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How To Sharpen Carving Chisels And Corner Chisels

I want to show you my technique for how to sharpen carving chisels and corner chisels. I’ve had these tools for years but I didn’t use them as often as I wanted because they used to be difficult to sharpen. Consequently they were never ready when I needed to use them. But they are now.

Sharpening is really machining.

By that I mean it’s a controlled material-removal process. It is impossible for the human hand to hold a tool at a precise cutting angle to produce a perfect facet. You can see Wikipedia’s definition here: “Machining is any of various processes in which a piece of raw material is cut into a desired final shape and size by a controlled material-removal process.”

Prior to the Ultimate Sharpening Jig the ONLY way to sharpen these types of tools was by free hand sharpening. The Ultimate Sharpening Jig has such versatility that by using various shims and wedges you can secure corner chisels, carving chisels or just about any shaped tool for sharpening.

How To Sharpen Carving Chisels and Corner Chsels
Sharpening a 90 Degree Corner Chisel using the Ultimate Sharpening Jig

In the demo video below I show how to sharpen carving chisels and corner chisels using The Ultimate Sharpening Jig.

 

I haven’t done much carving but I like to use the V-Carving Chisel (105 degrees exterior bevel) to clean corners and confined spaces of joinery. My V-Carving Chisel is a Two Cherries brand, made in Germany, the steel is 62rc and is amazingly hard and had been difficult to sharpen prior to using the jig. You gotta love German steel!

The  90 Degree Corner Chisel (interior bevel) is really handy for squaring mortise corners after routing. I’ve had this Hirsch Werkzeuge corner chisel for over 20 years but rarely ever used it because it was never sharp. Now I’m using it all the time and it’s wicked sharp.

how-to-sharpeng-a-carving-chisel

Here is my supply list for this sharpening/machining process as seen in the video.

  • 2 Two-sided DMT Diamond Stones 2×6″, Extra Fine/Fine and Extra Course/Course
  • Simple Green
  • Spray Bottle
  • Spring Clamps (To hold DMT stones and Stone holder)
  • The Ultimate Sharpening Jig
  • Granite Counter Top Drop (used for flat work surface)
  • Scrap Wood Shims/Wedges

NOTE:  I stacked the two DMT stones together for better tool access to the bevel. You don’t have to stack two stones you can use anything as a riser.

90-Degree-Chisel-Sharpening

No matter how steady you think your hand is, it’s impossible to equal the precision of a secure jig. Once you get your tool secure you are creating a machined edge. For years I thought the best jig out there was the General Sharpening Jig. In fact I did the Complete Sharpening Series on YouTube (48 videos) back in 2010. It had numerous issues with it though, and that’s why I invented The Ultimate Sharpening Jig. It solved all the problems I was having with the plastic General Sharpening Jig and then some. Everything I showed in the Complete Sharpening Series still holds true with the except of the General Sharpening Jig. If you follow the instructions and use the Ultimate Sharpening Jig it will turbo charge the entire process to warp speed.
Ultimate-Sharpening-Jig-90-Chisel

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