Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shop Talk - Sharpening System

As I listed in a previous blog, I have 17 blades in my shop to keep sharp. This isn't even counting the 5 turning tools and 15 carving tools that are quite possibly the most often sharpened tools during the course of working with them.

Below are a few images of my sharpening system. I feel that sharpening has been covered ad nausium all over the internet, I will go into little detial with the confidence that if you desire to learn more, you will google terms such as "scary sharp", "hollow grind", "honing jig", and others.

My system is a hybrid of the scary sharp and hollow ground system. I do like the results of sandpaper sharpening, but I would not pass up the chance to try a waterstone, should the opportunity arrise. I am really happy with the hollow grind method, due to its simpliciy and speed.

As you will see below, I do not work on a "standard" grinder. The grinder I uses is a concoction of motor, pulleys, bushings, and a wooden dowel (hey, I am a WOOD worker afterall). I was really happy with the way this shop made system worked out and wish I could take credit for the idea, but it is based on an idea from James Krenov's Book 'The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking'. The main exception is that this mine is a motor driven system.

This honing guide really sped up the sharpening process for me. It is also a much more reliable way to make a micro-bevel. I use a simple board with lines marked at the correct distance to set the blade protrusion and therefore the sharpening angles.

Here is the row of sandpaper and strops I work my way through after the grinding is done. They are all glued to marple tiles with spray adhesive. The sheets I use are 250, 400, 600, 800, and 1500. I just purchased some 2500 grit that I cant wait to try out. The strops are loaded with two different grits of rouge. They are awesome for putting on that mirror finish. A quick 15 swipes on each, and anything goes from dull to scary sharp.

Thanks for looking!

David J. Ulschmid
~ Wisp Woods ~

No comments: