Setting up shop #1: Sharpening station and drafting table

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Blog entry by ever4ward posted 08-09-2013 12:45 AM 1604 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Unexpectedly, my Norton oil stones arrived today, a day earlier than estimated. So after completing the glue up on my drafting table I set about putting together a sharpening station so I can start the process of getting all of the blades in my shop acceptably sharp and ready for use. Here is a quick pic of the drafting table that will be mounted on a hinge on the wall when I expand my shop:

I have decided to utilize the method demonstrated to me by Steve Branam ( in a private session last week. Preparing the back of the blade by working through 7 grits of paper on plate glass (check out the mirror finish below!) To confirm my technique and the set up I started with a $2.00 Home Depot bright orange chisel and spent 2 hours on the 60 grit paper and worked through to the 2000.

Then I moved to the stones to work the bevel side. Since the Arkansas Stone is backordered I didn’t get the full mirror edge I eventually want but after a bit more time on the strop, I was able to shave paper thin shaving from a pine cut off with a $2.00 chisel!

Here is the completed sharpening station:

I am definitely going to upgrade from the wimpy workmate soon but it was leaning in the corner so it was easy to test out the rest of the system.

I figure it will take a week or two to get through the rest of my tools but it will certainly be well worth the effort. Can’t wait to clean out a dovetail with a truly sharp chisel and shoot my next miter with a scary sharp plane! But now its time for a glass of red while I get some dinner ready. Am proud that in my new shop every appliance and aid that I have made has been hand tool only! Since I am still missing a few necessary tools it means using a few work arounds but over all a great feeling of tail free woodworking!

-- can you make anything from those shavings?

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