Chris Schwarz's Blog

How I Use the Veritas Mark II Power Sharpening Machine

Power Sharpening Machine

I’ve long been a fan of the Veritas Mark II Power Sharpening machine. I had one of the first models while working at Popular Woodworking Magazine. On the day I left the magazine, I ordered one for my home shop.

It can be tricky at times. After grinding hundreds and hundreds of tools, this short video explains how I get dead-straight bevels and never lose the temper on a tool.

These techniques are not be endorsed by Veritas. And if you are happy with your results, don’t change.

Many of you will criticize me moving the tool across the wheel while it is in motion. This is way faster than keeping the tool stationary and is safe as long as you move the tool away from the center of the wheel.

— Christopher Schwarz

15 thoughts on “How I Use the Veritas Mark II Power Sharpening Machine

  1. Matt_Rob

    I found the video nicely produced also very informative as another option for creating and maintaining the primary bevel.

  2. web

    I’ve been using the Veritas mark 2 honing guide with the work sharp 3000 and love the system . Got the plate (“wide blade attachment “) with multiple glass plates to go from 40 grit (for REALLY bad blades) up to 2000 micron. Leaves a great reproducible edge that lasts and lasts on planes chisels and spokeshave s.

  3. lindhrr

    Chris,..Now that I have seen your video….I do my secondary bevel on the machine also…You do not!..Where do you see a problem with doing the secondary bevel on this machine?

  4. Michael Kratky

    Excellent; Christopher the Veritas is nearly the same as the Work Sharp 3000 which I have and love especially for chisels and gouges, the most important thing in using either of them is exactly what you pointed out when sharpening wide plane blades is that the outside of the disc cuts faster so you adapt. Rob Cosman converted me to his tertiary grind for plane blades so now I only go to the Work Sharp for exactly what you demonstrated.

  5. john

    That’s a nice demo. It gives me some ideas how I may be able to use a similar machine tucked away in a corner. Though it also reminds me how happy I am to be comfortable putting on a convex bevel by hand.

  6. karlfife

    1.
    Do you miss the hollow grind you would get with a 6″ grinder? While I’ve never done any empirical comparisons, geometry and my experience are consistent with a hollow grind making life easier when honing–less metal to shape (at least the first honings–the latter ones with accelerating difficulty).
    2.
    If you want a cambered blade such as a jack blade, can you use this record-player-style grinder? What about a slightly cambered smoother or jointer blades? Is this straight-across grind undoing any of the hard-earned camber characteristic you imparted with finger pressure on the stones?
    3.
    I totally get your comment about dry grinders, students & learning curves. My dry grinder experience is consistent with the idea that there’s a bit of finesse/skill required (Not unlike most aspects of hand tool woodworking). Still, when you show up blade-grinding drag races, or when you’re doing work-a-day grinding in your own shop, which tool do you reach for?

    1. Christopher SchwarzChristopher Schwarz Post author

      1. My sharpening methods do not need a hollow grind – I use secondary bevels. So I don’t miss it.

      2. Yes, you can freehand on this machine and make a jack-plane-like radius. But it’s easier to do on a dry grinder. For slightly cambered irons, I grind straight and create the camber on the stones.

      3. Hard question because I have both machines. I use the Veritas for precise work when I need dang-straight edges (joinery planes etc.). I use my dry grinder for grinding irregular shapes because I can shape the wheel etc. It’s not a good answer, I know. But the good news is that you can buy an awesome USA-made dry grinder at a garage sale for $20 to $40.

  7. themavericktexan

    Do you happen to know how this compares to the Worksharp family of sharpeners?

  8. Christopher SchwarzChristopher Schwarz Post author

    Good question. I learned on a 6″ dry grinder. But I have found that it’s easier to teach 18 people in a class to use the Veritas machine without any accidents.

    I am totally comfortable on both (and a hand-cranked 6″ grinder). But most beginners I teach have the most success on the Veritas.

  9. Wilbur

    Nice demo. Is there a reason why you decided to get the Veritas Mark II power sharpener as opposed to a 6” or 8” grinder of some sort?

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