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Q & A: Restoring a Blued Chisel


The first thing I did with my new grinder
was to blue the edge of a chisel. Is there anything
I can do to save it?


Most woodworkers have faced
this problem at some point. The only
practical solution is to remove the
discolored metal and regrind a new

Set the tool rest at 90 degrees to the
face of the stone and gently grind away
the blued edge. Think of it as turning
your chisel into a screwdriver (see
photo above). The advantage to flat
grinding the end is that it leaves a
thick edge to dissipate the heat generated
when regrinding the bevel. Be
sure to keep the edge square to the side
of the chisel.

Regrinding the bevel will take time
because a great deal of metal must be removed. Maintain a light touch, and
be patient. Once the new bevel has
been formed your chisel should be as
good as new—just a little shorter.

Tip: To reduce the chance of blueing
any more chisels, try using white
or pink 60-grit aluminum-oxide
wheels which grind cooler. You’ll pay
about $20 at Garrett Wade, (800) 221-
2942; Highland Hardware, (800) 241-
6748; or Woodcraft, (800) 225-1153.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker August 1999, issue #74.

August 1999, issue #74

Purchase this back issue.

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