Sharpening Center #1: Woodcraft Sharpening Class

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 10-13-2016 04:10 AM 871 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Sharpening Center series Part 2: Homemade Strop »

Last Thursday I walked into my local Woodcraft store to shop for some Shapton glass stone set. I had some questions. I was told a sharpening glass was going to be taught that night in the store. So I enrolled for a $45 fee. The class was being taught by the store’s owner Ryan Balls. The class lasted for just over two hours. Ryan gave some great demonstrations using several different sharpening tools and methods. The tips he were great. I took notes. I should have gotten them out before I began this blog. I will look up my notes and add them to this blog later.

The one tip I recall is that “if you do not get a wire burr then you will not be sharpening an edge. After each demonstration he let us fill the burr he created. The finer the grit or stone he used the finer the burr was and the harder or more difficult it was to feel. However, it was there. The demonstrations really helped me understand the sharpening process.

Ryan has been woodworking for 26 years. He said he really fell in love with turning. All of the items on display in the store are his creations.

I asked Ryan about his personal sharpening center in his home shop. He uses a Tormek water grinding system for his turning chisels. For his hand chisels and his bench plane blades he prefers the combination of a Trend Professional stone double-sided diamond stone with 300 and 1,000 grit sides, a 16,000 grit Shapton glass stone placed on a Shapton glass stone holder with a water spray bottle The Trend 1,000 grit side, if I recall correctly, he uses to flatten the Shapton glass stone prior to using the glass stone every time. This is very similar to Rob Cosman’s system of sharpening his plane blades and chisels.

It was nice surprise that all class attendees received a 10 percent discount from any purchase in the store that evening. I went ahead and bought the Trend and Shapton glass stone and holder plus some honing compound.

In the above photo I also have displayed my DMT diaSharp 8,000 grit diamond stone that I have owned for quite awhile. In addition, I have my leather strop with strop compound on the sharpening center’s board. On this sharpening center I have also placed my flat granite stone. I used it early in my sharpening experience with sandpaper. The sandpaper works but I became frustrated with that system.

Not on display here are my Veritas honing guides for my bench plane blades and hand chisels.

-- --- Happy Howie

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