Work Sharp WS 3000 sharpener???

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Forum topic by ondablade posted 09-26-2009 07:14 PM 2702 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3439 days

09-26-2009 07:14 PM

I mentioned in the bevel up/bevel down thread that i wasn’t that wild about grinding a concave bevel on the set Veritas bevel up planes on order. Ditto for chisels – although in both cases i’m not sure it makes any difference it just doesn’t feel right.

Digging about today for a disc type grinder (that will grind/polish a flat bevel on tools) i came across the Work Sharp 3000 – it seems to get great reviews.

Does anybody have experience of it?

One issue for the Veritas bevel up planes is that it needs an extra attachment to handle blades above 2 in wide (the Veritas BU blades are 2 1/4 in wide), but on the other hand it’s not that big a deal in that it sets you up to work off the top surface of the machine and disc using a normal honing guide.

It looks like it clears the way to set up a large radius grinding guide for doing cambered blades too, and the resulting bevel will be flat.

The machine has a disc to which you attached whatever grades of abrasive sheet or lapping you need – there’s lots of possibilities. It has a pre-set for bevel angles, is relatively low speed, and also polishes using a lapping disc.

The one criticism (apart from one report of a motor failure) i saw when reading reviews was that the speed at differing points on the disc radius is different (an inherent property of a disc), but that seems unlikely to be a problem if you keep the blade centreline on the line of a radius of the disc. (if you get what i mean)

Sounds promising, but does anybody know better???

PS Should have checked first – there’s a series of positive reviews elsewhere on the site…..

-- Late awakener....

10 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4201 days

#1 posted 09-26-2009 08:46 PM

I will keep my old and trusty Makita horizontal wheel sharpener. It is a dumb as an ox, just as solid, and works like a champ. Not expensive either.


View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2848 posts in 3678 days

#2 posted 09-26-2009 09:10 PM

do a search for the 3000 there are reviews of it here. I did one about a year ago. I still like it.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3766 days

#3 posted 09-26-2009 09:10 PM

I am just curious why you don’t like a hollow bevel? It makes honing and keeping a sharp edge so much easier and faster. I’d rather do a quick honing every 10 minutes while chopping dovetails than have to sharpen the entire edge.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View bruc101's profile


1261 posts in 3782 days

#4 posted 09-26-2009 09:16 PM

I have one and when I got use to using it I never looked back. I’ve not had a woodworker that owns one tell me they didn’t like it.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3432 days

#5 posted 09-27-2009 11:14 AM

I did a brief review on the WS3000 and why I disliked/returned it:

-- The Wood Nerd --

View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3439 days

#6 posted 09-27-2009 02:03 PM

Thank you guys, there’s good reviews there. This forum has a really helpful vibe.

I guess Julian that my resistance to hollow grinding is more ideological (even aesthetic?) than based on any practical reality, and i suspect like in many of these topics that there’s more than one good way to do it. It’s just that my experience is quite limited and i’ve never hollow ground tools.

My gut instinct was just that with the bevel up blades on the new Veritas planes i’ve just ordered that hollow grinding might not be such a good idea – in that the bevel acts as a chip breaker the shavings slide up, and that the Work Sharp might be a good option for this reason. I suspect too that A2 blades may not work so quickly as my present carbon steel (Clifton and generic chisels) by hand on my diamond stones.

I’d genuinely love to hear some experience based views on whether it might be true or not that hollow grinding on a bevel up blade makes any difference….

Peculiarly enough WN the points you make in your review about the Work sharp (hard to align blades working from underneath, limited sharpening angle options, and that it’s not so good for back flattening) crossed my mind when i read their blurb. My thought though was that while it’d be nice if these features worked that it wasn’t essential they did.

I’d have to buy the attachment for doing the 2 1/4 in bevel up Veritas blades off the top surface of the disc on the WS, and in this situation there’s a bolt on flat platen that sets it up to use the more conventional variable angle honing guide they supply with the wide blade set-up. i.e. i was inclined to just see it as a flat surfaced top down bevel grinder/finisher.

