Sharpening methods #2: A update on my personal sharpening methods.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 06-15-2011 03:15 PM 9312 reads 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: What is your favorite iron and sharpening method AND why? Part 2 of Sharpening methods series Part 3: The Eclipse & Record honing guides in use »

An update on my personal sharpening methods.

When I read in the blog I realized it looked like I use only my water grinder and this is not the case, so I decided for a little update showing my sharpening gear.

I like to use the Lansky system for my household and tour knifes this because it is portable and because I keep it in my kitchen so I always have scrap knifes.
It is easy to use and almost meditative to sit and sharpen a knife with.
A product I can highly recommend for knifes, and it comes now with diamond sharpeners.
(If you are thinking ‘what is that strange piece of wood behind’ it is a totem my daughter and I made when we were in the forest the other day, we played indians so we brought our knifes, painted our faces, put feathers in the hat and hair, throw spears and spend the most of a day making traps, looking at animals, screaming Indians songs and enjoying natures beauty).

Here are the tools for sharpening I use in my work shop.
Rough stones, finer stones for sharpening.
Arkansas stone for honing.
Curved stones, beveled stones for gouges and carving tools.
Honing compounds for wheels and leather pads for honing.
Diamond pads for free hand sharpening on router bits and so.
Glass plates with different grinds of sand paper for sharpening.
For truing I use my disc sander also.
And then my wet grinder.
So yes I do not only use the wet grinder…
When I began the wood journey a few years back I used the sandpaper on glass method only and used it with a jig, but since I got the wet grinder I must admit I tend to use this since I have a neck and arm problem after a operation so repetitive moves are really bad for me, and also I am lazy by nature.

I made this little glass plate holder blog for those who are new in this most of all because I could not find my holder, but of course I found it right after…
A piece of plywood width as the glass plate and a little longer.
Put glue in one end.

Glue on stop blocks that a thinner than the glass, and leave a little room at one end so you can mount a wedge for a firm grip.

At the underside you can mount a stop, which can be held in your wise or just held against the table edge.

Now time to prepare the plate.

I use a long piece of sand paper that I tape to the glass plate, in this way it is fast and easy to change paper.
Others prefer to glue the paper to the glass to secure a completely flat surface.


Here you see my plates.
I have one for each grid from 120 – 240 – 320 – 400 – 600 – 1200, I am not really sure how to translate these grids to other systems, but the 1200 water paper gives a mirror finish and the famous scary sharp edge. I also tested 2000 but I feel not that it makes a sharper edge.

After I like to leather strap it with a paste.
(I’m sorry for the chisel on this photo…).

Here an example of flattening a back of a chisel on sand paper.
The big rubber is a special rubber for cleaning the paper, and this is a must, it makes the work faster and the paper last longer.

Getting there.

Now time to step up grid, personally I never go for the mirror finish, but stops around 320 – 400, and then let the leather strapping on my water grinder finish up only at the cutting edge.

For the water papers I use a duster to spray water on the paper.

Ohhh yes I do have a diamond that came with my Bahco chisels, but since it is not all flat, I will say it has almost no use, and this is why I was so curious to hear about the DMT’s, I think I will have to try them, when my budget allow me.

The chisels in some of the pictures are a set I got for 5 dollar with some other tools, it is some fine metal and they hold a really fine edge, but I have never seen so badly made irons so they needed a big tour before they could be used, now they are going to be my Paris set, since the chisels I had here was a really crappy dollar store set with metal softer than butter I bought once when I had to fix a door.


The kind of guide I started out with, I have one here in Paris.

I forgot my hand grinder!
This baby desrves a place in the sharpening hall of fame here.

And latest new is this wonderful Peugeot hand grinder a real vintage baby that are all unused.
It will stay here in Paris to keep me sharp when I am out of town.


Best thoughts,

Hope not to confuse now.

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

16 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4018 days

#1 posted 06-15-2011 03:50 PM

Sharp :)


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4496 days

#2 posted 06-15-2011 03:52 PM

You say you are lazy Mads, but after seeing all of your sharpening equipment, I would say that I am much lazier than you ( in case there is a prize involved).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4251 days

#3 posted 06-15-2011 03:52 PM


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View CharlesAuguste's profile


126 posts in 3703 days

#4 posted 06-15-2011 04:20 PM

Good blog, definately the scary sharp method is the way to go once you optain a flat back and a scary sharp edge,
and put that chisel to use for a while the touch up to regain that edge is quick and removes very minimal metal.
Also it can work for gouges as well with different size dowels or metal rods.

-- "the future's uncertain and the end is always near" J. Morrison

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 3832 days

#5 posted 06-15-2011 05:53 PM

Thanks for simplyfing this process. I really like the jig.

-- Bryan

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26457 posts in 4267 days

#6 posted 06-15-2011 06:15 PM

Wow you sure have an array of sharping methods. I was sorry to hear that the diamond is not that flat. I use one all the time….............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Sodabowski's profile


2400 posts in 3995 days

#7 posted 06-15-2011 11:03 PM

I love the totem and its story.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4835 days

#8 posted 06-16-2011 03:43 AM

Looks good, Mad. I need to brush up on my sharpening skills.

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4251 days

#9 posted 06-16-2011 11:37 AM

Hi hi,
CJ, the sandpaper version with a jig to hold the iron is really easy, so easy that every one can learn it in no time, so go for this one at first. I just bought a cheap jig for a couple of dolars and it works fine even it is in a teriblre orange color… laugh.
Thomas, merci. I’m in Paris will send you a sms so we can have a coffee.
Jim, yes I think I will put the cash aside for some DMT stones now.
Bsmith, glad it could be usefull. (-;
CharlesAuguste, gauges this I have never seen, can you show / explain?
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4496 days

#10 posted 06-16-2011 08:08 PM

Oh oh, Paris again. I ask myself what new charming old tools will be making the trip back home with you this time Mads. I love the stuff you get there.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4251 days

#11 posted 06-16-2011 11:25 PM

Just made a update on the blog from my little table by the window in Paris.

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3966 days

#12 posted 06-19-2011 10:19 PM

I’ve been using pretty much the same method Mads. I see you have a tube of Flitz there. I’ve use semi-chrome on the leather strop, and it works pretty good also. It’s about the same as Flitz. Although, years ago, I found Flitz was better on the chrome parts of an old motorcycle I had. great blog how to.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3855 days

#13 posted 06-19-2011 10:31 PM

Nothing to add but agreement. Sandpaper and stropping, sharp every time.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4251 days

#14 posted 06-20-2011 12:39 AM

Al, it sounds like a old fifties commercial.
Roger, yes there are many compounds that can be used for stropping, as you can see I also added Autosol.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View DinoWalk's profile


29 posts in 3721 days

#15 posted 07-13-2011 11:47 PM

Nice post, it’s always nice to get a different perspective when it comes to sharpening. Thanks!

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