Chris Schwarz's Blog

Shut up and Sharpen

I make it a point to avoid blogging about sharpening. It is the simplest thing to do that is made confusing by too much talk and too many commercial products.

I honestly do not care how you sharpen your tools. If you can get a zero-radius intersection and then polish the two surfaces, then you are in the club.

This video shows how I do it – start to finish – with a 3/4” A2 chisel, a cheap honing guide and waterstones. The orange stone is #1,000. The purple is #4,000 (I think). The green is #8,000.

Take a look. The whole process (including flattening the stones) takes 2:30 or so. The resulting edge is keen, mirrored and good for chopping out a drawer’s joints in abrasive teak and pine before it will require sharpening again.

I ask you this favor: Do not reply with words in your comments. The only reply is to shoot your own video, post it on YouTube and share the link below.

— Christopher Schwarz


25 thoughts on “Shut up and Sharpen


    please provide credit for background music, want to hear more!

      1. Publius Secundus

        Where I live, video won’t be invented for a couple hundred years. Sorry.

      2. Publius Secundus

        Where I live, video won’t be invented for a couple hundred years. Sorry.

    1. Fair Woodworking

      Rain just means he doesn’t need to bring out his spray bottle, or ice cream bucket.

  2. Dave

    Chris, just be careful you aren’t wearing too much metal off your wedding ring when you swipe your hand across the stones. 🙂

  3. lwilliams

    A photo of the flat face wear bevel on a plane iron. This has to be addressed/removed at each sharpening or you’re only working on half your cutting edge. You don’t get sharp by ignoring half of the cutting edge you’re trying to create.

    Stanley’s sharpening instructions on the back of a block plane iron from the 1970s. While the instructions don’t mention the wear bevel, they do mention the important indicator of the wire edge created and removed on each grit of stone. One can’t remove the wire edge without removing the wear bevel on the flat face. Dealing with the flat face wear bevel is why “absolutely flat” is important.

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