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View MsDebbieP's profile

Tips & Tricks: Sharpening Tools

by MsDebbieP
posted 11-10-2011 01:25 AM

20 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11853 posts in 3940 days

#1 posted 11-10-2011 01:31 AM

For chisels and plane irons I use glass, wet/dry paper, and a final hone with an Arkansas stone.
I use this doo hicky….

I’m still trying to get a decent curl on my scrapers.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View chrisstef's profile


17960 posts in 3518 days

#2 posted 11-10-2011 02:05 AM

Im a scary sharp kinda guy. I use it to sharpen plane irons and chisels. Grits from 220 up to 2000 glue to a flat piece of safety glass. Its sharp when it can shave a nice patch of hair off my arm.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11853 posts in 3940 days

#3 posted 11-10-2011 03:36 PM

A suggestion, Chris. If you use wet/dry paper from auto paint stores, a puddle of water on the glass will hold the paper to the glass without movement.
I only have one piece of glass and just keep changing the papers as needed.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View mpounders's profile


935 posts in 3407 days

#4 posted 11-10-2011 05:53 PM

I use the scary sharp method some, but mostly I buff and hone my carving tools using a power strop that I built. I plan to rebuild it to the full size style of the Burke Sharpening system shown below. I have used one of these at a carving seminar and really like it. It has sandpaper on two wheels for reshaping profiles on gouges and removing heavy nicks. Then it has a leather wheel and a buffing wheel for honing and polishing. I’ve stopped looking for ways to sharpen after using this—completely satisfied with my results.

I also have a shop-built version of the Wolverine style jig for my lathe tools and I like how that works also. I don’t really use or sharpen my planes much.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View CampD's profile


1790 posts in 3998 days

#5 posted 11-10-2011 06:10 PM

I also use the scary sharp method, but instead of a piece of glass I use a cut-off from Granite counter-top.
The piece I have is 12×16”x 2” thk. It stays solid to the bench with-out any hold down and like glass just a little water holds the paper to it like glue. I’ve installed a lot of kitchens over the years and have a good relationship
with the granite guy. If there is one in your area they always have tons of cut-offs laying around.

-- Doug...

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3205 days

#6 posted 11-10-2011 06:22 PM

Oooh, good thread. I hope there are lots of links, because there are some top notch sharpeners here. I’m a little of everything above. I’ve got the wet wheel, water stones, scary sharp, and a bunch of jigs.

For plane irons: The Christef method for sure. I like marble windowsill from Lowe’s for my base and use the “good’ 3M adhesive spray; the adhesive comes off with acetone easily. They accept the rectangular sheets perfectly and I like to keep several set up. I’ve got a few that I clad in wood b/c I keep breaking them. My RAS table is just too attractive a place to set them, lol;)

For chisels: As above; I use a cheap Eclipse jig with a setup block.

For lathe tools: The wet wheel and powered strop. I wish I’d gone Wolverine instead of the fancy Tormek/JET.

Future: I’m working on one of those stone/strop arrays like Mike likes (above). I tried to use a foot operated treadle for the purpose but I abandoned it. I’ve got a 1hp motor that I’m planning to use.

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3627 days

#7 posted 11-10-2011 06:52 PM

the Veritas jig MkII
starting with vet and dry sandpaper for the lower grits or a diamondstone
switching to Japanese waterstones from 400grit and goes up to 8000 grit gives a mirror-polish and sharp irons
you can get 10 , 12k, 16k and 30k grit waterstones if the pocket is full of gold you don´t
know what to do with .... :-)
some stones don´t gives the morriorpolish

some waterstones don´t gives much responded to the user and others does it a long way up in the grits
depending of the brands on the stones …. people have to try different stones to find the set
that fits them and the way they use them


View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3481 days

#8 posted 11-12-2011 03:36 AM

I’m leaning towards p2000 wet or dry and a figure of 8 for the hone, belt sander/diamond whetstone for a regrind. (Keep quenching the steel if you’re using the belt sander) strop on a bit of mdf.

