My Scary Sharp sharpening station

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Project by kedmiston posted 03-12-2012 07:03 PM 5501 views 49 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey Fellow Lumberjocks,

I thought I’d take a minute and share my latest shop-project. I know that there are many ways to sharpen an edge, so I’m not attempting to weigh in on the discussion of which is best, etc. I had researched a bunch of them before deciding on the method I wanted to invest in. A friend in the local Woodworkers Club got me interested in this one, so I built an outfit for myself. For the most part I didn’t rethink much…just copied his. For more info, see Mark's website my “credit where credit is due” clause.

As the title would indicate, it’s based on the Scary Sharp methodology. 1/4” table top glass, 3M PSA-backed Micro-Abrasive film (40, 15, 5, & 0.3 microns), etc. The idea behind this setup is that the triangular block of wood that serves as the angle guide slides along the glass up to the point of hitting the film. Back-n-forth, back-n-forth. A little mineral oil and away we go. Quite clean compared to the water stones I was tempted to buy in to…and cheaper than the diamond stones I REALLY wanted to buy in to. Also, the triangular nature of the guide block easily allows putting a camber on the edges.

Anyway, my project consisted of building a box to house it all, as well as getting all the supplies etc. to get started sharpening. I’ve got the glass sliding in slots cut in the sides and a cover for the front that will keep that sawdust outta there when not in use. Still needs handles…it’s a bit heavy, so I want to get some good ones that won’t fail while carrying (shattering glass will ruin my day).

Also added an extra sheet of glass beyond Mark’s guidelines. What I do with that one is put a piece of mylar film on it and use that with the abrasive grit you see in the bottom in one of the pics. I got the mylar and grit from Lee Valley for a decent price.

Not seen in these pics is the really great little “Brock MagiScope” microscope I bought for $40 off of Craig’s List yesterday. It’s fantastic…had I not had it I would have assumed my edge was sharp long before it really was. Had a to work quite a while longer to get rid of the massive chip in my plane blade that I could not have seen otherwise (but likely would have left a mark on my work).

I don’t recall exactly how much I spent on this, but here’s an attempt to ballpark it:
  • $30—5- 1/4” table top glass
  • $35—3M Abrasive Film
  • $40—mylar and abrasive grit
  • $40—microscope
  • free—wood for project…scraps mostly

Hope this helps someone get closer to sharpening their tools regularly…sharper is better…and safer.

Thanks for looking!


10 comments so far

View MShort's profile


1791 posts in 3563 days

#1 posted 03-12-2012 07:21 PM

Sweet Setup !!!.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Everett1's profile


213 posts in 2679 days

#2 posted 03-12-2012 07:51 PM

Nice, i shall be making this for myself, i just use flat granite floor tiles from Home Depot

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

View diggerdelaney's profile


467 posts in 3895 days

#3 posted 03-12-2012 07:54 PM

Great way to store all the glass and keep it safe may just have to build one myself

-- Derek, Kent, UK,

View a1Jim's profile


117234 posts in 3722 days

#4 posted 03-12-2012 08:12 PM

Good idea

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View MasterSergeant's profile


1371 posts in 2833 days

#5 posted 03-12-2012 09:33 PM

This makes a whole lot of sense to me. You have talked me into it!

Thanks for sharing!!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View NormG's profile


6252 posts in 3149 days

#6 posted 03-13-2012 03:17 AM

Looks like you will have sharp tools for a long time to come

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Bricofleur's profile


1453 posts in 3338 days

#7 posted 03-13-2012 01:09 PM

Great idea for a sharpening station, gathering everything in a box. I also like your triangular guide block for easy camber. The idea of adding handles on the side came into my mind when I saw the station, what may be quite useful to carry the station around. Finally, how about building a drawer in the lower section to be filled with accessories and easy to get out to get that small don’t-know-what?

Thanks for sharing this great idea. This one is to be remembered.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View Richard's profile


1922 posts in 2835 days

#8 posted 03-13-2012 07:38 PM

Looks good , now if I can just remember that the project is not finished until I sharpen the tools.

View Bertha's profile


13550 posts in 2838 days

#9 posted 03-13-2012 07:47 PM

Me like! Clever contraption. I may steal the idea for use with my marble windowsill. Thanks!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View kdc68's profile


2689 posts in 2422 days

#10 posted 03-14-2012 01:10 AM

Clever idea. Great job

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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