All Replies on first time with scary sharp method, didn't quite work, what's wrong?

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first time with scary sharp method, didn't quite work, what's wrong?

by Spikes
posted 10-29-2018 10:05 PM

33 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


18110 posts in 3883 days

#1 posted 10-29-2018 11:15 PM

Start with making the back flat first. Work it all the way up to 2000. A flat back is of utmost importance. Then we’ll work on the bevel.

You can use a paint brush to get rid of the metal filings clogging up your paper.

Use as many strokes as it takes to create a burr.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1732 posts in 2607 days

#2 posted 10-29-2018 11:15 PM

If you can’t find a plug on that MDF, you need to toss it and go get yourself something that has a cord on it. Then you can sharpen to your heart’s content….... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

308 posts in 1652 days

#3 posted 10-29-2018 11:40 PM

Keeping your blade at the same angle and straight by hand can be tricky,try something like this.,43072,45936
I use this paper,43072

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2866 days

#4 posted 10-30-2018 12:08 AM

Using the scary sharp method to get the back flat is a pita – regulR wet/ dry paper has enough give in it to slightly round the edge. I check fltness with ~ 320-400 grit to assess how far out the surface is. Sometimes then go to 60 or stay where I am or anywhere in between, its a judgement and I guess wrong at times. Up to ~120 use sanding belts and dont put much down force (rounds the edges). Use a shop vac or brush to clean the paper. At ~220 I start using water. To actually polish the surface I use polishing film 25 um down to 1 um. You can move the surface back and forth, you arent using a lot of downforce.

For primary bevels get a bench grinder. Then free hand or use a jig (I prefer jigs because I use the film and put microbevels on the edge). I use a back and forth motion. I polish to 1 um, no stropping. Strops work, especially to tune a good edge starting to dull, but strops also sharpen lower grit edges which are jagged and fail quickly due to microfractures of the sharp jagged edge. Strops used to break burrs retain the metal and scratch the edge. You will find many opinions on sharpening, strops, etc.

You may find something helpful in my sharpening blog

View ocean's profile


213 posts in 1710 days

#5 posted 10-30-2018 12:26 AM

Flatten the back first. Personnel I stop at 800 or 1000, but your welcome to go on out to 2000, it is just how much time you wish to invest. Shiny does not mean sharp. If you don’t own a chisel guide, get one. The Lee Valley is nice but a bit expensive. Try one from General or the clones available form lots of places, about $15-16.00. Just brush off the filings from the paper. I do go back and forth many times as needed (no set number). Final test is to place the chisel straight up against your thumb nail (at about a 45 degree angle or more down) and if it catches on your nail and stays in place it is sharp enough. Future sharpenings will only require to you to start at the higher grits unless you have chipped the edge or they are really dull, like dropping on the concrete floor blade down. Cutting end grain is very difficult for any sharp chisel. Don’t let that be your soul bench mark of a dull chisel.

-- Bob, FL Keys

View BlasterStumps's profile


1821 posts in 1316 days

#6 posted 10-30-2018 12:36 AM

I use sand paper for the beginning stages of sharpening. I have interchangeable discs with different grits that I can put on a low RPM motor that is mounted vertical in a box. I touch the tool on the spinning disc for a second or two then cool with water then touch again and so on. Once I get the angle and work thru to 320 grit, I go to my diamond stone and work it thru to 1200, then I rub it on an 8000 water stone for a few strokes and then to a stope that is also on a disc on that low RPM motor. The whole process to sharpen a chisel or blade is only a matter of a few minutes unless the tool has been badly damaged.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." MIke in CO

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1380 days

#7 posted 10-30-2018 03:16 AM

If you can t find a plug on that MDF, you need to toss it and go get yourself something that has a cord on it. Then you can sharpen to your heart s content….... Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs


Keeping your blade at the same angle and straight by hand can be tricky,try something like this.,43072,45936
I use this paper,43072

- Richard Lee

And this!!!! After you have the chisels ready to actually start honing.

One of the problems with all this free advice regarding a certain method is that often the posters don’t do too good a job explaining at what point their chisels are actually at when they begin the “method”. I seriously don’t believe anyone means for you to start out with sandpaper {or a hone} to try and sharpen a chisel that has seen better days and first needs to go on a grinder to get it close to going on the paper.
Given the state of the chisels you are describing, there is zero chance I would start out with paper or a hone. I usually begin with a power grinder to get them close. Then I start honing with the rough stones and finish with a razor hone. Now, I could take a gunched up chisel and given enough time, strokes and single malt get it to cut with just the razor hone….but I wouldn’t recommend trying it!!!
It sounds like what you have done so far is along these lines and given enough time and elbow grease it might have worked…but, if you really insist on wasting all that time it sure would be better spent with the use of some type of edge guide.

