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rgwebb6

tool sharpening

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Would someone please start a discussion on tool sharpening. I have not begun my first violin yet, but at 64 years old, I intend to make one before they put me away. I do not know what kind of stone to get, or tool holder, or how to go about sharpening a gouge, or basically anything else about sharpening. Except I do know that it is extremely important to have sharp tools.

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There are many ways to sharpen. I prefer to use tool steel, generally shape by grinding. use coolant very often. start lapping by using a series of course then to fine and on to finest grade emory paper from auto supply as generally can get more grades. If you wish you may harden by heating to cherry red with a torch. apply from the middle rather than the end as the end can burn as thinner. get red hat and quench in water. this makes it glass hard but brittle. continue the last couple of emory laps and by now you have a mirror finish on the steel. This gets tricky here, again heat from the center of the tool. you will see a slight change to yellow color creep ut toward the end of the tool. the point of heat application may be turning blue which is ok but dont soften to black ...too much heat. Just as the cutting edge gets straw yellow remove flame. at this point the edge is hard but can be used the longest between sharpening. If it gets toward blue it is still ok for wood but does not stay sharp as long . You can continue the finest lapping to dress the tool back to mirror. Use care in cutting, they are sharp but not as tough as the blue steels. hope it works to your liking.

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