Author Topic: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone  (Read 1488 times)

Offline Chet K

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Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« on: March 11, 2021, 04:19:02 am »
Hi, I am new to the forum and the Tormek T-8. 

I am a hobbyist woodworker and have been sharpening my chisels and plane irons by hand.  I am starting to get some minor arthritis in my hands that is making it hard to keep a good and even working motion on the stones.  This is the reason I decided to try the Tormek system.  So far I am extremely impressed with the results.  I haven't tried any plane irons yet but my set of chisels are in better shape then they have been in a year or so.

Now that I am happy with how the Tormek is working for me, my long term thinking is that once I have all my tools back in good shape I was going to purchase the Japanese Waterstone and put that on the Tormek as my primary way of touching up my tools as needed.   Keeping the stock wheel on standby for when I get something that is nicked up and need moree attention. Is there any flaws in my thinking?  Are there things I am unaware of that make this a bad idea.

Thanks for your help.
~Chet

Offline Ken S

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Re: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2021, 03:30:10 pm »
Welcome to the forum, Chet.

Your story is very familiar to me. In 2009, I attended a weekend class in handcut dovetails. Being no longer young, but not quite wise, I decided this would be a good time to purchase the new set of chisels I had been wanting. I foolishly wanted the full set and very foolishly thought I would prep them for the class. Needless to say, after several days of flattening backs and sharpening bevels, my hands were quite sore.

The instructor, Ernie Conover, is an expert and a trusted friend. After a long conversation, I decided to purchase a Tormek. My hands have thanked me ever since. (Incidentally, I later gave that set of chisels to my nephew. A few of the larger sizes still had the original factory unpolished backs. I learned the value of having only a few carefully chosen sizes of chisels.)

Regarding your question: In my opinion, too many new users jump to the 4000 grit grinding wheel too quickly without really mastering the standard SG. We rely too much on grit numbers which do not tell the full story. For example: "220 grit". Supposedly, this is the grit obtained by using the coarse side of the stone grader. However, it is nowhere near as coarse as the grit from using the TT-50 truing tool. Neither of these cuts as quickly as the 360 grit of the coarse Tormek diamond wheel. On the fine side, try using the stone grader for a longer than recommended time. The stone finish feels noticeably smoother to me than with the recommended shorter time. Is the "grit size" finer, or are the grits just duller? I don't know. The best way to answer that is by sharpening chisels and comparing.

What about "600 grit"? Although Tormek would have us believe a simplified two grit "digital" reality of 220 and 1000, the stone grader is really an analog tool quite capable of producing a range of "grit sizes". 600 grit is just a middle coarseness.

I think of the stone grader as "more coarse." and "more fine" without any arbitrary numbers. This is not meant as a criticism. The stone grader, or some of the newer diamond tools are very useful. I just don't need the crutch numbers carried over from bench stones.

One trick I learned from Tormek is to finish each stage of sharpening with some light passes. This will produce a noticeably lighter scratch pattern. My friend at Tormek also uses more pressure during the initial stages of the process and more compound with the leather honing wheel. His chisels are very sharp. He speaks very well of the 4000 grit wheel, although, I have never seen him use one while traveling.

My advice would be to return to the SG graded fine when you first notice your chisel dulling. Your senses will tell you that. Your curiosity may get the better of you eventually and you may purchase an SJ. The SJ is really a polishing stone, designed for the ultimate edge rather than removing steel. Just be sure you have squeezed att the juice from the SG before making the investment.

Do keep us posted.

Ken

PS One of our members has wisely stated that "The fastest reload is a second gun". In Tormek terms dor dovetailing, the fastest sharpening is having a second already sharpened chisel!

Offline Chet K

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Re: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2021, 05:45:09 pm »
Thanks for the response Ken. 

Yea, it wasn't my plan to rush out for the SJ stone, I to make sure I am getting consistent results with what I have.  I think if you add to much to the mix during the learning process, when things go incorrectly it can be had to sift through things to find the problem.

The other thing that will slow the addition of the SJ is the $$$  :)

Offline Ken S

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Re: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2021, 09:02:18 pm »
Chet,
I had (have) the impression that you were a level headed guy. It's a lucky thing that I am not a commission based grinding wheel salesman for Tormek!
Ken

Offline RichColvin

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Re: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2021, 12:37:57 am »
Chet,

I suggest you look at the process as separate steps:
  • Shaping the tool’s edge (rarely done)
  • Sharpening the tool
  • Honing the tool (done often)
This is graphically shown on this page in the Sharpening Handbook:  https://sharpeninghandbook.info/Info-WoodCarvingTools.html.

