This week in the shop

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Blog entry by Woodbutchery posted 05-20-2017 05:48 PM 1104 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently I achieved a milestone year at work (35 years), and along with the satisfaction of hanging around a place for 35 years, my company also provides an array of “points” for purchasing gift cards. A majority of that went to Amazon (where I can get almost everything I want), and among other things, I bought a set of DMT diamond sharpening plates and some stropping compound.

Lately I’ve been mentioning a desire to do more of my work with hand tools; hand saws, hand planes, chisels, etc. While I don’t plan on removing the machines from my work, but I’m finding satisfaction in the inclusion of the hand tools in my projects. That being said, I had been scouting around on the internet looking for advice on how to use these things, and after hopping around a bit, settled on a fellow named Paul Sellers. I like his approach and his fairly simple style. If you don’t like him, have advice for me on much better people to follow, let’s put this as one of those different ways to say “tomato” and just move on. I’m comfortable with the choice I’ve made.

In any case, Sellers has many demonstration videos on You Tube (look up Paul Sellers on you tube. he doesn’t hide well), and among them are methods for sharpening hand planes and chisels (and other blades). He has a sharpening “station” of a piece of wood inset with 3 diamond sharpening stones (hence why I got the sharpening stones), as well as using a stropping block which is basically a piece of wood with a piece of leather glued to it that he uses to rub stropping/sharpening compound on to do the final polish. The sharpening plate set was too expensive for just the casual purchase, but with this award from my work …

Once they arrived, it was tie to put them in a piece of wood so they could be used.

After that, I made the stropping block. Yellow glue, a piece of wood, and a piece of leather. Simple, easy, cheap (I’ve got a large roll of soft leather that I use for various things like mallet head surfaces, etc.).

And there we are, my sharpening station.

Then I used it and didn’t have too much trouble adjusting myself to the process. It is certainly faster than my previous process; get the granite tile w/ the sharpening “paper” glued to it, pull out my chisel/plane sharpening jig to get the right setting on the sharpening guide, worrying the smaller chisels into the sharpening guide, running through each of the grades, one chisel at a time, then wash/rinse/repeat per blade to sharpen. With this hand method, I set things up, I charge the block with the sharpening compound, a squirt or two with the “lapping fluid” (read: glass cleaner), and off we go. No more than 10 minutes for all my blades plus my marking knife.

Anywho, that’s what’s been happening this week. Comments are always welcome, and just a reminder (because I needed it a few years ago), for whom this is a hobby, try to remember that and find some joy in your workshop.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

2 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1255 days

#1 posted 05-20-2017 07:34 PM

Nice looking set-up you’ve got there … very similar to mine. I think you made a good choice with Paul Sellers. I like his style … very straight forward. Keep up the good work!

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4184 days

#2 posted 05-21-2017 09:14 PM

That kind of set up really makes sharpening a lot easier.
Congrats on your 35 years.


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