Edit: water works as a honing lube…but honing oil is way better…lacking that I use some type of light oil like WD-40. Not the best, but it will do and is better than water.

View jeffgao's profile


10 posts in 730 days

#8 posted 10-30-2018 05:01 AM

I have prepared newly purchased Irwin chisels using sandpapers with success. Comparing between what I have done and what you did, I guess you can look into these:

  1. Like other people already pointed out, work on the back first to polish it up. Regardless of the concerns on sandpaper’s give (whether you have a rounded back or not), you should end up with a mirror finish on the back that allows you to have a good edge.
  2. Going directly from 100 to 400 is probably too much of a gap. You can have 220 as the second step after 100, or have 220 as the first step if there is no significant chip. Also, you could keep 1000 and 1500 and eliminate 1200 and 2000. 1500 should give you enough sharpness – that’s the highest grit I stopped for my chisels.
  3. For steps before the final step, especially steps below 1000, feeling no burr is wrong. That actually means you have never created a consistent burr yet. You should only move on to the next step after you feel a consistent burr across the edge.
  4. Use a honing guide. A cheap $10 Eclipse type will do.
View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3760 days

#9 posted 10-30-2018 08:32 AM

Lots of great advice so far. Most of us learned to sharpen with the “Scary Sharp” method. Like most beginners, it’s easy to over think something that is simple.
1)Flatten and polish the back; use the coarsest grit until you have an even scratch pattern on the back. Then move up to the next grip and repeat.
2)Do yourself a favour as a beginner and get a honing guide. It adds <10 seconds to the sharpening process and will give you consistent results. If later you want to learn to freehand sharpen, great, at least you have a reliable method for sharpening to fall back on.
3)Sharpen the bevel with your coarsest grit until you have an even pattern of scratches and an even burr. Move up a grit and repeat.
4)Enjoy having sharp tools.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3703 posts in 2371 days

#10 posted 10-30-2018 08:48 AM

+1 Use an edge guide, takes a tremendous amount of skill to free hand sharpen a blade to a specific angle. Attempting to learn freehand method while you learn how to make a sharp edge can be very frustrating.

+1 Must develop a burr on the edge before gong to next grit. Typical burr is thinner than human hair. It is much easier to feel the burr, then see a burr on edge (unless you have 10-15x magnifier handy). Using a magnifier can also help you see edge sharpness, as dull rounded edge will reflect light and look shiny, but a sharp pointed edge is almost invisible.

+1 Process is important.
Flatten and polish the back first, going through all grits till last 1/2 to 1 inch of blade is flat. Then sharpen front edge.

The reason for recommendation to only use pull stroke is to help avoid breaking off the edge burr as you push the blade forward. Only takes a subtle lift on back end of blade during push stroke, and you grind the burr off = making a dull rounded edge. Once you learn how to keep the blade angle exactly same during both pull and push; then you can attempt push stroke – otherwise use pull only.
Note that if your sandpaper is not bonded perfectly to glass, or backing paper has swelled due lubricants; that can allow grit surface to move slightly. When using a push stoke, if the paper moves/indents ahead of blade due excess pressure; you end up removing the burr and rounding the edge on push stroke – even if using an edge guide. Wet/Dry paper absorbs oil slower than water, so best to use light machine oil or ATF as lubricant .vs. water. Lubricant absorption and movement is also reason that plastic film backing is used for expensive super fine diamond grit materials suggested by Richard Lee.

FWIW – Your posted challenges making a sharp edge are the exact reason I posted in other thread to start with cheapest option – sandpaper. Making a sharp edge requires knowledge, patience, and practice. Once you figure it out, making sharp edges will become easy with any method you choose to use. :)

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Max™'s profile


132 posts in 786 days

#11 posted 10-30-2018 08:51 AM

I wonder why it took so long until I saw someone suggest sideways strokes for chisel/plane sharpening by hand?

After doing it myself, might just be my setup but for me at least, it’s a lot easier to maintain or tweak an angle when you’re skating something sideways towards/away from you than it is if you’re moving it edge-first towards/edge-dragging away from you.

