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Blog entry by Eric posted 03-27-2009 05:30 AM 934 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Now that the Lego Table is done, I have decided that I really can’t take on any more projects until I sharpen my tools. I think my sharpening skills are pretty decent, although I recently learned of some things I could do even better. As a result, my decent sharpening of long, long ago has kept my tools sharp enough to justify (in my head) an insane level of procrastination.

But can you blame me? I get a few hours of shop time a week, if I’m lucky. If I have a project in the works, do you really think I’d want to use that time to sharpen my tools? Nahh…I’ll just push that plane a little stronger, and bang on those chisels a little harder. (I think I just heard a few people gasp.)

So that’s it. No more projects until the chisels and planes are sharp. This will result in one of two things:

  1. I will get those tools sharpened the next time I’m in the shop.
  2. I will never work wood again.

In the meantime, I did allow myself one mini project, with the justification that I wasn’t using a tool that needed sharpening (my ryoba). My son had been wanting a card holder for when we play games, so I thought I’d knock one out for him (and one for his younger sister, while I’m at it).

Nothing fancy, just a long rip cut in a small board. It was much harder than it looks, though, using a 9-10” ryoba to cut a slot in a board that was about 14” or so. I think if I had a large rip-cut saw it would have been much easier – but then again, the kerf would have been much thicker. The kids are going to paint them and then I’ll finish ‘em with varnish.

-- Eric at

4 comments so far

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3393 days

#1 posted 03-27-2009 06:14 AM

I am too loyal to my “King” waterstones, but I know sharpening is a time consuming thing…
Im seriously considering the Veritas sharpening system, specialy for the nicks removal stage…..

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3752 days

#2 posted 03-27-2009 06:40 AM

I am lucky that I have a guy that does my knives, blades, and router bits only 6 miles away. He does my planer knives for 18 bucks a set of three, a 60 tooth carbide blade for under 15 bucks and the router bits are only a couple of bucks each. He works for a local sawmill and seems to know his stuff, even offered to come to my shop to help true up the equipt.

Don’t know if he will do internet orders, but will ask him the next time.


-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3783 days

#3 posted 03-27-2009 06:46 AM

@Moai: Yeah, for my space constraints, the waterstones are really great. One day I’ll try sandpaper like many use here, but I’ll never throw my stones away!

@Pete: You are lucky indeed, my friend!

-- Eric at

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3648 days

#4 posted 03-27-2009 03:11 PM

Eric, I use the sandpaper, just cause it works best for me (and I dont like the idea of having to true up the stones every once in a while) but whatever system you use, it should give you similar results – as long as you get to the fine grits.

I like you am getting very little shop hours (as of late, I’d be lucky if I get anything at all), but when I do, I’d rather be working the wood then sharpening – that said – I sharpen my blades at night after everyone else is asleep, since the sharpening/honing process doesnt make much noise, and seriously – once you’ve got the bevel on the blades, honing them alone is a pretty quick, so even during “shop hours” it doesnt take more than a couple of minutes to rehone all my blades (less than a min. a blade including setup in the veritas jig)

the benefit of keeping the blade sharp though, is not only the fact that you don’t have to ‘push harder’, but the fact that the tool does the work for you- at an amazingly higher quality of a cut. def. worth the time put into sharpening!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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