By: Hal Jones
A few years ago I walked into my teenage stepson’s bathroom he was working on and saw that he was using one of my wood chisels as a scraper, removing grout and thinset from the shower. That chisel came back to me and it was so gouged up I retired it to paint scraper duty. I have used my Worksharp setup for maintaining my new chisels to razor sharpness but never anything like this particular chisel. Could this tool be resurrected?
DMT Products known for its sharpening line of products, had sent me its Magna-Disc Set to try on my Worksharp System and this chisel needed serious renovation. You can tell by the grout and caulk that covered every inch of its metal surface, that it had seen its better day as a fine instrument. But I thought what if I could repair it enough to make a utility chisel that i could use when cutting out wood for hinge plates. There were several deep gouges in the working part of the blade, but what if I could grind down enough to give me a chisel that would be as sharp as my chisels reserved for woodworking, where speed is of the essence. So I used my Worksharp’s coarse disc for the initial grind and then changed out to the Magna-Disc set to finish out the tasks.
I began working on the chisel and removed the grout from the upper section of the chisel as seen in the photo. Following this I began working through the grits until I finished the tasks with the diamond polish that is added to the disc for the final sharpening and honing. As you can see the deep gouges in the chisel face are gone except one. In using the chisel on door frames, there was no notable difference in performance from my chisels that I use for fine woodworking. I usually don’t double bevel my chisels, but for the sake of experimentation, I double beveled the edge. By adding the DMT Magna-Disc System you can add versatility to your Worksharp system. The diamond disc lasts longer and less heat is generated by the diamonds than by silica and paper systems. By progressing to the diamond paste step, you can truly hone your fine cutting tools. In fact long before I reached the honing stage, I could already shave hair from my arm with very little pressure.