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Restoring Chisels, Turning Gouges and Other Edge Tools

  Sharpening a Vee Tool by James D. Thompson

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Correctly sharpening a Vee tool requires a few tools and a plan.  Herewith is the plan.  You have to provide the tools.  The following is the method I use.  You may have another way to do it that works just as well as mine.  This piece is for instruction to those who may not have learned yet.

I decided to use my big Pfeil tool to take pictures of because it is big, and because it was time to sharpen it.

One thing to keep in mind with a Vee tool is that they don’t require everything to be perfect.  You will notice that my tool does not have perfectly shaped wings, but that does not cause a problem when you are carving wood.  I want to carve, not worry about minutiae.

The first thing to do is grind the wings. I grind mine at a greater (sharper) angle than is necessary for the final edge, This is so that I only have to stone a small area near the edge. This is the part that does the cutting. The area behind that is just relief.  I do not hollow grind a Vee tool.

The colors seen in the next picture are reflections. I did not blue my tool. :>)

As you can see, when you grind a Vee tool, you always get what I call a hook nose at the bottom of the Vee. You have to get rid of this for the tool to function properly.

The next picture shows the 3 stones I use to sharpen the wings. The bottom one is a steel plate which has diamonds impregnated in the surface. This one is a medium grit stone, and I believe I had to pay about $60 for it at Rockler. It is 3” by 8”.

The middle one is a medium India stone. I have had it forever so I don’t remember the cost.  It is 2” by 8” by 1” thick.  The top stone is my very old but highly prized translucent Arkansas stone. It is 2” by 6” by 1” thick.  I think these are pretty much unobtainable nowadays.

In the next picture I have used all three stones on the wings, and the hook nose is gone, but the corner is still sharp on the outside.

It is more obvious in the next picture.

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