In Tricks of the Trade

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Here’s a simple way to sharpen chisels using a 3″ sanding drum mounted in an oscillating spindle sander or a drill press.

Cut a squared-up 2×4 the length of the sander’s table. Cut a 2″ deep by 1/2″ wide slot at 45° near the 2×4’s center. Clamp the 2×4 to your sander’s table.  Place the chisel in the slot and reposition the 2×4 so that the center of the tool’s bevel contacts the spindle.

Go slow when you sharpen, to avoid overheating the steel. Quench it in water fairly often. Continue until a wire edge forms on the tool’s back. Remove the wire edge with 600 grit sandpaper taped on a flat surface, such as the top of your tablesaw. –Benjamin Parran

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