No great carpenter could do the job with a blunt chisel. Comparing it with an arrow in a hunt, chisel has similar function to rip the skin off the surface. This reason adds the urge for any carpenter as well as the first timer craftsman to sharpen their chisel before actually using it. The question is: do you know how?
Believe it or not, the sharpness of a knife could be predicted from its angle. Pay close attention to your newly bought chisel. It would be around 30 to 35 degree. The proper angle is around 20 to 25. How to get these angles? You need to sharpen it.
Hold the bottom close to the sharpening stone surface, then stroking the sides back and forth on the surface, alternating from the coarse, medium then fine grits. Repeat similar process for the other sides. As for the bevel, you need special trick to handle this: no tipping. To be able to do that, the equipment store provides pricey tools to hold the chisel. Make your own by copying the picture of that tool.
This process is similar to sharpening but in one term. Instead of sharpening stone, honing calls for sand paper with different grit and also magnets. The preparation includes sticking the fine sand paper of 600, 800 and 1000 grits on the table for honing purpose. To hold the chisel in stead position, you could make use of magnets.
Most people suggest to use three magnets, while some others are comfortable using two magnets only. Continue the honing until you see slight recess on the bottom of the chisel. If you want to continue the process, then later you will get hollow grind. When you have finished the 1000 grits, try to hone the chisel on 2000 grits sand paper. Your chisel would be very sharp!
For the last process, you need to apply medium polishing compound on a leather. This would be the base for strooping process. Bring your sharpened chisel to the base and stroke it back and forth. The sharp edges will be polished and protected.
Don’t easily believe that the thing you buy from the market is ready to use. Particularly for a chisel, that still needs additional sharpening stage. Using it right from the package won’t give you a proper cut. Rub it on the sharpening stone and see the difference. Your chisel will cut easily like a razor.