Japanese tools #8: Sharpening station for water stones the pond

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Blog entry by mafe posted 10-22-2011 07:15 PM 36637 reads 18 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Sharpening station for water stones the base Part 8 of Japanese tools series Part 9: Japanese planing board / Japanese workbench »

Sharpening station
for water stones the pond.

This is part two of the Japanese sharpening station blog.

Today no ‘funny’ comments…

Sometime ago I brought home a pallet, pine, it was as good as new.
I cut it up into short boards thinking I could use it for small boxes or so one day.
Now was the day for some of that wood to meet its second life.

First the boards were flattened, and the clamped together and planned to make them the same height.
(The drawing in the back is still not for this blog).

A wonderful pile of shaves and a pipe of nice tobacco later.

Time for making a layout, I design as I go on this one, something with tenons that go through and are held together with wedges, simple, strong collapsible and Japanese inspired.

It was also on this day my wonderful Stanley 48 arrived, so the smile is big in the little workshop.

Saw the tenon.
First a cut with a knife in the line, and then cut on the waste side.

As you see I leave a wee bit. (Love that word Jamie).

And then pare it after, this part I love more and more.
(I hated that before I learned to sharpen a chisel to a razor edge).

Freehand chamfer a little so the edges will not brake later and to enhance the Asian look.

Now I can mark up for the mortise.
With a marking knife (I know a few LJ’s that have one now, the one I use here is Korean).
As close to the tenon as possible.

My cutting gauge is used to make some deep cuts into the soft pine.

Then the ends are freehanded.
(I cut too long on purpose since I want that handmade look to it).

Since I am lazy and have a limited strength due to my health I drill a series of holes so I need to chisel less out.

And after a little chiseling the mortise and tenon is fitted.
I use Japanese chisels for chopping and English for the paring.

Now we have a box!
The top of the inside in the box is chamfered again to make the water stay in the right place.
To hold the stone bases in the box I mount some hardwood pieces in each end, this to keep the water away from the pine, and hardwood because it withstands the water better.
(This is by the way the arms of an old wood parasol, more recycle).

With the little wonderful Record 43 plane I make a groove in the two sides of the box. I can’t help loving this plane, it is so easy and so fast.

When I went out with the trash someone had put an old coffee tray for trash so I changed my original plan that was some boards in the bottom and cut the tray up to fit and then made an angled cut in the sides to fit the grooves.

Here we are after a little sanding.
The tray will give ventilation for the box so it will not rot.

To try something new I cut a round hole for the wedges.

And then use round stock for wedges also.
(The round stock is from an old baby bed that was trashed – yes it is the truth).

I fasten the hardwood with brass screws, even this is not especially Asian style… But I know they will stand the water and it does look kind of elegant with the hardwood so I am pleased.
On the back of the hardwood you can see there are made a number of cross cuts, this again for the water to be able to run away and not get trapped.
(Yes I’m an architect – laugh.).

So here we have a sharpening station.
I also made a little Japanese style hammer for the wedges.

And the second reason for the size is this – the stone bases fit inside.

Ok I spoke a lot about water…
First my plan was a plastic tray inside, but when the box had become so elegant I thought it would not be possible.
So I went off to our local metal junk yard and paid two dollar for some pieces of Rhein-zink.
(It took me more than an hour in the junk piles to find these, usually there are tons of this, but of course on that day it was all gone for melting, but I managed at the end and could add more recycle to my project).

So careful marking with a scriber.

From one side I cut into the corner and in the other side I leave a little piece.

Since I have no bending machine, I need to be a little creative.

And with a hammer I can make the bend quite sharp.

For the sides I cut a piece of wood to fit inside and clamp another on top, in this way it becomes possible.

The corners are bended in with a hammer on a piece of wood.

Test fitting the pond – it fits!

Since I have no soldering iron I use a torch on lowest blow and this works ok even it is difficult not to overheat.

So not the most beautiful soldering, but I think it holds water.

The big test!
Not a drop comes out, so I can sit back and relax over some good tobacco in my pipe (I never inhale by the way).

Sesam Sesam open up.

The pond in place so now water will stay inside.

A ceramic tray and a sharpening stone…
The stone was just for beauty and hopefully for you to smile.

Three stones can soak in this and the water will be esy to change.
I think it all starts to make sense, and I feel a harmony.

That’s it!
No still something is missing!!!

Yes now I am happy!
And with this picture the blog ends, and hopefully I will get sharp irons for many years to come.

Thank you for watching.

Hope this blog and this blog series can inspire others to look into the wonders of the Japanese tools and way of thinking,

Best thoughts,

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

26 comments so far

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 3309 days

#1 posted 10-22-2011 07:49 PM

All balanced and harmonious ready for some Zen sharpening.

