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Sharpening (NOT router bits)

4650 Views 11 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  arkwood
I'm getting more into woodworking. I don't use my router for everything (*gasp!* hehehe) and I am realizing how horribly unequipped I am to properly sharpen the most basic tools like chisels and plane irons. The stones I have are probably ok for sharpening a pocket knife, but they are only just BARELY the width of my plane iron (yes, I only have one plane right now and it's not a great one but it works.... kinda... mostly...).

I have read about the Scary Sharp method of using various sandpapers on a piece of heavy glass plate. Seems a reasonable method but you STILL have the problem of maintaining the correct angle. So you would need to make (or buy) some kind of jig that you can clamp the iron or chisel into so you are consistantly at the correct angle for that tool. I've seen jigs (Veritas comes to mind and I know there are many others) that do this for you for hand sharpening. Even at $45 or so it's probably worth it to NOT have to make all these things myself and reinvent the wheel.

Then there are slow speed grinders and even wet grinders. The Tormek system looks great, but $400 is a lot of money. JET makes one just like it that is getting good reviews, but still... $300.

NOT knowing how and being equipped to sharpen my tools is just not an option. I have to get what I need to do this and do it well.

What do YOU do to sharpen your tools? I'm really interested in knowing. I know people will have different preferences, but .... what works for you?

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The one I use is the Grizzly system ,it works well and it's not to high in price. :)

Versatile 4 grit diamond hone, for a quick touch up

Bj :)
I have wet stones, oil stones, a Delta wet grinder, and IMHO sandpaper is the simplist most stright forward method.
I have the Tormek and love it, but it is expensive for sure. Both it or the Jet will cost over $500 when you purchase the accessories and jigs to go with them.

If you want to stay with stones or use the scarey sharp system (sandpaper/glass) then I would suggest the highy recommended jig at the the following link. It is the best out there.,43072,43078&ap=1
It is possible to use a belt/disc sander to restore an edge to a reasonable state of sharpness, good enough for general carpentry needs. Angle blocks can be cut on your table or miter saw. Building custom sharpening jigs is not difficult. Like any sanding operation, work your way through the grits to the finish you want.
my response copied from another thread, but applicable here as well:
while I sharpen all my planer/jointer knives and saw blades at home, I have no machine that will sharpen my bits.admittedly, I don't use them as much, but when the do get dull, I'll pitch them and buy new. Sharpening services can get very fact, it got to the point that it was cheaper to buy new knives/blades than to have 'em sharpened.last time I had 1 40 tooth blade and 2 double-sided knives sharpened, it set me back $58.00.... I decided to buy 2 decent machines to sharpen my stuff, and recoup the cost over time. I'd do the same for bits, but CNCs are prohibitively expensive. I'd never recoup that expenditure.
it's a shame, too, because I hate tossing good things away....

I use the scary Sharp with all my chisels/ hand plane irons,tho...

I bought the Makita machine from Grizzly for my planer/jointer knives and it works great!! yeah, $300 is alot, but add up what I last paid over time and you'll soon see why I bought machines... the other machine, believe it or not, is a cheapo from Harbor Freight, and it does a so-so job with my blades. but I don't buy $100 blades, so it doesn't hurt to buy many lower cost blades as spares. believe it or not, you CAN get good Delta blades for $10....I have several of all tooth count for that price !!!
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I use a Veritas sharpening clamp and glass covered with sandpaper. I did a write-up on using it.
Sharpening tools
I use the scary sharp system but, instead of a piece of glass, I went to HD and bought a 12" x 12" piece of granite flooring. A lot cheaper than glass and it works great. The honing guide is a little $13 cheepie from Woodcraft and it works great...

Buy Honing Guide, Honing Guide, Sharpening Jigs, Sharpening -
I use an old Makita wet wheel for my planes, I stopped doing lointer anf planer knives yrs ago, the time not spent resharpening knives is worth the new ones to me.
I use the Harbor Freight 8" wet grinder. Can be bought for $80 or less on sale and with coupons. For as much as I need to sharpen, it was satisfactory until.....

I tried the Worksharp 3000 my son bought. Makes flattening the back of blades easy, also makes it easy to CONSISTENTLY get the same angle on wood chisels and hand plane blades.

I still like the hollow-grind for most of my lathe chisels that the HF provides - especially since I have the attachment to do gouges quickly, but the flat bevel for wood chisels and handplane blades up to 2" wide is preferred and the Worksharp provides that with almost no setup time. $200 cost tho.

I don't do the wide planer blades - easier and cheap enough to replace them.

Gotta get me one of those...

Like others here I use the scary sharp method, sandpaper on glass. Works well even for my 6" planer blades with the Veritas® Jointer Blade Sharpener - Lee Valley Tools

Actually better than the local sharpening service, the edges had a slight curve in them.

I'd post the url but the system will not let me yet.
I have review countless sharpening systems. Ran across this video and is the simplest and fastest I have seen......WOOD Magazine Online If this does not work navigate to woodmagazine ,click on tips and techniques, then quick and easy BEST I HAVE EVER SEEN.
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