Pitted gouges


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I just picked up a couple of Buck Bros gouges, and there is some pitting on the inside. In the past I've used a dremmel sanding drum to remove the pitted metal, slowly so not to burn it.

It feels a little aggressive and I worry about damaging the steel. What do others do to get rid of this kind of damage?

The first two pix are of the pitting, the third after the dremel.

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Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Bluing the steel is most likely to happen right near the cutting tip, since the metal is thinnest there, and so heats-up so very easily.

I would use the Dremel on the thicker parts of the steel, which should be able to take it, and have a jar/pail of cold water nearby to dip the gouge every-so-often.

Then I would just shape a wooden dowel to the gouges concave surface, using the gouge itself, and run up through the various grits of sandpaper, using the shaped dowel as a backer. This method will allow the use of fine 3M micro abrasive sheets.

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there is really no good reason to worry about any of the pitting except that pitting in the last 1mm or so adjacent the tip, as others have said, sharpen it, look at the edge under magnification and see if theres any pitting of the sharp edge, even a couple of tiny notches in the tip wont destroy the functionality of the chisel, see how it cuts a piece of maple, etc

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While sanding with your little drum, place a finger in contact with the other side of the gouge opposite where you are sanding. Your finger will become uncomfortably warm long before you heat the steel enough to alter the temper. This will tell you when to stop sanding and cool the blade in water. It gets trickier as you get close to the cutting edge.

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Dremel 3/16" Flapwheels (504 and 505) can be quite useful for getting rid of pitting. Following this I have generally used shaped sharpening stones or various wet and dry sandpaper grits wrapped around dowelling. Dremel polishing wheels or a shaped hard leather disc charged with various polishing compounds can be used to reduce any residual sandpaper or sharpening stone marking followed by final polishing on a buffing wheel attached to a bench grinder. This wheel is charged with a green polishing compound (Orion) which produces a fine smooth finish. I bought this compound many years ago but am guessing that it might be some form of chromium oxide...

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I sharpen all of my concave edges with a Smith's long tapered conical diamond hone I got at Wally World in the '90's. Works great. If the inside edge needs preparation first, I recommend a fine rattail, half-round or chainsaw file, depending what gets the best contact. I usually remove rust from old tools with a collection of brass and steel "toothbrushes", several grades of steel wool, and 320 to 1200 grit carbide paper. I personally prefer not to use a grinder or sander on hand tools I carve with.

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I sharpen all of my concave edges with a Smith's long tapered conical diamond hone I got at Wally World in the '90's. Works great. If the inside edge needs preparation first, I recommend a fine rattail, half-round or chainsaw file, depending what gets the best contact. I usually remove rust from old tools with a collection of brass and steel "toothbrushes", several grades of steel wool, and 320 to 1200 grit carbide paper. I personally prefer not to use a grinder or sander on hand tools I carve with.

I agree with all that you mention. Carbide paper and diamond hones can be an excellent option.

Unfortunately, in my case, I had inherited a large number of gouges that had deep pitting on the concave faces. While I would have preferred to have not used a Dremel, I got impatient. Having said this, I was very careful to avoid any significant build up of heat.

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If you have chipped edges, and need to flatten the very cutting edge to get rid of those chips, then do the inside pitting with the Dremel when the edge is blunt, and you will buy yourself some leeway as far as bluing the edge goes, and then just finish up sharpening the edge last.

Deos any1 no how to turn on spell checker?

I seem to have lost it.

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For what it's worth, somebody gave me a set of cheap Chinese carving chisels for Christmas a couple of years ago (they were trying to be thoughtful) and I of course found the things were dull to start with and wouldn't hold an edge when sharpened. As among my other crimes, I'm a blacksmith, I retempered them and now they work just fine. Provided you don't burn the steel, a temper can be pulled and restored.

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