By Bernie Weisgerber
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Extra resources for An Ax to Grind: A Practical Ax Manual
If this happens to your ax, you’ve got to remove a lot of steel to reshape the edge back to where it still is tempered. If you use a pedal grindstone, keep it wet, and always rotate the grindstone toward you and into the ax, not away from it. If you don’t have a pedal grindstone, your options are limited to a file and whetstone. This is how most quality ax sharpening is done today. Few stores carry pedal grindstones. Wear leather gloves (Figure 63) throughout the sharpening process, as the ax will become razor-sharp.
Snap a chalk line from the upper corner of the layout on one end to the corresponding corner on the other end (Figure 99). It is easier to do if you first cut a notch in the log with your pocket knife immediately above the scribed vertical line. Drive a nail into the vertical line just deep enough to hold one end of the chalk line. Run the chalk line up through the notch and along the length of the log (Figure 100). Then, holding the line tightly at the other end, snap the line by raising it straight up and letting it go.
It is time to check the shape of the edge with a sharpening gauge (Figure 67). This gauge can be handmade from a piece of cardboard, a small piece of brass, or even a piece of wood. See the illustration for the proper shape of your edge. The angle is about 25 degrees, but is slightly convex. The gauge is exactly to scale and can serve as a template (Figure 68). Continue to file equally on both sides of the ax until the sharpening gauge pattern fits exactly Figure 67 42% 3 3/8 x 3 3/8 8 x8 Print to Outside Edge of Borders PRINT Borders Figure 68—A template for a sharpening gauge (reproduced to exact size) and illustrations showing its use (drawings by Frederic H.
An Ax to Grind: A Practical Ax Manual by Bernie Weisgerber