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I’m always surprised by how many woodworkers – even experienced ones – try to avoid the grinder.

They will purchase expensive diamond plates or (worse perhaps) a ream of belt sander paper and an expensive granite plate all to avoid stepping up to an electric or hand-cranked grinder.

This is not just a fear among hand-tool users who avoid electricity. I’ve met guys who will use an unguarded shaper with 1970s insert tooling who won’t go near a wee 6” electric grinder. It baffles me.

Instead of trying to explain why, however, I have only this to say: Get over it. Today.

The grinder has always been an essential piece of kit for woodworkers. The reason it is so important is that it fixes problems that honing and honing and honing create. If you’re a computer person, think of the grinder as the way you unplug an electronic thing to make it reset itself.

Honing – the part of the sharpening where you create a polished and fine edge – changes the geometry of the edge a bit every time you do it.


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