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UPDATE: Back to Basics: Fundamentals of Sharpening from Fox Chapel Publishing

comments (95) March 27th, 2011 in blogs

BetsyE Betsy Engel, contributor
thumbs up 4 users recommend

 - CLICK TO ENLARGE Photo: Courtesy of Fox Chapel

Fundamentals of Sharpening: Straight Talk for Today's Woodworker (Back To Basics)
Fox Chapel Publishing, 2010.
$19.95; 120 pp.

On the back cover of Fundamentals of Sharpening: Straight Talk for Today's Woodworker (Back To Basics) it says this book will teach you to “embrace the fun and essence of sharpening…” I’m not so sure sharpening is fun but this book does cover the sharpening basics including maintaining hand tools, bits, and carving tools. The book has sections on bench grinders, bench stones and other sharpening accessories and helpful shop tips are also scattered throughout. I’m still not convinced sharpening is “fun” but this book will get you going in the right direction and should help you get good at it. Maybe that makes it fun.

Lucky MichaelKramer  is the winner. His comment was chosen at random.

Stay tuned for our next giveaway...Model Boat Building.



posted in: blogs, giveaway, book review, sharpening


Comments (95)

retireejd retireejd writes: I need all the help I can use with sharpening. This should help.
Posted: 3:09 pm on April 5th

KDouglas KDouglas writes: Any help with sharpening would be appreciated.
Posted: 8:19 pm on April 3rd

woodangel woodangel writes: Count me in too. Need to sharpen chisels and other very dull tools.
Posted: 1:56 pm on April 3rd

iwoodworker iwoodworker writes: i coul use something like this
Posted: 9:47 am on April 3rd

BUILDERS695 BUILDERS695 writes: Your tools can never be too sharp
Posted: 6:33 pm on April 2nd

FrankinAz FrankinAz writes: This will give me something to do while i hibernate during the summer
Posted: 6:32 pm on April 2nd

wwesley wwesley writes: Just re-reading "Sea Wolf" by Jack London.
Great chapter on sharpening knives and all that symbolizes.
Be sharp!
Posted: 10:28 pm on March 30th

WouldWorker WouldWorker writes: will it help with chisels used to open paint cans?
Posted: 5:40 pm on March 30th

90fxrs 90fxrs writes: Consider me entered!
Posted: 8:36 am on March 30th

Wixom Wixom writes: This book would be sure nice to have, since I have trouble sharpening chisels and such. Put my name in the hat, please. Thanks. Paul
Posted: 8:29 am on March 30th

rodmcmaster rodmcmaster writes: Pretty difficult to accomplish anything without sharp tools so this book interests me.
Posted: 9:18 pm on March 29th

Circuit Rider Circuit Rider writes: Put me in.
Posted: 9:11 pm on March 29th

Mike7 Mike7 writes: Sharpening is not my favorite thing to do but at times it can be good mind numbing work. The reward is always awesome when you slide your number four through that finicky maple and it shaves perfectly. I am sure this will be a great read and thanks for the opportunity.
Posted: 7:58 pm on March 29th

Double_K Double_K writes: Just what the shop library needs!
Posted: 7:15 pm on March 29th

dklima dklima writes: Wow! That looks like a sharp book! I'd really like to get the edge on my competitors. I bet that book would not be dull reading at all!
Posted: 6:28 pm on March 29th

jubilado jubilado writes: After using the same chisel for "a long time" I finally sharpened it. What a difference! Experience is the best teacher but this is a book I could use.
Posted: 5:24 pm on March 29th

CraigFr CraigFr writes: Something I am always learning about
Posted: 3:53 pm on March 29th

kharvilak kharvilak writes: I love sharpening things, especially knives. Sharpening really is fundamental to quality woodworking... how nice would our projects look if we worked with dull tools? Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.
Posted: 3:44 pm on March 29th

jackmartin12 jackmartin12 writes: We all can learn so much more about sharpening - what appears to be simple is not!
Jack Ennis Martin
Posted: 2:43 pm on March 29th

jackmartin12 jackmartin12 writes: We all can learn so much more about sharpening - what appears to be simple is not!
Jack Ennis Martin
Posted: 2:43 pm on March 29th

MikeSweet MikeSweet writes: There is something "zen like" when you sharpen. I think it is the fact that you are only concentrating on the subject at hand. You are creating - an edge. I find myself getting out my sharpening stones, buffing wheel,strop and spending a couple of hours making a sharp edge. Not just on the tool I am working with but all the knives. Being a woodcarver I always strive for the razor-sharp edge. Plus I make my own blades so it almost becomes my goal instead of a means to make a tool for my carving.
Posted: 12:49 pm on March 29th

tsizemor tsizemor writes: As a new woodworker, everything is new to me. I have finished my first projects, and soon will need to think about putting sharp edges back on my tools. This book looks like it would be a great addition to my growing library.
Posted: 12:21 pm on March 29th

