Thursday, 18 August 2011
Ashley Iles sharpening system
I was fortunate to be shown how to use the machine by Colin Hickman who is a notable wood carver who is well known for his detailed carvings of dogs head walking sticks and game birds. I believe Colin used to work at Ashley Iles and he was responsible for sharpening chisels. Colin explained to me that the bevel on my chisels was too steep and as most of the carving I do is with green woods or timbers such as Lime or Sycamore a blade angle of 30 degrees would be much better to cleanly remove material from my work. The correct bevel was achieved using a linishing machine and rocking the bevel back and forth across the belt sander surface. It is important to never allow the metal to get too hot so a quick dunk in a mug of water helps to cool the blade.
Colin then showed me how to set up a spot light to one side of the sharpening system to allow the chisel to form a shadow on the grind stone.
At thispoint you need to then present the gouge to the polishing mop which has been dressed with the green soap if needed. It is important to remove the burr from the inside of the tool first. The middle of the tool should touch the mop first and the tool then moved down the mop so the noise goes from a higher to a lower pitch when the tip of the tool gets presented to the mop. It is really important not to round off the edge by sticking the tool into the mop at too acute an angle. This could round off the edge making it impossible to properly sharpen the edge meaning the metal will need to be reground beyond the rounded material.