Serious About Sharpening

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Forum topic by doninvegas posted 12-25-2012 06:38 PM 3191 views 2 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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334 posts in 3443 days

12-25-2012 06:38 PM

I don’t know why it took me so long but I figured out that I have to get serious about sharpening. I’m not much on hand tools. I have a set of Marples chisels and a couple of Stanly plans I got at Lowe’s. I picked up a cheap honing guide and a two faced oil stone from eagle America thinking that I was all set. Not so. I need a sharpening system. I know that there is all kind of different systems to choose from but it’s all very confusing. So, I’m thinking of the Work Sharp 3000 or this Norton system

Of course there is always sand paper. I’ll also get the Veritas guide if I go with doing it by hand.
Any advice?

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

47 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8785 posts in 3113 days

#1 posted 12-25-2012 06:56 PM

More bang for your buck. In addition maybe get the 8000 waterstone and a
nagura stone for polishing.

You’re going to flip out when you get surgical ready planes and chisels, I
know I did. Then you’ll sharpen everything in sight.

The water stones are okay but the DMT’s stay flat. Usually a combo of what
you like works best. Some say the extra fine DMT doesn’t produce a shiny polish
like the 8000 water stone. Water stones work quickly though.

I like using .3micron paper for an extra fine polish when I’m horsing around trying
to achieve a wicked sharp edge.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19365 posts in 3103 days

#2 posted 12-25-2012 07:39 PM

this question has come up so many times over the last few days I decided to do some testing of my own. Here is what I came up with.

and looking at this thread to might help,

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3488 days

#3 posted 12-25-2012 07:50 PM

Doninvegas, if you only use a limited amount of tools that need to be sharpened, you may want to invest in the WS 3000. I have one and it will handle the requirements that you describe. Plus it can handle other chores like sharpening knives and can also serve as a light duty grinder for shaping small metal items and such.

Sharpening “systems” can be quite expensive. I really think for light sharpening requirements, you would do well with that machine. They can be found for small money on eBay and such or you will find them on sale occasionally.

Good Luck!

-- Mike

View Gerry's profile


264 posts in 3776 days

#4 posted 12-25-2012 08:12 PM

+1 on the Worksharp 3000. It has provided formost all of my sharpening needs
a is quick and convenient. Lets me get sharp and back to work quickly, with a microbevel
to boot. The cost is a trade off between buying most any other tools to achieve a comparable
function. In my opinion this tool offsets the initial investment nicely by the convenience and time
savings. I would recommend it.

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 4339 days

#5 posted 12-25-2012 08:23 PM

I prefer waterstones. I would shy away from ‘scary sharp’ sandpaper, as it just doesn’t make sense over time, but lots of people get good results.

Almost any system commonly used can get excellent results. My overarching advice would be to pick one learning curve and see it through. You can always add refinements, but getting a firm handle on how to produce a good edge on your tool, one way or another, is a gateway skill.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5228 posts in 4496 days

#6 posted 12-25-2012 09:29 PM

Don’t EVEN forget the tried and true Makita system.
I’ve sharpened for years on this puppy. Wanna get into a sharpening match?

-- [email protected]

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2646 days

#7 posted 12-25-2012 09:41 PM

Has anyone looked at the 10” Grizzly sharpening system. It looks to a clone of the Tormak.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View stevenmadden's profile


174 posts in 3625 days

#8 posted 12-25-2012 09:57 PM

doninvegas: You are going to get more advice than you can handle when asking a question about which sharpening system you should use, but I will throw in my advice anyway. I am somewhat experienced in the area of sharpening, which is my way of stating that I am more than happy with the results when I sharpen. Having said that, I recently picked up this DVD:

I paid $5.00 on super-sale, but it is worth the $25 regular price. Whichever system you choose, this is a great resource for helping to make sense of it all.

Good luck.


View RogerM's profile


801 posts in 2935 days

#9 posted 12-25-2012 10:07 PM

Hard to beat a Tormak!!!!

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 3443 days

#10 posted 12-25-2012 10:34 PM

I knew when I asked this question I would get all kinds of answers. Everyone that sharpens anything prefers something different. It’s all a matter of what you have used and what works for you. Since I have never used a “system” I guess I’ll have to make a decision and go with it. Since I am a power tool guy I am thinking of the Work Sharp. Like I said I don’t use hand tool often but when I do I realize they need to sharp. If the Work Sharp does an adequate job then that is what I’m looking for. I’ll also get a book or DVD on this subject but I think they will also tell me all the different ways to get tools sharp. So I’ll go with my gut and make my dicsion based on that.
I’m getting way too old to be messing around with a decission as simple as sharpening a chiesl. I just know that what ever I pick must do the job. That was my piont.
Thanks everyone. I value all of your opions.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View lj61673's profile


265 posts in 2935 days

#11 posted 12-25-2012 10:50 PM

I thought the workshop was the answer too…turns out not so much. It could put a decent edge on a chisel but not a great edge. Also not enough capacity for your plane blades unless you purchase some accessory or other. Starts to add up and in the end you have learned nothing about sharpening tools.

Get yourself some decent water stones and a diamond plate to keep them flat and learn how to sharpen by hand, either with a honing guide or freehand. You’ll learn a valuable skill and more important you’ll learn what sharp really is.

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 3443 days

#12 posted 12-25-2012 11:00 PM

Actully That is the way I’m leaning. I need the skill so, like you said, I’ll know what sharp is. I might get what waho sugjested. The DMT kit.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3895 days

#13 posted 12-25-2012 11:47 PM

I have a WS300 and japanese waterstones. I use both frequently and like both, but I spend as much time hunting down and rehabbing old tools as most guys spend working in their shop. You will be able to get good results with any of the “systems” suggested, but I think they’re a bit expensive for the among of tools you need to sharpen. You might want to look at Lee Valley and look at the 3M Micro Abrasive sheets. Couple them with the Mark II honing guide and you should be all set. Just my $.02

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View bandit571's profile (online now)


23962 posts in 3219 days

#14 posted 12-25-2012 11:54 PM

Let’s see; i have a beltsander that I can clamp upside down in my vise, and use a honing guide to hold what I want AT whatever angle I want. Then i go to the oil stones I have (3 of them) with the honing guide still in place. Then to some very, very fine sandpaper. So far, that is all that I need….


-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 3443 days

#15 posted 12-26-2012 12:39 AM

Ah, come on guys, you’re making this even confusing then when I started this thread. Just like the Ibox I just got. It says to just kiss the thing to the blade. Well, I guess I’m not a good kisser. I’m still playing with the thing. Here it is. I have 4 chisels and 2 plans I got from Lowe’s. Not sharp. Want to make them sharp. Work Sharp or hand sharpening?????

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

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