Episode 34 – How We Sharpen Hand Tools

34_SharpenIn this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, The guys talk about sharpening hand tools. Do either Chuck or Glen only hone their tools by hand? No! Find out which one uses a Work Sharp to do the job on his chisels and which guy uses a hollow grind. Is it the same for plane blades? What about a secondary bevel? Get all the answer plus, listen as the guys discount the “ruler” trick once and for all.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

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3 thoughts on “Episode 34 – How We Sharpen Hand Tools

  1. I sharpen using abrasive rolls of PSA on granite and marble stones. Down to 0.3µ. It’s the equivalent of stropping without the chance of rounding over the edge. And, when needed, I use jigs. The Veritas Mk. II and the Kell jigs for odd blades, like plow planes.

  2. Chuck,

    I recently bought a 1200 and a 4000 grit water stones. I have a been using DMT diamond stones for honing, Black, Blue, and Red with an extra fine diamond plate. After trying the water stones, I like the results a little better. Question: Is a 1200 and a 4000 all one needs or should I add an 800 with a 6000 or 8000 grit? I can get a pretty good polish on the 4000. Value your opinion as it’s always practical and real-world.


    Tom Caso

    1. Tom,

      I have an #800-grit stone (just a single grit, not a combo) and I only use it for taking out serious divots in the edges of the tools. Going higher than #4000-grit doesn’t make the edge sharper, it just makes it tougher. By polishing out more of the courser-grit scratches, you create a stronger edge. That said, I don’t bother because I find it easier, and less time consuming, to head back to the stone and take a few strokes to touch up the edge when it starts showing signs of wear. Because I hollow grind, it makes it easy to freehand-hone, speeding up the entire process.

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