I’m generally seated down low when I’m sharpening so I can watch the angle itself, and after trying straight back/forth strokes, various circle or figure-8 strokes, and then switching to side-to-side strokes, it is a lot less work for me to maintain an edge.

Helped me realize I was actually going way too far when I was pushing the edge along the paper, repeatedly forming and overshaping past the edge when I could reach my desired shape in a handful of strokes per grit.

-- One hand to hold the saw, one hand to guide it, one hand to brace the work and in the sawdust OW MY THUMB!

View therealSteveN's profile


6419 posts in 1451 days

#12 posted 10-30-2018 09:29 AM

If you can find one on E-Bay I would suggest getting a Sharp Skate sharpening guide here Derrick shows a very good review

Harrelson Stanley is still selling them through HMS, but jeeze, they are several hundred dollars, which is crazy money. They work side to side on 8 tiny rollers, the action is very smooth, and you can set your angle to get perfection. So many of the back and forth guides can/will allow you to tip the guide up, and or down, which muddles your edge.

The order you have been given is correct, always do the backs first until you get a uniform sheen all across the back, work through all the grits first pass, then swap to your bevel. Once you have established sharp, you are routinely going back to touch up at the higher grits to stay sharp.

One truth about tool steel is, cheap is junk, sure you can get it sharp, but the amount of time it stays that way is very short. Good steel and that time period between sharpening will expand with increased outlay of dollars. I really like the LV PM-VII

Another sometimes lower priced chisel that cuts very well are the Japanese chisels. Ignore the convex backs, and sharpen the same as an English chisel.

Once you learn a good edge, look into a micro bevel, sharper, yet only a tip in length, and easier to repair when you dull them out.

Personally I really suggest you get a WorkSharp 3000, and put all the other behind you.

-- Think safe, be safe

View fuigb's profile


583 posts in 3834 days

#13 posted 10-30-2018 11:25 AM

Very good advice in this thread!

I agree that flattening and polishing the back is important as is a decent guide. What I emphasize is getting the edge right. With a badly used chisel it might take an hour or two of concerted effort to create a uniform edge using only 100 grit paper. Don’t take at face value the demo vids where the guy goes from dull to razor sharp in 90 seconds because a ton of time might be necessary before the actual sharpening begins. Many of my favorite and most-used chisels were bought as basket-cases found at estate sales for 50 cents; hours of work later and the former scrap gleams and slices through hard maple like nobody’s business.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View Robert's profile


4029 posts in 2358 days

#14 posted 10-30-2018 02:20 PM

- could not feel any burr

This indicates you need a coarser grit or more strokes.

I don’t use sandpaper but the principle is the same: No burr, don’t move to next grit.

Are you doing a secondary bevel?

Also, the grits for sandpaper, water stones and diamond stones do not translate.

I go to 8000 on a water stone. A lot of guys to to 16000. That may translates to a lot higher than 2000 in sandpaper. Somewhere I saw a chart comparing grits for paper & stones.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View a1Jim's profile


118142 posts in 4454 days

#15 posted 10-30-2018 03:18 PM

I use to use the scary sharp method for years before switching to a worksharp 3000 F, reading this thread seems to me that this process is being over complicated as others have said holding the chisel at the correct angle is important so if you can’t do that the buy a guide,as other have said you need to flatten the back of the chisel. I use every grit from 60-600 but only start that low of grit if your chisel is in very poor condition with big chips or damaged edge or start at a bench grinder to get rid of very rough chisels. Just use spray adhesive to hold each grit of sandpaper on a piece of MDF large enough to glue one piece of sandpaper of each grit using both sides then start with the lowest grit necessary to get any chips smoothed away concentrate on getting a straight smooth edge if there are only small chips you may be able to start at 100 or 120 grit .
There is no magic number of times you have to strokes the sandpaper only until the edge is all even then move through all the grits to at least 600 or higher if you like ,where many people miss out in this process is trying to zoom through all the grits or skip some grits without getting the defects out or getting the edge done before moving through the grit as you go finer and finer it takes less time for each finer grit. In my opinion, you don’t need to use water or look for burrs I think this can drive a person crazy that is just getting into the scary sharp system constantly checking for burrs. If you just can’t get this process buy a Worksharp 3000 it makes sharping a lot easier.


