Ever build your own powered sharpening system?

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Forum topic by StumpyNubs posted 10-30-2010 01:15 AM 2373 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7681 posts in 3002 days

10-30-2010 01:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question jig

In my blog (Starting a Woodworking Business) I have been having a discussion about sharpening plane and chisel blades. Everyone seems to use the standard stones, diamonds or paper powered by elbow grease. Others use one of the powered sharpening systems out there like a Tormek or a Work Sharp.

My question is, have you ever designed and built your own power shapening machine? I’ve seen several on the internet, some very good ideas, others not so great. I’m working on one of my own design that uses sandpaper wrapped around 6” wheels like a grinder. What are your ideas?

Photos would be nice too!

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5 replies so far

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4279 days

#1 posted 10-30-2010 02:00 AM

Nope! Sorry dude, I will follow along though.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3448 days

#2 posted 10-30-2010 02:55 AM

Karson blogged his setup a while back. You might want to check it out.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3090 days

#3 posted 10-30-2010 07:50 AM

A friend of mine back east (many moons ago) used an old portable record player as a sharpening system. He cut a disk of plywood the size of the turntable and glues a hardboard face to it. He attached a disk of fine wet and dry paper to the disk and using a jug he built to hold the item to be sharpened, he’d rest it on the paper and press down gently until it was done with that grit, then he’d change to a finer paper and do it again. As a final step, he had a disk of leather impregnated with jeweler’s rouge to “strop” the edge. In short order he had his chisels sharper than razors.

The best part? He rescued the record player from the garbage. His brother was throwing it out because the tone arm was broken. All he had to buy was the papers and leather. The wood he got from his odds and end bin.

I think he ran it at the lowest speed to combat heating, but I’m not positive. It’s been several decades since I saw him.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3331 days

#4 posted 10-30-2010 08:22 AM


At a Woodcraft store in Woburn, MA, the fellas once showed me an old Rockwell system from the 50s or earlier. It was essentially a large belt sander (two pulleys, a motor, and a long 6’ belt) . I had a bench rest and it di a great job of putting a hollow grind on a chisel that had been a wreck. I don’t know how this would work on longer blades such as jointer knives etc. But it was relatively simple and effective for restoring even really beat up chisels.

View Adam's profile


46 posts in 3355 days

#5 posted 10-30-2010 02:04 PM

Shopnotes had plans for one about a year ago. Looked nice and solid.


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