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Mary May June 23, at pm - Reply. Carving a Welcome Sign with Daisies. Looking edge-on showed where material had to come off to get a uniform bevel back. Try to keep the angle as low as possible to plane the wood with the least resistance wood carving gouge sharpening force foece enough to maintain the edge strength. I finally got the sharpening process right.

For the stone to continue to function, the dish has to be removed by rubbing it on sandpaper or on another stone. Glaze When a stone or sandpaper gets loaded up with metal particles and crushed abrasive, a glaze is formed.

Sandpaper or another stone will remove it. Grit Natural or synthetic grit consists of a mineral in crystal- line form.

Harder than steel, the crystals have sharp edges that make it possible to cut steel. Polished Edge If you can see your reflection, the cutting edge is polished.

That mirror finish allows the tool to cut into the wood with very little resistance. Strop A strop typically consists of leather backed up with a board or other solid and flat material.

Stropping serves to polish the edge and remove the burr. There are two main ways to shape a bevel—sandpaper and coarse sharpening stones.

Sandpaper often offers the fastest way to shape a bevel because it is available in very coarse grits. For sharpening, the best choice is silicon carbide sandpaper, commonly referred to as wet-and-dry sandpaper. The hardest grit, silicon carbide will cut faster and shorten the time spent on the cutting edge.

It is also preferred because the paper can be kept wet to aid the sharpening process. For silicon carbide paper to work efficiently, it needs to be backed with an absolutely flat surface.

If the glass slips when you are sharpening, add a piece of non-skid carpet padding to the back of the glass. To hold the paper in place, soak it in water until it is thoroughly wet and smooth it out on the glass, making sure to squeeze out air bubbles.

Once the sandpaper is in place, you are ready to sharpen. Make sure it stays wet throughout the sharpening process. Start with coarse sandpaper and use progressively finer grits to remove the scratches left by the previous paper. A sharpening stone works the same way. The grit in the stone wears away the metal of the blade as it passes over the surface.

Use a coarse stone until the bevel is shaped and work your way through the finer grits. The chisel illustration is by Chris Jordan. Oil stone manufactures recommend you apply a light oil before sharpening to float the metal particles away.

There are commercially available sharpening oils, but carvers I know use everything from kerosene, to mineral oil, to light-weight motor oil. Coarse waterstones are usually soaked in water, but finer grits just require a spray of water before sharpening. Ceramic stones and diamond stones do not require any lubrication—they just require a regular cleaning with soap and water.

Diamond stones stay flat, but it is possible to wear a groove into an oil stone or a water stone. Regular re-shaping on a flattening plate or using glass backed sandpaper is required to keep them in shape. When shaping a bevel, the most important thing is to keep your angle constant—otherwise you will get a double bevel.

Position the sandpaper and glass or sharpening stone so that its length is perpendicular to the front of your body. That way you can eyeball the angle of the tool to the paper or stone and maintain a constant angle throughout the sharpening process.

For tools like gouges and chisels with short bevels, place a visible angle guide at the end of the glass to help you keep the angle constant. Check out the Sharpening At-A-Glance chart for the suggested motions to sharpen each tool. If you attempt to sharpen with the direction of the bevel, even the finest grit will create a slightly scalloped edge, which will give you a jagged cut.

Fresh, bright metal is exposed on the bevel through the sharpening process. If you have trouble seeing your progress, coat the edge with black magic marker. After the first few strokes, make sure the ink is being worn away evenly. The easiest way to maintain the same bevel is to place the top of the bevel down first and slowly rotate it until the edge rests on the stone.

As you sharpen, you will see a wire-edge, or burr, forming on the tip of the blade see below. I am just starting to collect what I need to explore carving. I ask because the Slipstrop appears to have everything I would need at the end of sharpening but might not replace the slipstone. Thanks Brian! Since the slip stones actually are removing that wire edge, they do need to be a little more aggressive than just a strop. So I would recommend getting a slip stone, or you will be stropping it a LOT to remove that wire edge burr.

Happy sharpening! I stick with diamond stones — and grit. Then you could probably do most of the sharpening of the inside of the gouge with one slip stone with a curved side and pointed side. One flat strop will do the trick, but curved shapes with leather strop help. I sell DMT stones at my store, and I just recommend making your own strops using old leather belts or leather scraps from leather repair stores. Are ramelson tool good? They have a hardness of rockwell.

What is the hardness of Pfeit tools? Ramelson tools are cheaper. I want to buy good tools the first time. Edge retention is a must. They are acceptable tools for detailed small carvings, but woefully small for the kind of carving that Mary teaches. I also find them uncomfortably small to hold and use.

When sharpening gouges on the diamond stones, how much downward pressure or force do you use on the stones? Also, the same question would apply to the use of leather strops.

I have seen some that seem to really be bearing down a lot with the gouge on strops, and others seem to be just brushing softly against the leather.

