Your First Print : Support Forum

Sharpening Gouges.
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Author:  Gardner Muirhead [ Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Sharpening Gouges.

Hi there ... Nice to introduce myself .. One big problem for me has been sharpening - i watched your demo with great interest and it helped - my main concern is sharpening u shaped gouges particularly the deep ones ... Do I use the same technique and just turn the blade slightly from side to side ? How do I get in the back to get rid of the burr ... Do I need a circular stone ? Look forward to your help :)

Author:  David Bull [ Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sharpening Gouges.

Thanks for joining the forum ... hope you are enjoying the book!

I knew that this question - sharpening u-gouges - which I completely ignored in the book, would come up pretty soon!

Although they can be sharpened on a normal flat stone, by carefully rocking them back and forth while rubbing along the surface, it is of course much easier if you have a stone with a groove that matches the radius of the blade. Instructions on how to make such a stone yourself - a surprisingly easy job - are on a page of my site here.

As for the inner edge of the blade, you can make a rounded stone for this yourself (instructions for this are on that page too), but it is also possible to use the 'low-tech' solution of using a very delicate piece of sandpaper wrapped around a pencil. This works fine, especially if the sandpaper is a particularly worn piece.

Author:  Gardner Muirhead [ Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sharpening Gouges.

Thanks so much for your help ...Finding the book helpfull .. BUT, I have also been visiting your web site for tips and information for a while now ! I attended a course on Japanese woodblock printing at the Glasgow print studio in 2005 and have been working on improving my technique and creating different prints since then .. I'm a bit of a cheat in some respects - I use carbon paper to transfer the images onto the blocks . and i use photoshop etc on my laptop to manipulate the images for printing .. Now that you've explained - I think I have a gouge sharpening stone somewhere... I bought on a whim it in an art store in Tokyo but was never sure what it was for because all the instructions were in Japanese !!! Its white stone with a variety of bumps and valleys - I'll definately look it out ... I think my main problem has been moving the blades across the stones in the wrong direction . In a few weeks 5 pupils from my higher Art class are embarking on woodblock printing projects for their expressive art units ..... It's time for me to learn how to sharpen properly !!! I'll try and upload some of my own prints later for advice ...

Thanks again Gardner :)

Author:  David Bull [ Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sharpening Gouges.

Gardner Muirhead wrote:
'll try and upload some of my own prints later ...

OK ... look forward to seeing them!

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