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Sharpening 4-5


| 23 February 2024 08:56

Ajit - Yes, these stones are no unfortunately longer in production - they were a small item on Norton's huge inventory and they did some economic streamlining.

This means we are back to where I began: buying what slipstones you can find and modifying them (we have a workshop on that). They will invariably be the tapered sort and not actually designed for especially for woodcarvers.
Get searching online and invest in as many as you can (Carborundum and translucent Arkansas) that look suitable and if necessary change their shape.

| 23 February 2024 01:30

Hi Chris: Apparently, the Norton stones are no longer being manufactured. Can you recommend alternatives? Thanks!

| 20 January 2014 08:22

Lars - No one has ever asked me that before! So, putting on my thinking hat... Sure, no doubt you could do that in terms of the abrasive/'grit' side of the matter but, remember 2 things: 1. You strop both outside AND inside of the gouge, and 2. The rule is: whatever abrasive you use on one side of the edge, you match on the other. So of course you'd want some Black Arkansas sliptones - actually hen's teeth work just as well and are probably easier to find! Then of course there is the relative... And, lastly, bench stropping is very quick do; you could probably have stropped your gouge and be back at work by the time you've got the oil can out for the Black Arkansas stone.

| 19 January 2014 21:04

Chris I've been reading a lot about stropping and everybody has a different idea in how and how often to strop, I've also read things like "Black Arkansas is so fine, it's more like trying to sharpen on a strop" in more than one place, Why not use the Black Arkansas as a strop?

| 05 September 2013 18:04

Robert - You can certainly just add the inside bevel without doing the full squaring back to the white line routine. Try it with just one of the tools first and see how you get on.; it's not easy to keep the edge square. And do check again for that low cutting angle.

| 03 September 2013 00:35

I have new tools that have perfect corners, are sharp, straight across, correct outside bevels, but they do not have the inside bevel. Do I need to go through all the steps of sharpening to add the inside bevel or can I just add the inside bevel to the tool as it is now?

| 30 July 2013 14:28

Graham - Machines for the early 'shaping' part of the process are easy to find - all those grinders you mention. Finding the right one for the final 'sharpening' is another matter. My problem is that the machine I use is both no longer available and one I modified anyway, and I've yet to find something as good on the market to recommend. It's an important subject and I want to address it on the site. At the end of the day, the machine needs to preserve that essential configuration of a correctly sharpened gouge - low outside and included inside bevels etc, (see Downloads > Notes on Sharpening). It's been a struggle to do that with what's available. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you use, hand or power, it's that sharp profile that you want. Sorry not to be more help. I WILL deal with power sharpening as soon as I can.

| 26 July 2013 15:42

Hi Chris,
Have you any preferences regarding power sharpening options (to be used as per your video and as per your sharpening recommendations). I guess the options are: bench grinders - 6" or 8" - slow speed preferred; waterstone grinders such as those by Tormek; and abrasive-belt tools such as the Robert Sorby ProEdge. All have their pros and cons however I think my current preference may be the ProEdge, but never having had hands-on use of these tools for the purpose of sharpening carving tools I would welcome any thoughts you may have. Although I am new to wood carving I am an experienced wood worker. Your Pye-Cosman videos are excellent.
Many thanks, Graham

| 29 December 2012 06:39

Stefan -I love that: 'jumped out'! (By the way, I've always worked on a wooden/chipboard/rubber matted floor - some sort of padding around the bench. More for the ease of standing a long time but it does help protect falling tools...) Black Arkansas is so fine, it's more like trying to sharpen on a strop; so don't get that one. The grade you want has a fine, white, translucent quality - the translucence is a good sign; some stones sold just as 'white' are quite rough. As to the thickness: I/2" is fine. I bought my 1" stone 35 years ago. It's now 5/8". So, depending on your age, you'll make it to the end of your carving career before making it out the other side! Make sure you get a long one: 8x2.

| 26 December 2012 23:05

Hi Chris, Sadly I have two gouges which jumped out of their carrying roll and bounced around on a concrete floor. Consequently, I now have a fairly arduous re-shaping, sharpening and honing process to look forward to... I have been using waterstones in the past but find that they are getting very dished. As a result, I am looking into acquiring an Arkansas stone to aid in the sharpening process. Can you provide any comments on the relative merits of translucent vs. black Arkansas stones and also on stone thickness? Other than cost, is there any compelling reason to get a 1/2" thick instead of a 1" thick stone?
Love your videos - they are not only informative but a pleasure to watch. (In my case, the sharpening videos are particularly timely!) Hope that you have a great holiday season - all the best for a Happy New Year! cheers...stefan

| 27 June 2012 16:15

Peter - I've never found a diamond or ceramic that is as good - meaning 'just right' - like a translucent Arkansas. At the end of the day, if you have these and find they work, that's great, job done, on with the carving! You cannot 'dress' (true up) diamond or ceramic stones: the former because the diamond grit is held in an adhesive which has been simply rubbed away; and the latter because they are just soooo hard!

| 24 June 2012 12:39

Hi Chris, I understand your comments on the softness of water stones. Any thoughts on dimond or ceramic stones? Would you ever have to true-up a dimond stones.
Thanks and thanks for the great video segments.

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