The Hardest Part of Learning to Sharpen

Wise words. Learning to really properly sharpen an edge tool by hand is an epiphany and makes wood and leatherworking a real joy.

The Literary Workshop Blog

The other day, I was teaching a friend to sharpen his plane iron, and it got me thinking about sharpening.  Of all the skills I have learned while working wood, sharpening has been the most life-changing. It started with chisels and plane irons, but then I began sharpening my kitchen knives and pocketknives.  I had no idea that steel could get so sharp!  It used to be that dull tools were merely inconvenient, but now I find a dull knife a heartbreaking disappointment.

I say this because I want to share a recent article on sharpening by Chris Schwarz, former editor at Popular Woodworking Magazine and current head of Lost Art Press.  In it, Schwarz reflects (well, more like pontificates) on how few woodworkers actually know how to sharpen an edge tool.  Even the some of the professionals who write for the big-name magazines often lack basic sharpening skills.  He…

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Don’t be afraid, sharpen your knives!

Talk about convergent timing ... It seems that Paul Sellars was reading my mind when he put up another useful video early today. This is a bit of a ramble I've been pecking around on for a while now.  Sometime in the 1980s we seem to have forgotten how to sharpen our own tools.  That … Continue reading Don’t be afraid, sharpen your knives!

Sharpening

“It’s often said that skill fixes everything … in woodworking, sharp fixes a heck of a lot.”  This says a lot.

wesleyworkswithwood

Time to get some sharpening done.

My geek side gets interested in sharpening, and I want to experiment with different methods. Currently I’m using a sheet abrasive system. The abrasive sheets I purchased from Tools for Working Wood here.

I purchased the glass locally, and glued them to ¾” MDF. Left to right, the abrasives are .3 micron, 5 micron, and 15 micron. It does make my blades VERY sharp.

Sharpening

It’s often said that skill fixes everything. Well in woodworking, sharp fixes a heck of a lot.

If you’re curious about the Shaker Step Stool project, I’m still getting my boards set to final dimensions. I’ve got one more rip cut to make, and then I’ll prep all the surfaces for finishing now, before I actually cut any dovetails. This way all my 1st class saw cuts will be made on the final dimensions of the pieces (look for…

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