How to Repair Wood Chisels

Written by danny donahue
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How to Repair Wood Chisels
Wood chisels are precision tools that must be kept sharp at all times. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Wood chisels are delicate, precision instruments that need to be properly maintained. You should never abuse your chisels by using them as a screwdriver or pry bar. They are meant to shave small slivers off of a piece of wood to shape and mould it to fit your project. Unfortunately, not all people treat their chisels with the respect such a tool deserves. Learn to fix and resharpen damaged wood chisels to restore a working set.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flat file
  • Triangular file
  • Dremel with grinding bits
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Face shield

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  1. 1

    Hold one of the chisels with its blade perpendicular to your flat file. Lean the handle of the chisel back until the angle between the handle and the file matches the angle of the blade tip.

  2. 2

    Push and pull the blade of the chisel against the file to remove any imperfections. Continue sharpening the blade off the chisel until you have restored the factory edge.

  3. 3

    Sharpen any chisels with an angled blade using a triangular file. Stick to the original, factory angles. Work each blade until the imperfections are removed and the blade looks like new.

  4. 4

    Load a grinding bit into your dremel following the manufacturer's instructions. Hold the dremel parallel to a badly damaged chisel. Lift the handle of the dremel until it is at a 30-degree angle to the handle of the chisel.

  5. 5

    Turn the dremel on and increase the speed to its highest setting. Use the spinning bit of the dremel to reform the tip of the chisel to its original shape, angle and sharpness.

Tips and warnings

  • Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand files.
  • A face shield is required in addition to your gloves an glasses when using a dremel.

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