Quick Tip: Detune Your Chisel Sides

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I was working on my bench last weekend and looked down and saw a few red spots.  I first thought, “did the lumber yard get red paint on this wood?”  Then I thought, “wait, I just milled that lumber.”  Finally it dawned on me, “Damnit, I’m bleeding.”

What had happened was, I was paring some wicked Douglas-Fir end grain and was using my left hand to steady the chisel I’d just lapped and sharpened.  The lapping left the sides of the chisel sharp enough to nick my palms.  I’d forgotten to detune those edges after sharpening.  At least I’m not the alone in this blunder.

The process is stupid simple.  Take your lowest grit stone, hold the chisel side against it, and draw the chisel towards you while tilting it up.  A few passes is all that’s needed to slightly round over the sides so they won’t cut you.


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