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Wondering what everyone is doing or using to sharpen their chisels, I have tried a few things, I bought a roller and a stone fro Lee valley, but maybe it was me, but it seemed to take for ever, I have used a bench top grinder, but it put to much of a curve in the cutting surface. I tried a random orbit sander and an edge sander, but not accurate.
Like Leo said WorkSharp.
I actually like an edge better than a factory one, since they don't flatten and polish the backs. First you flatten the back on a good set of water stones. I use 800, 1200, then 3,000. That brings it up to a polish. Then I grind the bevel on a bench grinder to get the angle I want and remove any nicks that occur. Then just a few swipes by hand on each water stone again. With the hollow grind off the grinder, water stones cut incredibly quickly. Then I retouch up the back to remove the wire edge. They shave the hair off my arm after that treatment.
The Tormek grinders are money well spent.
Slow as can be grinding the first time, but maintenance sharpening is plenty fast.
Stones are age old and work. I use water stones myself from Naniwa, but generally any waterstone from a good woodworking supply is prolly aright. I go 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 this will give a mirror polish and razor edge. I use a diamond lapping plate from DMT to keep the stones flat. When things get really critical I take things a bit further with diamond paste on mdf you can go to 1 micron with this, but 6u is will usually suffice. I have not found a better way to get a super fine edge than this.
Wet and dry paper on a piece of glass.
I use a cheap 6" bench grinder with the original wheels to rough grind. I replaced the tool rest with a larger hardwood surface to more accurately position the chisels or plane irons. I dress the wheels with a star wheel dresser to keep from over heating the tools.
I'm second what Martin stated. Years ago I bought all sorts of stones, guides and systems for sharpening. One day I was shown the light. Wet or dry paper on a thick piece of glass. I have not used any stones or anything else since. Very sharp and quick to dress and edge. I have been using this system for over 25 years now.
I started with Arkansas stones, switched to water stones and then to diamond stones and plates. Even the cheap (>= $3.50) 75x170mm ebay ones work fine. Most of the time I use them dry (w/ water for heavy cutting) and just rinse them off now and then.
Belt Sander with high grit belt
Razor Sharp Edgemaking System has replaced almost all the stones and plates in the shop. We use 2 wheels for grinding steel, and two more for buffers, and two wheels make up the Razor System.
Basically 2 simple 8" cardboard wheels. One gets a bit of glue on it and then some grit is sprinkled on, and the other is a compound based surface.
Get all the knicks out of the edge and then go to the 'coarse' wheel and spark it it up, holding at the correct angle so as to touch the tip and the back heel. It is possible to blue the steel so care is still required. Then to the back to remove the burr, then to the face again, and back -until the burr is removed. Then on to the fine wheel and copy the angle and polish the edge. Turn over and repeat, also removing the slight burr from the first side. Back and forth a few times until there is no burr left.
I was told this is the same method that scalpel makers use to give their products that cutting edge. A carver showed it to me about 15 yrs ago. No good for router bits or carbide, but excellent for plane blades and chisels and carving tools. Also any kind of HSS knife, kitchen knives, pocket knives, etc.
I bought a Tormek grinder works great , but I really donít have the time to deal with my chisels now .
I use diamond stones to get them sharp.
I use a piece of leather loaded with compound to keep them sharp.
The leather is contact cemented to a scrap of wood I can put in a vice.