My tool sharpener

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Blog entry by Bearpie posted 07-19-2011 05:13 AM 15596 reads 6 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am writing this and posting some pictures of my carving tool sharpener due to a number of requests I have received after posting my workshop video. I bought this back when I just couldn’t get my carving tools sharp enough fast enough. I was forever sharpening my tools and not carving when my carving instructor for the weekend class had one like this and I was immediately sold. He took my order and it was delivered 3 weeks later. It is impossible to get a tool burn when using this sharpener on the big wheels. It runs slow enough to prevent that from happening. There are three 2” x 8” wheels for honing your tools. I use 120 grit for coarse, 220 grit for fine then a 2” leather wheel with jewelers rouge to hone and polish the edge to a mirror finish, there is a 6” cloth wheel that runs on the top and a 4” cloth wheel on the lower level which runs fast. there are also 4 different shaped burr remover on the lower level also. They will polish to some degree. All the wheels are designed to run up and away from you to keep the tools from digging into the wheels. It takes a few minutes to put a super razor sharp edge on a nicked tool. Once a tool has been honed it is amazing how easy it is to cut wood, not to mention how much blood it draws when you accidentally slice yourself open! It seems to hurt less, initially, when you cut yourself with a sharp tool versus a dull tool but that could be up for debate! I can find no manufacturers mark on my machine and have no idea who made this. I do know it came out of either Kansas, Oklahoma or Nebraska. I had records when I received this but after so many years, it vanished. Hopefully someone here can identify this as to who made this or where it came from.

Comments and critiques always welcomed and appreciated.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

20 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5254 days

#1 posted 07-19-2011 05:25 AM

I belive it is a Burke B200.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4175 days

#2 posted 07-19-2011 05:30 AM

Wow, that was quick! I had not expected this quick a response. Thanks Wayne.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5254 days

#3 posted 07-19-2011 05:32 AM

Your welcome. I was looking at sharpening tools the other day and had looked at this one. I just started carving.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4733 days

#4 posted 07-19-2011 05:34 AM

Way to go Wayne. You found that thing in no time!

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4175 days

#5 posted 07-19-2011 05:46 AM

You cannot go wrong with this model, it is easy to use and does an excellent job although I will say that it is a bit pricey. I believe that I paid $450. for it when I bought it and I see that it is still the same price.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 4216 days

#6 posted 07-19-2011 05:50 AM

I’m looking at this and I think that someone with the initiative and access to parts could easily fabricate one of these themself. I’m thinking all of the shafts, pulleys, belts and bearings and probably even the motor could be purchased at Grainger or Motion Industries. The wheels could be purchased from most any woodworking supply store or possibly fabricated/made by the user. As for the frame, anyone with a little skill with a welder could make it and I thik it could just as easily be built out of wood as well. This gives me an idea. The only thing that I would like, if I were to build one would be to add a tool rest to help ensure setting the correct bevel angle on the tools. I certainly believe I could build something similar for less than $450.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5254 days

#7 posted 07-19-2011 06:17 AM

One could build it Doc, but I’m not sure if the savings would be that much when you considered the time. Especially if your going to reproduce it exactly.

Bear, do you find the lower bar very useful. I belive they have a simpler version that does not have the lower bar.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2080 posts in 3797 days

#8 posted 07-19-2011 06:38 AM

@WayneC is the google guru i look up to ;=)

For the extra $104, I’d have to go for the B200 over the B3500 just so I wouldn’t always regret not getting the lower bar.

That looks like a metal finisher’s dream.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5254 days

#9 posted 07-19-2011 06:49 AM

I have it on my wish list…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4175 days

#10 posted 07-19-2011 07:25 AM

The lower bar works better for the small V and U gouges and odd shaped tools. The most used item on the lower bar that I use is the cloth buffing wheel. It polishes up the tools fast so I spend less time sharpening and more time carving. The tool will just glide through soft woods almost like a hot knife through butter!

Doc, Sure I believe anyone could build a tool like this but the time it will take you to do that will far outpace the cost of this machine. The hours spent on planning, making and assembling this would be far more than the cost of this machine unless one puts a very low value on their time. If you enjoy the challenge of making such a tool then by all means go for it.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3999 days

#11 posted 07-19-2011 05:48 PM

Looks like a nice setup. I say looks like because I know little about them. Proper sharpening techniques is something I have neglected for far too long. I need to start gaining more skill in this area though. The farther I go with my wood working journey, the more I learn the pitfalls of having not quite sharp enough tools.


View mpounders's profile


999 posts in 4052 days

#12 posted 07-19-2011 07:43 PM

I attended a class and the instructor had one of these for sharpening our tools…..I was quite impressed with how great it worked! I mainly used the leather wheel and the buffing wheel, so that is how I built mine for home use (look at my projects to see a picture). Mine was much simpler, using materials I had, but the one you have is worth every penny of the price! I have built and tried a lot of methods for sharpening my tools, but this is the best I have found so far. It is superb and easy way to keep carving tools razor sharp.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 3980 days

#13 posted 07-20-2011 11:36 PM

I’ve saved this one Erwin & will come back to it later just dont want to loose it.
This would also be great for sharpening my Power carvers plus my little set of Marples carvers.
SWhen they say “paper wheels” what are these I havn’t come across them??
Thanks for the post :))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4446 days

#14 posted 07-21-2011 12:29 AM

saweeeeeeet machine it looks to have everything or at least a way to add to it.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View mountainaxe's profile


164 posts in 3662 days

#15 posted 09-26-2011 03:52 PM

Very nice! Interestingly, the latest Shopnotes magazine has plans for building a sharpening system very much like this one.

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

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