Your little stone made me smile. :)

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View meikou's profile


115 posts in 4175 days

#2 posted 10-22-2011 08:29 PM

Very creative, top notch mate.

I think I’m going to have to take up pipe smoking :P

View Brit's profile


7833 posts in 3383 days

#3 posted 10-22-2011 10:49 PM

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! That’s better. The Mads we know and love is back and WHAT a comeback. Great blog Mads and great design.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4213 days

#4 posted 10-22-2011 11:39 PM

Nice work, Mad.

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4455 days

#5 posted 10-23-2011 12:57 AM

beautiful work, Mads. I hope someday to have such an inspiring setup. For now I will have to make do with good stones, a bucket of water and a piece of plywood and a neoprene rubber mat!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3234 days

#6 posted 10-23-2011 01:05 AM

GENIUS meets ZEN. I would expect nothing else. Wonderful!

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

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 3397 days

#7 posted 10-23-2011 01:48 AM


You always amaze me. All recycled wood and built to last! Can’t beat that.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View Bill J. Griffin's profile

Bill J. Griffin

99 posts in 3091 days

#8 posted 10-23-2011 02:27 AM

You honestly should have a t.v. show! I’d watch every episode! Smiles Mads.

-- Shop's too small :( ... hey the decks pretty big :)!!!

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 3042 days

#9 posted 10-23-2011 04:50 AM

It’s fitting that you are doing blogs on Japanese tools – your blogs always have that sense of flow and harmony about them. They are a pleasure to read.

By the way, not sure if you did this, so for any who does not know, to solder zinc plate successfully you should first etch the areas that will be joined using a little hydrochloric of similar acid – just touch some one with a somall brush and then rinse off afterwards. That said, Mads your soldered joints look quite respectable actually. And as you said, it doesn’t leak so you must have done a good job.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18709 posts in 4216 days

#10 posted 10-23-2011 05:25 AM

My Oh My!! Very nice work Mads. I get tired just following your blogs. Do you ever sleep?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View mpmitche's profile


428 posts in 3517 days

#11 posted 10-23-2011 05:38 AM

Outstanding work once again. It is so much more elegant than the kitchen sink and a wet counter top like I use!

-- Mike, Western New York

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 3143 days

#12 posted 10-23-2011 03:37 PM

Terrific Mads, as always a great tutorial and pics. Thanks for the post!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View Schwieb's profile


1895 posts in 4002 days

#13 posted 10-23-2011 03:51 PM

I think it is one thing to think about a project such as this and quite another to do the photographyand then take all the time to download and post them in a blog. You’re my hero Mads. Nice work

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View mafe's profile


12144 posts in 3630 days

#14 posted 10-24-2011 12:13 AM

Hi there,

Ken, it is really just habbit now, I always have my camera on the worktable and shoot away as I work, the photo editing is done by batch and shortcuts and I use copy paste for the blogs, so perhaps I spend a hour or so extra on a blog, I think that is worth it, and I enjoy making it also. And yes it do make me happy when I see others get inspired or even better when someone makes their version and write a notice to me, or just all of your guys kind, funny or useful comments. Thank you!

JJW, ;-)

mpmitche, sound so laugh.

Topa, yes I sleep, and due to my health I work strange hours when my body allow me, and only then, but since I am retired I do get to give it a good go when all the factors allow me and then I am in woodworking heaven, with good tobacco, music and a big smile.

Tootles, thank you for the solder advice, I had no idea, the solder I use do have some fluss inside, and I did brush it with something called soldering fluid first, but no acid, this I will do next time – I will cross my fingers that my work will stay tight.

Bill, no TV show here, I’m too shy laugh (I’m not sure people would not zap off also, it’s just us wood geeks that are into that)!

Tech, smiles here.

Bertha, GENZEN sharpening station – lol.

daltxguy, it sound sharp!

CJ, love that comment.

Andy, yes I have been a little off the hook, my neck has been killing me for a while and my arms are hurting these days, so I have not been able to spend so much shop time as I wanted even some here disagree laugh,
This project has been a long waiting wish, so when I got to make it I wanted it to be just the way i wanted.

meikou, I don’t inhale, so i guess it can’t be too bad to smoke a pipe every to days or so.

ShopTinker, happy it worked, the stone is acually brought home from Brittany in France where I collected stones with the kids and we went home and painted them.

Thank you all for the warm and wonderful comments, they do makes me smile and they do fill me up with joy and the energy to continue blogging (but don’t stop writing for that reason).
The best of my thoughts,

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3656 days

#15 posted 10-24-2011 11:00 PM

thank you Mads for saving me from an overthinked project I had come up with
now I can scrap my horrible drawing and start all over :-)
great picturebook as usual :-) keep let them coming :-)
great upcycling I like you changed the design and used the old dish mat for the bottom :-)
I have to get me a new hat so I can tip it for you

take care

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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