View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16935 posts in 3495 days

#16 posted 10-30-2018 03:30 PM

And polishing / flattening the back, only need to get the bottom inch or so cleaned up. Here’s an extreme example;

all I needed was flat across the bottom 1/8” of the cutter on my No. 78 and I was ready to move to working the primary bevel.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View tshiker's profile


100 posts in 2186 days

#17 posted 10-30-2018 04:47 PM

The three musts of sharpening…Flat back…flat back…and yup, flat back!!! If you haven’t gotten the back flat you CAN’T get the blade sharp, end of story. Now you don’t have to flatten the whole back, but at least 1/4” of it. I suggest you get a sharpening jig (not for the back), for me at least, it was hard to hold the blade consistently at the same angle. They don’t call it “Scarry sharp” for nothing! The edge I’ve gotten using this method was spectacular!

View Phil32's profile


1143 posts in 780 days

#18 posted 10-30-2018 05:50 PM

Where is the “flat back on a #5 carving gouge? Most of the suggestions apply only to flat, single bevel chisels. They do not apply to curved edge knives, V-tools, or gouges.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View HokieKen's profile


15152 posts in 2015 days

#19 posted 10-30-2018 06:09 PM

I think it’s all been covered but I must confess, I ain’t reading all of the replies. Here’s my take…

You need to flatten the back first. At least right at the edge. Otherwise you have no prayer of a truly sharp edge.

Next, you need some spray adhesive. You need both hands to work your chisel if you’re freehanding. You can’t hold the paper with one and sharpen with the other.

You probably can’t hold your chisels at a constant angle if this is your first rodeo. Either practice a lot until you can or buy a guide. And don’t progress to the next grit paper until you have rolled up a burr with the grit you’re on. After you change to the next higher grade, the first thing to do is polish the back on that grade to remove the burr (or roll it back over to the bevel side).

I used Scary Sharp for a year or so before I switched to diamonds and a powered sharpener. It’s a very effective method as long as your bed is flat and hard which scanner glass should be. I kept my paper lubed with WD40. Lube it with something or it WILL clog quickly. Don’t buy Harbor Freight paper either. Get good quality brand name stuff. In the long run, it saves you $ to spend more on paper. If you have a bench grinder, watch some videos on hollow grinding the bevel. I don’t hollow grind my tools any more but when I used wet/dry paper to sharpen, it was a HUGE time saver.

Finally, don’t stop sharpening until you have a truly sharp edge. In order to do so, you need something to compare it to. If you don’t own a chisel that’s shave-a-gnat’s-ass sharp, you need one. I make this offer to new sharpeners on this site often so I will for you too. If you need to, you can ship me a chisel or plane blade and I will sharpen it for you so you have an example to work to. (This offer is for ONE tool and open to the OP only – you vets will have to keep sharpening your own ;-) ) And be aware, a brand new chisel you just bought, whether it’s from Harbor Freight or Veritas, is not sharp and the back is not flat.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bmerrill's profile


121 posts in 950 days

#20 posted 10-30-2018 06:12 PM

Interesting thread.
Personally I use water stones.

Unless you are Japanese Knife Master Masaaki Saito then a guide to hold the blade at a constant angle is a requirement for a keen edge.

Use 120 to repair a bad bevel/edge and reshaping the blade.
Use 220 to form the edge on the bevel side until you get a burr on the flat side.
Flip and remove the burr.
Use the next grit up and repeat.

Keeping the blades sharp is easier than fixing neglect.

-- Woodworking, the transformation of nature to culture.

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1625 days

#21 posted 10-30-2018 07:31 PM

I use diamond plates and then jewelers rouge on a flat leather strop. In the sharpening process I use a Veritas guide and I mark up the bevel with a sharpie. That shows me i have the edge square on the plate and the actual edge is being sharpened.

View xcuse4tools2's profile


9 posts in 1417 days

#22 posted 10-30-2018 10:15 PM

I use sandpaper and get very good results. I use a camelia oil as a lubricant for the paper. It won’t affect wood finish if it isn’t cleaned off the chisel or some spills on your project and it won’t rust the chisel if not cleaned off like water will. The lubricant will float any metal removed during sharpening so you won’t clog.

Something that made this process easier for me was buying a couple 12×12 inch granite tiles. I then used 3M spray adhesive to put on various strips of increasing grit sandpaper along the outside edge (4 strips per tile). This way, you rotate the tile to your next grit, then proceed. This saves changeout between grits. 2 tiles allow 8 different grits progression (more than enough).

