Sharpening Workbench

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Project by bobasaurus posted 11-26-2012 11:02 PM 16182 views 42 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this mini workbench to hold all my sharpening equipment, keeping abrasive grit and metal slurry away from my main bench. It’s built entirely from construction-grade lumber (mostly laminated SPF 2×4s), with mortise and tenon joints. I cut the tenons on the table saw, but hand chopped the mortises. The top is MDF screwed to plywood for extra rigidity (ugly, but functional). Finished with lots of poly to resist water, etc. I put on 4 leveling feet to make it sit flat on my uneven floor.

The 8” slow grinder is mainly used for lathe chisels and plane irons. I built a Wolverine-like V-shaped jig using t-track for sharpening spindle gouges and parting tools, and bought the vari-grind attachment for bowl gouge side grinding. I also made larger standard tool rests for general grinding, and lathe scrapers/skews. I keep a diamond dressing tool nearby for keeping the wheels flat.

On the left I have my Shapton waterstones (5k, 8k, and 15k grits) in a box for easy access, clamped between dog holes. There is a 300/1k grit combo diamond plate there for flattening the waterstones and doing rough bevel shaping. I try to follow the Rob Cosman method of sharpening by hand, and it works really well. I also have a granite surface plate for general-purpose flattening, and a veritas lapping plate (not pictured) for flattening hand plane soles.

I really like having this setup in the shop now. It encourages me to keep my tools razor sharp when all the equipment is out and ready like this. It’s also right next to the lathe so I can quickly touch-up tools while turning.

Here are some build progress pictures:
And the blog about it:

Edit: I should mention that several fine lumberjocks projects inspired me when making this: (this one is fantastic!)

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

12 comments so far

View unisaw's profile


95 posts in 5592 days

#1 posted 11-27-2012 01:16 AM

That is sweet! Is the slab behind the three stones granite? Is the gridner variable speed?

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3944 days

#2 posted 11-27-2012 02:55 AM

I dig it. Where did you find the bench grinder?

-- Brian Timmons -

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5036 days

#3 posted 11-27-2012 03:03 AM

Well done,that’s really going to make sharpening a lot easier.


View bobasaurus's profile


3747 posts in 4643 days

#4 posted 11-27-2012 03:31 AM

Thanks for the comments, I love using this thing. My homemade Wolverine-style jig is a little hard to reposition since the t-bolts can rack and bind and the grinding wheel’s guard gets in the way of the knob heads a bit, but otherwise it functions well.

It’s a granite surface plate from Woodcraft ( ), and the grinder is a fixed slow speed also from Woodcraft ( ).

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 4151 days

#5 posted 11-27-2012 08:55 AM

Very nice to have everything ready for use, good compact design.

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3513 days

#6 posted 11-27-2012 12:54 PM

everyone needs on of those…

-- Joel

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4082 days

#7 posted 11-27-2012 03:16 PM

Does your door open?

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View MontanaBob's profile


875 posts in 4143 days

#8 posted 11-27-2012 04:17 PM

Nice setup…

View bobasaurus's profile


3747 posts in 4643 days

#9 posted 11-27-2012 04:31 PM

ScottyB, yes the door still opens (just barely). I had to plan that out carefully :) . There is some paper below the granite plate (to catch overflow slurry) that sticks out to the left a hair, but it easily bends out of the way for the door.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3944 days

#10 posted 11-27-2012 05:24 PM

Thanks for the link to the grinder. How do you like using it? I have a hand-me-down cheapo 6 inch grinder that needs replacing.

-- Brian Timmons -

View bobasaurus's profile


3747 posts in 4643 days

#11 posted 11-27-2012 08:09 PM

BTimmons: the grinder is pretty good for the price. The wheels are a little out of true so it vibrates a bit in use (despite my trying to rotate the wheels into true), but it doesn’t seem to affect any of my grinding. The built-in tool rests are pretty small, so buying or making new ones is a must.

kunk: the granite is useful, but the diamond plate does a much faster job of lapping things flat. I keep the stone for odd flattening operations that are too big or too messy for the diamond.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View toolmantim's profile


22 posts in 3482 days

#12 posted 12-25-2012 02:00 AM

After investing a little time setting up my ” Grinding Station ” I look forward to putting that keen edge on any tool in a moments notice. Not near as nice as yours, but makes going through motions not near as agonizing as it used to be. After seeing your set-up, inspires me to take mine to the next level. Thank you !

-- " My favorite Place in Life, The Shop "

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