|Project by ChuckM||posted 12-25-2010 11:19 PM||4450 views||1 time favorited||4 comments|
I decided to be a little lavish this Xmas and bought myself a Veritas power sharpening system, in addition to some other hand tools. (For the past Xmases, I didn’t really spend anything on myself.) My shop is a garage for my cars, so I don’t have room for a full-size bench top sharpening station (my workbench is full of things most of the time). I put the MKII in the upper drawer of a mobile file cabinet (the top houses my thickness planer) and to do sharpening, I just pull the drawer out as well as a stool over so I can sit down to operate the machine. (A side benefit of keeping the system inside a drawer is security.)
In about an hour this afternoon, I sharpened 8 chisels (all at 25 degrees) and one blade (from 38 to 33 degrees for use in my low angle block plane so the plane becomes a standard block plane). There was no way I could finish so many edges in such a time frame with my old system (a Veritas MKI honing jig and water stones). The last (6th) picture shows a blunt edge and the 3rd picture the sharpened edge afterwards. The 5th picture shows a cut on the end grain of a oak piece using one of the sharpened chisels.
I’ve used the Veritas MKII power sharpening system many times before and am now a proud owner of one. My shop can be very cold in the winter; water is not a nice medium to work with – I can assure you. Also, I need to bring the water stones into the house to avoid their freezing after use. Finally, the long term overall cost of the MKII power sharpening system and sanding discs is actually comparable to that of a MKII honing jig and its accessories (water stones, flattening stone, water pond, etc.). Granted, the initial outlay ($400) is much higher for the MKII power system, but the time you save from sharpening is worth it. Touching up a blade or a chisel takes just a minute or two!
One thing I know is this system will outlast my woodworking life. I don’t know why I waited till this Xmas to get one. Merry Xmas!
P.S. The Narex chisels from Lee Valley Tools are best value chisels you can get. Fine Woodworking has recommended them in one of its tool reviews. They should, however, be honed before use to get the best results.
-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted