Free-hand Sharpening technique details?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 01-11-2013 10:23 PM 582 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


642 posts in 1504 days

01-11-2013 10:23 PM

I sharpen my chisels and plane irons free-hand on oilstones.

When I was learning to sharpen, I used long, sweeping motions over the whole length of the stones. Now, I tend to move the tool being sharpened rapidly back and forth over a small part of the stone, but allow the contact area to drift slowly over the stone to avoid dishing the stone in one spot.

Any thoughts on which technique might be better and why? Is there a better technique (e.g., side sharpening)?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

3 replies so far

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2215 days

#1 posted 01-12-2013 03:09 PM

brett, unless the person master the technique, like those Japan Masters, a $10 jig will make wonders and saves lots of time.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Don W's profile

Don W

15930 posts in 1389 days

#2 posted 01-12-2013 03:28 PM

I tend to use the whole stone. I think its easier to hold the angle that way. When i try short strokes I tend to get a more rounded affect.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Mark's profile


537 posts in 796 days

#3 posted 01-12-2013 05:23 PM

+1 on the whole stone. Slow and steady and try to use the whole surface. While you may not get an exact 25 or 30° micro bevel or what ever it is, you can still shave with it.

-- Mark

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