jay

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    KC, MO
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    2,038
    Jay,

    I tuned up a set of new Blue chip Marples and it took quite a while on the backs........by far the longest part of the process.

    I went the "Scary Sharp Method" on the chisel backs - figuring I'd ruin a good Norton before I could even cut the bevels... SO i used 150, 220, 320, maybe 600 too...........


    That Norton stone really cuts quick for the bevel - I agree!1

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Wake Forest, NC
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    I am by no means an expert, but IMHO would say you jumped too far and fast in grits. Should have went to 1000 before jumping to 4000. I don't have the veritas jig, but I have quit using any jig and gone to doing it by hand as I seem to have better control and am able to get it sharp quicker.

  4. #4
    "Wolfram-Vanadium" is tungsten-vanadium very similar to our chrome-vanadium mechanic's tools.

    I've had chisels made of it before I gave them away....the nastiest, gummiest mess to sharpen I can think of. Hope yours take an edge.

    I don't hand lap backs....I use the belt sander with 150 grit first.

    “Perhaps then, you will say, ‘But where can one have a boat like that built today?’ And I will tell you that there are still some honest men who can sharpen a saw, plane, or adze...men (who) live and work in out of the way places, but that is lucky, for they can acquire materials for one third of city prices. Best, some of these gentlemen’s boatshops are in places where nothing but the occasional honk of a wild goose will distract them from their work.” -- L Francis Herreshoff

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I don't hand lap backs....I use the belt sander with 150 grit first.

    [/QUOTE]

    Bob

    Thanks for the information on the chisel's metallurgy, so far so good on taking an edge.

    Now about that belt sander! More detail please! I see WD40 and a plastic tub. Do you use the WD40 as a lube on the belt? I assume the tub has water to keep the chisel cool.

    Thanks again for your help

    Jay

  6. #6
    Do whatever you have to do to keep the edge from turning blue. Water and WD-40 both work.

    Until you get some practice at it, a helper spraying water on the edge while you grind will prevent you from losing your index every time the chisel needs to be dipped in water. Watch the beads of water near the edge....when they boil, more water is required.

    After you grind the back flat, grind the primary bevel before switching to the stones to lap the back and hone in a secondary bevel, alternating front and back as you take off a thin wire edge with each sequence. Then strop it on the buffer, and you are done.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 12-20-2005 at 8:07 PM.
    “Perhaps then, you will say, ‘But where can one have a boat like that built today?’ And I will tell you that there are still some honest men who can sharpen a saw, plane, or adze...men (who) live and work in out of the way places, but that is lucky, for they can acquire materials for one third of city prices. Best, some of these gentlemen’s boatshops are in places where nothing but the occasional honk of a wild goose will distract them from their work.” -- L Francis Herreshoff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Re: This Neander stuff is tough

    Hi all, first post - great site.

    Using a belt sander sounds like the best approach. I don't have one, and I've found 220 grit is too high to start, even (or especially) with a diamond stone. If you don't have the sander handy, try 100 grit aluminum oxide sandpaper. Then move up to the 220, and as someone above mentioned don't jump increments too much.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa
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    Jay,
    My guess, from experience but still just a guess, is that your Dad used an oil stone for his sharpening, and it had a belly in it. I have found that to be true on a lot of old iron. The result was that the back has a curve from the belly in the stone, which must be removed. It is a hard slog. I have used a belt sander also, with 120 grit zirconia alumina grit, which is I think more used for metal work, and lasts a long time. It will remove a lot of metal pretty quickly, but is not accurate enough, IMHO, to get a truly flat back, but still is a good way to start. My other comment is the DMT stone. If I understand it correctly, the DMT is a polycrysteline (sp) stone, while the Norton 220 grip diamond stone, is monocrystiline (alt. sp), which cuts a ton faster. I have worn out a Norton stone over the past several years recovering old iron, and need a new one, so lately have been using granite and abrasives, esp the drywall screen since the swarf falls between the grid and thus doesn't cause the re-rounding that can happen on just plain old flat paper. I can't comment on the metal, but 220 to 4000 is a pretty big jump. A 1000 in there might help with the polish as 4000 does not remove a lot of metal. I go 220-1000-5000-8000, generally.
    Alan Turner
    Philadelphia Furniture Workshop

  9. #9
    jay,i too start with the belt sander. i use worn out belts from sanding, they`ll still grind metal just fine. when done as metal grinders save them for lathe work. only after i`ve torn them into strips and wrapped them around spinning wood do i pitch `em........you know what they say about poor folks having poor ways? 02 tod

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Mid Great Lakes
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    I've tried many different methods for lapping with belt sanders being right in there. I've used both a stationary 6"X48" belt sander along with a portable belt sander like Mr. Smalser.

    All together, I found a belt sander good for hogging of material quickly with the right grit and for establishing a bevel. However, I wouldn't use a belt sander if I wanted something to be very flat. There are too many variables with the flatness of the platen, the leaf spring (on some models), and with the belt moving side to side as it get warm, stretches, and starts to track differently. But I do have a cheap belt sander that I use for site work to sharpen chisels, scrapers, and putty knives. It works great.

    The first portable belt sander I tried using was a heavy 4"X24" commercial model. I made a cradle for it as it kept getting lose from the vibration no matter how I tried to clamp it. But more importantly, be sure to remove the dust bag so you don't get any suprises from the sparks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
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    Thanks

    Thanks everyone for all the help and support.

    Guess I'll buy some more stones to fill the gap between the diamond stone and the nortons

    I tried the belt sander, it helped a lot in getting me further along, I just won't depend upon it entirely to get things flat

    Jay

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Harper
    However, I wouldn't use a belt sander if I wanted something to be very flat.
    I didn't say they don't have to be finished by hand on the stones.

    Helps a lot to use a bluing or indexing fluid to insure you have those backs dead flat down near the edge where it counts. Any hollows and bumps higher up on the blade will be flattened out in further sharpenings. You can still get good service out of severely pitted chisels using the belt sander.

    “Perhaps then, you will say, ‘But where can one have a boat like that built today?’ And I will tell you that there are still some honest men who can sharpen a saw, plane, or adze...men (who) live and work in out of the way places, but that is lucky, for they can acquire materials for one third of city prices. Best, some of these gentlemen’s boatshops are in places where nothing but the occasional honk of a wild goose will distract them from their work.” -- L Francis Herreshoff

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    243

    Drywall screen, eh?

    I'll have to try that.

    BTW the DMT site says all their stones are monocrystalline.

    No connection with DMT, not even that satisfied of a customer.

    This whole thread reminds me of the immortal words of Al Bundy - "ain't no mixup a sander can't fixup".

  14. #14
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    Sep 2005
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    Mid Great Lakes
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    Please don't think I was implying that I'm right and anyone else who disagrees with me is wrong. Bottom line is if it works for you, it works, right?

    BTW, Bob, what grit belt do you use? Just so you know, I my favorite stone is the prettiest translucent Arkansas you ever saw.

    On the DMT stones. I had bought one from Home Depot, the red one, 6" long, and found it to have a slight cup along the length. What was I supposed to do with that? Lap it? So I sent it to DMT and they sent it back saying it was within spec. I use it for sharpening some carbide bit, it works fine.

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