The Essential Tool Chest
Capture More Dust from Your Router Table
Hinge Mortises on the Tablesaw
Mounting Knife Hinges in Curved Doors
A Woodturner's Guide to Chucks and Jaws
Drawbore Your Mortise-and-Tenon Joinery
Bevel-Up Jack Planes are a Workshop Workhorse
Speed Up Handplane Honing with Your Ruler
Smoothing Plane Tips and Techniques
Workbench Tool Storage Solutions
Customize Your Router for Centered Mortises
How to Sharpen Hollow Chisel Mortising Bits
Simple Tape Trick for Tight Fitting Through-Mortises
Biscuit Joiner Tips and Tricks
The Coolest Cutting Board Ever?
A Dedicated Sharpening Bench- part 1comments (23) November 26th, 2009 in blogs
"The best hand tools in the world are worthless in the hands of the woodworker who cannot sharpen them."
After reading and experimenting with, practicing and then studying the different techniques of sharpening I've come to settle on a system that is working for me in my current shop space and that's good! A freshly sharpened hand tool can turn the most challenging joinery tasks into wonderful and relaxed procedures. Your work will be cleaner with tighter fitting joinery and your tools will perform as they were intended to the day they were made. The joys of working wood will be that much the greater.
In my own basement work space here in Toronto, I've followed the line and I'm happy with my results; but something I'm not happy with and have been promising myself for months to address is my sharpening location and current set-up.
|More from this series
• Part One: An Introduction
• Part Two: A Flat, Square Benchtop
• Part Three: Hand-Cut Joinery
• Part Four: Start the Frame
• Part Five: A Stable Base
• Part Six: Granite Insert Prep
• Part Seven: Glue Up
• Download the Free Plan
One day last year, I noticed a neighbour throwing out a small wooden table. I snatched it up, rescuing it from the eternal wasteland of the land fill site and have been using it as my sharpening table ever since. Prior to the table I was using a sharpening hook system I designed awhile ago. It was basically an over-sized bench hook with some cleats to hold water stones and a side area for stone storage. The sharpening hook worked when my bench top wasn't cluttered, (which if you know me you know that it hasn't happened much this past year!) so the routine of moving my work project or tools to make room for the sharpening hook soon became tiresome. The small 'throw away' tables footprint has also become reminiscent of a drunken sailor on shore leave so I've finally decided, with a little help from FineWoodworking.com, to build a new bench dedicated to sharpening.
A small scale workbench with large scale workbench strength. The frame has mortise and tenon joinery with a solid 1" thick work surface that has bread board ends fitted into a heavy, through dovetailed apron.
It has a tool tray featuring a unique and convenient way of actually 'holding tools' ! (not just for the hamsters anymore) and I've added some 'off the shelf' items that will also add to the -dare I say- pleasure of sharpening?
Do you currently have a dedicated sharpening area? Is it a re-used piece of furniture or maybe a purpose made table or bench? I'd love to hear about it- be part of the discussion and share some thoughts.
In the next post I'll assemble my cut list and get right into the project with some stock preparation and glue-up the top panels... stay tuned.
posted in: blogs, workshop, WorkBench, dovetails, white oak, tenons, bench
Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking
Become a Better Woodworker
ABOUT THE WOODWORKING LIFE
Get to know the woodworkers who make Fine Woodworking's online community the liveliest woodworking forum on the Web.
Each week, The Woodworking Life will feature the best projects, topical discussions, and how-to tips direct from the community.
WE WANT YOU! Find out how you can become a contributor to The Woodworking Life.
Looking for our archive?