Complete Guide to Sharpening by Leonard Lee

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Forum topic by Justin posted 11-02-2010 12:46 AM 1375 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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118 posts in 2393 days

11-02-2010 12:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tip trick handsaw carving tool chisel blade plane sharpening sanding

Came across this book Complete Guide to Sharpening by Leonard Lee while i was just randomly surfing the internet. I never had a chance to read it all but i thought that some of you might be interested in it. The book shows how to sharpen just about everything from chisels, saw blades, to drill bits.

6 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5300 posts in 3136 days

#1 posted 11-02-2010 12:55 AM

I’ve got it, it is a great book. I highly recommend it. Sir_Robert reviewed it here

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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1540 posts in 3185 days

#2 posted 11-02-2010 02:07 AM

At last month’s WIA conference, hand plane guru Chris Schwarz said that Lee’s book was good, but was badly in need of update.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View jusfine's profile


2405 posts in 2350 days

#3 posted 11-02-2010 03:13 AM

I have it as well, I like it! Wondering what specifically Chris thought should be updated?

Having to admit, I have not read it through completely… but Leonard Lee was in Edmonton promoting the book at the Lee Valley store when it first came out, so since I was there, I had to buy it...

Don’t know if there is a newer version, but mine is from 1995.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View RalphBarker's profile


80 posts in 2193 days

#4 posted 11-02-2010 05:45 PM

I don’t have this particular book, but I wonder if Taunton is a little over-enthusiastic with the “Complete” in the title. The book is only 256 pages long, after all, and it would seem that many more pages, ten thousand or so, would be needed to cover all the competing sharpening philosophies that are running around. ;-)

View SPHinTampa's profile


566 posts in 3109 days

#5 posted 11-02-2010 05:56 PM

I liked the book and found his accompanying video to be very helpful.

One technique that I found difficult to implement is his practice of using a 1” belt sander as a sharpening tool.

I find that the belt flexes too much (or I am pressing too hard) and I don’t get a good result.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

#6 posted 11-02-2010 07:01 PM

Oh sweet goodness!!

That’s exactly what I’ve been needing. All I had up till now was a FWW compilation book with a couple of articles on sharpening by D Charlesworth and The Schwarz. They tell what needs to be told, but I want to know more. Most woodworkers dread putting a finish on their projects, yet after lots of practice and frustration, I feel near to having achieved a comfortable level of skill in finishing. But when it comes to sharpening my tools I’m a novice at best. I dread having to sharpen plane irons and chisels, and I pay for it with sweat and tearout when a piece of hard curly maple needs to be planed. This book is PERFECT! Thanks!!

I had no idea this book existed, and I’m going to buy it ASAP. There’s now a “Complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening” available, but the 1995 version should still be an excellent resource. IMO, Taunton and FWW produce the finest woodworking reference material available.

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

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