Chisels

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  #1  
Old 01-11-04, 01:08 PM
Resaw
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Chisels

Hi, i have some chisels. i was wondering what is the best way to sharpen them, as i use them to pound on rocks, so they tent to get rounded after a good while. I have tried to sharpen them with a small side grinder, and that turned out OK, i was just wondering if there was a better way. All i have in the way of grinders is that small side grinder, so any advice for working with the tools i have would be great.
Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 01-11-04, 07:47 PM
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Unless these are really good chisels, keep them in your rock pounding tool box and get new chisels for wood. While you're shopping, look for masonary chisels. They're made for rocks.
 
  #3  
Old 01-11-04, 08:43 PM
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Hello Resaw

I agree. Masonary chisels would be the best tool for the job. If the chisels used where for metal or are wood chisels, the modified method used for wood chisels below, would be okay for the intended usage.

If you have a belt sander or access to one, tilt the table to match the angle of the chisel, and sharpen the angle to remove all the nicks. Starting with a 100 grit belt, sanding with the angle facing upwards into the downwards moving belt.

Do this lightly to avoid bluing the edge. Attempt to maintain the original angle and squared edges. Once any and all the nicks are removed....

Continue the sharpening, being sure to maintain square edges and the orginal angle, as best as possible.

TIPS:
Dipping the chisel in cool water will help to cool the steel. Water is also a sharpening lubricant. Chalk works too. Apply some to the rotating belt.

......Then debur the chisel with the front sloping side facing down on the sanding paper.

.......Continue this procedure until all the burrs are removed. Check the sharpened edge.

Practice on an old chisel first. Checking the chisels trueness for a squared and flat sharpened edge can be done on the belt sanders work table.

Any bluing left can be removed using a fine wire wheel.

Be advised that this is not the method nor machine used by the professional sharpening shop. However, it will work just fine with some practice.

Workshop safety rules apply. Always wear safety gloves, goggles or eye protection while sharpening tools and near all operating machinery.

Reminder: "Work Shop Safety Is No Accident."
 
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Old 01-12-04, 04:46 PM
Resaw
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Sharp advice, that was a great bit of advise, i am sorry to have wasted your time by not being specific, or clear, as to what kind of chisels we are talking about. I thought by mentioning that i am pounding on rocks, that it would imply masonry chisels. (duh Dave)

I am a mason, and i don't want to have to buy new chisels in order to obtain the nice cutting/breaking properties of a new chisel. I am sure there is ways to sharpen them, in fact i am positive there is. I was wondering if there was any better way to do the job than what i have already tried...

The best tool i have on hand for the job is a small-ish side grinder. A 4" wheel is used on it. What i have done is basically, taken the chisel, and stood on it with one foot, over an edge, for example, stand in it with one foot, and the chisel hanging off the edge of a step. then i go about sharpening it.

So, what i was wondering is, continue what i have been doing? Or is there any tips from anyone, or things not to do? Any tips or advice would be great.
Thanks
 
  #5  
Old 01-12-04, 08:43 PM
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Hi: Resaw

I got your message in that last reply. Not any waste of my time. That's why I created this topic on the web site. To help those whom care to learn sharpening or have questions on the subject.

The procedure you are using will work but is too much work and may take too long. As a professional vocational sharpener, I think production, quality and profits.

Often forget the specific tool, procedure and narrow focused needs. This topic helps me to remain broader minded in the field of sharpening one specific tool and the needs of a sharpener. So we help each other without knowing it...

A belt sander and or a grinder with the proper type of grinding wheel would do the job better and fast. Produce a better finished edge and final results.

A wheel for honing burrs would be a nice addition also. If not, sanding paper attached to a disk on the machine you are currently using for the final step would work as well.

Visit any used machinery shop(s) or local tool shop(s), resellers, of machinery. The shops are listed in the phone books. The intent is to purchase a used machine for the specific sharpening task.

Would make a nice small investment for maintaining the current chisels and any new ones purchased. Which, masonary chisels by the way, new and used, can also be found at tool and machinery resellers...
 
  #6  
Old 01-13-04, 07:01 AM
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Duh, nothing

You wouldn't believe (well, maybe you would) how some people abuse good tools. I've seen wood chisels used to dig in dirt, pry up boards, and ???????

I once was doing some doors and had my good chisels for the mortise work. I loaned a chisel to one of the guys and - a little later - saw him using it to take up a threshold. He was pounding it with a waffle faced hammer and driving it through any nails that got in his way.
 
  #7  
Old 01-13-04, 04:17 PM
Resaw
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Huh, yes, i can and do believe how people abuse and mis-use tools. Something i can;t stand is a tool that's been used for the wrong job. I know someone that said to me once, "If you don;t have the right tools for the job, you might as well forget about it. You'll end up making more of a mess than it's worth." With all of that said, the only thing left to say for all those sadly abused tools, "DUH".
Good luck.
 
  #8  
Old 02-19-04, 03:56 PM
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I have some cold chisels that I use to cut metals, and sometimes I use them on stones and brick. They seem to work as well, which makes me think that masonry and cold chisels are metallurgically similar. After cold chisels have been resharpened a few times, their hardness wears off, and the blades must be heat treated. You can tell when this is the case, because your sharpenings will be closer and closer together.

To re-harden a blade, heat it to the critical temperature, which would be around 1400 degrees. At this temp, the metal will appear cherry red. Quench the blade in water, and after it's cool enough to touch, temper it at 500 degrees. You can temper in your oven (wife willing), or you can use the same torch used for hardening, if you're careful. Heat it until it turns a pretty straw color, and then set it aside and let it cool.

It's very important to temper a hardened blade, to reduce its brittleness, and prevent shrapnel from entering areas where it's not wanted (eyes, arteries, etc.).
 
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