A dedicated sharpening station makes your work so much easier, but since leaving the magazine in 2011 I’ve never had the space (or a sink) for one.
One day I saw this $20 boot tray at my home center and I knew exactly what to do. I cut a piece of masonite to fit in the bottom and turned it into a great sharpening station that lives under my workbench.
The lip of the boot tray is low enough that it doesn’t interfere with sharpening, but it’s tall enough to contain my mess. When I’m done sharpening, I can leave all my sharpening gear in exactly the orientation I like it, throw my rag over my stones so they don’t get dusty and put the whole rig under the bench.
One of the other advantages of the tray is it’s lightweight and portable, so I can move it outside when the weather is nice, or move it under the south-facing window when I need more light in the winter.
But mostly, it’s fantastic because it’s so easy, which makes me sharpen more, which is better for my work.
— Christopher Schwarz