A "Sharpening Dr." house-call to Itsik Chohen’s toy making shop: part 4.

I visited Itsik's shop for two reasons: to see his creations and help him sharpen some old chisels he bought on the Israeli Craigslist-like website. Itsik does not own any diamond stones Japanese stones or India stones. The little sharpening he used to do was done using sand paper. Consequently, non of his chisels were honed nor did they had flat backs. Yet he manages to build beautiful toys that are creative and inspiring. The toys have great details and are nicely finished. At some point Itsik decided that he  would like to learn how to sharpen tools in a professional way, so he asked me to to tutor him and show him some of the techniques I discussed in my Hebrew blog.



The challenges associated with improvising are always exiting. And in this case I had to come up with a plan to teach, build jigs, sharpen and hone tools which were in really bad conditions. Itsik puled a bitten up rusty chisel form the pile of tools he bought, this tool was our guinea pig. We started by finding a flat piece of glass and mounted on it with wet-dry sand paper – to flatten the chisel's back.
After this we turned to make and attache a wooden tool-support to the grinder's fixed support (Itsik has a high speed grinder, 3400 rpm) we aimed for a 25 degrees hollow grind. The grinding wheels where in o.k. condition, so we did not have to true or dress them.




After hollow grinding we used the glass and paper technique to flatten an old oil stone he got with the tools he that purchased.



When we finished flattening the stone to reasonable but not great condition, we used it to hone the edge.  Then we put some polishing compound on a piece of leather Itsik has, and did the final honing. The chisel where put the test immediately and manged to sheer pine end grain with very little effort.




And to conclude this talk on sharpening and cutting edges, here is a song by Aerosmith called "Livin' on the Edge"


 – Livin' On The Ed

American Woodworker Blog
Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.