181 – My Sharpening System

Added on August 31, 2012

Note – This video was captured from a live session back in 2011. It was posted on the site (you may have already seen it) but because Ustream only allowed me to download a Flash version, I wasn’t able to put the video into the official feeds and folks with Apple devices couldn’t see it at all. Let me warn you ahead of time that both the video and audio are not up to my usual standards. But the information is really good so I thought it was worth posting in a more official sense. I hope you enjoy!

For me, sharpening is purely a utilitarian task. Therefore it needs to be both easy and fast. I would much rather spend a little more money on a product that will help me reach those goals than to save a few bucks and wind up making things more difficult for myself. After all, the easier/faster it is to put an edge on your tool, the more likely you are to do it. Unfortunately, many folks tend to over-complicate sharpening and look at it as a skill to be mastered. In my opinion, sharpening is the woodworking equivalent of filling my car with gas. Do it right and the car goes. Do it wrong and I’m going no where. Perfecting my ability to swipe the debit card and insert the nozzle with style and flare doesn’t really change the fact that all I’m doing is filling my tank with gas. The primary goal is to get you back to work with as sharp of an edge as is required for your work. Hopefully this video will give you a few tips that show you how easy sharpening can be, with the right tools.

We’ll talk about water stones, Shapton Stones, the Veritas MKII jig, DMT plates, free-hand sharpening, scary sharp, and a few other topics from the chat room questions. Please enjoy this live presentation. And as always, I have no control over the commercials that show up in this embedded video.

Special thanks to Shannon from The Hand Tool School for helping me field questions in the chat room!

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