How To Sharpen An Ax Angle Grinder
3 ways: How to properly sharpen an ax at home and not make a mistake?
The article tells what the correct sharpening of an ax is. How to sharpen with your own hands. Sharpen at home and choose the right sharpening angle for wood, chopping meat, bones. Sharpen an angle grinder, on a sharpener, on a grinder, emery, a bar.
You also need to choose the optimal sharpening angle. For a construction ax, it is 25-30 °, carpentry tools are sharpened at 35 °. Choppers sharpen at 40 °. In this matter, the main importance is not so much the angle itself as the shape of the cutting edge. There are three types of them:
Figure 3. Ax sharpening angle
- Straight. The bevel is flat, uniform along the entire length of the blade.
- Convex. The chamfers stick out a little.
- Concave. The chamfers are sunken, like a straight razor blade.
A straight chamfer is a versatile option suitable for any kind of work. A convex chamfer is made when working with material of different density, which greatly consumes the tool blade. The concave chamfer allows you to keep sharpening for a long time, but is only suitable for more delicate, precise and accurate work.
Product design and varieties
There are different designs of axes, which are conventionally divided into groups by purpose:
Figure 1. Ax design
- Plotnitsky. Blade straight or slightly rounded, medium size and weight.
- Building. It differs little from the carpentry, usually has a slightly increased size for the convenience of hammering nails or dismantling various structures.
- Meat. Used for chopping meat, it has a large size with an elongated blade that allows you to separate pieces of carcass with one blow.
- Cleaver. Compact and massive tool with a thick chisel-like striker. Designed for splitting logs, not used for other works.
- Lumberjack. Used for chopping branches and separating the tops of the whips. For greater amplitude and economy of effort it has a long handle (ax). It is not currently used for felling trees, although some specialists in this field are still available.
- Hunting. It has a compact shape, usually narrowed just behind the blade to reduce weight.
- Tourist. Reduced size, the handle is usually plastic. It is used in hiking, where you have to carry everything on yourself, therefore compactness and lightness are highly valued.
On sandpaper or a bar by hand
This method takes a lot of time and requires skill. However, experienced craftsmen claim that this is the only way to get a not overheated and even working edge and sharpen it in the right way. A block or waterproof sandpaper is used as an abrasive. The surface is moistened with water, the ax is applied at the desired angle and in circular movements, with a pressure of medium force, sharpened until the expected result is obtained. The process is lengthy and laborious, as well as tedious. But the main danger of the blade overheating is absent, there is also no threat of awkward movement to ruin the edge or change the sharpening angle.
Often the work is accelerated with a file. Pre-grind the blade with coarse sandpaper to remove burrs and other large irregularities. Then the ax is fixed in a comfortable position, a bastard file is taken and an edge is formed on both sides. During this, you should periodically check the form using the template. When the edge is finally formed, the ax is brought to the desired state on the abrasive wheel (bar) by hand.
How to sharpen an ax: types of products, rules and process features
Carpentry work requires quality tooling. Having figured out the subtleties of the process, how to sharpen the ax correctly at home, you can do without the involvement of specialists and ensure effective, safe use.
Ax sharpening angles
The sharpness of the ax blade is determined by two main indicators: the sharpening angle and the width of the chamfers. The choice of the optimal sharpening angle is directly related to a certain type of work. Trimming logs requires an angle sharpness of up to 20 degrees.
Solid cutting requires the selection of the sharpening angle depending on the degree of material hardness. The higher the index, the more the obtuse sharpening angle increases. Machining hard wood will require regular sharpening of the tool.
Universal work is performed when an angle of 25-30 degrees is reached. Precise processes in the form of creating blanks, minor furniture repairs are performed at 15-20 degrees of the sharpening angle.
Product design and varieties
Faced with the need for felling or finishing wood, you will need to choose the right tool. Axes are widely used for rough processing of the massif. The device of the product consists of a metal blade, a wooden or plastic (shock-resistant) handle and a mounting wedge.
There are several main types of the instrument:
- Universal. The tool has a wide, straight chopping piece, often with a rounded blade. Performing a certain type of sharpening allows the ax to be used for various carpentry and joinery work.
- Multifunctional. The product is equipped with additional options. The reverse side of the blade is made in the form of a pick, hammer, nail puller. It is used for small volumes of work using additional tools.
- Lumberjack. The instrument is massive. Standard products weigh more than 2 kg, light versions. 1-1.5 kg. It is used for felling trees.
- Tourist. The compact product is fully consistent with its intended use. The tool is optimal for use on hiking trips due to its low weight and high quality steel.
- Cleaver. The blade of the product is made in the form of a wedge, which prevents the possibility of the tool getting stuck in the wood. Powerful long stick increases impact force when working. It is used for cutting massive logs.
Work efficiency largely depends on the quality of the blade steel. Marking acts as a designation of the degree of strength, impurity content. The high performance characteristics of the metal correspond to the “A” marking. Frequent loss of blade sharpness during work will require knowledge of how to properly sharpen the ax in order to ensure regular maintenance.
A blunt poleaxe is dangerous to operate and can cause injury or damage during work. The level of productivity drops by a factor of several when the blade slides off, increasing the need for labor.
