• From Brian Biggs on Carving Traditional Serif Lettering in Capitals

    Perfect timing on this - I'm doing more sign work these days, and this is really nice to see done rather than reading about it.

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    2013/03/27 at 9:57 am
  • From Doug Boor on Sharpening a V-Chisel - Beginner Lesson #5

    Hello Mary,

    I have a question about the V chisel. Getting items tuned up for your classes at Kelly's in a month, and my v chisel needed a lot of work after a drop to the floor. (Got to get some wood down and get off the concrete). So it has been to the grinder a couple times now. I got it cutting well in mahogany, pleased about that, but one thing I always seem to get is a bit of edge degradation right at the transition point where it goes from flat to the V. Usually this occurs after a couple stroppings. Still seems to cut okay, smooth, but I was wondering if you might have an idea what I'm doing that is causing is? To shallow bevel? It is a Swiss Made gouge if the thought is metal durability as an issue. I'm decent with a grinder so I don't believe I overheated it.

    Enjoying the web classroom and looking forward to Kelly's


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    2013/03/20 at 10:33 am
    • From Mary May on Sharpening a V-Chisel - Beginner Lesson #5

      Ahhh - my favorite! Solving v-chisel dilemmas. So many possibilities of why that tiny little connection between the corner and the straight sides can go wrong. The funny thing is - usually when there is an issue there, too much metal is taken away (therefore a dip in the edge), rather than not enough (therefore a raised point at those sections). Why??? Here are some possibilities:

      1. There was a flaw in the original shape of the chisel (it's great when you can blame someone!)
      2. The slip stone was not rounded, but had a flat corner (often when I purchase a new slipstone, I have to re-sharpen them for a v-chisel because they too often do not have a sharp enough or well-defined corner). If you imagine using this, the inside corner of the v-chisel will never be touched by the slip stone, but these "transition areas" that you are mentioning will get more of a grinding.
      3. The angle of the bevel may be too sharp, therefore weakening the edge
      4. When you round over the outside corner (like you are sharpening a tiny curved gouge) you are somehow sharpening those transition areas more than the curved corner section - maybe rotating it too much? This rounding of the outside "V" does not have to go all the way to the flat edges.
      5. What is difficult about the v-chisel, is that it could be a combination of several of the above possibilities.
      6. If it is cutting, I wouldn't stress too much about it. It just might not look pretty.

      The difficulty is, once a v-chisel starts being shaped wrong, it is difficult to straighten it out. I would not take it back to the grinder any more (there is a limit to how much of the end is tempered - I have heard 1/4 to 1/2 inch). We'll work on it in Berea if it is still having issues.

      One thing I see people do quite often is grind the end of the v-chisel nice and flat if they are having difficulty in getting the edge even. Then put it on the stone and go through the process of sharpening it. Well, if the reason that the chisel went wrong the first time has not been resolved, the same issues will come back again and again.

      It might be easier to explain this theory with a curved gouge example. If I have a gouge that has a flaw in the shape of the inside of the gouge (let's say there is a rust pit on the inside of the gouge), I try to get a nice flat edge by grinding the end straight (tool blade directly onto the grinder), then when I put the gouge on a sharpening stone, the edge of the gouge will eventually find the pit on the inside of the gouge and the edge of the gouge will be formed based on that - again and again, as long as that flaw is still there.

      I know that was a LONG explanation, but I hope that helps.

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      2013/03/20 at 11:21 pm
      • From Doug Boor on Sharpening a V-Chisel - Beginner Lesson #5

        Thanks so much Mary, that was helpful. I put number 4 as the largest culprit thoough other issues could be there as well. I over rotate working the outside corner trying to get a flowing transition. I get the shape I want, but then the transition point breaks down. Leaving that little point you mention at the apex. It still cuts well, just something to continue to work on. Thanks again. Doug

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        2013/03/21 at 11:49 am
  • From Bob Easton on Carving a Linenfold Panel - Episode 1

    One of the great aspects of this form of learning is that "things happen." The knot and the "almost lost that edge" problems are things that happen to all of us on projects and it is very helpful learning how to work around them.

    I learn far more from my problems and mistakes than from things that go well. So, it's good to see, and maybe learn from, how you handle problems.

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    2013/03/20 at 6:19 am
  • From David Taylor on Carving a Linenfold Panel - Episode 1

    Very nice! I have had an idea for doing something with a linen fold, and I actually thought I knew the steps to make it happen, but you've cleared a few things up for me that I had thought were done differently. Nice save on the wild grain by the knot, too!

    I like especially that the initial work was done with moving fillister, rabbet, plow and hollow and round planes, and then I was pleasantly surprised to see the machine version of the way to work it. Very accommodating to different folks with different tool and skill sets. I like the old, hand way myself, and am lucky to have most of the planes used (sweet #10 rabbet there, I need one!). Like you, I have a tablesaw, but my healthy respect for it borders on fear, and if I can do something by hand, I will. Nice thing about this being a hobby, I can take my time about it!

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    2013/03/19 at 11:06 am
  • From Neil Stalker on What videos would you like to see?

    I realize this wouldn't fall under the category of "classic" but about raised animal carving, say a frog? Looking forward to meeting and learning from you inSept at MASW.

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    2013/03/18 at 8:37 am