As everyone above has mentioned, get the back flat first, this takes as long as it takes depending on the condition of your chisel initialllly. Look for even scratches before moving to next grit. As Kirk650 mentioned, a sharpie can be used to mark the back or edge before starting and this will help you tell if you are evenly removing material. Take it to your highest grit, whatever you choose. You can get a pretty sharp edge only going to 600. Once the back is complete…

Work on your bevel next. I use a guide to ensure consistency. Again, progress until you have even scratches at each grit prior to proceeding to next. If you don’t get even scratches at 400 grit, it will take you 2-3 times as long to get even scratches working at 600 grit.

When you finish with the bevel (progressed through each grit to whatever your final point) , then flip it over to the back and take one or two passes on your finest grit paper to remove any wire burrs. You can do this at each grit, but don’t believe it is required. Make very sure that the blade is flat when drawing it back or you can damage your bevel angle affecting the end product.

Once initial sharpening is completed, touch up is very quick. I can often just remove the burr by using finest grit and taking one to two passes on the back again (keeping flat) and it is ready to go. If you need more touch up, you may just need to go back a couple grits and rework the bevel again. It is not necessary to start from beginning unless there has been some type of damage. You shouldn’t have to touch up the back ever except to remove the burr.

Good Luck.

-- He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose - Jim Elliot

View Lazyman's profile


5857 posts in 2264 days

#23 posted 10-31-2018 04:59 AM

You’ve probably gotten more advice than you need but I’ll mention something I don’t think anyone else has. I don’t like using spray adhesive to hold the paper down to the glass or granite. If you aren’t careful you can get s little too much in one spot which basically negates the purpose of using something very flat to begin with. It is also a pain to clean off when it is time to change the paper. Instead, I wet the paper on both sides and simply let cohesion or atmospheric pressure (or whatever phenomenon it is) hold the paper down. I continually spray the paper to keep it wet which also helps keep the paper from clogging. I have nice guide I sometimes use but with a little practice it really is fairly easy to feel that you have the bevel flat to just do it by hand.

Oh, and did anyone mention you need to get the back flat and polished first? ;-).

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Tony1212's profile


453 posts in 2611 days

#24 posted 10-31-2018 01:24 PM

I’m reading a lot of “hold the blade at the proper angle”, but it’s not important to be exact. Say you’re going for a 25 degree angle on your chisel. It’s not that important if it’s 24, or 26 or even 27.3 degrees. What is important is consistency. As long as you are always sharpening that particular chisel at the same angle, you’ll have good results.

As for flattening the back, I use a belt sander with some high grit belts and a bowl of water. I’ve got a tips video on how to do that with minimum risk to your fingers.

Scary sharp is cheap to get into, but very expensive in the long run. The paper rips easily and wears down quickly. I would suggest getting a very fine stone (water, oil, diamond, whatever) since you’ll be using that the most to maintain the tool once you get it sharp. Use scary sharp to get it to that point and fix any nicks or resetting the bevel.

If you go the way of a diamond stone, I built a jig to get consistent sharpening angles that you can see in my video.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Max™'s profile


132 posts in 786 days

#25 posted 10-31-2018 01:31 PM

Paper rips when I sharpen edge first/reversed but it’s much easier to avoid when I’m sliding it side to side, and I like hand sanding things so I’m always cycling through paper as it gets too folded or clogged for my taste at which point I brush it clean and put it in the sharpening pile.

-- One hand to hold the saw, one hand to guide it, one hand to brace the work and in the sawdust OW MY THUMB!

View TimInIndiana's profile


161 posts in 1017 days

#26 posted 10-31-2018 01:50 PM

I don’t find counting strokes to be useful at all in chisel sharpening. What works for me is to check my progress as I go. On your initial grit make sure you establish the shape you want: flat back, square edge, and desired bevel angle. After that, spend as much time on the next grit as it takes you to remove the scratch marks from the previous grit. As has already been mentioned, 100 grit to 400 grit is a very big leap, and you’d probably do better adding one or two grits in between.

I’ve used Windex on my wet/dry sandpaper with good results.

Definitely get a honing guide.

Caveat: I’m no expert, so don’t take my word for it.

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2363 days

#27 posted 10-31-2018 05:20 PM

I try for consistency of angle.