Barontom Barontom writes: Sharpening any blade always seems to be a "weak" point in my woodworking skills. This book would be a God-send in furthering those skills. Thanks for the opportunity to win this great addition to my library.
Posted: 11:45 am on March 29th

me111 me111 writes: Good book.
Posted: 11:31 am on March 29th

HerbH HerbH writes: I'm really looking forward to this book. I do pretty well on straight chisels and planes and knives, but can use help on anything with a curved surface, such as my gouges.
Posted: 10:58 am on March 29th

Sacamano Sacamano writes: I can always use any new tip about woodworking tools I can get.
Posted: 10:56 am on March 29th

purplefox purplefox writes: I've spent a fortune buying every kind of sharpening system there is, thinking that I just don't have the right tools. This one area where knowledge means more than tools. I'm still learning after all these years.
Posted: 10:39 am on March 29th

un4tune8 un4tune8 writes: it would make a great addition to my woodworking library.

Posted: 10:34 am on March 29th

sabr686 sabr686 writes: For me, a good part of the fun I have while doing woodwork is getting to know your tools, inside and out. And it's always been a challenge to sharpen things to a fine edge, so I welcome this book and hope I have a chance to glean from this excellent source.
Posted: 10:26 am on March 29th

CarrPerkes01 CarrPerkes01 writes: I learned the basics of sharpening in a Woodworking class I took at a community college, but need much more help! This book would be terrific.
Posted: 10:13 am on March 29th

dusty2010 dusty2010 writes: I'd love this book! It would be a miracle worker if it could help make sharpening fun... my chisels need much work -they hardly cut and I hate sharpening but I know they would be much more fun and safer to use if they were sharp.
Posted: 9:25 am on March 29th

MKReyn MKReyn writes: as a beginning woodworker I need all the help I can get. That begins with basics. Thanks for the chance to win.
Posted: 9:10 am on March 29th

jamieoboy jamieoboy writes: As a long time woodworker we use a wide range of tools that need constant sharping. Having a reference book in my collection dealing with different ways to sharpen or modify a cuting edge to deal with different types of wood grains etc could improve any woodworkers project and skill level.
Posted: 9:00 am on March 29th

ray777 ray777 writes: this would be a great book for any woodwoker. Thanks
Posted: 8:30 am on March 29th

mkrok mkrok writes: I have been practicing my sharpening skills, thye are better, but still not "razor sharp"
Posted: 8:21 am on March 29th

Beej76 Beej76 writes: Sharpening has been a mystery to me for quite some time and has kept me away from hand tools while learning this great craft. There seem to be so many different ways of doing it that I am at a loss as to which I should try. The most efficient techniques seem to come with the heftiest price tags.
Posted: 8:12 am on March 29th

RobVal370 RobVal370 writes: Well, maybe if I had the book I would learn the right way to sharpen my chisels. I tried different techniques, but can't seam to get it right. Help!!! I need to learn and you all can help me stop buy new chisels.
Thank you.
Posted: 8:10 am on March 29th

amber429 amber429 writes: My Dad has always been very good in sharpening drill bits on the grinder. (it takes a lot of practice) I wish I was as good as he is. Thanks for the chance to win this book, It's always nice to learn something new!!!!! Richard
Posted: 7:58 am on March 29th

WKen WKen writes: I envy those who have sharp tools that lift those superthin shavings from their stock! Maybe with the help of this book, when it is given to me, I will be able to say WOW! even I can do this!!!
Posted: 7:46 am on March 29th

Pap12 Pap12 writes: This book would be a great addition to my woodworking library! I need all the help I can get!
Posted: 7:45 am on March 29th

pharper pharper writes: I could definitely use some guidance on sharpening my lathe tools.
Posted: 7:07 am on March 29th

barbdeaon barbdeaon writes: I have a few chisels that would really like to be sharpened, then I might use them.

