Caring for your tools

Sandpaper is often used for sharpening curved blades because of its flexible yet firm structure. There are different grit sandpapers, and these vary from whether you need strong sanding to even-up the blade edge that could be damaged or polish the cutting edge to be sharper. Tilting the tool while it is stropped creates a slight secondary bevel on the inside of the tool to give the edge more durability and remove any burr.

These compounds vary in grit size, and they go from rough to very fine ones. Most craftsmen use the green honing compound, but it is also good to try out the black and the very fine white one, for long-lasting fine sharp tools. It is important that the wood carving knives and tools you use for your projects are sharp. You should always sharpen knives, chisels, gouges, and other carving tools before using them for the first time and regularly after that. A wood carving sharpening stone is an excellent investment to make as it will help prevent your tools from getting dull. For many people stropping is the final stage of sharpening wood carving tools.

Carving tool sharpening is a gentle process, so do not use force. Check out our tutorial on how to sharpen wood carving tools pictures guide for a detailed view of how the knife wood carving birds patterns sharpening looks like. The blades of wood carving tools come in many shapes and they have one or two cutting edges, which is why sharpening these blades is not quite the same.

It is done to remove the leftover burr after the honing process by using a leather strop. The leather strap has two sides; one is made of smooth hide, and the other is made of rough leather. If honing is done properly, stropping shouldn’t take more than a few passes. Consider sharpening wood carving tools, such as flat wood carving chisels, with a sharpening stone. Stones that are in the 400-to-600 grit range are ideal for initial sharpening.

Pre-Sharpened Tips – A set that has already been professionally sharpened is ideal to get a sense of what the tools can really do. It will also help you to know how they should look in the future when you sharpen them yourself. Plus, you can get started creating beautiful woodwork right away.

If the glass slips when you are sharpening, add a piece of non-skid carpet padding to the back of the glass. To hold the paper in place, soak it in water until it is thoroughly wet and smooth it out on the glass, making sure to squeeze out air bubbles. Once the sandpaper is in place, you are ready to sharpen. Make sure it stays wet throughout the sharpening process. This can most easily be done by periodically stropping both sides of the edge with a Flexcut SlipStrop™ and Flexcut Gold™ Polishing Compound.

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