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4298 days

#9 posted 11-23-2011 05:30 AM

I am so far behind I’ll have to read this again. When I sharpen my tools I think they get duller.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3166 days

#10 posted 11-23-2011 04:38 PM

A hollow grind is about the best jig out there for sharpening. It makes free hand faster and easier than anything else.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 3992 days

#11 posted 11-23-2011 09:12 PM

I take the tools to a sharpening service. Not that I want to spend the money, but I am lousy at sharpening stuff…I can never seem to get a good edge on it. I am taking lessons from all of your posts!!

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View OSU55's profile


2407 posts in 2501 days

#12 posted 02-13-2014 03:52 PM

Sharpening, mainly plane blades & chisels

View Kelly's profile


2428 posts in 3456 days

#13 posted 01-12-2019 04:58 AM

I find the whole “Scary Sharp” thing kind of comical. LONG before it was a thing, it’s what I did to sharpen things. After all, a lot of us, starting out, didn’t have money for fancy jigs and equipment.Too, much of what’s around today was not in the 70’s.

[Oh, and Pinterest pulled this thread up after all these days]

Then there is the “move your blade a single degree and, at the least, double the time it takes to get back to go” thing. As such, we many of us grown our methods and equipment.

View Phil32's profile


632 posts in 415 days

#14 posted 01-13-2019 04:21 AM

Most of this thread is pretty old.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View Kelly's profile


2428 posts in 3456 days

#15 posted 01-13-2019 04:40 AM

So, the information is outdated?

View Aj2's profile


2494 posts in 2310 days

#16 posted 01-13-2019 05:15 AM

Is that your buffing setup Kelly? Looks nice

-- Aj

View Kelly's profile


2428 posts in 3456 days

#17 posted 01-13-2019 06:19 AM

Thanks, Aj2.

The system is called an air handler and is a craigslist score, for $100.00 bucks and a drive. It’s buff motor is a two speed RedWing (if memory serves) with the tall base (the one before it was a 2nd hand shop score for $5.00, but had a short base, and got gifted to my buddy.

The base the set up houses filters and a significant blower. I have to change the filter every three to six months, because they get packed with buffing compound dust, wheel string and whatever the thing buffed tosses off in the buff process.

Seeing the filters amazed me with how much garbage was going into the air without it. As such, I’m pretty religious about flipping the switch and turning the fan on.

A person could make their own using a blower from a fan from an old furnace system. The design isn’t that complex and it would be well worth it.

The lights are a must, as are the two flip up plastic shield, which are small but work wonderfully.

If I were going to improve on this one, it would be to run the buff wheels off a pillow block using a variable speed DC motor (about $120.00 on line and sold for industrial sewing machines, along with the variable speed controller), which would be ideal, since you could slow it for soft resins or crank it up for metals.

View Kelly's profile


2428 posts in 3456 days

#18 posted 01-13-2019 06:27 AM

The four wheel grinder was another score (minus the base).

The drive motor is from a commercial sewing machine. It would run about $150.00 on line, but was a garage sale win for about twenty.

The grinder had a 220, single speed motor and I ran it until I decided to dedicate the garage sale beast to it, which allows the wheels to be run clockwise or counterclockwise, and at any speed from zero to about two thousand RPM. It’s FAR superior to so called low speed grinders, because, running it at about five hundred RPM, sharpens quickly, but doesn’t eat steel nearly as wastefully as common grinders.

Whoever built it did a good job. It plays very well with my Oneway Wolverine sharpening system for the lathe knives.

I have two CBN wheels on it and they just keep going and going. The other wheels are a diamond and standard wheel.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5355 posts in 2821 days

#19 posted 01-13-2019 09:20 AM

Most of this thread is pretty old.

- Phil32

Pretty Old… happens to the best of us Phil :)

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5355 posts in 2821 days

#20 posted 01-13-2019 09:25 AM

Maybe a bit off topic

Sharpening saw blade in the old days

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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