My thought was that fine micro bevels and back flattening (unless there was a big lot of material to remove) might/probably would be best handled on a water/diamond stone. This is speculation, in that it’s only since ordering the Veritas bevel up planes that i’ve started to look at the ‘technology’ of sharpening. (up to this i’ve hand sharpened on diamond stones which has been fine for the DIY ‘messing’ i’ve been doing, but perhaps less so for the fine work in hardwoods i’m moving into)

Brent Beach’s Sharpening Station website ( i’m sure you guys know all about it) is an amazing resource (but is heavy reading) – he’s done a lot of work, and has a lot to say that seems to make sense about use of micro bevels on both sides of the blade. (maybe if all the action happens at the level of the micro bevels, then perhaps hollow grinding of the primary bevel makes no difference)

What i’m trying to do is to get set up to be able to sharpen to the standard required to try some of these methods.

I’m thinking:

1. Coarse grinding of bevels and flattening of backs – with care (heating!) and some fixturing on my Bosch 3 in belt sander.

2. Fine grinding of bevels and flattening of backs – on either a Work Sharp (flat bevel and maybe backs), or a Tormek (hollow bevels only?).

3. Honing, micro bevels, back finishing and polishing – on diamond stones, waterstones (i have these already), MDF laps, or using fine papers and/or a leather wheel on a Work Sharp.

One advantage of the WS is that with the option to change papers and media it’s probably more versatile in this last area than is the Tormek.

The problem in this territory is that there are so many ways to do it, and what works for one may not work for another….

Pardon the length, in six months i’ll probably wonder what i was blathering about.


-- Late awakener....

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

418 posts in 4209 days

#7 posted 09-28-2009 04:18 PM

With regards cambering a BU blade, the issue is not a hollow grind verses a flat grind. The issue is the angle of the primary grind.

All explained in my article, ””The Secret to Cambering Bevel Up Plane Blades”...

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3439 days

#8 posted 09-28-2009 04:31 PM

Hi Derek, good timing! I read your article a few days ago, but i guess was struggling with the idea of hollow grinding a bevel up plane blade. Are you are saying (as i think you are) that hollow grinding the blade has no effect on its performance, that it’s all about the angle of the very small bevel we produce right at the cutting edge when sharpening? Even on a bevel up blade where this determines the shape of the surface the chip may slide up when cutting? I’m not arguing, just asking – maybe the chip is curled back by the tiny sharpening bevel created right at the cutting edge.

I’ve just watched this video on hollow grinding chisels (which function a bit differently) by a guy named Van Dyke on the Fine Woodworking website which seems to reinforce your view.

He seems to be saying more or less the same (to the point where he prefers a small diameter wheel because the resulting deeper hollow extends the number of times you can re-sharpen a given bevel) : (you need a sub to get to it)

He’s actually pretty cavalier about it, working by hand off a flat tool rest on his grinder, and seeming to not be all that bothered about the exact angle of the hollow grind. He also sharpens by hand on a stone subsequently. Experience i guess…...

-- Late awakener....

View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3439 days

#9 posted 09-28-2009 06:17 PM

PS A different situation, but a quick check shows that Toshio Odate in his book on care of Japanese tools (planes and chisels) says that hollow grinding is in that case frowned upon – on the basis that it leaves the cutting edge unsupported. This is important on laminated Japanese steel blades where the layer at the cutting edge is hard and brittle high carbon steel.

He suggests that in the case of chisels that a hollow back can cause issues with ‘jumping’ when paring back down in difficult woods too.

The practice over there it seems is also not to hone micro bevels at the cutting edge to ease sharpening – on the basis (presumably again on chisels) that the micro bevel lifts the cutting edge above the work surface when paring…

Brent Beach’s methods referred to above are on the other hand based almost entirely around the use of fine micro bevels.

Horses for courses i guess. There’s so many subtly different scenarios in this game…....

-- Late awakener....

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

716 posts in 3859 days

#10 posted 09-28-2009 06:50 PM

After 20 years of doing it the hard way, I got a Worksharp for Father’s Day. Should have bought it sooner. Sharpening is a no brainer. Worksharp recommends you sharpen with a microbevel to permit touch up of the edge. Glad I got it.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

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