Does one work better than the other? Or, is excessive force, with both stones and strops, doing more harm than good to the edge? Thank you for your help.

Hello Lee, The most important thing to consider is how confident are you that the gouge is placed correctly on the stone? When first learning to sharpen, it is important to press lightly because of the possibility of it being placed at a wrong angle.

However, once you are confident that it is consistently staying at the correct angle, any amount of pressure that is comfortable can be added. There have Wood Carving Gouges Uk 40 been times when I want to remove a lot of metal quickly so I use a course stone with maximum pressure. As long as you move to finer and finer stones to finish, it should not be harmful to the tool to put a lot of pressure.

Again, the caution is if it is in the wrong position and you put maximum pressure, it can go bad a lot quicker — before you realize it. As for strops, I put considerable pressure on this also. And again — a caution as to the angle that the tool is placed. A strop can easily dull a gouge if it is angled too high. Another thing to consider is that the process of putting more pressure with your fingers may cause the rotating movement to distort.

Put enough pressure where you can still comfortably rotate the gouge along the stone without the downward pressure affecting the movement. Dear Mary, Thank you so much for taking the time to create these extremely helpful videos.

I was wondering if there is an alternative to slip stones or how they can be made? I have tried to find them but they are not available in India where I belong. Could you please recommend any alternatives.

Thank you very much again for your teaching. Hello Rebuka, Glad you are enjoying the videos, and that is a great question! And the answer is yes. If you can get very fine grit sandpaper to grit , you can wrap this around curved pieces of wood and use them the same way as a slip stone. You can also take different sized dowels and wrap them with this sandpaper.

Sometimes this kind Wood Carving Gouges Reviews English of sandpaper can be found at auto supply stores because it is often used for fine sanding when painting automobiles. Good luck! This seems to work well along with my leather honing stick. My question is, which polishing compound is preferred — I have been using the green and red on the leather strop? Hi Ralph, First of all, I would be cautious to use the grit paper as the final honing, as this may end up being too rough. If you can see actual scratch marks on the back of the gouge and not a mirror finish, then I would suggest using a finer grit for this.

However, I have not used this process much, so a grit paper slightly worn may be equivalent to a or grit diamond stone. You really just need to experiment with this. The honing colors are different with different brands, so I do not know what either the green or red refers to. Again, you will need to do trial and error. So far as I have found, any polishing compound that I have used has never been too rough to use on leather. Again, if you see actual grooves or scratches even if slight from the polishing on the leather strop, then it is definitely too rough.

Test it and see if it truly polishes the gouge. There is the small possibility of using a polishing compound that is too rough that will actually reshape and round the bevel, but this is not likely with what is available.

This is so valuable! It is one thing to own a tool, but knowing how to keep it useable is another thing. Thanks for you presentation. Hi Mary, great lesson, I struggled with getting the angle correct on gouges until you showed how to lock the arm against the body.

I am finding that the center of the gouge is getting ground down lower than the edges, what do I need to do to get an even edge across the gouge? Hi Jesse, Usually that means you are not rotating the gouge enough and the outside corners of the gouge is not touching the stone. Have you tried to use the Sharpy marker method? It will show you exactly where the bevel hits the stone and you will find out quickly whether you cover the whole surface of the bevel.

The gouge is sharp, just misshapen. So, how do you fix this? Is this like a moulding plane and I should grind dead across the blade at 90 degrees to the edge, rather than ish, to get it flat, then re-establish the bevel?

Hi Ed, It is possible that you pressed too hard at the center and not enough at the outside corners. If the sharpy trick definitely showed it touched the whole bevel surface, then that is most likely the issue. The way to resolve it from that point is to run the gouge along the stone, lightly pressing as the center of the gouge passes the stone, and pressing harder towards the outside corners basically a reverse of how this shape was created.

It will appear nice and straight for a while, but if the cause of why it became misshapen in the first place is not sorted out, it will simply come back again.

The most important thing to do is to make sure you are making a very even rotation with equal pressure as you run it along the stone. Go ahead an try grind the blade to 90 degrees, then try and make a very smooth and even rotation on Wood Carving Gouges Uk Yang the stone. Keep adding the sharpy mark to make sure it stays correct. I hope this helps. Looking edge-on showed where material had to come off to get a uniform bevel back.

I think this may have less to do with pressure and more to do with timing. So, I slowed down and focused on being smooth and even, feeling more like a pendulum, and watching the water squeeze out from the edge uniformly back and forth as I rocked to help stay even, if that makes any sense.

Just strop the gouge when needed to maintain a sharp cutting edge. Mac has been teaching carving classes and tool sharpening for more than 15 years. He can be reached at mac woodcarvers. For a complete range of sharpening supplies, visit www. Discuss this material on the Woodcarving Illustrated forums. Read more about techniques for beginners! Polish the edges. Use a leather strop charged with abrasive.

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