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Power Sharpening System

By Tom Caspar

I’m crazy about sharp hand tools. When edges are perfect, these tools sing in your hands. When they’re dull, you might as well hang them up.

I’ve been looking for the ultimate sharpening system for years, one that can quickly and accurately grind and hone a perfect edge. One day I looked at my drill press and electric sander and a light bulb went on. Wow! Combine the slow speed, power and accuracy of the drill press with the latest in abrasives technology, and you’ve got it made. This system is the result of that brainstorm. Goodbye to the stone age!

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It’s cheap…

Our shop-made sharpening system is made with inexpensive materials and hardware.
All you need is an ordinary drill press and the accessories shown below.

Click any image to view a larger version.

…It grinds and hones

With this system, you get two machines in one. You can grind out nicks, and then hone a super-sharp edge, with only one setup.

…And it'll sharpen everything

This system will handle any edge tool from the smallest chisel to the widest plane iron (1/8-in. wide to 2-5/8-in. wide). Dial in any angle from 18 to 37 degrees.

Changing grits takes only seconds

A unique twist-and-lock design lets you change grits as easy as changing a CD. We’ve taken the driver unit and an abrasive disk out of the drill press to show you how they work together. When you’re actually sharpening, the driver stays in the drill press.

Slide the abrasive disk onto the driver. The driver contains a metal bar that fits into a groove on the abrasive disk. The driver also has two rare earth magnets that lock the abrasive disk in place after the two disks are twisted together.

Twist the abrasive disk. It locks into place automatically in a second groove. To release the abrasive disk, simply turn it in the opposite direction and slide it off.


you can:

1. Grind without overheating

2. Dial in any
bevel angle

3. Hone perfectly straight edges

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker January 2003, issue #98.

January 2003, issue #98

Purchase this back issue.

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Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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