I use a 1000 til I get a burr all across. Use a 5000 to remove said burr. 8000 to polish it up and then to the strop. Don’t use too much pressure. On the higher grits I only sharpen In the push direction. I don’t want a burr forming when using finer stones.

If you don’t have a burr on the coarse then you need to continue. It’ll come. Different # of strokes for different sharpening media.

Make a burr with coarse. Remove the burr with the fines. Go to work.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Spikes's profile


125 posts in 922 days

#28 posted 11-01-2018 09:35 PM

I may start to sound like a broken record since I’ve been saying it every thread, but oh boy, what an amazing feedback/community!

So first off, I’ve definitely got better results following the feedback here and shaved some of my arm hairs, \o/. That said, I honestly still find it difficult to “feel the burr”. Water has improved things a lot, altho it’s also creating a lot of trouble with paper warping which means it’s harder to reuse. And this is where I’ve begun to reconsider this approach long term as the cost of entry is lower, but I’m not sure about the long term costs (not counting my speed/time right now). Anyway will reconsider this in a while, I’m really glad @CaptainKlutz brought it up in the other thread because I completely agree that it’s very good for me to figure out this stuff with sandpaper.

@HokieKen , thank you for your offer, you hit it on the head and this is true in other disciplines I’ve picked up in my life: you work toward something but you don’t know what that something really feels like so it’s confusing when you get in its vicinity (or maybe you’re far off and you think you’re close).

One question I’m left with is the holdown method for sandpaper. I don’t see how I can use two hands on the chisel if the sandpaper isn’t glued, but gluing the sandpaper seems a pita, either for the problem mentioned that it’s hard to clean or because even at times of application too much can end up in one spot. One trick I saw mentioned is to dump the whole thing in water and let that hold it down, which kind of works, but seem to make the paper go much faster (and add to the cost). Another option I found in a thread is to use sandpaper itself as a base to create friction for the sand paper on top to stay put, so you only glue the bottom sheet and the rest goes on it. I tried, but with mixed results: if I use something coarse I get bumps from that when I get to the fine grit, and if I use a fine grit its holding power isn’t very good. Any other option?



-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

View Lazyman's profile


5857 posts in 2264 days

#29 posted 11-02-2018 01:04 AM

For me, the letting the water hold down the paper seems to work well enough. It will curl when it dries out but wetting it again seems to flatten it back down. With the paper only held down by the water, it is generally easier to only pull, especially with the courser grits. I generally don’t go over 1000 grit with the paper.

I don’t think that I noticed you saying anything about using a strop? I typically pull the bevel over a charged strop just to get a little more polish. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to look at your edges under magnification as you are learning. This helped me see better whether I was getting a consistent edge.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Spikes's profile


125 posts in 922 days

#30 posted 11-02-2018 02:25 AM

@Lazyman fair enough, I’ll try that again tomorrow (water holdown), I know it works as it kinda did that when I soaked part of the piece, but didn’t really go for it. About the strop, I mentioned in my first msg that several blogs/yt I found said it wasn’t necessary if going up to 2000 so having no money I just held off. It’d seem I can live without but then again maybe it’s a problem of what @HokieKen mentioned and I really don’t know what sharp mean, being able to shave my arm air or not.

in other news, I found an old beaten up chisel blade and put it to the grinder. This was very educative because it made very obvious the burr etc. I tried not hold it down for just a couple second without too much pressure and couldn’t really feel it warming up so didn’t water cool it. Being so beaten up it was very obvious as I made progress and with this experience I realized I really wasn’t flattening the other chisel on the sandpaper.

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

View Beats85's profile


32 posts in 670 days

#31 posted 12-19-2018 06:59 PM

I think one important thing to add is this:

If you end up using a honing guide (I do for most of my sharpening), be sure to also make a stop block (even the cheap guides have a projection measurement on them) so that you can consistently set the projection of the blade in the honing guide.

Here is a good guide to creating an angle setting jig:

As others say, get the back flat, and make sure you can feel a burr before moving on to the next grit!

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6096 posts in 3186 days

#32 posted 12-19-2018 07:21 PM

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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125 posts in 922 days

#33 posted 01-03-2019 05:20 PM

really like that jig @Beats85, it’s very much the same thing used in the video linked by @AlaskaGuy and I’ve seen something similar on many other vids about sharping chisels so will put one together and practice. thanks all.

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

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