sharpening inside of carving tools. What do you use?

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Forum topic by Loren posted 03-04-2021 11:13 PM 465 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Loren's profile


11150 posts in 4703 days

03-04-2021 11:13 PM

I’ve decided to improve my carving skills and I have some stuff suitable for the outsides but when I acquired those stones I wasn’t real aware of tools and didn’t know the insides need sharpening too.

What do you use?

8 replies so far

View MikeTN's profile


1 post in 42 days

#1 posted 03-04-2021 11:47 PM

I use slipstones and/or fine abrasive paper wrapped around appropriate sized dowels. You can also fold abrasive paper to work on the internal root area of parting/V tools. Follow this up with a strop or just a folded piece of leather or single layer cardboard charged with compound and you are good to go. Another thing I use is a cheap four inch soft cotton buffing wheel in a drill press or powered by a drill in a holder (anything to make it spin. Just charge it with compound, be careful about the spin direction, and don’t over use it in order to avoid rounding the edge. The soft cotton wheels reach into the internal surfaces well and are pretty cheap. Have fun.

View Andre's profile


4459 posts in 2861 days

#2 posted 03-05-2021 06:25 AM

I have the tapered water slips 1000 and 4000, see they now have an 8000, from Lee Valley and the cheap little wood/leather with green compound!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View SMP's profile


3810 posts in 961 days

#3 posted 03-05-2021 06:52 AM

I do the wet/dry on dowels but have been comsidering getting the “wave” I think its made by DMT?

View Tony1212's profile


511 posts in 2790 days

#4 posted 03-05-2021 02:21 PM

Ben Crowe from the Crimson Guitars yt channel (and owner of a vintage tool shop) uses a scrap piece of soft wood and honing compound. He uses the tool to gouge out the profiles of both the front and back of the cutting blade. Then he smears the honing compound on the wood and uses it to hone the edge.

Not very practical for fixing nicks or anything, but just for keeping it sharp while using it.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Aj2's profile


3765 posts in 2853 days

#5 posted 03-05-2021 03:02 PM

The only wood carving tool I need to sharpen on both side is my bend hook knife for spoon carving. It didn’t come ready but it was close.
My v gouges are the hardest to get right but all of them only get buffed on fluffy cotton wheel on the inside. Once I get the bevel side geometry right then both side are kept sharp with cotton wheel. I do use a red jewelry rouge.
So the short answer is no stone for the inside faces only cotton buffing wheel.
I offer this pic for your consideration to decide if my words hold water.

Good Luck

-- Aj

View therealSteveN's profile


7493 posts in 1629 days

#6 posted 03-05-2021 05:22 PM

have been comsidering getting the “wave” I think its made by DMT?


I too have been looking at one of DMT’s waves

Currently my non flat sharpening arsenal is older pieces I have had for years. Something with a tapered graduation so it fits from small to large.

A really thick piece of hide leather I got at Tandy’s a long time ago, and some green rouge does the everyday touch ups as I go. The old adage if you don’t beat them into submission, all it takes is a bit of friction to get them gleaming again. Pretty much true with anything we sharpen.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Kelly's profile


3495 posts in 3999 days

#7 posted 03-05-2021 07:52 PM

You could shape some fiberboard to make your version of a sharpening system like the one Flex sells. Cover it with flocking and it seems you’d be off and running.

You could make separate sticks, rather than the single block Flex uses. Dowels might work for a lot of it. You could flatten one side to stabilize the dowel.

I haven’t tried adding flocking, but the next time I pull it out, I’ll try to remember to coat a couple dowels to see if they take the compound well. Suspect they would, since it looks like that’s all the Flex system is.

I love the gold compound sticks they sell. Don’t know what they use, but it moved material off quick

View ocean's profile


229 posts in 1888 days

#8 posted 03-05-2021 08:09 PM

There are a lot of stones out there that have peaks and valleys of difference size to sharpen craving tools. I have a set of small water stones of two different grits. They are not very big, about 4” X 3”. I think they were from Sharper Pebble.

-- Bob, FL Keys

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