In the next issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine I review the Chestnut Tools Universal Sharpener from Lee Valley Tools. I learned about this remarkable and inexpensive little tool from furniture maker Freddy Roman. I was skeptical about it until I got my hands on it.
This thing is … well you’ll have to read my review for that.
One of the best things it does in my shop is to refile the edge of a worn card scraper to perfectly square, clean and wicked sharp – ready for a little stoning and a burnisher. Removing traditional file marks with your stones can be tedious. The surface this tool leaves is remarkable.
I prepared this short video that shows how I file scraper edges with the assistance of my face vise. Note that I’m holding the scraper so it’s about 85° from the edge of the Universal Sharpener. The exact angle isn’t important, but when you feel the carbide edge bite the scraper and remove steel shavings without a lot of effort, that’s the sweet spot.
The shape of the Universal Sharpener isn’t ideal for turning the burr on a scraper (in my experience, at least), so you’ll still need a burnisher to finish the sharpening job.
The Universal Sharpener includes instructions for sharpening all kinds of tools. It’s earned a permanent place in my tool chest – right next to my burnisher.
— Christopher Schwarz
For more on sharpening, and what “sharp” really means, read Ron Hock’s book, “The Perfect Edge.”