Honing The Edge

Grinding is only half of the sharpening process. For a razor-sharp edge, the bevel needs to be honed. Honing is the process of removing the scratches left behind by the grinding wheel. This is done by rubbing the tool across a flat sharpening stone.

To hone my tools, I usually use a combination 1000/6000 grit waterstone. But an oilstone (like an India stone or a hard Arkansas stone) will also work. And although I find it faster to hone my tools freehand, there are a number of commercially available honing guides on the market, see photo in margin at right.

To hone the edge, start with the medium (1000) grit stone. Simply place the tool down on the stone so that both the heel and the toe of the bevel are resting flat, see Fig. 5a

Now just pull the tool slowly across the surface of the stone a few times, see Fig. 5. Don't push the tool forward — it's apt to bite into the stone and gouge the edge you worked so hiird to achieve. Instead, lift the tool completely off the stone during each return stroke.

Hone the tool on the 1000 grit stone until you have a narrow flat along the top and bottom edges of the bevel.

Alternate strokes on bevel and back to remove burr

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Then switch to a fine (6000) grit stone. A few strokes on this stone will create a mirror-like polish on the sharpened edge, see margin photo at left.

REMOVING THE BURR. The grinding and honing process creates a sharp "burr", or a small hook, on the back of the cutting edge. (You can usually feel this burr by rubbing your finger over the back of the tool.)

To remove this burr, simply take a few alternating strokes on the bevel and back of the tool on the fine grit waterstone, see Fig. 6. This will break off the burr by bending it back and forth, see Fig. 6a.

WHEN TO GRIND. One final note. It's not necessary to re-grind the bevel every time you sharpen a tool. A quick honing is usually enough to restore a razor-like edge to a dull tool.

But after repeated honings, the hollow ground bevel will start to get worn away. When only about'/{of the original hollow remains, it's time to regrind the bevel. 09

A honing jig holds the blade at a consistent angle to the stone.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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