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Forum topic by jacquesr posted 02-09-2015 08:58 PM 1469 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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345 posts in 1663 days

02-09-2015 08:58 PM

Hi guys,
I am totally new to hand tools…. just bought my first #4 and Block Plane from Lee Valley…
Need to get a kit/method for sharpening. Sharpening seems to be a very big topic…
Anyone using this?


Seems to be a simple, affordable, no brainer solution…
Am I missing something?


8 replies so far

View DocBailey's profile


584 posts in 2600 days

#1 posted 02-09-2015 09:31 PM

Am I missing something?

As a new hand tool guy you will soon see that the entire topic of sharpening is rife with controversy and as hotly contested as politics or religion.
With all that said, I am not an opponent of jigs for sharpening.

This one is a bad idea for at least two reasons: 1) you are stuck with buying their replacement “stones” and 2) the stones wear in a very limited area.

Since you’re just starting out, let me pass on to you the best advice I ever got: pick a system and stick with it.
Your choices are sandpaper affixed to flat media (“scary sharp” method), oilstones, waterstones, or diamond-impregnated plates (DMT for example)

Too many ww’ers keep switching from one system to the next, in search of the magic combination of stones, jigs, grinders, etc., rather than mastering a system.

View jacquesr's profile


345 posts in 1663 days

#2 posted 02-09-2015 09:36 PM

Well you said it right! Never thought sharpening would be even more confusing than power tools…
I liked the concept of “dry” sharpening, so I recently bought this

I figured out I could buy Veritas MkII Honing guide…

Thanks for your advice

View DocBailey's profile


584 posts in 2600 days

#3 posted 02-10-2015 02:51 AM

Don’t know much about that stone, but I’ve got that guide and love it.

View BurlyBob's profile


6032 posts in 2506 days

#4 posted 02-10-2015 03:14 AM

I jumped into this sharpening plane irons and chisels and setting on wet/dri paper on granite counter cutoffs. Use the Veritas honing guide and paper up to 3000 grit. Found that higher grit at auto paint specialty houses. The granite cutoffs I got from a shop’s trash pallet. They were more than thrilled for me to take it. I also use several longer pieces of granite and wet/dri to flatten my hand planes. So far it’s been very cost effective. I’ve kicked around the idea of a 10” 8000 or higher but just can’t seem to justify it with the results I’m getting.

View OSU55's profile


2033 posts in 2230 days

#5 posted 02-11-2015 12:43 PM

Have a look here for a modified scary sharp method using lapping film.
This is for honing. Primary bevels can be formed in a lot of ways – bench grinder, belt sander, diamond stones, etc. I use simple shop made jigs that can use any media. Commercial jigs have 2 major drawbacks – either a wheel that runs on top of the abrasive, wearing the wheel and contaminating subsequent abrasives unless cleaned well (every abrasive step), or they require particular styles of abrasives, i.e. restrictive and potentially expensive. As DocBailey said sharpening can get controversial – don’t get me started on strops.

View upchuck's profile


540 posts in 1905 days

#6 posted 02-12-2015 07:12 AM

...let me pass on to you the best advice I ever got: pick a system and stick with it.

- DocBailey

I don’t want to be disagreeable, but…I disagree. For me some “systems” work well with some groups of tools and the same system sucks for other tools.

For example I use water stones for most of my chisels and plane irons (Like you said about having a #4 and a block plane). But water stones are softer than other sharpening systems and I have gouged these stones when sharpening narrow chisels or carving tools. And when I have the stone in hand and I’m bringing the stone to the tool instead of the tool to the stone to sharpen axes, hatchets or draw knives I also want a harder (oil) stone.

Lots of systems. Lots of tools. For me some tools are more compatible with some systems than others. I don’t want to complicate sharpening for you but there are lots of ways to skin a cat and lots of different cats to skin.
But regardless of which cat or how you skin it a sharp tool makes the job easier.

Good Luck.


View rustynails's profile


812 posts in 2769 days

#7 posted 02-12-2015 12:46 PM

The Work Sharp 3000 is a very easy to use system and works great. I have one and like it a lot.

View DocBailey's profile


584 posts in 2600 days

#8 posted 02-12-2015 06:10 PM


Not sure how you could so totally misunderstand what I wrote.

It goes without saying that all tools cannot be sharpened with the same system (no one’s advocating using sandpaper-on-glass to sharpen your chainsaw).

Beginners are notorious for buying (for example) oilstones, not having immediate success, and then buying waterstones.
When they still can’t raise a wire edge, they then buy a jig, guaranteed to give results.

The bigger point is that any system can be made to work, but it must be mastered. That may take some time and patience, but switching from system to system is not the answer.

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