Wood Carving Chisel
Guidelines shown below are for the cutting edge angle. Since this the entirety of the blade's cutting edge is honed, no secondary / micro bevel is given (as with Bench Chisels).
The angle (α) is the effective grind angle at the chisel point. The angle measured with the Tormek WM-200 AngleMaster will be greater than α, but only by a very small amount.
||18° - 20°
||e.g., bass or tupelo
||20° - 221/2°
||23° - 25°
||e.g., ash or oak
Notes & Comments
Carving edges are typically not reground; only to reshape them, or repair a problem with the edge. More commonly, the edge is simply honed on the leather wheel.
Hollow grinding on the back of the bench chisels (traditional, not Japanese chisels) is recommended by some, including by Garret Hack. Two videos below show that process.
If this chisel is to have a skewed end (as shown to the left), it is recommended that β not be greater than 20°, as a more acute angle will tend to cause the chisel to drift to the side when using it. 15° is a better target for the maximum.
SE-77 Square Edge Jig
Some have mentioned that it is a bit tricky to get the alignment correct for chisels using this jig. That said, this jig is very useful for cambering plane blades, so it is useful to have if you sharpen those also.
Shorter chisels won't always work in this jig. If you have some of your grandfather's old chisels around which you want to use (other to open paint cans), consider using
- SVH-60, or
- SE-77 with the MB-100
SE-76 Square Edge Jig
This is a great jig to use for sharpening chisels, including skewed edges. However shorter chisels won't always work in this jig. If you have some of your grandfather's old chisels around which you want to use (other to open paint cans), consider using the SVH-60.
As with the SE-76, shorter chisels won't always work in this jig. Consider using
- SVH-60, or
- SE-77 with the MB-100
The SE-77 has replaced this jig and the SE-76 is hard to find.
SVS-38 Short Tool Jig
This jig is also useful for sharpening chisels where there is not enough length to use either of the two jigs listed above.
SVH-60 Straight Edge Jig
This is the original jig for sharpening chisels and plane blades. It is no longer being made which is unfortunate as it is really great for holding shorter chisels. If you have shorter chisels, consider getting one from the used tools market.
The SE-77 has replaced this jig and the SVH-60 is hard to find.
Books & Papers
Videos & Presentations
- Tormek Live Sharpening Class - Part 3 - Chisels, plane irons & Tormek grinding wheels (YouTube video). Sebastien and Wolfgang offer some great tips on the sharpening of chisels & plane irons using the various Tormek grinding wheels, including the use of the diamond wheels.
- At 00:46, there is a great explanation of sharpening a tool with a radiused end using the SE-77 Square Edge Jig.
- At 00:52, there is a great explanation of how to use the MB-100 Multi Base.
- Tormek Live Sharpening Class - Part 9 - Sharpen a flat bevel with Tormek MB-100 on a diamond wheel (YouTube video). In this episode we learn how to use the Tormek MB-100 Multi Base to sharpen a completely flat bevel ▼, on the side of Tormek's diamond wheels DC-250, DF-250 and DE-250. For some tools, such as 🎻 luthier knives,🔪 Kiridashi knives, v-tools, chip carving knives and Japanese plane irons, a completely flat surface on the bevel is preferred over a slightly concave, which you get when you sharpen on the rounded part of the grinding wheel. For some people this is more of a personal preference.
Regardless of what might be the reason to want a flat bevel, Sèbastian and Wolfgang show how to achieve it with your Tormek wet sharpening system, They will also touch upon the differences between the different types of bevels.
- Sharpening with Garrett Hack - Hollow Grinding on Chisels and Plane Blades (YouTube video)
- Hollow-grinding a chisel with a Dremel tool (YouTube video)
- Tormek SE-76 Square Edge Jig (YouTube video)
- Using the SE-77 Jig to Camber a Plane Blade on the Tormek Sharpener (YouTube video)
- Tormek SVH-60 Straight Edge Jig (YouTube video). This jig is no longer sold, but is quite useful for short tools.
- Tormek AngleMaster WM-200 (YouTube video)
- Tormek Turning Tool Setter TTS-100 (YouTube video)
Tormek is a copyrighted logo of Tormek AB. Its presentation on this site is used to help the user quickly understand when specific Tormek tools, jigs, or setting are being used. For specific information regarding Tormek AB, or its products, please refer to the www.Tormek.com.
About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools.
Comments can be sent via eMail to me at SharpeningHandbook@Gmail.com.