Every owner of a digger eventually encounters such a phenomenon when this rooting tool “just does not climb into the ground”, despite great efforts on the part of its owner. The blades are not particularly sharp and the products just bought from the store. However, solving this problem is not difficult at all. You just need to sharpen the cutting edge in one of the three ways suggested in this article.
How to sharpen a shovel with a file
The most affordable option at home, because a set of files is usually part of the arsenal of every home craftsman. The advantages of this method are considered to be the increased quality of sharpening in the complete absence of overheating of the metal, as well as the ability to correct the tool anywhere and without being tied to a power source. True, there are also disadvantages, since this process is very time-consuming and requires skill and considerable physical effort from the performer.
In this case, we act as follows:
- We clean the shovel from dirt and make sure that there is no damage and the handle is securely fixed. Along the way, we eliminate possible problems.
- We fix the tool canvas. Benches are most suitable for this purpose. However, during this simple operation, it is important not to overdo it so that deformations do not appear on the bayonet. But in the field, you can manage on your own.
- We carefully process the working part with files (we start with a large notch and gradually move to small ones) with gentle, but strong movements at an angle of 40-45 degrees from the edge to the middle of the blade (sharpening in the opposite direction direction is excluded) along the outer side of the shovel (do not touch the inner side). The thickness of the cutting edge should not exceed 0.5 millimeters.
- We finish the work by editing the point using a fine-grained square file, sandpaper or grinder, removing the protruding edge, defects and excessive sharpness from the angle of grinding.
If everything was done correctly, the blade, sharpened to a mirror shine, should have no dents, chips, scratches or burrs. You can check the quality of the sharpening with a sheet of paper or a block of wood.
How to sharpen a shovel with a grinder
The main advantages of this method are the speed and the possibility of combining rough processing with a finishing cut of the blade. However, there are a lot of disadvantages in this case.
First, you need a power source (battery or electrical outlet). Second, high angle grinder speeds can prevent a uniform 0.5 millimeter thick working edge from forming over the entire surface of the tip, and also greatly increase the risk of metal overheating, which has an extremely negative effect on its resistance (a sharp bayonet will “wrinkle” on first contact with hard ground). Fourth, careful editing is required to eliminate many flaws and give the shovel blade a “mirror” shine.
The procedure for choosing this option. Almost no different from the previous method:
- we clean the tool from dirt and securely fix its working part (preferably in a vice);
- turn on the “grinding wheel” and proceed to sharpening, performing smooth and rapid movements (without delay) along the outer part of the blade from each edge to the middle of the blade;
- after 2-3 passes on each side, we install a grinding disc on the angle grinder and bring the blade to perfect condition (thickness 0.5 millimeters with a perfectly flat surface).
In principle, a working method, but only if you have experience with a “grinder” and the sharpening of various tools.
How to sharpen a shovel with emery
This method is usually used by professionals, since modern grinding machines have speed control and a massive abrasive wheel is firmly fixed, which eliminates vibrations.
The emery sharpening process is basically similar to the previous options, but has a few features:
- the canvas in this case is pressed against a special stopper;
- the passage from the edge to the middle of the point must be done in a single movement (gently quickly and without stops) in order to avoid possible overheating of the metal;
- first we level the surface (we remove all defects) and only then we form a working edge 0.5 millimeters thick;
- between the passes, the metal is cooled in water (at this time, dark spots may appear on the surface of the metal, but they should not be feared because they do not affect the characteristics of the material);
- the point is finished using a regular lathe or a fine-grained square needle file.
We hope that the information in this article will help owners of the trenching tool to always keep it in working order.