In addition to a measuring bar or protractor, a set of abrasive stones, differing in their grain size, rough cloth, water, and also a leather belt are required. Using a measuring bar allows you to find out at what angle the sharpening will be carried out. This device will need to be made with a bevel corresponding to the angle of the planned sharpening. The tool is placed on a straight, stable surface such as a table or stool, after which the blade begins to be cut with a bar. In this case, the stone moves along a curve, creating half rings.
It is necessary to hold the bar at the angle of the required sharpening. Thanks to a stone with a coarse grain, it will be possible to provide the required slope and width of the chamfer. The second side of the cutting blade is processed in a similar manner. At the next stage, sharpening takes place using a bar with an average grain size. Last of all, with the smoothest stone, all burrs are removed and any uneven fragments are corrected.
If everything is done correctly, the bevel will be evenly smooth tactilely. After straightening on the leather belt under tension, you can complete the job. Residual debris or dust can easily be removed with a piece of cloth. By the way, during the work, it is periodically recommended to moisten both the stones and the ax.
On a grinding machine
Special machines are usually used by professionals. In addition to the electric drive, they are equipped with a device that allows you to sharpen axes at a certain angle. Direct sharpening is carried out using an abrasive disc. Since the ax is mounted on a cylinder, it will not move from side to side and disrupt the workflow. In addition to the machine itself, for sharpening it is also necessary to prepare a hand sharpener with two sides, a marker, a polishing agent, an inclinometer, as well as the master’s protection: gloves, glasses, closed clothes and shoes.
First of all, the chamfer is covered with a marker, then the ax is fixed on the machine. The point is brought to the grinding wheel, and the required cutting angle is selected using the sharpening angle. To check the circle, you need to turn it yourself and see if the paint has worn off where the blade and the stone came into contact. Ideally, they should disappear completely. When finished with the settings, you can turn on the sharpener. The chamfer is processed until all irregularities disappear, and everything is brought to mind with a hand sharpener.
The device used to keep the ax in shape can differ in structure, complexity of operation, and price. A special sharpener for an ax allows you to solve the issue quickly and without much physical difficulty, but in this case it is important to monitor whether the cutting blade is overheating, and you still have to pay a decent amount. This explains why the grinder is more commonly used by professionals who require it on a regular basis. For home use, an abrasive wheel that is fixed at the desired angle is more suitable.
Types of cutting teeth
There are four planes on the surface of the teeth. Front, back and two lateral.
At the moment of intersection with each other, they create a single cutting edge, due to which the sawing of surfaces occurs.
There are several forms of teeth:
- Straight tooth. Most often it is used only for a quick longitudinal cut. During such work, quality and accuracy are practically irrelevant.
- Oblique tooth. The back plane of such a part is inclined to the right or left. On saws, these teeth often alternate, which is why they are called “alternately cut”. These teeth are most commonly used in tools. The size of the corners can be different, this is due to the coating of the treated surface. Wood, chipboard, plastic. They are used for longitudinal and transverse movements. The large angle of inclination on the tools is used when cutting boards with double-sided lamination. This helps to avoid chipping of the material. The larger the chamfered corner, the easier the saw will cut through the surface. But this greatly increases the likelihood of tooth breakage. On some products, the teeth are inclined not only at the back, but also at the front.
- Trapezoidal tooth. The main advantage of this type is that the edge dulls slowly. But they are rarely used separately, usually alternated with straight teeth. During the operation of the device, the trapezoidal teeth are located above the straight ones, therefore, they take over the main (rough) sawing work. Straight teeth for finishing. This saw design is used for sawing plastic, chipboard and MDF.
- Conical tooth. This type of tooth is considered optional because it only helps to cut the lower part of the material (most often the laminate). This design allows you to protect the surface from chips and cracks. Bevel teeth usually have a straight front edge, but it can also be concave. This type is used for finishing the saw cut.
How to determine wear and tear?
Checking the saw blade for wear is an important issue that should be given special attention. Deep damage leads to the inability to sharpen the circle. There are three main signs by which you can understand that the saw needs to be sharpened or replaced:
- Excessive heating of the protective cover and formation of smoke. The circular saw has a special cover that signals when the saw is blunt by heating. In especially difficult situations, smoke may appear from it.
- Sometimes the saw device involves a mechanical feed (if you need to adjust the pressure with your own hands). In such a situation, wear can be noticed if the pressure has to be increased.
- If carbon deposits and a strong unpleasant odor are formed on the workpiece when sawing wood.
All the situations described above tell the user to sharpen the device.
Sharpening principles and angles
There are four main sharpening corners on the saw edges. Together with the shape of the tooth, they can act as the main operational characteristics of the tool. The following are used to describe each tooth:
- Front and back angle.
- Cut angles of the front and back surfaces.
These characteristics may depend on the type and weight of the circular saw, its purpose, as well as the density of the particular surface.
Sharpening angles in the diagram
Based on the parameters indicated above, all circulars can be divided into several types:
- For slotting longitudinal holes. A 15 to 25 degree rake angle should be used for this task.
- For cross-cutting. In this situation, the rake angle can vary from 5 to 10 degrees.
- Universal sharpening. For any operation, the saws are sharpened at an angle of 15 degrees.
The size of the sharpened angle is not only determined by the direction of movement of the saw, it is also related to the workpiece material. When cutting through very hard materials, the smallest angle should be chosen. For softer products, the angle increases.