Thanks for the chance to win this book.
Posted: 6:24 am on March 29th

woodpuppy woodpuppy writes: I'd love to have this book. My sharpening skills need sharpening.
Posted: 6:22 am on March 29th

jbh1010 jbh1010 writes: It would be great to understand how to sharpen drill bits of all kinds, and to use that grinder in the corner with dust all over it. I really need a good book on keeping my tools sharp.
Posted: 6:12 am on March 29th

gdrew gdrew writes: being a mediocre sharpener, I would love to win this!
Posted: 6:12 am on March 29th

acornbob acornbob writes: I would like to learn more about sharpening and this looks like a good place to start. Hope I win!
Posted: 5:26 am on March 29th

Mike68847 Mike68847 writes: I really need a hobby, and I've read just enough about woodworking to know the importance of sharp tools. This book will teach me how.
Posted: 5:25 am on March 29th

JSee JSee writes: I've had to force my hubby and teenager to get a hobby other than watching tv, so I had them get started with wordworking. I've ordered them books and got them a subscription to this magazine. So, winning this book would be a great addition to our little library! Thank you!!
Posted: 4:08 am on March 29th

signmaker signmaker writes: It's been said that it is extremely important to have sharp chisels and planes. I've found this to be quite true. I have a basic idea about sharpening a plane but sharpening carving chisels stump me. My father always taught me that if you can read and follow instructions you can do just about anything. I think this book would be a great addition to any how to library. I hope I get to add it to mine. Thanks for the chance to win.
Posted: 4:03 am on March 29th

jverreault jverreault writes: I have several of these Back to Basics books. BUT I don't have this one. Hope luck smiles on me...
Posted: 3:03 am on March 29th

Museum Museum writes: As I am not very enthusiastic about sharpening tools, particularly those in my woodturning collection, I look forward to gaining some useful hints. I am always willing to learn.
Posted: 2:17 am on March 29th

michaelpowe michaelpowe writes: I have found this series of books have been very helpful in finding the right solution for the project.
Posted: 2:04 am on March 29th

JGRacette JGRacette writes: It seems ironic that a high-speed grinder is pictured on the cover of a book dedicated to the art and science of sharpening. The high-speed grinder is one of the machines I avoid when putting a fine edge on my cutting tools.
Posted: 1:47 am on March 29th

Lori K Lori K writes: This would be a great addition to my library and I could probably find a good tip or two to improve my sharpening skills. Thanks
Posted: 10:29 pm on March 28th

robsterrocklobster robsterrocklobster writes: That's something I've been working on lately. I think my lathe work will improve if I can get a better handle on sharpening.

Thanks for a shot at winning it.


Posted: 7:32 pm on March 28th

camerabob camerabob writes: Sharpening may not be "fun" but it sure beats the alternative, dull tools. I can always use a book that makes my work a little easier. Thanks. Bob
Posted: 6:26 pm on March 28th

HenryJ HenryJ writes: Much-needed. I'm in the dark about sharpening, but I know it's critical to just about everything else I do in the shop.
Posted: 6:18 pm on March 28th

Woodnhed Woodnhed writes: My wife tells me all the time I need to sharpen the point on my head!! Maybe this book will help.
Posted: 5:07 pm on March 28th

dondoe dondoe writes: I send all my chisels and blades to a pro for sharpening. It's time I bit the bullet and learned how to do it myself. I know what a difference a sharp edge makes. Both for cutting and safety.
Don Doerksen
Posted: 4:39 pm on March 28th

forester621 forester621 writes: maybe knowing how to sharpen the tools will make it more fun? :)

Posted: 2:53 pm on March 28th

C_Russell C_Russell writes: I'd love to win this book. Thanks!
Posted: 2:33 pm on March 28th

YNC YNC writes: I'm not new to woodworking but new to sharpening tools. I know it's something I should be doing, quite often, but have tried several times and failed. I feel that owning a Back to Basics - Fundamentals to Shaprening book is just what I need. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book courtisy of Fox Chapel.
Posted: 2:15 pm on March 28th

Jerryki Jerryki writes: I need to up the level of sharpnesss in my shop, the sharpness of my tools too!
Posted: 12:59 pm on March 28th

hiker1rob hiker1rob writes: Thank for the chance to win. I'm always looking for info on how to sharpen better faster more effectively.
Posted: 11:50 am on March 28th

gsuing gsuing writes: My comment haiku:

Sharpening is fun
But I could use more practice
And this book would help
Posted: 10:55 am on March 28th

mgshilling mgshilling writes: I've been learning the art and science of woodworking over the past year. Besides two 9-week classes in middle school 24 years ago, I've had zero formal training. I've spent half of my time reading the information on websites and forums like Fine Woodworking so that I can learn from the experiences of woodworking professionals. I've watched online videos. However, mostly I've been reading some great books. One topic that I've seen pop up many times, is the topic of sharpening. sharpening is the basis of everything from making clean cuts to Safety. Unfortunately I've not found very many specific sources for sharpening. This book by Fox Chapel should be an excellent product to add to my library off woodworking books. I'll also give a review of the book whether I win it or purchase it.
Matt
Posted: 10:05 am on March 28th

