What is an Oilstone?

In the October and November issues, Adam wrote a two-part article on Sharpening. To go with them, he provided a short piece to tell you just what an oilstone really is. To download the PDF, click on the link below. — Megan Fitzpatrick WhatIsAnOilstone  

How to Sharpen a Marking Knife

Sharpening a spear-point marking knife isn’t difficult, but it sure seems to flummox some woodworkers. The bevels on the knife are small, and if you aren’t used to freehand sharpening, you might be afraid of rounding over the edge. Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce Toolworks was at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend,...


‘The Last Word on Sharpening,’ by Christopher Schwarz

I still remember the first time I achieved a truly sharp edge on my smoothing plane iron. Suddenly, I was able to make whisper thin shavings and achieve a shimmering surface…without a surreptitious dip into Christopher Schwarz’s cabinet to borrow his No. 4. And my dovetails started looking a lot better on the inside,...


Looking Sharp for my Vacation

Early this morning, I dove into my tool chest to pull the stuff I’ll need next week at The Woodwright’s School for a 17th-century joint stool class with Peter Follansbee. And I realized, as I arrayed the tools on my bench, that my bad habits had caught up with me. How many of you...

Coming Soon: Grind, Hone & Get Back to Work

The best sharpening advice I ever heard was from Tony Konovalov: Grind, hone and get back to work. Or, to put it another way: Which is more fun? Making your tools sharp or making your tools dull? When it comes to sharpening tools, I am not meditative. I am not slow. I am not...


DMT Introduces its Dia-Flat Plate

I’ve always preferred diamond plates for flattening my waterstones and oilstones. Though a coarse or extra-coarse diamond stone does a fine job, the sharpening stones are pretty hard on the diamond impregnated surface, wearing the diamond plate prematurely, according to engineers at DMT. I’m not a big fan, however, of the stone-based flattening systems...


Using a Hand-cranked Grinder

Many woodworkers fear the act of grinding. And “fear” might be too kind a word. I’ve had several woodworkers send me tools to grind for them (please don’t do this). Other woodworkers spend hundreds of dollars on fancy tool rests or other grinding jigs to ensure that the tool will not catch fire, steal...