Looking at it that way, the question is what do you use for honing the tool?  There are a number of options.  The SJ grindstone is one very good option; the leather wheel is another.

If you get to the point where you want to go beyond what the leather wheel can provide, the SJ grindstone is a very good next step. 

Kind regards,
Rich
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Rich Colvin
www.SharpeningHandbook.info - a reference guide for sharpening

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.

Offline Chet K

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Re: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2021, 05:16:55 am »
This brings up another question.  The leather wheel is something else that is completely new to me.  I think so far I am having success using it but what is its purpose?

 Can you use it totally wrong and undo what you did on the stone wheel?

How do you know when to add more compound or oil

Offline Ken S

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Re: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2021, 05:36:40 am »
Chet,
I just found this chisel technique video:

https://youtu.be/73Neq8EoQdY

Have you seen the Tormek online class on chisels and planes? It discusses how to position the chisel when using the leather honing wheel to avoid rounding the edge.

Generally, it is not necessary to reoil the leather honing wheel after the initial break in.

Ken

Offline RichColvin

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Re: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2021, 11:44:35 pm »
This brings up another question.  The leather wheel is something else that is completely new to me.  I think so far I am having success using it but what is its purpose?

 Can you use it totally wrong and undo what you did on the stone wheel?

How do you know when to add more compound or oil


You can do it wrongly.  Watch the videos on YouTube from Tormek.
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Rich Colvin
www.SharpeningHandbook.info - a reference guide for sharpening

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.

Offline WimSpi

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Re: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2021, 10:05:11 pm »
As a carpenter, I now use the Tormek only for correcting the bevel of the chisel.  Sometimes a piece does snap out, or I have to sharpen the chisel to a different angle. When that's done I use a flat whetstone to remove the burr.
With a chisel, it is very important to keep the back of a chisel cleanly flat.  Deburring is therefore not possible with Tormek's round stones.  The bevel of the chisel can be done on the Tormek. This is similar to a knife.

But because you are always alternating both sides, this combination is not useful. The entire deburring process is therefore done on two flat whetstones.

Use a flat whetstone (2000 grid, diamond) and then a 6000 grid (as a Dutchman I use the famous Belgian whetstone from the Ardennes. But a Japanese stone can also be used). It is important that the stone remains flat.  So you must use the entire surface of the stone. Diamond whetstones always remain flat.

All carpenters in the Netherlands learned deburring by hand. That is difficult to explain. You hold the chisel still and the stone turns over the chisel. But it might be better to lay the stones flat on the workbench. Paul Sellers does have a good video on that about sharpening chisels (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6ykVzL2VAM&ab_channel=PaulSellers)

I don't use a micro bevel. That encourages inaccurate sharpening. I do regularly sharpen on the whetstone.
My chisels are always quick (razor)sharp with this method of sharpening.

(I hope the translation is readable)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 05:11:41 pm by WimSpi »

Offline tgbto

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Re: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2021, 04:02:22 pm »
Quote
Deburring is therefore not possible with Tormek's round stones

I've recently done the entire set of chisels of a friend. I did it exclusively on the extra-fine diamond wheel, The chisel face on the vertical usb and the back on the side of the wheel, freehand. It seemed to come out sharp.

Cheers,

Nick.


Offline EllyStF

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Re: Maintaining Chisels with Japanese Waterstone
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2021, 11:13:37 am »
Hi, I am new to the forum and the Tormek T-8. 

I am a hobbyist woodworker and have been sharpening my chisels and plane irons by hand.  I am starting to get some minor arthritis in my hands that is making it hard to keep a good and even working motion on the stones.  This is the reason I decided to try the Tormek system.  So far I am extremely impressed with the results.  I haven't tried any plane irons yet but my set of chisels are in better shape then they have been in a year or so.

Now that I am happy with how the Tormek is working for me, my long term thinking is that once I have all my tools back in good shape I was going to purchase the Japanese Waterstone and put that on the Tormek as my primary way of touching up my tools as needed.   Keeping the stock wheel on standby for when I get something that is nicked up and need moree attention. Is there any flaws in my thinking?  Are there things I am unaware of that make this a bad idea.   

Thanks for your help.
~Chet
Got arthritis also. Take care, pal! And don't do it with your hands. Never. Anymore, just trust me. Glad, that you know what to do
Best wishes