How to Sharpen Wood Carving Tools | Full Guide

How to Sharpen Wood Carving Tools

Carving wood is fun but if you are not getting the perfect result, you might have dull edges wood carving too. What can you do now? The best idea here is to get your wood carving tool sharpened properly!

Today, we will discuss how to sharpen wood carving tools without making too much and providing a lot of time. No matter what method you use, the steps below will help you deal with it!

Step by Step Guide for Sharpening Wood Carving Tools

Let us check out how to sharpen the wood carving tools to make your woodworking life better! First, get your equipment ready and start the project. The process includes three parts- sharpening, honing, and stropping.

Sharpening the Wood Carving Tool

Step 1: Prepare the Equipment

Even if you use the high-grade Dremel bits for wood carving, etching, and engraving, you can never be perfect without keeping the carving tool sharp. And the first step of making the wood carving tool perfect is to sharpen it! Otherwise, the worn edges will not do any good to you! Before everything, the focus here is to straighten up the edges of the tool.

However, you do not need to do it more often. But we recommend sharpening the edges if you take off the chunk after the work process. For this, we recommend you get the horizontal belt. It is better to go for the 150 grit disks to make it work. All you have to do is straighten up the edges of your gouges perfectly!

Step 2: Keep it Cool

You can also use the power sanders for the wood carving discs and tools. In that case, you have to be highly cautious when it comes to the operation. As the speed of the power sanders is high, you might see that the disk is generating a lot of heat. In that case, there is a chance of tempering out the blade you are using for sharpening the tool!

The best idea is to get a container of cold water and keep it besides. In between the operation, you have to dip the blade in the water to keep it cool! Also, keep an eye on the metal; make sure that the metal doesn’t change its color. Otherwise, stop the operation right away.

Step 3: Get the Edges Sharpened

When the edges are straightened a bit, settle for the horizontal belt sanders. Here, the best option is the 320 grit aluminum oxide. While working with it, dip the blade inside the water as much as you need.

If you are working with the curved gouge, take the gouge and place it between the end of the plate and the roller of the front part. Some people don’t like belt sanders at all. Sharpening stones are the key here! You must get a 320-grit sharpening stone and start sharpening it!

Honing the Wood Carving Tool

Step 1: Prepare the Gears

The next step of how to sharpen wood carving tools is honing. When the roughly sharped edges are before you, you have to go for honing it! With this process, the blade will be sharper than before. All you need is a sharpening stone here. Also, sandpaper can be highly beneficial here. In the case of sandpaper, you must ensure that it is glued with a glass surface to work perfectly.

In the case of sharpening stones, you will find oil stones, ceramic stones, diamond stones, and water stones. In the case of oil stones, the lubrication is provided by the oil. The same goes for the water stones too. On the other hand, the diamond stones and the ceramic stones usually do not require any sort of lubrication. When it comes to carbide wood carving tools, we always recommend using diamond stones.

Step 2: Drag the Blade

First of all, you have to drag the edges of the blade across the sharpening tool. No matter you use the stone or the sandpaper; you have to drag the blade across it. First, go through one side and then move to the other. After a while, you will get nice and sharp edges!

If you are working with gouges, you have to scrub the sideways over the sandpaper. Start moving the gouge, go for a rolling motion. In that case, the best option is to get the 600-grit stone or the 800 grit stones!

Step 3: The Right Angle

The right angle of the tool against your sandpaper or stone is necessary too! Different woodworkers follow different rules. But we recommend you to go for 11-19 degrees when you position it. When the edge is almost like a tin edge, you have to hold the tool and get under some bright light.

Turn the blade on and check for the shiny line. If you see it, your blade is properly sharpened. However, if you do not see the line, you have to go through stropping to make it better.

Stropping the Wood Carving Tool

Step 1: The Right Equipment

All you have to do is settle for a good strop so that your wood carving tool gets the best finish when it comes to the sharp edges! However, keep in mind that good strops are something that you have to pick up carefully. In this case, go for a two-sided strop. One must be constructed with rough leather and the other one with smooth hide!

Step 2: Lay the Blade and Pull

Now go through the rough leather side and rub the strop-compound. Stick to a decent amount here. Lay the blade properly on the strop surface and pull it away from the cutting edges. Go for long strokes for better results. No stropping will ever be TOO MUCH, trust us! With the help of the leather, you will get a polished finish. And you are already done with the sharpening process! All you need to do is take the tool below the light and enjoy the sharpened edges!

Also Read: Best Wood Lathe Under 500 Dollars | Ultimate Reviews

Wrap Up

So, isn’t it fun to learn how to sharpen wood carving tools? All the steps we have mentioned here are easy. If you are a newbie yet a quick learner, all you need to do is go through the steps and do it at home. Don’t forget to wear the necessary safety gear to keep you safe!

Do you want to know other wood carving tips? We have all the information you need. All you need to do is check out our site and help yourself be a better woodworker!

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