I’ve decided to make a series about some of my low-budget builds and cheap solutions to common problems many of us encounter in the shop.
The first area I plan to cover is sharpening. It’s something we all need to do, and I find many people make it much harder and more of a pain than is necessary. Others simply spend a fortune in an attempt to make it “quick and easy”, and many times this ends up being more hassle than they bargained for.
Anyone who uses edged tools should have a sharpening station that is ready to go at all times. Sharp tools are key to good woodwork, and if it’s time consuming to set-up your sharpening station and or a huge hassle to set up your machine, you will put it off longer than you should, and your work will suffer from it.
Sharpening should be something you do every day while you work, not something that is put off or only done at the beginning or end of your time in the shop. You are using dull tolls if you work this way, there is no question about it.
However, if sharpening can be performed quickly and easily without the need to drag out and set-up heavy equipment, or spending 10 minutes digging out and setting up stones, you will sharpen more often, you will not use dull tools, and stopping to sharpen won’t be a big hassle that messes up your work flow. It will become part of your work flow and be a simple routine that takes seconds instead of minutes.
What I use, and what I am going to build for this blog, is a simple self-contained sharpening station. You can set it up for use with any number of sharpening mediums, be it sandpaper on glass or granite, water-stones, oil-stones, or even a Work-sharp or some other machine or tool.
It is simple to build, contains everything you will need for sharpening, has it’s own lighting so you can set it up wherever you like and still see, is covered to keep everything clean and ready to use, and best of all, it dosn’t cost much to build and is something you will use everytime you work in your shop AND it will make your work easier and more enjoyable.
My next segment will include a list of materials, a basic design plan and some options to consider based on how you work, available space, and what you use to sharpen with. And while mine will use granite for a flat surface, there are other options that may be more cost efficient for some, like 1/4” or 3/8” plate glass. I will also give you several rsources to find affordable granite that will be plenty flat enough to use.
I’ll be working on the next segment and have it up shortly.
Thanks for reading!