Carving Tool Tune-up
With keenly honed tools, you'll sharpen your skills as a carver
Synopsis: Carver Ian Agrell tells his students to treat sharpening as an art in itself. More important than the choice of sharpening system is knowing what shape is required for a carving tool’s edge. Outside and internal bevels and the angle of the cutting edge relative to the tool’s shank all have a vital bearing on how well it will behave in wood. Agrell recommends a 10° degree inside and outside bevel and says all tools require an edge that’s square to the shaft. Chisels are the easiest to sharpen, while gouges require a smooth, rotating technique and V-parting tools require the most patience. He also adds a word about maintaining and storing carving tools.
Learning to sharpen carving tools takes time, patience and practice, much like carving. I tell my students to treat sharpening as an art in itself. Of course, the real joy comes when they…