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Q & A: Restoring a Blued Chisel


Q & A: Restoring a Blued Chisel


The first thing I did with my new grinder was to blue the edge of a chisel. Is there anything I can do to save it?


Most woodworkers have faced this problem at some point. The only practical solution is to remove the discolored metal and regrind a new bevel.

Set the tool rest at 90 degrees to the face of the stone and gently grind away the blued edge. Think of it as turning your chisel into a screwdriver (see photo above). The advantage to flat grinding the end is that it leaves a thick edge to dissipate the heat generated when regrinding the bevel. Be sure to keep the edge square to the side of the chisel.

Regrinding the bevel will take time because a great deal of metal must be removed. Maintain a light touch, and be patient. Once the new bevel has been formed your chisel should be as good as new—just a little shorter.

Tip: To reduce the chance of blueing any more chisels, try using white or pink 60-grit aluminum-oxide wheels which grind cooler. You’ll pay about $20 at Garrett Wade, (800) 221- 2942; Highland Hardware, (800) 241- 6748; or Woodcraft, (800) 225-1153.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker August 1999, issue #74.

August 1999, issue #74

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