Sharpener System

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Project by hutchmp posted 11-02-2020 02:33 AM 1896 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve always been frustrated sharpening my axes with a stone so I decided to build a sharpener with the same concept as a knife sharpener like the one from Smith’s which makes it simple to keep a consistent angle on the blade.

My goal was to be able to get an accurate angle on both sides of the head which is difficult to do by hand with a stone especially if you have to take a lot off to get at deep nicks. I built a prototype using 2-inch Styrofoam and a dowel rod bored into a deck rail picket. It worked pretty well, but I learned a few things along the way and built the final system.

The second time around I use Kaizen foam as the base to help secure the axe head. I was much easier to get a consistent depth and I made it big enough to be able to flip the axe over and sharpen the other side. It holds it pretty well and I backed it up with a Velcro strap. You can use this for multiple different axes or other tools. Just make a Kaizen foam jig for each tool and you can swap it out.

The key angles I focused on were keeping the axe handle and bit level. I built a handle stand with Velcro and put a wood block cut exactly to the right height to keep it level and provide support. I used plywood and square steel to make the sharpening arm. I covered the plywood with Plexiglas and polyethylene to provide stiffness, flatness, and a material easy to clean adhesive off of. Use the sharpening arm and a angle gauge to mark the hole locations to the angles you want for the movable draw support bars. You can add 4 different grits of sandpaper and rotate the sharpening arm as you move through them. I use a spray adhesive on the back of the sandpaper to secure them.
This thing works extremely well! I was able to get a very sharp and consistent edge on both sides in 10 min.
I hope this spurs some ideas and helps those jocks out there that dislike sharpening axes (or other tools) with a stone or grinder for that matter.


-- Hutch

9 comments so far

View Doug's profile


1305 posts in 4260 days

#1 posted 11-02-2020 12:45 PM

That’s cool! I have an old Plumb (I think it’s a Plumb) axe that could definitely use some TLC. May I use your idea to make one for myself? Really neat idea. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View hutchmp's profile


90 posts in 4451 days

#2 posted 11-02-2020 02:49 PM

Sure can Doug, enjoy!


-- Hutch

View NickyMac's profile


40 posts in 867 days

#3 posted 11-02-2020 04:45 PM


-- - Nick

View SubVette's profile


210 posts in 3044 days

#4 posted 11-02-2020 06:39 PM

Smart idea and it gives you consistency. What do you use the axes for beside the obvious cutting wood. I watched a guy in Seattle carve a log into a bear with accuracy. Never would have thought he could do that with an axe!

-- John in Florida

View Jamie's profile


120 posts in 2040 days

#5 posted 11-02-2020 06:57 PM

Great idea. I have successfully sharpened my hatchets on my tormek but the long handle axes are all over the place. I like your leather handle saver. My axe has a piece of bike tire wired on.

-- Jamie, Red Deer

View hutchmp's profile


90 posts in 4451 days

#6 posted 11-02-2020 07:15 PM

John…..Just use it for chopping wood. I’ve also seen the carving / woodworking axes, they are pretty cool. They take a totally different blade profile to do that style of cutting.


-- Hutch

View hutchmp's profile


90 posts in 4451 days

#7 posted 11-02-2020 07:19 PM


Thanks, I made it myself. I also put on a piece of galvanized metal under the leather for additional protection. It works really well and you can’t even tell it’s there.

-- Hutch

View swirt's profile


7816 posts in 4471 days

#8 posted 11-03-2020 02:18 PM

Nice work on the design.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 5350 days

#9 posted 12-31-2020 11:36 PM

Nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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