What I Don't Get About Sharpening Stones

Thanks to the steady stream of tools that flow in and out of our shop, I do a lot of sharpening. I set up more tools from scratch than I care to admit. And I wear out sharpening stones. Last week I noticed that my #1,000-grit Shapton Glasstone was getting wafer thin. This is...

Steve Cooke, 'The Sharpening Guy,' Dies at 61

I’m sad to announce that the world has lost another good saw sharpener. Steve Cooke, 61, of York, Pa., died on March 17. Cooke was the founder of Cooke’s Sharpening Service, which specialized in sharpening all forms of edge tools. But Cooke had a special place in his heart for saws, and he had...

The Crash Course in Sharpening

Toolmaker Ron Hock has a new book coming out soon and a new blog , both deal with sharpening. I had the privilege of reading the draft of the book, “The Perfect Edge” (Popular Woodworking Books), earlier this year. I think Ron has broken some new ground, especially on the topic of abrasives. Until...

Three (Unoriginal) Sharpening Tips

Some things about sharpening everyone knows (it’s two metal surfaces, an abrasive and friction). Other things nobody knows (such as the best system ever). And there is a third category of sharpening facts: Things that everyone should know, but some people don’t. I’ve been doing a lot of sharpening these last few weeks, both...

M.Power Sharpening System

Editor Christopher Schwarz is out of town , so we’ve commandeered his blog for a few days. Don’t worry , the socks on squirrels and monkey references will soon return. When The Schwarz first handed me the M.Power PSS1, I was intrigued because sharpening has always been my woodworking Achilles’ heel , if you’re...

Truth in Sharpening Angles

The little side-clamp honing guide is my favorite bit of sharpening equipment. But it frequently is criticized for two shortcomings: - It is poorly made and sloppily painted. So you have to tune the little sucker up before it will perform reliably, especially with chisels. This is a 100-percent valid critique of this honing...

Three Magnets Make Sharpening Easier

The most miserable aspect of hand work is setting up the tools for the first time. Removing the coarse manufacturing scratches from the unbeveled faces of your edge tools can be grueling, boring and filthy work. (One side note before someone spanks me about David Charlesworth’s “ruler trick.” I really think you need to...