Modified Worksharp 3000 - a la Stumpy

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Project by Don Johnson posted 11-14-2013 05:51 PM 4391 views 13 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Modified Worksharp 3000 - a la Stumpy
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I enjoy watching Stumpy Nubs videos, both for information and appreciation of his humour, but when he introduced sharpening using the Worksharp 3000, I was particularly interested. From when I was about thirteen I have consistently failed to achieve the success with a hand plane that my dad demonstrated to me with such ease. Since I retired I’ve made quite a few reasonable pieces using power tools, but have always shied away from hand planes – partly because I suspected that my miserable attempts at sharpening failed because I was too impatient, or did not have the right equipment. After seeing Stumpy’s video, I felt that the Worksharp might get me going in the right direction.

The machine is now available in the UK – from Rutlands – so I made my purchase, and also bought the modification plans from Stumpy since I guessed that I would need the facility to deal with wider blades. Making the unit was quite straightforward – luckily my table saw blade was just the correct width to cut slots for hardboard dividers for accommodating the MDF disks (but it did require a certain amount of persuasion to assemble all 11 dividers into their slots at the same time!) I made the drawer using BritBoxBuilder’s E-Z Mitre technique – the version using a table mounted router and ‘v’ groove bit – which must be the easiest way to make a drawer (if you have the correct cutter!)

I found that the blade on my neglected No 44 (?) handplane would fit into the angled chisel port, but I had to spend quite some time using the coarsest paper to restore the mangled bevel area. The beauty of the system is that you can see the progress being made by withdrawing the blade for examination – secure in the knowledge that it is going to go back again in exactly the right position for the following grinds. Moving on though the grits, it was exciting to see a ‘mirror-like’ finish appearing, both on the bevel and on the back of the blade. I added and polished a micro bevel – by a simple click of the chisel port – and reassembled my plane.

After getting the adjustments ‘just so’, I produced a long ribbon of semi-transparent shaving – not quite up to the standard of the competitors in the Japanese competition video on YouTube, but extremely satisfying to me. It took about 60 years to achieve, but I guess my departed dad would be proud of my eventual success. I inherited wooden ‘coffin’ and ‘jack’ (jointer) planes from him, so I sharpened their blades as well (I did use an inexpensive sharpening jig on the top of the unit for the wider jack plane blade). They also now cut beautifully.

I also brought back to life a number of chisels that I had acquired over the years, most of which had suffered the same sharpening mis-treatment as the plane blade, and now have a motley set of tools, which although they show the effects of being used to open paint tins and being thumped with mallets to try to cut hinge rebates when blunt, all now have super sharp edges. I’ve now managed to get some polishing compounds, so will start experimenting with them.

I may not now become a convert to the ‘hand tools’ philosophy, but at least I know that if needs be, I can call upon a hand plane or chisel whenever needed, confident that they will work as intended, so thanks Stumpy.

-- Don, Somerset UK,

9 comments so far

View StumpyNubs's profile


7788 posts in 3366 days

#1 posted 11-14-2013 06:00 PM

Nice job!

Are you the same Don Johnson from Miami Vice?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View vonhagen's profile


547 posts in 2930 days

#2 posted 11-14-2013 07:00 PM

i want 1

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 4285 days

#3 posted 11-14-2013 07:42 PM

Congratulations! I went through a similar experience with the Worksharp and Grandpa’s old hand planes. It is a feeling of freedom and accomplishment.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Richard's profile


11307 posts in 3598 days

#4 posted 11-14-2013 08:28 PM

Very Nice Work Indeed! Thanks For Sharing.


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

715 posts in 3346 days

#5 posted 11-14-2013 09:15 PM

Are you the same Don Johnson from Miami Vice?

Nah! – I wear socks!

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 3056 days

#6 posted 11-14-2013 09:50 PM

I’m with you on the hand planes. I had no idea when I got in to this fool venture they’d give me so much trouble. Watching people use them always looked so easy.

Then I bought a few and tried to sharpen the blades. Nnnnnope. Maybe some day.

This kind of setup looks like it would sure make the difference.

Nice work.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2973 days

#7 posted 11-14-2013 11:58 PM

Another great idea and a very good build. You did good on this!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2389 days

#8 posted 11-15-2013 11:58 AM

Very nice Don….I imagine it makes life a lot easier having everything at hand in the one work station…well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3961 days

#9 posted 11-15-2013 12:53 PM

I’ve been the happy owner of the WorkSharp 3000 for a couple of years.
The Stumpy adaptation is nice, but I haven’t any place to put it, so I use the machine as made.
My one plane and several old chisels have come to life and I wish there had been a WorkSharp years before.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

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