Sharpening

Sharpening is the gateway skill to getting good results from all of your edge tools – and it’s particularly important to know how to do it right when you start using hand tools. (The expensive handplane or chisel that isn’t performing like you thought it would? It’s probably the blade – and that’s an easy fix.) Here, Popular Woodworking Magazine editors and contributing editors teach you how to sharpen saws, handplane blades, chisels, marking knives and more. Plus, you’ll find reviews books and videos on sharpening, a look a powered sharpening systems and quick fixes for commercial sharpening jigs.

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A Place to Call ‘Hone’

When I think of all the things that improved my sharpening skills, two things loom large. No. 1 is practice, of course, but close behind that is a dedicated sharpening tray. About 14 years ago I built a shallow tray from scrap plywood, nails and glue. No fancy joinery, no water-resistant materials and no...

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A Trickier Ruler Trick for Router Planes

Sharpening router plane blades can be no fun. For years now, I’ve made things easier for myself by honing the flat back of the iron through the grits and then removing the “burr” from the bevel with a polishing stone. This is way faster than trying to hone and polish the bevel while it...

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MWA Chats with Ron Hock, of Hock Tools

Download podcast episode No. 10 from the Modern Woodworkers Association (also known as MWA) to listen to an almost hour-long chat with Ron Hock, the owner and founder of Hock Tools, and author of “The Perfect Edge” (in which you’ll find just about everything you’d want to know about tool steel and sharpening). –...

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Another Great Place for Saws & Saw Sharpening

There are still millions of excellent vintage saws in the world, and the only thing standing between them rusting or chewing through wood is a good sharpening. Many beginning woodworkers are intimidated by sharpening their saws. That’s OK. When you are ready, buy these two DVDs from Ron Herman (“Sharpen Your Handsaws” and “Handsaws:...

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Veritas’s New PM-V11 Steel Coming Soon

Unlike many hand-tool woodworkers (and turners), I’m not much of a steel nerd. I’m not on a quest for the steel that promises the ultimate in edge life. The reason I’ve not experimented with lots of exotic steels is that every time I used CMP-10V, CMP-3V, D2 or whatever I found that these steels...

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How Larry Williams Hones a Chisel – Don’t Blink

On my recent visit to Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking, in Berea, Ky., Larry Williams of Old Street Tool took a few minutes away from his planemaking students to show me how he hones the 30° secondary bevel on a chisel – no fuss, no honing jig. And without the talking and my making...

Put the blade in the jig.

Woodworking 101: Basic Sharpening

Sharpen a Plane Blade There are many ways to sharpen plane blades, and woodworkers have strong opinions on the best technique. Here is a simple, reliable method to achieve a sharp edge. It takes just three waterstones, an inexpensive jig and a few minutes. 1. Get a flat back. While some blades come with...