mgshilling mgshilling writes: I've been learning the art and science of woodworking over the past year. Besides two 9-week classes in middle school 24 years ago, I've had zero formal training. I've spent half of my time reading the information on websites and forums like Fine Woodworking so that I can learn from the experiences of woodworking professionals. I've watched online videos. However, mostly I've been reading some great books. One topic that I've seen pop up many times, is the topic of sharpening. sharpening is the basis of everything from making clean cuts to Safety. Unfortunately I've not found very many specific sources for sharpening. This book by Fox Chapel should be an excellent product to add to my library off woodworking books. I'll also give a review of the book whether I win it or purchase it.
Matt
Posted: 10:05 am on March 28th

rodeworks rodeworks writes: I've just gotten serious about sharpening even trying to tackle some of my old hand saws. And I can use all the help I can get.
Posted: 9:57 am on March 28th

savage1 savage1 writes: Would love to have it. Thanks.
Posted: 9:54 am on March 28th

Dean7 Dean7 writes: Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.


Posted: 9:41 am on March 28th

canexican canexican writes: Sharpening is an area that I need some help. This book would be a great reference. Thanks for giving the opportunity to get one.
Posted: 9:05 am on March 28th

MichaelKramer MichaelKramer writes: Looks like it would be a great addition to my collection. I would put this to good use. Thanks!
Posted: 8:53 am on March 28th

LBF LBF writes: Sounds like a great book.
Posted: 8:13 am on March 28th

Northlake_Surfer Northlake_Surfer writes: thanks for the chance to win.
Posted: 8:12 am on March 28th

cwelte cwelte writes: I'd love to add this to my library!
Posted: 7:52 am on March 28th

twpark twpark writes: Sharpening, a very weak part of my expertise.
I need all the help I can get!
Posted: 7:46 am on March 28th

frank T frank T writes: I could use a book with this information!
Posted: 7:30 am on March 28th

JLYoung JLYoung writes: I'd like to have this book, please count me in!
Posted: 7:09 am on March 28th

alk509 alk509 writes: Adding my name to the contest.
Posted: 6:56 am on March 28th

KenHANGITALL KenHANGITALL writes: I would love a chance to win this book. Sharping is a skill I really need to work on and I am sure everyone could use help on this subject.
Posted: 6:48 am on March 28th

Richardsdesignco Richardsdesignco writes: As with all the books given away this would be a great addition to any woodworkers library. I would love to win it.
Posted: 11:17 pm on March 27th

mnwoodworker mnwoodworker writes: I'd like that book as well, but since it won't be announced till Tuesday, April 55, 2011-I'll never win11
Nate
Posted: 11:15 pm on March 27th

Irritable_Badger Irritable_Badger writes: I've purchased several books on sharpening and I'd love to find (win) one that gave useful insights instead of just advice on which fancy new tools to buy.
Posted: 9:44 pm on March 27th

Jollyroger Jollyroger writes: The fun in sharpening is getting done.
Posted: 8:38 pm on March 27th

JPSzcz JPSzcz writes: "it says this book will teach you to 'embrace the fun and essence of sharpening..." I hope so, because sharpening is right up there with sweeping the floor in my workshop book.

Jonathan
==================================
Posted: 7:26 pm on March 27th

Tym40 Tym40 writes: This book will help those of us who normally buy cheap cutting tools and then throw them out when they get dull. Thanks for the opportunity to win one!
Posted: 7:01 pm on March 27th

dickster2112 dickster2112 writes: Sharpening.
Fun.
Embracing.
Sounds great.
Posted: 6:27 pm on March 27th

Jamul Jamul writes: Best thing about tools, is having sharp ones.

Posted: 4:41 pm on March 27th

JeffB JeffB writes: I could use that book - thanks.
Posted: 4:30 pm on March 27th

J__Pierce J__Pierce writes: Everyone can use more info and ideas on sharpening our tools
Posted: 4:25 pm on March 27th

jimmacgregor jimmacgregor writes: I could certainly use this one. Thanks
Posted: 4:04 pm on March 27th

reynolds3465 reynolds3465 writes: Looks like something I can use. I never seem to be able to get my tools sharp enough.
Posted: 3:19 pm on March 27th

tropicalww tropicalww writes: I have the glue and clamps book....it's packed with great info. I'd love to add this book to my collection, too! :-)
Posted: 3:06 pm on March 27th

haciendasanpedro haciendasanpedro writes: i'd like one. thanks.
Posted: 1:29 pm on March 27th

Larrythewoodguy Larrythewoodguy writes: Thanks for a chance to win this book .
Posted: 1:11 pm on March 27th

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