How do you sharpen a pair of side cutters.. a circle saw blade… a center punch… a scraper?
Good questions, when you consider the wide range of sharpening techniques called for by these tools. And fairly representative of the many kinds of edges a handyman often finds dull.
Look into any Handyman’s Corner and you find recommendations for general sharpening techniques – the simplest and quickest way to shape and sharpen a cutting tool. Here, now, is a roundup of sharpening methods for some specific tools. Some of them are not cutting tools as such. But they all have edges which wear dull – and they all perform better when you keep em shipshape and sharp.
#1. Remember frequent touch-ups are better than long-delayed major sharpenings and always maintain the bevels your tools’ edges had when new.
#2. “Gum” your blade if it has been sharpened till it’s teeth are short. Count the number of strokes in each gullet with rattail file, to keep depth uniform. Round piece of wood backing up blade prevents file “screech. A sharp eye and a steady hand are required to sharpen a circle saw blade.
All teeth even is rule No. 1 in saw sharpening. Joint teeth to identical height by lowering blade, then raising it slowly while it is running, until teeth just touch sharpening stone held on the table over the saw slot.
Set the teeth with an inexpensive pistol-grip device that uses a special attachment for circular saw blades. Adjust the tool so that the amount of set is not too great. Never set your hollow-ground blades.
The amount to file is indicated by tiny spot of light on each tooth, resulting from the “jointing. File parallel to the original bevel angle until you see this little bright spot disappear.
#3. When sharpening a knife such as a RAT Knives Izula, remember that the edge will last longer if not honed too thin.
#4. Hone knife edge wedge-shaped for easy cutting, long use without dulling. Stroke one way, then rotate knife for backstroke. Avoid grinding. Thin blades overheat easily
#5. Sharpening inside curve knives calls for slip.” Select curve of rounded slip stone that best lits curve youre honing. Careful slip work retains shape of tool.
A sweeping curve from heel to tip is the proper movement for sharping a sickle. Use a long, slim scythestone to avoid cutting yourself.
#6. Rotary mower blades should he filed at the same angle as the original edge when it gets knicked. Razor sharpness dulls soon and is not needed, because the speed of blade insures a clean cutting action.
#7. Auger bits bore clean and fast only when sharp. Use a slim taper file or specially made tools for bits. Do the lip first, then the inside of the spur. Never sharpen the outside curve because it will cause bits to bind.
#8. Twist drill bits can be carefully sharpened by twisting them along the face of a grinding wheel. Follow the fluting on the bit to help guide movement its’ movement on the tool rest. The heel of the cutting face must be lower than the lip.
Keep in mind that a bench grinder can be delicate or a hard-fisted metal mover.
#9. Very small tools are hard to hold up to the grinding wheel. Make a simple jig using a slot in end of piece of hardwood, and a thumbscrew to hold the blade tightly. Use the jig as you usually do on the tool rest.
#10. Single-bit axes should have their battered head ground smooth. Grind the edge well back on the flat so it won’t become too thick. The best ax edge is rounded so it won’t stick in wood.
#11. You can flatten a punch face by twisting it against a bench grinder wheel. Reshape the end lightly against the wheel’s side. Also, center and prick punches can be turned on the side of the wheel to restore their original point angle.
#12. Chisels dull very quickly. Therefore, they should be touched up often. You can do so by twisting the butt of the chisel against the bench grinder’s wheel to remove any burr. A nice even bevel along the exterior perimeter of the butt reduces brooming” when you pound on it hard.
For a more delicate touch, remember that stones cut slowly and let you sharpen accurately.
#13. Easy-cutting scissors demand the proper bevel for shear cut. Fortunately, the bevel is easy to maintain with a stone since the free half of the scissors helps guide the angle. Stroke in a forward movement only on a fine side sharpening stone.
#14. Some tools such as cutting pliers are too hard to be sharpened with a file. Use a hard stone to sharpen them. For best results, clamp the pliers in a vise to easily control the sharpening angle. Be sure to keep the edges parallel to each other.
Other tools are best sharpened with hand files.
For example, a flat cut of file is ideal for edges that are beveled, but not sharp. Stroke across the edge going away from you. Use the full length of file in a diagonal stroke along the tool’s entire cutting edge.
#15. Screwdriver tips must be square and flat. File them when they becomes rounded. Carefully carry the stroke up the side of the driver so that the taper doesn’t increase and cause the screwdriver to slip out of a screw slot easily.
#16. A scraper blade will give a perfectly flat cut when filed at a slight bevel across the edge. Lock it low in a vise to prevent vibration or chatter. Each stroke should run across the full width of the blade.
#17. Grass clippers take the same shear-cut bevel as tin snips, scissors, etc. Stroke them smoothly across the heel of the edge to its’ tip. Never file the flat face of any shear cutting tool.